NH SBDC Business Advisor Andrea O'Brien & Professor and Business Owner Don Byrne interview Marty Parichand.
Concord Monitor | December 31, 2016
For the first time in 36 years, the Merrimack Valley Paddlers have been forced to change their traditional New Year’s Day kayaking event on the Winnipesaukee River, due to ice conditions on the lower part of the river. Thanks to the efforts and expertise of Marty Parichand, owner of the Outdoor New England store in Franklin, and Ken Norton of the MVP, and the State of New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, there will be a water release to increase river water flow. Because of their efforts, kayaking will be possible, especially on the upper portion of the river.
Franklin businesses are ready to welcome one and all for the day, and to celebrate the grand opening of Outdoor New England.
Other local businesses that will also be open include: Ralphs & Jo’s Café, with 50 percent off grab and go meals in The Pantry; Take Root Coworking, where people can warm up, get free chair massages, and play board games; Franklin Clothing Company, where everything is 50 percent off; Franklin Studio, serving the Marty Special; Central Sweets, with free ice cream and candy specials; Castaway Bait & Tackle, and more.
Choose Franklin has expanded its offering of events to ring in the New Year. Bring the family for activities for all ages. Children’s events will be happening at Marceau Park and in The Franklin Studio, sponsored by the Franklin Junior Youth Group. A family scavenger hunt will be distributed at Trestle View Park; prizes include $50 to The Franklin Studio and $25 to Franklin Clothing Company, sponsored by Franklin Savings Bank and Scott Stanley Electric.
For more information, visit franklinfirstday.com
Laconia Daily Sun | Roger Amsden | 12/30/16
FRANKLIN — First Day Franklin will go on as usual on New Year's Day, but ice which has formed in the lower part of the Winnipesaukee River near the downtown area will likely bring far fewer kayaks than usual to that part of the river.
Dan Darling of Choose Franklin says that thanks to the efforts of Marty Parichand, owner of the Outdoor New England store in Franklin, and Ken Norton of the Merrimack Valley Paddlers and the state of New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, there will be a water release to increase river water flow Sunday.
"Because of their efforts, kayaking will be possible, especially on the upper portion of the river. But the ice in the lower part of the river has constricted some of the passageways through the rapids and only experienced kayakers will be making runs on the lower section and under the rail trestle," says Darling.
The traditional New Year's Day kayaking event on the Winnipesaukee River has been hosted for 36 years by the Merrimack Valley Paddlers. Kayakers put into the river at two different points, the upper course, which runs from Rte. 140 in Tilton to the Merrimack Valley Railroad station in Northfield, and the lower course, which runs from Cross Mill Road in Northfield and into Trestle View Park in downtown Franklin.
He said kayakers are expected to take to the water between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. and that festivities planned at Trestle View Park will go on as planned. Darling said that Franklin businesses are ready to welcome one and all for the day, and to celebrate the grand opening of Outdoor New England. He said that Choose Franklin has expanded its offering of events to ring in the New Year. Children's events will be happening at Marceau Park and in The Franklin Studio, sponsored by the Franklin Junior Youth Group. A family scavenger hunt will be distributed at Trestle View Park; prizes include $50 to The Franklin Studio and $25 to Franklin Clothing Company, sponsored by Franklin Savings Bank and Scott Stanley Electric.
NH Business Review | Terry Johnson | 12/9/16
Melanie Davis and Carmel Shea are both active users of the Derry Rail Trail. A few years ago, after a bike ride, they noticed there were no real options to relax, grab some healthy food, or just hang out with friends over a coffee near the trail. They had young children, were at a crossroads in their respective careers, so they decided to open The Grind Rail Trail Café on the Derry Rail Trail in April 2014 to fill that void. It turns out that betting on active living and good, nutritious food was a healthy business decision and they began turning a profit within months of opening.
