BRISTOL — If you're a new business looking to grow or an existing business looking for a new location, Bristol wants to talk to you. The town is invested in helping businesses here thrive, and it has launched a business development website to support this effort. The website, bristolnhbusiness.com, highlights the advantages of doing business in Bristol, provides tools and tips for starting a new business, and helps existing businesses in town that want to hire and expand.

Bristol is in a period of economic expansion with new businesses opening in town, increased home sale prices, and local investment in infrastructure. The town hopes to leverage the excitement about Bristol by promoting the live, work, play lifestyle, while also making the process of opening a business easier.

“We recently saw how supportive and close-knit our business community is here during the COVID pandemic,” said Bristol Town Administrator Nicholas Coates. “We’ve heard from business owners that things like permitting, lending, and finding a location can be an intimidating process, so why not extend that supportive environment to those who want to become part of our business community and make those steps a little easier?”

The site was conceived by the Bristol Economic Development Committee to support local business and the committee’s ongoing efforts to bring new business to the community that are in line with the town’s vision for the future. On the site, businesses can find information about local land use regulations, connecting with town staff, local business organizations, banking and lending resources, and available commercial real estate. The business development site also showcases what a great place Bristol is to live, work and play in the hopes of attracting people who want to relocate and join the town’s workforce.

The website, designed by Dan Stebbings and Bram Stebbings of Chum Studio, aims to answer new business owners’ most common questions, from, “Who do I ask if I need a sign permit?” to “Where can I find office space in town?” News and additional information about Bristol, it’s business community, and improvements in town will be featured on the site’s blog, as well. 

“The hope is that this site can be a tool for new business owners, companies looking to move into town, and for the businesses that are already here,” said Coates. “We also want to use it as a place to showcase our many recent successes and the great businesses that call Bristol home.” 

Building Upon Recent Growth

Bristol has seen an increase in investment in privately held properties in town, including 16-20 Central Square, which underwent a full rehab transforming the block from mill buildings to residential apartments. In addition, new restaurants, a jazz club, retailers, three breweries, a winery, and an anesthesiology practice have opened their doors in recent years, indicating that Bristol’s economic and employment opportunities are on the rise.

In addition to the new business investment Bristol has experienced, there’s also data that suggest that people are looking to Bristol and surrounding areas as a place where they can live, work and play. Since 2015, there has been a 56% increase in the number of housing units sold in Grafton County and a 45% increase in the median home price. These real estate numbers indicate that Bristol and Grafton County, much like the rest of the state, is experiencing a period of growth despite economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bristol recognizes the potential in this growth and the role local government can play. Over the past five years, the town has invested in a downtown revitalization project that updated and improved traffic, parking and landscaping in Central Square, invested in public parks and trails throughout town, built Safe Routes to School, launched investments in public water and sewer service, and built the infrastructure needed to provide high-speed internet access throughout the town, including to the University of New Hampshire, municipal buildings and schools.

About Bristol, NH

Located about 40 minutes northwest of Concord on Newfound Lake, Bristol is a town of 3,000 year-round residents that has long had a strong industrial industry and tourism industry. Close access to lakes, rivers, protected forest areas, and the White Mountains make it a dream location for outdoor enthusiasts, no matter what sport or activity they enjoy. A wide range of services, including hardware stores, grocery stores, a wide range of restaurants, banks, hardware stores, construction contractors, expansion of MidState Medical health care services, and other professional services mean both businesses and residents are never far from what they need. In addition, a library, cultural center with butterfly garden and new Town Offices are here to serve residents and those doing business here in town.

For more information about the business development website or opening a business in Bristol, please contact Town Administrator Nicholas (Nik) Coates at 603-744-3354.

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