New House group to give voice to small business

When small business owner Laurie Sanborn was elected to the House of Representatives in November she was surprised to find that unlike other states the New Hampshire House had no pro-business caucus. As someone who ran for this House based on her small business experience and the need to create jobs in New Hampshire, she thought it was important we had and that it could make a difference. That is why she set out to create the New Hampshire House Business Coalition.

“I have received a very enthusiastic response from Representatives, who see a need to focus on this issue now and for the long term vitality of our state,” responded Sanborn in an e-mail interview with the NH Journal.

Laurie and her husband, newly elected States Senator Andy Sanborn, are owners of The Draft restaurant in Concord. She is a graduate of Simmons College and has spent more than 15 years working in human resources and operations within the financial, healthcare and environmental testing industries.

“Many of us ran for office with the goal of getting people back to work and improving the economy in New Hampshire. This caucus enables us to maintain our focus, come together, and deliver on our campaign promise,” continued Sanborn.

While there are many conservative organizations that have been active in politics, the NHHBC will be focused on policy. There are no plans to issue scorecards or get involved in politics.

“Our short-term goal is to evaluate legislation in terms of its impact on the business community, and make recommendations on bills presented to the House on Session days. Our long-term vision is to make New Hampshire the best state in the nation to do business, and we will continually look for opportunities to achieve this goal through appropriate legislation,” added Sanborn.

Below is a transcript of the e-mail interview:

NH Journal: Can you briefly describe what the House Small Business Coalition is?

Laurie Sanborn: The NH House Business Coalition (NH-HBC) is a group of like-minded, current NH House members, focused on evaluating and supporting legislation to promote job creation and expansion of the economic base through strong, responsible business growth and success.

NHJ: Are there any requirements to join the Coalition? Is it a bi-partisan organization?

LS: All pro-business House Reps are encouraged to join. We already have approximately 75 members, and believe we will continue to grow. The group is composed of both long-term and new legislators, with varying philosophical and political backgrounds, who are united in the goal of fostering a strong business community in New Hampshire.

NHJ: How many members do you have and how big do you think it will get?

LS: Many of us ran for office with the goal of getting people back to work and improving the economy in New Hampshire. This caucus enables us to maintain our focus, come together, and deliver on our campaign promise.

NHJ: What do you see as the goals of the Coalition for this session? What are the long-term goals?

LS: Our short-term goal is to evaluate legislation in terms of its impact on the business community, and make recommendations on bills presented to the House on Session days. Our long-term vision is to make New Hampshire the best state in the nation to do business, and we will continually look for opportunities to achieve this goal through appropriate legislation.

NHJ: Will the Coalition grade members or create a scorecard of votes to measure where House members stand on the issues important to business?

LS: There is no plan to create a scorecard of votes.

NHJ: Over 15 years ago Dick Strome and others started the NH Homeowners Main Street Alliance and then Bill Carr, Jerry Thibodeau and others formed the NH Business Council to give a voice to small businesses. Finally the NH Legislature has come on board with these ideas, where do you see the Coalition as in the evolution of pro-business advocacy here in New Hampshire?

LS: As you know, I am new to the world of politics, so I am not aware of all of the history. After I was elected, I began investigating options for pro-businesses legislators and was surprised to discover that New Hampshire did not already have a business caucus, like so many other states. I have received a very enthusiastic response from Representatives, who see a need to focus on this issue now and for the long term vitality of our state.

NHJ: Why do you think the NH Legislature the largest in the US made up of dozens of small business persons has a need for this caucus?

LS: While we currently have numerous small business persons in the legislature, this may not always be the case. I sincerely hope the House Business Coalition will endure long after my tenure, and that our state legislators will always remain focused on promoting job creation and economic expansion in New Hampshire.

NHJ: How can members of the public support your efforts?

LS: The public can support our efforts by contacting me (Laurie.Sanborn@state.leg.nh.us) and/or their Representative, and alerting us when proposed legislation will directly – positively or negatively – affect the business community and its ability to create jobs and expand the economy.

Author: James McKay

Share This Post On
468 ad
  • Rshaines

    I think you are on the right track and I applaud your efforts.
    Bob Shaines, Portsmouth

  • A B Urquhart

    I am proud of Andy and his wife Laurie Sanborn. They are great people for our Senate and House.
    A.B. Urquhart
    Citizen of the Republic