Chamber Review


Each month, the Chamber Review newsletter lets our members know what's happening in Greater Concord: where and when our upcoming networking and committee events will be...what forums are slated for discussion...and which educational topics we think are beneficial to you. Business Focus articles are written and sponsored by members of the Greater Concord Chamber. Read on and benefit from your fellow Chamber members' expertise on a range of topics of interest to the business community: 

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November edition

October edition

September edition

August edition

July edition

June edition

May edition

April edition

March edition

February edition

January edition



December edition

November edition


Recent Business Focus Columns:

Reducing Holiday Stress

By Caitlin Cawley, Home instead Senior Care

The holidays can be a stressful time for individuals, particularly those who are balancing work, families and taking care of an aging loved one — it’s become a season where there is a lot of hustle and bustle and not as much time for reflection and self-care. As we approach the holidays, it is important to remember to be mindful of stressors and plan ahead to make the holiday season one of family, creating cherished memories and joy. Here are a few simple ways that you can reduce stress this time of year—more in the November edition.

New England states take the lead on noncompete reform

By Adam M. Hamel,  McLane Middleton, Professional Association

More than a third of all workers in the United States have been subject to a noncompetition agreement at some point in their careers. Most states, with the notable exception of California, have long enforced noncompetition agreements. However, in recent years, difficulties experienced by employees subject to noncompetition agreements finding new work, and overreach by some employers, have led to increasing calls for noncompete reform. The New England states have taken a leading role in this area, with four states recently enacting laws affecting noncompetition agreements, and a fifth considering a bill on the subject—more in the October edition.

Workplace investigations—steps for getting it right

By Beth A. Deragon, Esq., Pastori | Krans PLLC

Workplace investigations are conducted for multiple reasons and vary in scope. Employers are required to conduct a prompt investigation after receiving a complaint of discrimination, harassment or retaliation. Employers may also have specific policies (e.g., anti-bullying, whistleblower) that create an obligation to investigate those particular situations. An investigation is also advisable to protect the company from liability such as when there are potential criminal violations or allegations of other employee misconduct like theft and drug use. Every complaint does not require a full-blown formal investigation, but it does require the employer to assess the complaint carefully to ensure that a sound investigation is conducted—more in the September edition.

NH’s water: contaminants you should be concerned about

By Dan Grace, Capital Well Clean Water

What’s in your drinking water? A subject that’s become a growing concern among New Hampshire residents after news broke that officials discovered high quantities of man-made chemicals known as PFAS in the water of residents near companies in Merrimack and Portsmouth. As a result, New Hampshire is set to become one of only a few states with its own regulations on PFAS in drinking water. Here are other common water contaminants that you should be concerned about—more in the  August edition.

Make project management work for you

By Karen RJ White,  Granite State College

Within your day-to-day operations, have you ever struggled to get your entire team on board with a project? Are you continuously challenged by deadlines? Have you ever missed an important to-do item and had to back track to keep things moving forward? In these moments, you may wonder: How do other companies pull it all together? The answer is often project management—more in the  August edition.

Members eligible for major federal income tax deduction

By John Cunningham,  Law Offices of John M. Cunningham, PLLC

On January 1, 2018, with the enactment of Internal Revenue Code section 199A, a major new federal income tax deduction became available to closely held businesses, including businesses that are members of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce. Under section 199A, if you are the owner of a pass-through business, you can deduct up to 20% of your net business income for federal income tax purposes. The vast majority of Chamber businesses are pass-through businesses—more in the  July edition. 

Self-service tech: why and how to implement

By Advanced Kiosks

Consumers today are more informed, tech-savvy and pressed for time than ever before. They want to meet their own needs and solve their own problems, fast. In fact, the Harvard Business Review found 81% of customers across all industries try to resolve issues themselves before reaching out to a real person. Whether you are trying to educate, serve, sell or some combination of all of the above, self-service kiosks enable people to engage with your brand on their own terms, when and how they want—more in the  July edition.

Mindfulness: Good for you and the bottom line 

By Dan Huston,  NHTI—Concord's Community College

Did you know that businesses right here in New Hampshire are providing mindfulness training and experiencing its benefits? One of the benefits is that it helps increase self-awareness and provides people with an increased ability to identify and modify unproductive patterns of behavior. These discoveries and changes take place at home and at work, both of which impact one’s ability to interact productively with others, including colleagues and customers—more in the June edition.

