August 26, 2022
Welcome from the Deputy City Manager
Recently, Rad Nichols, Executive Director for the Cooperative Alliance for Seacoast Transportation (COAST), announced that COAST was the recipient of a Federal grant to assist the organization in upgrading its office/maintenance repair facility. If you haven’t been a COAST customer, what’s holding you back? COAST is a huge asset to the community, especially in the business development arena. You can plan your next trip or review routes and schedules by clicking here. COAST creates opportunities for connecting employers and employees and is dedicated to promoting transit for all in the seacoast.
That connection is increasingly important as we all experience additional cost strains on travel and transportation. This is tripled in importance when you factor in recruiting employees. This is a huge issue that the Business Development Office has been learning more about over the past six months. We all are experiencing the supply chain and inflationary impacts but might be on the sidelines for recruitment and retention. This is an issue that seems to be affecting all sectors and is more complicated than “pay more.”

Benefits and retention bonuses are discussed and offered. These are even more competitive than they have been in the past, and while they seem attractive, they have also cost impacts, which impact the overall outlook for those businesses. It has been interesting to watch the dichotomy between that struggle. We’ll keep watching that and see where the evolution leads us.

About ten years ago, I participated in Leadership Seacoast and Leadership New Hampshire. If you are interested in professional growth, both programs offer a lot to participants. In particular, Leadership Seacoast is a great resource for learning about key issues impacting the local culture and social and economic growth over a seven-month curriculum. If you are interested, there is an upcoming session to learn more on Sept. 13 in Portsmouth and Oct. 4 in Dover. RSVP for either event by visiting here.
Christopher G. Parker, AICP
Deputy City Manager: Development and Strategic Initiatives
Dover Download podcast: Your guide
to what's happening this week

In addition to each week's email edition of Dover Download, the City of Dover offers a weekly podcast. The podcast is hosted by Deputy City Manager Christopher Parker, who chats each week about the city's programs, services, public bodies and projects. Each episode also takes a brief detour to the past with a look back at the week in Dover's history.

The podcast is available wherever you get your podcasts, including Spotify and Apple Podcasts, and at
What's New?

by Reid Amy, Business Development Specialist

Starting a Business in Dover

Dover’s strong economy has nurtured many opportunities for entrepreneurs, business growth, and expansion over the last few years. One of the most commonly asked questions we receive in the Office of Business Development is, “How do I start a business in Dover?” Thankfully, starting a business in Dover isn’t as complicated as one may think, and there are numerous resources that can assist those starting out on their journey to opening a business of their own.
Creating a business requires a few key elements, such as adequate funding, time, personal support, and professional support. We recently put together a business resource page on the City website for those wishing to start their own business. This page contains a considerable amount of helpful information to successfully launch any business. We also work with various regional stakeholders to ensure Dover’s business community continues to thrive.

Some of the challenges that businesses face can range from staffing and workforce development to bookkeeping and cash flow management. We work with all businesses to connect them with resources that will assist them at every stage of their business journey, and many of those resources are free.

The New Hampshire Small Business Development Center is probably the best kept secret in our state. This non-profit organization provides confidential advising, at no charge, to all size businesses throughout New Hampshire. They work with entrepreneurs, no matter their experience, to assist them with opening, growing, or transitioning their businesses. They also provide free online educational webinars and e-courses.

SCORE is a free mentoring program for new and established businesses in New Hampshire. Many of our most successful companies have worked with, or are currently working with, volunteer mentors through the SCORE program. This non-profit organization connects expert business mentors to help small businesses plan, launch, manage, and grow their enterprises.

Strafford Economic Development Corporation is a non-profit organization that assists businesses with financing real estate, working capital, facility improvements, and machinery or equipment purchases. The goal of the organization is to support businesses that retain or create new jobs. This is a great option for businesses that need additional financing to grow their company.

Some of the most important resources have been those connecting businesses with employee recruitment opportunities. We realize this has had a huge impact on business growth and development and have been monitoring the effect that the workforce shortage is having on our business community. There are a few resources that may assist employers with a pipeline to find employees.

WorkInvest NH is a state program that provides a 50/50 cash match grant of $750 to $100,000 for customized training of a company’s employees.

