Rochester NH Economic Development
Rochester is one of the fastest-growing cities in New Hampshire. We’re big on business and our award-winning staff is ready to help you get started. We’d love the opportunity to get to know you, understand your needs, and answer any questions you may have. Give us a call today!
Attracting new business and industry remains a priority for Rochester, and the city’s dynamic demographic and community profile is at the core of our growing and diverse economy – including a flourishing aerospace, advanced manufacturing, and composites industry.
Rochester’s labor market spans more than a dozen communities in the heart of New Hampshire’s Seacoast region. Over the past four decades, Rochester (pop. 32,497*) has seen its population grow by more than 66 percent, slightly outpacing the growth in Stafford County (pop. 130,895), which has posted a gain of just over 65 percent.
(*Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places in New Hampshire: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2022 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division Release Date: May 2023)
Rochester’s employers and workforce are supported by a network of institutions with advanced education and workforce training: Great Bay Community College’s Advanced Technology & Academic Center; Granite State College, part of the UNH system; the Richard W. Creteau Regional Technology Center; and Southern New Hampshire University.
Quality of Life
Rochester offers the quintessential New England lifestyle. The city’s housing market is one of the most affordable in the state. The city has a vibrant downtown arts and cultural scene with an art museum, historic opera house, historical society and and museum, and a full complement of city-supported events throughout the year.
Best in the U.S.
New Hampshire has been consistently ranked among the Top 10 best places to live in America based on several categories including economy, education, public safety, health care, most desirable livability, affordable housing, and a short commute to work. With opportunities to prosper, Rochester is truly the place to be.
Rochester enjoys many of the conveniences of a prospering city combined with the delights of small-town New England traditions. Family values, strong work ethic, and lasting community spirit sustain the pride among residents and businesses in Rochester.
Room to Grow
The city’s commitment to economic development has spurred major growth of manufacturing and high-tech companies, retail, and the ongoing revitalization of the historic downtown district. Rochester continues to diversify, strengthen, and grow as business and industrial expansions attract new residents to the area.
Timelapse of the Scenic and Salinger building renovation.
Rochester sits at the heart of New Hampshire’s Seacoast region and has a four-season climate that offers the perfect setting for the best of New England’s recreation. There are several freshwater lakes nearby, including New Hampshire’s Lakes Region and Lake Winnepesaukee. The state’s best beaches are just 30 minutes away and the White Mountains with hiking, mountain biking, skiing and snowboarding are just an hour away.
With the cost of living in Rochester among the lowest in the region, there are more reasons than ever to live, shop and relax in Rochester. In recent years, the city has undergone a transformation, with the construction of new retail developments and the ongoing revitalization of the city’s historic downtown. All the amenities right at home, and just a jump to New England’s metro hubs.
- Portsmouth, NH – 30mins
- Portland, ME – 60mins
- Boston, MA – 80mins
Our revitalized downtown district is a historic centerpiece to a city that is home to a growing community of professional, retail, and restaurant businesses. The Downtown District is one of six New Hampshire Economic Revitalization Zones (ERZ) in the city, where new and expanding businesses may be eligible for tax credits. Additionally, downtown businesses may be eligible for grants and low interest loans when they invest in building and landscape improvements.
Retail / Commercial
Rochester has added more than $100 million in new commercial and retail space over the past decade. Within the city, there are four distinct commercial districts with a range of offerings, from mature mixed retail development corridors and an enclosed retail mall to new-build marketplace-style retail centers: Granite Ridge Development District; Rochester Crossing; Lilac Mall; and the Route 125 North + South Commercial Corridor.
Industrial / Manufacturing
With a long manufacturing tradition and access to major transportation routes, Rochester has a wide range of industrial space available. Current businesses calling the city home include aerospace / advanced engineering, and composite manufacturing, recycling, industrial and construction services, specialty foods, printing, and technology manufacturing.
There are 7 key industrial locations already developed within the city: Granite State Business Park; Ten Rod Road & Brady Sullivan Industrial Park; Northcoast Industrial Park & Gerrity Business Park; TREE Industrial Park & Gonic Mill Industrial Park.
Housing development in Rochester directly impacts the city’s local economy. With a growing community, businesses rely on quality housing to attract and keep a skilled workforce. Having accessible housing options is a competitive advantage, helping employers recruit top talent and fill essential positions, boosting the city’s economy.
Additionally, a growing population means more customers for businesses, spurring demand for goods and services, fostering entrepreneurship, and strengthening the market. Housing development also complements infrastructure improvements, making Rochester more appealing for businesses.
Housing development and business growth in Rochester go hand in hand. It addresses residents’ housing needs while providing a conducive environment for businesses to thrive, attract talent, expand their customer base, and contribute to the city’s overall vitality.
Rochester’s population has grown steadily, up over 60% in 40 years. Rochester is at the heart of Strafford County, one of the fastest growing regions in New England. The city’s employers also draw from a wide labor pool – extending from northern Massachusetts to southern Maine. 60% of our population are in prime working years. More than 20% have completed college or graduate studies. Individual per capita income in 2022 was $36,475. The median home sales price is $350,000, approximately 40% of the median home cost in metro Boston and about 66% of the cost of homes throughout Strafford County.
High School Diploma and Higher
Median Family Income
Rochester is a great place to live, raise a family, and start a business. But you don’t have to take our word for it. See what our local business leaders have to say about Rochester.
“From the groundbreaking to the Grand Opening of THE RIDGE Marketplace, the staff was not only incredibly welcoming but also integral in all aspects of seeing the development come to fruition. We look forward to working alongside our friends at the City of Rochester for years to come.”
“There’s a strong sense of community in Rochester. The Economic Development Department has been extremely helpful every step of the way. Everyone has been so supportive and encouraging. We’re really happy to be here.”
“There are many places we could have located our business but Rochester was our first choice. We plan to bring clean, high-tech jobs, and tax revenue to the City of Rochester. More importantly, we want to enrich the community and support our High School students. LDI will benefit the community for years to come.”
“We couldn’t carry out our mission to revitalize the downtown area without the financial support of the Economic Development Department. Everything from the flower barrels and public art to our special events and vitality initiatives is a direct result of our continued partnership.”
Get In Touch
If you’re looking to start a business or relocate to Rochester, give us a call at (603) 335-7522 or complete the fields below. We look forward to hearing from you!