According to Davis, “We opened right on the rail trail hoping that there were other people like us who would appreciate a fun place to be with family and friends, enjoy some healthy food, grab a cup of coffee and feel comfortable wearing their biking or cross-country ski gear. We were welcomed immediately. The response was overwhelming.”
The Grind Rail Trail Café, serves health-conscious food that is local and organic whenever available, as well as locally roasted organic coffee. It has not only gained huge popularity in the greater Derry area, it has been recognized statewide, receiving awards for best coffee shop from the Hippo, New Hampshire Magazine and WMUR.
Davis credits much of the café’s success to its location on the rail trail and noted that the sign and bike rack right off the trail really helped attract customers.
The Derry Rail Trail is a popular destination for locals and tourists looking for a safe place without vehicles to bicycle, walk, ski and snowshoe. It has eight miles of paved path running from Windham right into Derry’s downtown. It’s the longest paved section of the Granite State Rail Trail and plans to expand it to the Londonderry trail are in the works.
According to Will Stewart, president of the Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, the rail trail continues to provide economic stimulus, not just to The Grind, but to much of downtown Derry and surrounding communities.
He added that Derry is looking to add Complete Streets components, such as bicycle lanes and better crosswalks to make Broadway, the busy Route 102 connector that runs through the downtown, more walkable and bikeable.
“We want to help improve the built environment so that downtown businesses can benefit from pedestrians and bicyclists and feel confident about opening in Derry,” Stewart said.
Derry is not alone in its efforts to support economic growth by capitalizing on people’s desire to walk, bicycle and be more active.
In a presentation at the Oct. 12 HEAL NH Conference, Dr. Charlie French, program team leader of community and economic development at UNH Cooperative Extension, discussed the positive impact Franklin is experiencing as part of the planned revitalization of a city-owned tract of land along the Winnipesaukee River and unused mills to transform the area into a central attraction and economic hub.
According to French, four new businesses have opened, including Outdoor New England, a kayak and outdoor equipment store. One, which offers yoga classes, had a soft opening in mid-November, and plans a grand opening on Jan. 1. Other downtown businesses that have opened over the past year include Franklin Clothing Company, the Central Sweets candy store and Franklin Studio, a volunteer-run coffee shop.
The good news is that there is strong evidence that these community efforts will pay off. According to Smart Growth America, a Brookings Institution study, real estate values increase as neighborhoods become more walkable.
Christopher Leinberger, co-author of the report, explained his findings in a New York Times article: “There is a five-step ‘ladder’ of walkability, from least to most walkable. On average, each step up the walkability ladder adds $9 per square-foot to annual office rents, $7 per square-foot to retail rents, more than $300 per month to apartment rents and nearly $82 per square-foot to home values … As a neighborhood moves up each step of the five-step walkability ladder, the average household income of those who live there increases some $10,000. People who live in more walkable places tend to earn more, but they also tend to pay a higher percentage of their income for housing.”
Local studies echo the Brookings report.
Another presenter at the HEAL NH conference, Semra Aytur, associate professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of New Hampshire, outlined the results of a New Hampshire study that found several health and economic benefits associated with active recreation spaces and walkable, bikeable communities. In addition to increased property values, she cited benefits that included stronger local economy, higher leisure-time activity, healthier workforce and “increased perceptions of happiness.”
With no income or sales tax, New Hampshire relies heavily on property taxes. The direct association found between increased property values for communities that offer access to walking, bicycling, parks and other active recreation spaces – not to mention the health benefits – has important implications for our state.
Dozens of New Hampshire communities have adopted this forward-thinking approach to infrastructure, and, with the passage of Senate Bill 364 to study the feasibility of adopting Complete Streets at the state level, more Granite State residents may soon be walking or biking to a downtown startup coffee shop or doing yoga in a renovated mill.
Terry Johnson is director of HEAL NH at the Foundation for Healthy Communities.