Investment real estate—important steps for success 

By Robert Christensen, Ledyard National Bank/Ledyard Financial Advisors

There’s much to think about before purchasing an investment property. The first step is to know and understand your goals, as well as the realities of owning a rental property. What are your goals? How long do you want to own it? Stated another way, what is your target return on investment (ROI)?  Did you include your time in that equation? Knowing answers to these questions can help you decide if investment real estate is right for you—more in the  June edition.

Three things to know about workers compensation 

By Patrick J. Casey, MD,  Concord Orthopaedics

Every 7 seconds a worker gets injured on the job, according to reports from the National Safety Council, resulting in over 104 million production days lost due to work-related injuries. Total costs of work-related injuries in 2017 was a staggering $161.5 billion. The workers compensation process can be confusing for patients and their employers—more in the  May edition.

Is your business Alzheimer’s friendly?

By Caitlin Cawley,  Home Instead Senior Care

Businesses and organizations that are open and welcoming places for individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s as well as their families and caretakers can have a very positive impact on local communities where isolation may be a problem— more in the  April edition.

The true cost of borrowing—how a private banker can help

By William Logan, CWS®, Ledyard National Bank

When you purchase a home or investment property, there are many important elements that require your attention. It’s crucial to understand and evaluate the true cost of borrowing the funds from a bank, independent lender or mortgage broker. The phrase “buyer beware” is an ever-present concern because the cost of the loan can vary in many different ways and through different banks/lenders, attorneys/title companies, and third parties related to the transaction—more in the  April edition.

Beating the winter blues

By Age at Home

New Englanders have a certain hardiness about us. We can withstand subfreezing temperatures for nearly half of the year. While winter is beautiful in many ways, the short days and chilly temps do present challenges for some people. Here are a few ways to consider improving your winter experience from a health-psychology perspective and help beat the winter blues—more in the  March edition.

Understanding the FDIC threshold and how ICS® can help 

By  Sugar River Bank

How many times have you walked into your bank and noticed the FDIC sign, but never really knew what it meant or how it applied to you and your deposits? And, what happens when you have deposits greater than $250,000 dollars? - more in the  February edition.

The challenge of investigating workplace harassment claims 

By  McLane, Middleton, P.A.

In the past couple of years, claims of sexual impropriety, whether recent or from the past had a prominent place in the media. Public reaction has made it clear that definitive conclusions and evidence, like eyewitness testimony or photographs, are expected. Unfortunately, such objective, corroborating evidence is rare in this type of case. In the most difficult “he-said-she-said” workplace harassment scenarios, employers are challenged to reach resolution - more in the  February edition.

Health care benefits—a valuable hiring and retention tool 

By  Tufts Health Freedom Plan

The value of company-sponsored health care benefits is a critical consideration for prospective hires and employees who may be contemplating a move. Nearly three in five (57%) consumers report health benefits and perks as a reason to stay in or accept a job. What’s more, 40% of people rank health and dental insurance as the most important benefit offered by their company. Translation? Employers can and should leverage their health care benefits to attract and retain employees - more in the  January edition.

Ensure your employees are getting PAID this year

By Terri Pastori and Jaclyn Fisher,  Pastori|Krans, PLLC 

Employers have an opportunity to start 2019 off on the right foot by ensuring that they are compensating their employees appropriately and in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a six-month extension of its Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program on October 9, 2018. This program aims to incentivize employers to review wage practices and provides compliance assistance - more in the January edition.

Hip pain—it's not just for seniors 

By Brendan T. Higgins, MD, MS, Concord Orthopaedics

The average American adult walks about three miles every day. Each step we take involves moving the hip joint. Hip pain can be extremely debilitating and prevent us from exercising, enjoying recreational activities, working and sometimes even sleeping. There are numerous causes of hip pain, but often it is brought about by a sudden period of increased activity and will often resolve with rest and time - more in the  December edition.

Exit planning—questions every business owner should ask 

By Jason Achmoody,  Ledyard National Bank 

Business owners are unique. They deeply value their business, employees, community and family. Transferring those values (along with their business) to the next generation may be their greatest challenge - more in the  November edition.

Employer tips to celebrate the holidays and avoid the “naughty list” 

By Terri Pastori, Jaclyn Fisher and Beth A. Deragon, Pastori|Krans, PLLC

As the holiday season rolls around again, many businesses hold holiday parties to build morale, encourage employees to socialize, and give something back to their employees. But a more relaxed social environment presents increased risks for employers - more in the  November edition.


Interested in contributing a Business Focus article?

Contact Kathy Bacon for more information.