Current News

by tim

Vermont Business Magazine Union Bankshares, Inc (NASDAQ - UNB) announced on Wednesday results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2023, and declared a regular quarterly cash dividend. Consolidated net income for the three months ended June 30, 2023 was $2.7 million, or $0.60 per share, compared to $2.9 million, or $0.65 cents per share, for the same period in 2022, and $5.7 million, or $1.26 per share, for the six months ended June 30, 2023, compared to $5.4 million, or $1.20 per share for the same period in 2022. The Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.36 per share for the quarter. Flood recovery continues, as the Jeffersonville branch has re-opened to serve customers through the drive-up window, and the Johnson branch remains closed while clean up and damage assessments continue.

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Vermont Business Magazine Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc (NYSE: BHLB) today reported results for the second quarter of 2023. Results include: 10% EPS Growth Year-over-Year; Period-end loan growth of 2%; total deposits unchanged; Net loan charge-offs decreased $1.1 million; credit loss allowance increased $2.2 million commensurate with loan growth; TCE ratio of 7.9 percent and CET1 ratio of 12.1 percent; Repurchased $12 million of stock in 2Q23. Berkshire Bank has branches in southern Vermont.

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Vermont Business Magazine Average gasoline prices in Vermont were $3.59 per gallon, unchanged from last week and last month. Gas is 99 cents per gallon cheaper than a year ago. The lowest price in the state is $3.35/g in Rutland while the highest is $3.77/g in St Albans. The national average price of gasoline has risen 1 cent per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.54/g today.

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Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in coordination with Governor Scott has waived permit limits on transfer station and landfill hours of operation and daily facility tonnage limits during this State of Emergency. DEC advises residents and businesses to call before your haul, as facility hours may vary. Please be patient with solid waste haulers and facility staff who have been working close to 80-hour weeks to meet the current demand. If a town has a need for help with flood debris beyond what local contractors can handle, the town Emergency Management Director should contact the State Emergency Operations Center.

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Vermont Business Magazine Following catastrophic flooding that damaged water systems throughout Vermont, Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) convened a hearing of the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Rural Development and Energy Subcommittee today to discuss the growing challenges our rural water systems as climate change progresses.  Joined by witnesses Jennifer Day, Director of Development at RCAP Solutions, Joseph Duncan, Professional Engineer at Champlain Water District/Green Mountain Water Environment Association, and Catherine Coleman Flowers, Founder and CEO at The Rural Center for Enterprise and Environmental Justice, Sen. Welch stressed the disproportionate impact of climate change on water systems in rural and low-income communities and communities of color.  

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Vermont Business Magazine US population growth in hurricane-prone states, coupled with the increasingly heavy rainfall which accompany these storms, has generated costlier insurance claim payouts for wind and flood-caused property damage, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I). Triple-I found the greatest dollar growth in the value of NFIP claim payouts over the past 20 years occurred in the following areas of the US: Texas coast and inland Louisiana; Coastal northern Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas; and Inland northern New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire.

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Vermont Business Magazine Thanks to a third year of state funding via H.484, Section 17, an act relating to enhancing workforce and economic development opportunities, the University of Vermont will be offering up to two free courses to eligible Vermont residents seeking education and skills for professional growth or employment, with new course additions in the healthcare field. From August 2023 - June 2024, the UVM Upskill Vermont Scholarship Program will offer free academic learning opportunities in business, education & social work, food & agriculture, healthcare, and STEM, while funds last. The program is backed by a $1.5 million state grant.

by tim

Vermont Business Magazine The National Life Group Do Good Fest fundraiser for rebuilding Vermont after historic flooding last week has exceeded the original match goal of $500,000. Chairman, CEO and President Mehran Assadi announced at the July 15 event that National Life will match donations, now nearing $750,000 for a total of $1.5 million, making this the largest gift so far to the VT Flood Response & Recovery Fund 2023. Partnered with the Vermont Community Foundation’s VT Flood Response & Recovery Fund 2023, the first $500,000 will be dispersed to local relief agencies by the beginning of next week. Donations are still being accepted.

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Vermont Business Magazine As the promise of a free degree from the J. Warren & Lois McClure Foundation in partnership with the Community College of Vermont (CCV) gains momentum, a record number of rising high school seniors are enrolling in CCV’s Early College program. Sponsored by the state, Early College allows Vermont high school seniors to complete their last year of high school and first year of college at the same time, earning free college credits that also count toward graduation from high school. The McClure Foundation’s Free Degree Promise offers a free CCV degree to students who complete Early College at CCV and continue for a second year. As of Monday, enrollment in Early College for the 2023-2024 academic year had risen more than 50% as compared to the same date last year.

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Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and the U.S. Forest Service are conducting four “Introduction to Fishing Clinics” in Green Mountain National Forest in July, August and September. “The national forest offers a wide range of fishing opportunities from remote back country ponds to locations with easy shore access and everything in between,” said Fish and Wildlife Education Specialist Corey Hart.  “We are excited to work with our partners at the Green Mountain National Forest to highlight some of these unique fishing opportunities through our introduction to fishing programs.”

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Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today signed an addendum to his Emergency Declaration (Executive Order 03-23), providing additional temporary regulatory relief to aid Vermont’s response and recovery efforts. “As we continue to respond to the aftermath of severe flooding, more flexibility is needed to expedite recovery efforts,” said Governor Scott. “My team will continue to evaluate other regulatory relief that will help accelerate our response and ease the burden on Vermonters.” 

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Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today directed the Commissioner of Taxes to extend Vermont tax deadlines for Vermonters impacted by the severe flooding of July 2023. Taxpayers impacted by flooding and unable to meet Vermont tax deadlines between July 7, 2023, and November 15, 2023, will now have until November 15, 2023, to file and pay taxes. In response to the national disaster declaration for Vermont, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has also extended deadlines to file and pay certain federal taxes for Vermont residents and businesses impacted by the flooding.

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Vermont Historical Society awarded IMLS grant
American Meadows and High Country Gardens support community organizations by donating unsold plants resulting in 0% organic waste
UVM taps Tim Rademacher to lead research at Proctor Maple Research Center