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Gov. Sununu Creates Department of Business and Economic Affairs
Published Friday, July 7, 2017

With the start of the new fiscal year on July 1, two NH stage government departments were renamed and reconfigured. The Division of Economic Development and the Division of Travel and Tourism Development now comprise the Department of Business and Economic Affairs (BEA), and the Divisions of Parks and Recreation, Forest and Lands and Cultural Resources make up the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCR).

According to a statement from the newly formed departments, the motivation for the move is to place more emphasis on economic development and tourism and to consolidate these various divisions to focus their efforts. The BEA will include a council of partner agencies, consisting of representatives of various state economic development entities, such as the Community Development Finance Authority, Business Finance Authority, Housing Finance Authority and the Community College System, in order to foster better coordination of the state's economic development efforts.

The NCR will be led by Jeffrey Rose, former commissioner for the Department of Resources and Economic Development, while the BEA will be led on an interim basis by Chris Way, acting director of the Division of Economic Development. On July 5, Gov. Chris Sununu nominated Taylor Caswell as the new commissioner of the BEA. Caswell is executive director of the Community Development Finance Authority and was previously a regional administrator at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

Gov. Sununu says Caswell will "revamp, refocus, and reinvigorate New Hampshire's commitment to economic development...the BEA will become a one-stop-shop for all New Hampshire's business needs, which will help drive our economy and make businesses and workforce development a top priority again."

Caswell adds "This new department will provide a dynamic, energetic approach to economic development in the Granite State, helping create an environment where businesses thrive and create good jobs."

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