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Amoskeag Business Incubator named New Hampshire’s 2010 Champion in Action in area of Workforce Development

Citizens Bank and WMUR-TV to provide $25,000 grant, PR and volunteer support

Manchester, N.H.    (January 12, 2010) - Citizens Bank New Hampshire and WMUR-TV have named Amoskeag Business Incubator (abi) as their 2010 first quarter Champion in Action® in the area of workforce development. As part of the award, the organization will receive a $25,000 grant, media coverage, and extensive promotional and volunteer support for providing a supportive entrepreneurial environment that stimulates the growth of businesses and encourages job creation.

“Citizens Bank is pleased to join WMUR-TV in naming Amoskeag Business Incubator as the newest Champion in Action,” said Cathleen A. Schmidt, President, Citizens Bank, New Hampshire. “The. Amoskeag Business Incubator provides a wide variety of centralized support services for the entrepreneur and a hands-on approach to technical assistance. To date the Incubator has served nearly 100 businesses that have generated more than $300 million in revenues and created more than 600 jobs within New Hampshire.” 

The Champions in Action program is designed to recognize and support nonprofit organizations for their contributions to New Hampshire communities. A new Champion in Action is selected each quarter among a range of social service areas.

“We are very pleased to help organizations across the state that demonstrate such a strong commitment to making a difference in the lives of so many New Hampshire residents, said Jeff Bartlett, General Manager of WMUR-TV. They truly are champions.”
 
Founded in 1997, the abi provides professional and affordable office space, on a full-time or part-time basis, for various types of early stage companies, including service, high-tech, light manufacturing, and distribution.  In addition, the organization provides ongoing business support to companies, and thousands of individuals have benefited by attending workshops, seminars, networking events, and by gaining access to other available small business resources.

“Just as important as leasing flexible commercial office space to businesses, the abi provides the support and resources to help small businesses move forward,” said Julie Gustafson, president and CEO of Amoskeag Business Incubator. “Close to 70 small businesses have passed through the Incubator and, upon exiting, 85 percent of those were still in business.”

As a Champion in Action, Amoskeag Business Incubator will receive:
• A $25,000 contribution in unrestricted funds from the Citizens Bank Foundation.
• Media coverage from WMUR-TV, including public service announcements and television profiles.
• Volunteer support from Citizens and WMUR-TV employees.
• Extensive public relations support.
• Promotional support, highlighting the current “Champion in Action” in all Citizens Bank branches and on its ATMs.
• Exposure on both Citizens Bank and WMUR-TV Web sites.

“We are honored to be recognized by Citizens Bank and WMUR as a Champion in Action,” said Gustafson. “Since small businesses play such a significant role in New Hampshire’s economy, it is critical to provide business owners with the support they need to develop and grow a successful business, and ultimately generate revenue and stimulate job creation.”

A nonprofit organization focusing on family support will be named for the second quarter Champion in Action in April 2010.

To learn more about the Amoskeag Business Incubator visit www.abi-nh.com or call (603) 629-9511. Amoskeag Business Incubator is located at 33 S. Commercial Street in Manchester.

About Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank is a division of RBS Citizens, N.A., operating its seven-state branch network in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. It has 83 branches and 153 ATMs in New Hampshire.

RBS Citizens, N.A. is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $151 billion commercial bank holding company headquartered in Providence, R.I. CFG’s two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. They operate a 12-state branch network under the Citizens Bank brand in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont, and the Charter One brand in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. CFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in about 40 states. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc).  

About WMUR-TV

WMUR-TV (Ch. 9) is an ABC-TV affiliate headquartered in Manchester, N.H., and is owned and managed by Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc., one of the nation's largest television station groups. WMUR-TV is New Hampshire's largest commercial TV station, reaching more than a million people. Founded in 1954, the station's news, feature and sports coverage has won numerous awards for professional and journalistic excellence. WMUR-TV is considered the broadcast news source of record for New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary election. WMUR-TV provides online news and information at www.WMUR.com.