NH unemployment rate lowest in nation

Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce presents annual business awards

By ROGER AMSDEN, for THE LACONIA DAILY SUN

MEREDITH — New Hampshire has the lowest unemployment rate in the country at 2.6 percent and has added nearly 16,000 jobs in the last year, according to Jeffrey Rose, head of the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development, who was the guest speaker at the annual awards luncheon and membership meeting of the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce,
"New Hampshire is doing really well and has recovered from the Great Recession" said Rose, who pointed to a record-setting $300 million collected in the state rooms and meals tax last year as evidence of a strong economy.
He said that the state has a good foundation for future growth and looks to work closely with organizations like the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce to promote economic growth and tourism.
Jay Bolduc of T-Bones and Cactus Jack's was elected as president of the board of directors of the chamber and Bob Fitzpatrick of Vista Foods was elected as first vice chairman.
Outgoing president Warren Bailey, who had served his second stint as president during a three-year-period, donned a Donald Trump wig during the ceremony and handed out imaginary cabinet posts to chamber officers. He was presented with a fire extinguisher as a gift in honor of his service, a reminder of a recent incident in which two of his cars were members damaged after he had jump started one of them. He later was presented with the real gift, a granite plaque.
One of the guests at the meeting, Richard Anognost of Anagnost Realty and Development of Manchester, arrived and departed aboard a helicopter which landed on the front lawn of Church Landing, which again hosted the awards luncheon. Anognost's firm played a role in developing student housing for Lakes Region Community College.
One of the highlights of the event was the presentation of awards.
Golden Trowel awards for outstanding renovations and rehabilitations were presented to:
• The Belmont Early Learning Center, for renovation of a warehouse into a childcare facility.
• Gunstock Mountain Resort, for installation of a 4,100-foot-long alpine coaster.
• Watermark Marine, for redevelopment of the former Burger King property.
• Perma City Life, for renovations in downtown Franklin which added three businesses.
• Stephens Landscaping Professionals, for renovation and expansion of its Moultonborough building.
Golden Hammer awards for new construction were presented to:
• Titeflex Aerospace for completion of a 47,000-square-foot expansion at its plant on Lexington Drive in Laconia.
• Laconia Area Community Land Trust for completion of a 32-unit, three-story permanently affordable housing project in Laconia.
• Middleton Building Supply for redevelopment of its retail store and distribution center in Meredith.
• Lakes Region Community College for its $4.3 million, 13,000-square-foot automotive technology building.
• Diversified Marine for its new facility for their marine supply store at the former B. Mae Denny's building in Gilford.
• Double D Development for its two new residential housing buildings, each with 48 units, which has been leased to Lakes Region Community College for student housing.
Environmental awards were presented to:
• The Inter-Lakes School District for energy improvements which saw a giant solar array completed along with a wood pellet heating system.
• Prescott Farm for its Natural Playscape project which opened last May.

01-26 Jeffrey Rose

Jeffrey Rose, head of the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development, speaks at the annual awards luncheon of the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

01-26 Warren Bailey

Warren Bailey, outgoing president of the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce, donned a Donald Trump whig at the chamber's annual meeting. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

01-26 Scott Kalicki

Paul Provost presents Lakes Region Community College President Scott Kalicki with an award at the annual awards luncheon of the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

01-26 chopper

A helicopter carrying Richard Anognost of Anagnost Realty and Development of Manchester, departs from the front lawn at Church Landing in Meredith following the annual awards luncheon of the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)