Video conferencing with Japan
Free to businesses in aftermath of earthquake
Hampton Union, Tuesday, March 29, 2011
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON -- The Coastal Economic Development Corporation (CEDC), in partnership with the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority; the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority and the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development will offer free use of the Coastal Video Conference Center, located to any New Hampshire business affected by the crisis in Japan.
"Japan is New Hampshire's 10th most active export partner. In 2009, for example, New Hampshire buStriesses exported $179 million in goods and services to Japan. That's a fairly significant piece of our state's economic puzzle," said Daniel Gray, CEDC's managing editor, in a statement issued March 22.
In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan earlier this month, the U.S. government is advising citizens to defer travel to the country while urging citizens in Japan to depart.
The Coastal Video Conference Center is a state-of-the-art telepresence system that offers high definition, multi-point video conferencing capabilities. The dual screen system offers a platform that can connect up to six locations simultaneously, with the ability to share content and presentations. CEDC opened the Center in 2010.
"Video conferencing is becoming a trend under normal business circumstances," Gray said. "It's a very economical, time-effective, and environmentally friendly way to arrange long-distance meetings. But, with the crisis in Japan, and with the resulting travel restrictions, video conferencing could just be the only way some New Hampshire businesses can replace those face-to-face meetings that absolutely need to take place. While the two participants might not be in the same room, with the technology we are offering, they may as well be."
The New Hampshire Business Finance Authority, the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority and the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development, have teamed together to provide grant funding and support to allow CEDC to offer the center to affected businesses at no charge.
"New Hampshire is fortunate to have these forward-thinking agencies. They came together quickly to address an unforeseen economic development problem, and their support will give New Hampshire businesses a tool to overcome challenges associated with this terrible tragedy," Gray said.
Companies interested in learning more about this new program should contact Coastal Economic Development Corporation at (603) 929-9244 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CEDC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit economic development corporation serving the Seacoast of New Hampshire. In addition to operating the Coastal Video Conference Center, CEDC operates various loan pools, including the Seacoast Revolving Loan Fund and the Intermediary Relending Program, through USDA Rural Development. CEDC also owns and operates Seacoast Suites, a 35,000-square-foot business center located in Hampton, Since its inception in 1998, CEDC has loaned more than $10 million in gap financing to area businesses, helping to create new jobs. Recent loans include financing for Foss Manufacturing, in Hampton; Port City Air and Smuttynose Brewing Company, in Portsmouth; and Lamprey Brothers Oil, in North Hampton.