NEMO continues growth trajectory with new hires
DOVER — NEMO, the award-winning, independent designer of outdoor gear and accessories built to improve the adventure experience, has nearly doubled its team over the past two years, with six more positions planned in 2022. As the brand approaches its 20th anniversary, NEMO sees the steady growth trajectory as not only a positive indicator of sales, but as a necessity as it maps out its ambitious climate goals.
Prior to the start of the pandemic, NEMO was in the process of expanding its team. When the pandemic hit in Spring 2020, founder and CEO Cam Brensinger made some difficult decisions. One, was drastically reducing the sales forecast for the year and basing all financial assumptions off that new number.
“We decided to base our sales target on what it would take to retain our people and not have to furlough or lay off,” Brensinger said in an interview. “Throughout the pandemic, the one area we didn’t put the brakes on, was product development. We saw a big competitive advantage in being a brand that never took its foot off the gas on product development.”
By the end of 2020, NEMO had kept all of its employees and back paid them the salary cuts that had been implemented over the previous months. In March of 2021, NPD Group named NEMO the fastest growing camping brand in the US outdoor industry. While NEMO was already growing prior to the pandemic, the rise in interest for all things outdoors boosted NEMO’s product sales through both its retail partners and website. Areas of growth that the company has been focusing on include systems and processes, customer service, people and culture development and diversity, sales and marketing, and product development.
“We continue to be intentional and thoughtful about our growth,” said Brensinger. “Creating a sustainable business will allow us to continue to make substantial progress in addressing climate change and advocating for social justice, equity, diversity and inclusivity. Investing in programs to support our manufacturing partners, like Clean By Design; sourcing sustainable materials through partners like bluesign; and auditing our Greenhouse Gas Emissions, wouldn’t be possible without profitable sales margins and a dedicated team to get the work done.”
“After 13 years of working for some great outdoor brands across several different departments, it felt like the opportunity at NEMO was a perfect fit,” said Darren Josey, NEMO’s director of marketing since January 2021, recently promoted to Vice President of Marketing. “I and so many of my BIPOC peers often feel like the moment will never come. However, my time at NEMO has not only fulfilled my personal career goals, but I’m asked, ‘what do you need from us to accommodate more diversity and inclusion?’. As a proud Puerto Rican and Black outdoor enthusiast, I’m personally and professionally motivated to make places where we recreate safer, while also inviting others from the BIPOC community to join in our industry’s corporate HQ’s. One of NEMO’s first real actions in 2022 is committing resources to help more potential and existing outdoor enthusiasts gain inspiration and skills, find places to go and people to go with through our upcoming Adventure Resources page.”
NEMO expects to hire an additional six people in product design and engineering, quality assurance and dealer services. The goal with each hire is to build a thriving team that reflects diversity, protects the places we all depend on for outdoor recreation, and works to create equitable and inclusive access to the outdoors. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
REDC offers a new financing resource for small businesses
RAYMOND – The Regional Economic Development Center of Southern New Hampshire (REDC) is offering a new financing resource for small businesses across New Hampshire. REDC has partnered with Kiva, an international non-profit that aims to expand financial access to underserved communities in the U.S. through zero-interest crowdfunded loans, to become the official Kiva Hub for the state of New Hampshire.
Information about KIVA and how New Hampshire small businesses can apply for Kiva loans can be found at www.redc.com/kiva. REDC launched a new website, www.LendLocalNH.com, to assist people in finding opportunities to lend to businesses in New Hampshire.
KIVA serves the financing needs of people in the U.S. by offering loans between $1,000 and $15,000 at 0% interest, with no fees, and extended grace periods for repayment. Kiva borrowers crowdfund their capital from individual lenders, some as small as $25, with Kiva collecting the money and putting 100% of the money lent back into the lender’s chosen community project. When the borrower repays the loan, that money goes back to the original lender, who can choose to reinvest the funds in another project or withdraw the money.
Since 2013, Kiva U.S. has coordinated the crowd-lending of $46 million to more than 7,500 businesses through 1.8 million small lenders.
“REDC is excited to be a facilitator for KIVA and part of this innovative program, which is often the first rung on the capital ladder,” said Laurel Adams, president of REDC. “It empowers businesses by providing much-needed, relatively small loans, and it gives people the chance to help spur growth in the communities where they live.”
