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HomeShare Vermont drops application fee

Thu, 02/04/2016 - 4:46am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine In an effort to encourage more people to share their homes, HomeShare Vermont has eliminated their $30 application fee. The application fee was originally put in place to offset the costs of criminal background checks. “Background checks are a critical part of our screening process,” said Executive Director Kirby Dunn. “However, now we will be covering these costs from grants and fundraising so that we don’t discourage great candidates from applying.”

Lake Champlain Basin Program issues RFP to study Lake Champlain toxins

Thu, 02/04/2016 - 4:43am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) has announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) for services to collect and analyze tissue from targeted sport fishes of legal consumption size for cyanotoxins and mercury within Lake Champlain. The successful applicant will collect and analyze tissue samples from yellow perch, white perch, walleye, smallmouth bass, and lake trout for mercury analysis and from appropriate selected species for cyanotoxin analysis. Up to $56,700 is available for this project.

Dairy Banquet recognizes Vermont quality milk producers

Thu, 02/04/2016 - 4:03am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont dairy farmers were recognized for producing high quality cow and goat milk at the Dairy Farmers’ Appreciation Banquet on January 28th during the 82nd Vermont Farm Show. The 2015 overall highest-quality (cow) milk award was presented to Allan and Karen Bathalon of North Troy. The 2015 overall highest-quality goat milk award was awarded to Frank and Karen Huard, Craftsbury.

Vermont among best states for LGBT equality

Thu, 02/04/2016 - 3:31am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, in partnership with the Equality Federation, has released its second annual national report assessing the status of state legislation affecting LGBT equality across America, including in Vermont. Vermont falls into the second highest-rated category, "Solidifying Equality."

Vermont Tech announces enrollment targets for gender equity initiative

Wed, 02/03/2016 - 4:19pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Holding a press conference at its Williston campus Wednesday, Vermont Tech announced its initiative to tackle workforce development, economic development and gender equity by significantly increasing participation rates among women in several historically male-dominated fields. The college has set new annual female enrollment growth targets in civil and environmental engineering technology, computer information technology, computer software engineering, construction management, and mechanical engineering technology.  The enrollment targets project annual growth of nearly 40%, each year for the next three years starting in the fall of 2016. By the end of the project term, Vermont Tech should realize an increase of female participation in these programs from 10% to 24%. The momentum of such growth and lessons learned from the activities of the project’s years should yield even greater participation rates beyond 2018.

Senate passes paid sick leave bill, exempts very small businesses initially

Wed, 02/03/2016 - 4:07pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The paid sick leave bill (Healthy Workplaces bill H187) passed the Vermont State Senate with a vote of 21-8 on this afternoon. The bill was amended slightly on the Senate floor after senators sought to reduce the impact of the act on very small businesses. Small businesses with five or fewer employees will not be required to offer paid sick days until 2018. An amendment to exempt small businesses entirely failed.. H187 passed the House last year on a vote of 72-63.

Shumlin, businesses renew call to divest from coal and ExxonMobil

Wed, 02/03/2016 - 3:39pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Peter Shumlin stood with Vermont business and education leaders today who support his call for Vermont to use divestment as a tool to help combat global warming. The governor made the call in his State of the State address earlier this year for Vermont to follow California’s lead in divesting state pension funds from coal assets. The Governor also urged that the state go further and divest from ExxonMobil assets. Joining the Governor were Seventh Generation, Ben and Jerry’s, SunCommon, Sterling College, and Clean Yield Asset Management.

Ag secretary issues revised decision on Farm Best Management Practices in Missisquoi Bay Basin

Wed, 02/03/2016 - 11:51am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont’s Secretary of Agriculture, Chuck Ross, issued on Wednesday his revised decision regarding the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) petition to require mandatory Best Management Practices (BMPs) for farms in the Missisquoi Bay Basin.  The Revised Secretary’s Decision makes a threshold determination that BMPs are necessary in the basin to achieve compliance with Vermont’s water quality goals.

Burlington YMCA receives $100,000 donation from NorthCountry Federal Credit Union

Wed, 02/03/2016 - 10:51am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Greater Burlington YMCA announced today the receipt of a generous $100,000 gift from NorthCountry Federal Credit Union. NorthCountry, now in their fifth year as the Y’s Youth Development Community Partner, has donated a total of $500,000 in recent years to help underwrite early education, after school programs, summer camps, youth swimming, and special events at the Y throughout the calendar year.

Vermont Ag Agency to award $200,000 in specialty crop block grants

Wed, 02/03/2016 - 10:05am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) announced today the availability of grant funds for the purpose of enhancing the competitiveness of Vermont specialty crops, defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture crops (including honey, hops, and maple syrup), and nursery crops (including Christmas trees and floriculture). These funds are awarded through a competitive review process guided by industry, nonprofit and government stakeholders.

Lisman launches first TV spot in governor's race

Wed, 02/03/2016 - 9:16am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Bruce Lisman, the Shelburne businessman running for governor as a Republican, has released his first television advertisement. The Lisman for Vermont campaign announced Tuesday that the 60-second segment entitled, “L4VT: New Direction for Vermont,” highlights many of the challenges that Vermonters are facing, discusses Lisman’s experience and why he is uniquely qualified to lead Vermont in a New Direction. It also outlines his plan for the future. It is airing on WCAX and statewide on cable. Lisman founded Campaign for Vermont.

Vermont Gas designated Energy Efficiency Utility

Wed, 02/03/2016 - 4:57am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Gas Systems announced that this week it is officially an Energy Efficiency Utility (EEU) as designated by the Vermont Public Service Board.  “For the past two decades, our customers and the environment have benefited tremendously from our nationally recognized efficiency programs. This designation reinforces our commitment to build on our efficiency services to help our customers cut costs and reduce carbon emissions,” said Don Rendall, Vermont Gas President and CEO.