Sununu meets with 127 businesses; no public commitments yet
By KATHLEEN RONAYNE
Apr. 20, 2017
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Gov. Chris Sununu said Thursday he has met with 127 out-of-state businesses during his first 100 days in office, but it is too early to say how many are prepared to relocate to New Hampshire.
"I think it'd be very premature to say how many are actually going to move here," Sununu told reporters. "I have no doubt that we made some clear successes and inroads that otherwise would not have happened."
Still, the governor said, he's confident some will eventually relocate to New Hampshire.
"We got some extremely firm commitments," Sununu said.
The first-term Republican governor pledged to meet with at least 100 businesses in his first months in office as part of an effort to boost New Hampshire's economy by drawing in new businesses and workers.
His "report" Thursday about his progress did not list the names of any businesses he's met with or highlight any firm commitments from companies to move to the state. The 127 businesses are located in 23 states and seven countries; many of them are in New England and Canada, he said.
Sununu said he promised businesses he would not share their names until they are willing to publicly announce plans to relocate to New Hampshire. Democrats have criticized the governor for not being more transparent about what companies he is meeting with, but he defended his decision to keep the conversations confidential.
"If you're a manufacturer in Pennsylvania or wherever and you're looking to pick up and move 100 employees, that is not something necessarily you want to publicize," he said.
Jeff Rose, the commissioner of the Department of Resources and Economic Development, said the process of moving a company takes time.
"The acceleration of the process has been tangible and I think the results will be validated," he said.
Not all of Sununu's meetings have been in person; he's talked with some on the phone or in group conference settings.
When asked how his travel was paid for, Sununu said that he has no budget for out-of-state travel but that he used some money from his inaugural committee to fund his trips out of state.