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More low-income families in Burlington gain Internet as Comcast enhances program

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 12:34pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine This year, 270 more low-income homes in Burlington and South Burlington signed up for Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest high-speed internet adoption program. With the program on the rise in VT, as well as all over the country, Comcast increased the program’s Internet speeds and added free access to 18 million Xfinity WiFi hotspots, helping low-income families stay connected in and out of their homes for possibly the first time. 

McClaughry: The partisan battle over ObamaCare

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 12:30pm -- tim

by John McClaughry Democrats and Republicans in Congress are in full combat over the future of ObamaCare. Three of the key issues they’re debating are Medicaid expansion, the individual mandate, and the Cost Sharing Reduction. Medicaid is a joint Federal-state program to provide essentially free health care to the poor. The Feds cover from 50 to 74% of the overall costs, the various States 26 to 50%. The ObamaCare Act forced all states to set increased income levels for Medicaid eligibility, at the pain of losing all Federal Medicaid funds.

US phones slammed by 2.6 billion robocalls in July, Vermont growing fastest

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 3:34am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The national robocalling nightmare rose to 2.59 billion calls received in July, a 2.7% increase over June and a 7.5% increase over the same month last year, bringing the total to 17.2 billion robocalls received nationwide in the first seven months of 2017. Vermont had the fastest one-month growth of any state at 18 percent. Notably, Texas was blitzed by a record-breaking 307.9 million calls in July, or 11 robocalls per person, marking the most robocalls received by any state in a single month since recordkeeping began in June 2015.

Rutland celebrates Winter in August

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 2:46am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the winners of the Best Taste Awards, Best Display Award and People’s Choice Award at the 36th Annual Chamber Winter In August Celebration held on August 8, 2017.  The event, which moved back outside to Merchants Row in Downtown Rutland, was sponsored by Davis & Hodgdon Associates, CPA's, PLC; with support from Killington 14 TV; Casella Waste Systems, Foley Linen and Celebration Rentals.  The award judging panel was made up of local foodies Gordon Dritschilo, Kathryn McGrath and Matt Anderson.  The 9 criteria included everything from complimenting flavors to appeal to the eye. Restaurants were rated on a weighted point system and scored accordingly.  Attendees voted by ballot throughout the evening for the People’s Choice Award.

Blanchard: Communicating with your siblings about aging parents

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 2:24am -- tim

by Seth N Blanchard Many adult children are called upon to help their aging parents as life changes set in, yet only 65 percent of siblings report talking about money with one another, according to research by Ameriprise Financial. While only 15 percent of siblings have conflicts over money, when siblings do spar over finances, it’s usually about their parents’ situation.

July tax revenues still soft

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 4:31pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Revenue collections for the month of July, the first month of the new fiscal year, show a continued weakness in the Personal Income and Sales taxes. This under-performance, typical of fiscal 2017, comes despite lowered expectations. General Fund revenues collected for the month totaled $102.32 million, -$0.62 million below the consensus revenue target adopted by the Emergency Board on July 21, 2017, according to Secretary of Administration Susanne Young.

New WCAX owner Gray TV makes big gains 2Q 2017

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 3:57pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Gray Television, Inc (NYSE: GTN and GTN.A), which bought WCAX-TV in Burlington from the Martin family last spring for $29 million, has announced record-setting results of operations for the period ended June 30, 2017, including record revenue, record net income and record Broadcast Cash Flow. Gray experienced accelerating market trends throughout the second quarter of 2017. As a result, its operating revenue and political advertising revenue significantly exceeded the high end of the guidance ranges that we had provided for this period.

Road Pitch rolls out 2017 winners

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 3:02pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Now that 10 entrepreneurs have won their local pitches, they'll gear up for the statewide pitch-off in October. The fourth annual FreshTracks Road Pitch, a five-day motorcycle tour of Vermont in which a gang of more than 60 “business bikers” (comprised of investors, entrepreneurs and business advisers) ride around the state, stopping in 10 towns to listen to entrepreneurs pitch their business concepts, was held July 31st through August 4th 2017. 

More optimism in latest Davis & Hodgdon economic outlook survey

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 2:01pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The results from the recent Vermont small business economic outlook survey indicate that, not surprisingly, key issues for Vermont businesses include health insurance costs, taxes, and finding qualified employees. These issues were identified for all Vermont businesses surveyed, regardless of size and county. Nearly 150 Vermont businesses completed the latest semi-annual economic survey in July regarding the outlook of Vermont’s small- to medium-sized businesses.

Agencies reaffirm Vermont’s high bond ratings

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 12:41pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine As the Vermont State Treasurer’s Office prepares to sell approximately $100 million in general obligation bonds, Treasurer Beth Pearce and Governor Phil Scott were notified that Vermont has maintained the highest bond ratings in the Northeast, and among the highest in the US. The reaffirmed ratings came after Governor Scott and Treasurer Pearce led members of the Administration and Treasurer’s Office to meet with each of the rating agencies in New York to review Vermont’s economy, finances and fiscal outlook.