Businesses can access Kiva U.S. financing through the organization’s partnerships with community development financing institutions, city and state governments, business accelerator programs, foundations, and technical assistance providers. As a CDFI and technical assistance provider, REDC is a great fit to partner with Kiva U.S. as the provider for the state of New Hampshire. As a partner, REDC helps applicants through the loan application process, supports them as they work with their social network to secure the initial loans, and continues to provide business advising as they start or grow their business.
New Hampshire small business owners can learn more about the program and begin the application process at www.redc.com/kiva, or reach out directly to REDC at 603-772-2655. Interested lenders can also find information about funding local projects at LendLocalNH.com. For more information about Kiva U.S., go to www.Kiva.org/lend-by-category/Kiva-u-s.
Our Place joins Dover Chamber
DOVER – The Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony to welcome Our Place NH as a member of the chamber.
The mission of Our Place, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, is to provide residential options, services and support designed to meet the needs of adults with developmental disabilities. They are dedicated to fostering growth and independence through vocational, social, and recreational opportunities.
Our Place is currently raising money with the goal of building a new facility in Dover in hopes of being near public transportation and businesses that could offer job opportunities. This home-like setting would welcome ten adults with disabilities, as well as rooms for a staff member and a visitor. Each unit will have its own kitchen and bathroom and there will be a central area for a large kitchen, dining room and living room so that tenants can socialize and eat together. Our Place will be staffed with qualified care providers who will be trained and supervised by a house manager.
The goal is to proactively address an orderly transition of care for adults with developmental disabilities from their aging parents to a stable, reliable and caring environment. Our Place provides each individual with surroundings that are conducive to long term friendships and a sense of well-being and self-worth.
To learn more about the mission of Our Place, visit www.ourplacenh.org or call 603-617-6900.
YMCA of Strafford County joins Dover Chamber
DOVER – The Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce recently held a ribbon cutting to welcome YMCA of Strafford County as a member of the chamber.
Located at 35 Industrial Way in Rochester, YMCA of Strafford County offers a wide variety of exciting activities for kids, athletes, families, seniors, and everyone in between. They are a community with an everyday mission to help members achieve a balance of spirit, mind, and body, which is accomplished by encouraging good health and fostering connections with new and old friends through sports, fun, and shared interests. Just like their sister branches in Manchester, Goffstown, Concord, Londonderry, and Portsmouth, they are pleased to offer a wide variety of fun individual and family programs.
Amenities and benefits of being a member at the YMCA include: free fitness orientation and goal setting, 50-plus free exercise classes, a supervised Kid Zone (while mom or dad work out), free family fun nights, access to all other Ys in New England, indoor cycling studio, yoga studio, a state-of-the-art health and wellness center, discounts on family programing, camp, child care, plus so much more.
The YMCA of Strafford County is part of The Granite YMCA Association and is open Monday through Friday, 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 7 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
To learn more, visit www.graniteymca.org/locations/strafford-county or call 603-332-7334.
NH SBDC and NH Tech Alliance to offer free cybersecurity reviews for businesses
MANCHESTER – The NH Small Business Development Center (NH SBDC) and NH Tech Alliance are proud to announce a new program to offer individualized cybersecurity reviews and education at no cost for businesses with up to 500 employees.
The goal of this program is to provide small businesses with the tools and resources they need to better protect their business from cyber threats. 61% of all SMBs have reported at least one cyber attack during the previous year, according to the 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report.
NH SBDC and NHTA’s program offers small businesses individualized cybersecurity reviews, education, and a one-on-one consulting appointment with a cybersecurity expert. Businesses will meet with a cybersecurity expert to discuss their cybersecurity maturity and receive an evaluation with actionable steps businesses can take to start protecting their business immediately.
To participate in the Cybersecurity Review program, businesses need to apply to the program and sign up to become an NH SBDC client. Clients receive advising and virtual training, as well as a high level cybersecurity assessment, at no cost. This entire program is free for businesses due to funding the NH SBDC received through the CARES Act.
Information about the program and how to sign up is available at nhsbdc.org/cybersecurity/reviews.