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Students to gather at State House Thursday to push new gun legislation

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 4:50pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont middle and high school students from across the state will gather at the Vermont State House on Thursday morning to urge Governor Scott and the Vermont Legislature to pass common sense gun legislation to help protect their lives and ensure that Vermont doesn’t become another tragic statistic. Students will be urging the Governor and Legislature to pass all three gun violence prevention bills currently before the House and Senate. These include S.6 (An act relating to requiring background checks for the transfer of firearms), S.221 (An act relating to extreme risk protection orders) and H.422 (An act relating to confiscation of dangerous weapons from a person arrested for cited for domestic assault.).

VHCB awards $9.3 million to support housing and land conservation

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 2:18pm -- tim

Construct and Rehabilitate Housing in Brattleboro, South Burlington, Randolph, and Hartford, and to Conserve Land in Orange and Chittenden Counties

Vermont Business Magazine In January, the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board committed $9,359,800 for the construction and rehabilitation of 133 homes and for the conservation of 152 acres of land. The Board awarded $6,795,000 in Housing Revenue Bond funds, $1.45 million in federal HOME Program funding, $478,000 in federal farmland protection funds, and $636,500 in state funding to nine applicants.

Donovan joins Utah AG to urge Congress to pass Cloud Act

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 12:28pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine In a bipartisan letter sponsored by Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan and Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, and signed by the attorneys general of 34 other States, the National Association of Attorneys General today urged Congress to pass the Clarify Lawful Overseas Use of Data (“CLOUD”) Act. The CLOUD Act would update and amend several provisions of the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”).

Forbes ranks Community Bank NA sixth in US

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 12:15pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Forbes magazine recently ranked Community Bank NA sixth in the nation for financial performance in a study analyzing 10 key metrics related to growth, asset quality, capital adequacy and profitability for the nation’s 100 largest banks and thrifts. This is the seventh year running that Community Bank N.A. has ranked among the top 15 banks on the list. Community Bank N.A. is the only bank in Vermont to make the list’s top 10. The upstate New York bank acquired Vermont's Merchants Bank in 2017.

Vermont’s oldest sporting camp to begin 125th year under new ownership

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 11:51am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Quimby Country, Inc, announced Tuesday that a Vermont couple has purchased a majority stake in the 125-year-old family resort and sporting camp in Averill. Lilly and Gene Devlin of Cornwall, Vermont, will hold a 51 percent stake in the company that will operate Quimby Country and they will become general managers for the 2018 season. Quimby Country, Inc will retain a 49 percent interest on behalf of its shareholders, most of whom are long-time guests. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed. 

Paris-based Antin to acquire FirstLight

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 11:02am -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston Vermont Business Magazine A leading fiber optic firm that has been aggressively acquiring other telecoms in the Northeast, including Sovernet in Vermont, itself is being acquired. FirstLight announced today that Antin Infrastructure Partners has entered into a definitive agreement under which it will acquire FirstLight from Oak Hill Capital Partners IV. Basically it's one private equity firm buying FirstLight from another one. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Antin is based in Paris. Oak Hill is based in Menlo Park, CA. FirstLight is based in Albany. And Sovernet is based in Bellows Falls. Sovernet was re-branded FirstLight last year. Oak Hill had acquired Sovernet in 2016 before merging the two into FirstLight.

Vermont PR firm named one of the best PR firms in Boston

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 8:11am -- Denise Sortor

Vermont Business Magazine released their list of “Best PR Firms” in Boston for 2018, which includes Vermont headquartered People Making Good PR. Expertise considered 165 firms and chose 19 as best of breed. Firms are evaluated on reputation, credibility, experience, availability, and professionalism. This is the second year that People Making Good PR is listed in the top 20 by Expertise.

Norwich brings leaders in cybersecurity to campus for second annual summit

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 3:09am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The second annual Norwich University Cyber Security Summit will take place on the Norwich University campus June 18-20, 2018. This event will bring together an international cadre of experts in the fields of information security and assurance, business, public administration and more to discuss the latest in federal cyber security policy, and the practical applications of cyber defense on state and local levels.

VEC CEO Christine Hallquist resigns, to run for governor

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 3:01pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Electric Cooperative Board of Directors announced today the resignation of Chief Executive Officer Christine Hallquist and the appointment of VEC General Counsel Vickie Brown as interim CEO. The change will take effect March 2, 2018. Hallquist announced in January that she intended to run for governor as a Democrat in the next election. Hallquist, 61, would become the nation’s first openly transgender, major-party candidate for governor if she were to win the Democratic primary. She has led the Johnson-based company since 2005. Hallquist, who went by David until 2015, lives in Hyde Park. Governor Phil Scott is expected to run for re-election. No Vermont governor has lost re-election since 1962.

Maine power line picked over Vermont options for Mass RFP

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 2:33pm -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston Vermont Business Magazine It appears that Vermont has lost out again on a massive powerline proposal that would have sent upwards of 1,200 megawatts of electricity from Quebec to Massachusetts and brought hundreds of millions of dollars into the state. Vermont appeared to be back in the running for the renewable power project after Eversource Energy's Northern Pass, which would have run through New Hampshire, failed to get a key permit after winning the initial bid.

Vermont gets an A in reproductive health/rights report card for 2017

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 12:49pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine On the heels of the Trump administration's proposed 2019 budget, which would slash support for reproductive health programs, the Population Institute has released its sixth annual report card on reproductive health and rights in the US. The results were alarming, showing declining overall reproductive health and rights and growing disparities between states after a year of Trump policies. For 2017, the overall US grade fell from a "D" to a "D-." 18 states got a failing grade. Vermont received an "A."

Business owners more optimistic for US economy than for Vermont's

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 12:23pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Business owners are taking an increasingly sour view of the Vermont economy, according to a new survey. Over 130 Vermont businesses completed the latest semi-annual economic survey in January regarding the outlook of Vermont’s small- to medium-sized businesses; 71% of those business owners who responded have fewer than 25 employees.