Hampton to Sponsor Block Grant for Sleepnet

Sleepnet Would Add 20 New Jobs

By Patrick Cronin

Hampton Union, Friday, August 27, 2010

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

HAMPTON -- The town is sponsoring a $400,000 community development block grant on behalf of Sleepnet, a Hampton-based company that manufactures medical respiratory medical masks that help people with sleep apnea.

Selectmen voted unanimously on Monday, Aug. 23, to sponsor the federal grant application to the Community Development Finance Authority to benefit the company.

Community development block grants are available to towns for economic development, public facility and housing rehabilitation projects and feasibility studies that primarily benefit low -and moderate-income persons.

Selectmen Chairman Richard Nichols said the town was asked to sponsor the grant for the company by the Coastal Economic Development Corporation (CEDC).

He said there is no cost to the town for sponsoring the grant.

If the grant is awarded to the town, Nichols said the town retains $20,000 for administration costs and subgrants the remaining funds to the CEDC.

The CEDC would then use the funds to loan $375,000 to Sleepnet.

Owner Thomas Moulton said they plan to use the funds to expand their operation at 5 Merrill Industrial Drive in Hampton.

"The mission is we want to hire more people for the company," Moulton said. "We expect growth and we will be creating jobs for people to make our products. I'm all about keeping jobs in the United States and not shipping them elsewhere."

As part of the agreement, the company has committed to creating an additional 20 jobs, of which 60 percent will be available to people with low or moderate incomes.

Sleepnet will be responsible to pay back the loan to CEDC, which in return will use the money to help other businesses on the Seacoast.

Selectman Richard Bateman said he supported the proposal because the town should do anything it can to help out businesses in the community.