Some potential small business owners come to NH SBDC with one business idea and it can be a pretty fuzzy one at that. One of the roles of the NH SBDC business advisor is to help them get clearer on what they want to do, and then guide them toward the resources that will help them do it.
With Marty Parichand, however, the advisor’s challenge was a little different. This client had an abundance of ideas combined with an abundance of energy, and the background and skills to back up his ambitious plans.
Marty laughs about it now, along with his NH SBDC business advisor Andrea O’Brien.
“We joke now that maybe my request (for advising help) got passed around amongst all the NH SBDC advisors with a note attached that said, ‘Do YOU want to take this guy?’”
Marty explained his vision for an outdoor education center that would offer classes in white water rafting and paddle boarding, while also renting out equipment, selling products in a retail store, and working with local schools to inspire young children to go outside. And he wanted to do all that in the up-and-coming town of Franklin, New Hampshire, which is in the middle of a renaissance. http://www.concordmonitor.com/Todd-Workman-Franklin-NH-Update-3000933 http://www.concordmonitor.com/Franklin-Falls-Revitalization-whitewater-park-Franklin-NH-3810821
It’s not the kind of business proposal you’d expect from a guy with advanced degrees in electrical and computer engineering, and whose day job is working on Blackhawk helicopter projects In Connecticut.
Since graduating from UMass-Amherst, Marty says he’s worked really, really hard nights and weekends to “iron out the path” to get where he is today. “I was a whitewater rafting guy in college and, before that, when I went rafting for the first time at age 16, we flipped a few times. That inspired me to become a guide. I believe I was built to have fun and to inspire fun, and to do things I’m passionate about,” he said.
He admits his business proposal was “diverse,” without a clear structure at first.
“I think Andrea was a little overwhelmed,” Marty says. “It took a couple of meetings with her to get all my ideas on the table.”
But Andrea was the perfect advisor for Marty’s ambitious project, he says now.
“I’m so thankful it was Andrea,” Marty said. “She’s helped us in absolutely every facet of what we’re trying to build here. She has introduced us to the countless number of people we’re working with now, she’s helped connect us to marketing agencies, and she’s helped us write feasibility studies and economic impact statements. We developed a business plan, and last year she helped us find interns who really got us to where we are today.”
In June of this year, Outdoor New England (ONE) held its grand opening and today the organization is offering stand-up paddleboard lessons, after-work boating lessons, classes in the basics of whitewater rafting, and a special class in doing yoga on a paddleboard out on the river. Meanwhile, Marty has spent most of the summer finishing up some serious renovations on what will be his retail space, in a formerly foreclosed downtown property.
ONE will be working closely with the Winnisquam School District and the Tilton School to offer classes designed to get students outside. It might be a science class, but they’ll be out on the river in boats.
The enterprise is not yet full-time, but Marty knows that will happen eventually. He says he’s working with some very passionate, talented people including his director of education who is a national champion in white water kayaking. “This kind of thing doesn’t happen overnight,” he said.
Marty is very involved in the larger effort to revitalize Franklin’s downtown, which like so many New England towns faded fast with the closing of three mills there. The revitalization effort is being spearheaded by Todd Workman of an organization called PermaCityLife, which has organized a GoFundMe campaign called “The Way Back to Franklin.”
Todd Workman and PermaCityLife offered Marty a reduced rate on mill space rent to help bring Outdoor New England to Franklin. The revitalization effort is all about leveraging relationships and resources. That group is working on bringing a mountain bike track and a community park to the town. The park will feature a community garden and the first public whitewater park in the Northeast, and Marty is involved all along the way.
“I truly believe that the more people we help, the larger impact we’ll make and the more successful we’ll be,” Marty said.
Marty, who has used his own funds thus far, continues working with Andrea as his project grows. The two recently finalized a business plan as part of a loan package for capital expenses and working capital, Marty explains.
“Andrea feeds me contacts or people to call, people who can become strategic partners,” he said. “It’s just a great relationship. I honestly don’t think it could be any better.”