Vermont Business Magazine Ceres Natural Remedies opened for business in mid-December at 190 College Street in Burlington. The shop is located across the street from Sweetwaters American Bistro and The Archives and carries the largest selection of hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products in New England. The new Ceres Natural Remedies location replaces the smaller space it occupied in the Wing Building on Burlington’s waterfront from 2016-2017.
Vermont Business Magazine The Kmart at the Diamond Run Mall in Rutland Town will close sometime in April, according to a statement today by the parent company of Kmart and Sears. It appears to be the only Kmart or Sears store scheduled to be closed in the latest round of store closings by the struggling retailer. It will close a total of 103 stores by this spring.
Leonine Public Affairs The 2018 legislative session started on Wednesday, January 3 and legislators wasted no time getting to work. The House Judiciary Committee voted to move the marijuana legalization bill to the House floor in the morning of the first day of the session. The bill was debated at length and several amendments were offered over the course of the morning. All this occurred before Governor Phil Scott delivered the State of the State address at 2 pm on Thursday.
Vermont Business Magazine The Burlington Electric Department has announced that it entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Great River Hydro, LLC for renewable hydroelectric power from Great River Hydro’s Bellows Falls hydroelectric facility on the Connecticut River with back-up power available from both Great River Hydro’s Vernon and Wilder hydro facilities. The two-year agreement, which commenced on January 1, 2018, will deliver 7.5 megawatts of Vermont-produced electricity to Burlington Electric’s 100 percent renewably-sourced portfolio.
Vermont Business Magazine The Hinesburgh Public House, a Vermont Benefit Corporation, has just released its Benefit Report as required by statute. A Benefit Corporation is an option under Vermont law that allows a for-profit corporation to incorporate a social mission with its financial goals. The Public House was started by Will and Kathleen Patten in 2012 to fill a need in the community.
“Communities are defined by their gathering places” said Will Patten, “and we wanted to support the town’s sense of place.”
Vermont Business Magazine US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) sharply criticized Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) Friday for his efforts to end seven years of budget agreements regarding parity for defense and non-defense spending. Sanders feared that McConnell was pushing the Senate toward a government shutdown with his efforts to end these longstanding bipartisan agreements.
Vermont Business Magazine The icy cold weather may keep some off the slopes this weekend, as temperatures on Saturday may not get out of the negative numbers, but Winter Storm Grayson has officially arrived in the Green Mountain State and with him he’s brought over a foot of snow in 24 hours. According to Ski Vermont, this abundant natural snowfall paired with world-class snowmaking makes Vermont’s base one of the strongest in the country and will allow for prime conditions on 100 percent open terrain as visitors arrive for Martin Luther King Jr. weekend (January 13-15).
Leonine Public Affairs The start of the 2018 legislative session in Vermont began earlier this week. The session kicked off on Wednesday, January 3, and if there is an overarching theme that will define discussions next year it is the uncertainty in Washington, DC, and the potential for actions taken by the Trump Administration and Congress to impact the state. Legislative leadership held a press conference in December to identify their priorities for the upcoming session, which include clean water funding, mental health, marijuana legalization, and several labor-related bills.
The Vermont Department of Labor’s Employer Services and Program Integrity Units within the Unemployment Insurance Division are currently experiencing technical issues involving the public phone lines for both Units. The Department of Labor is currently working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible; however, in the interim, callers will be unable to get through using 802-828-4333 or 802-828-4344. Employers and members of the public are being asked to use the Department’s General Line,802-828-4000, Option 1, to reach the Unemployment Insurance Division.
Vermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims are still on the rise as holiday hiring results in holiday firing. Volatility is typical this time of year. Claims edged above numbers from the same time last year; for most weeks of 2017, including the last several months, claims have registered below the year before. For the week of December 30, 2017, there were 1,570 claims, 247 more than than they were last week and 39 more than they were a year ago. Altogether 6,134 new and continuing claims were filed, an increase of 879 from a week ago, but 1,143 fewer than a year ago.
Vermont Business Magazine Lisa Ventriss, President of Vermont Business Roundtable has announced the recipient of the Roundtable’s 2017 New Medallion Award, which recognizes exceptional school leadership and progress toward the state’s goals of equity, access, and quality of proficiency-based learning experiences for all Vermont students.
Vermont Business Magazine Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc (NYSE: BHLB), the parent of Berkshire Bank, today announced additional investments in its employees and communities following the recent passage of federal tax reform legislation. Berkshire is the second bank with Vermont branches this week to increase its employee benefits and charitable giving in response to the new federal tax code. Citizens Bank has also announced a similar plan.