Work As Learning Program is working with employers to connect secondary students with local, subsidized paid internships. Through the program, students are hired at a wage of $15 per hour or more, and employers are reimbursed up to $7.50 per hour, up to 480 hours, through a wage match by the NH Department of Education. Employers, who can offer some type of career exploration experience, are encouraged to sign up as a partner with the program.
Business Highlights
  • Central Stitch, at 458 Central Ave., is so much more than just a fabric store. Alissa Gagnon opened the store in the former Dover Wine Company space back in late May. The first area of the shop is filled with sewing accessories and various fabrics, but tucked away in the other areas of the store are all kinds of one-of-a-kind handmade gifts and home goods. Alissa actually creates the items while she is working throughout the day. Recently, she has created unique gifts such as trick-or-treat pillowcases and custom-designed shoe laces. She also has an eye for the most exceptional retail merchandise like needle felting kits and flying wish paper. We are happy to welcome Central Stitch as the newest addition to our downtown retailers.  
Special Announcement

We want to say a very warm congratulations to Tom & Ellen Backowies of Dover Natural Marketplace at 7 Chestnut St. The couple recently sold the business and retired. We wish the Backowies family all the best in their next stage of life.

And to the new owners of Dover Natural Marketplace, we say, “Welcome to Dover!”
Business Event Happenings 

  • Dover Main Street is hosting an Outdoor Family Movie Night at the Rotary Arts Pavilion on Aug. 27. Guardians of the Galaxy will be shown at 8:30 p.m. This is a free event, but donations are welcome. 

  • The Art Center, 1 Washington St., Ste. 1177, is hosting a Fabric Printing Class on Sept. 19 from 6-9 pm. The cost for the event is $75.

  • My Country Story, 447 Central Ave., is hosting an event called Housewarming 101. This event will be filled with light apps, drinks, and shopping, as well as some tips and tricks for buying a new home or gift giving for those who recently bought a new home. Participants can also win a locally-made charcuterie board! The event is hosted by My Country Story, Envoy Mortgage, and Great Island Realty. 

  • Dover Coffee & Tea Co., 453 Central Ave., Ste. 105 (Franklin Galleria), has selected coffees at 40% off through Labor Day.  

  • Ryder Street Co., 330 Central Ave., is having an end-of-the-season sale through Labor Day with discounts from 20% to 50% off selected merchandise. 

  • The Game Chamber, 334 Central Ave., hosts a free game night every Wednesday from 6-8 p.m.  

  • Maha Yoga Shala, 1 Washington St, Suite 4189, is hosting a Kirtan Festival on Sept. 3 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. The event will be held at the Rotary Arts Pavilion, and tickets may be purchased here. There will also be a Mala Making Workshop on Sept. 18 from 2-5 p.m.

  • Empty Pint Brewing Co., 17 Second St., hosts Trivia with Phil every Wednesday at 7 p.m. They open their doors at 5 p.m., so get there early and get your spot!

  • The Suite Studio is teaming up with North Country Hard Cider for a Pound & Pours Event on Sept. 10 at 10:45 a.m. The event will be held at 38 Littleworth Rd. (North Country Hard Cider). This amazing workout is followed by a refreshing cider pour of your choice! The cost for the event is $24. 

  • Auspicious Brew, 1 Washington St., Suite 1103, is hosting a live music event featuring Maddoc Johnson & Jake Walters on Aug. 27. Music starts at 8 p.m., and tickets are $10 at the door. This will be an unforgettable evening of jazz with some of the Seacoast’s finest young musicians!

  • The Strand, 20 Third St., is hosting Radio Flashback from 8-11 p.m. on Sept. 3. This amazing tribute band performs hits from artists of the '70s and '80s. There will be a Michael Kelly guitar giveaway as well! Tickets can be purchased at the venue or online at  

  • Seacoast Sports Cards, 44 Dover Point Road, is hosting their first ever Trade Night on Thursday, Sept. 15, from 6:30-9 p.m. Sports card enthusiasts can buy, sell, and trade with everyone.  

  • The June Cork Pub, 66 Third St., hosts trivia nights every Thursday at 7 p.m. Prizes are awarded for top points, as well as various swag giveaways!  

  • Chapel+Main, 83 Main St., is hosting a Summer Jazz Series featuring Chris Klaxton on Aug. 28 at 5 p.m. 

Let us know about your business

Do you have a question, story, or upcoming event related to businesses in Dover? Please get in touch at to see it featured here!
City Hall, 288 Central Avenue
Dover, NH 03820
(603) 516-1560
Monday - Thursday
8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.