Current News

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Vermont Business Magazine Vermont State University recently announced it has received a grant to fund the expansion of one of its hybrid learning programs. The grant was received from the Davis Educational Foundation established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after Mr. Davis's retirement as chairman of Shaw's Supermarkets, Inc. The project is titled Prioritizing Access through “Face-to-Face Plus” (F2F+) Expansion + OER Adoption. This initiative is part of VTSU’s commitment to be a model for hybrid, rural education and to meet students where they are to support their educational pursuits.  

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Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott and the Agency of Human Services (AHS) has awarded $5.125 million to four key healthcare institutions to bolster Vermont’s nursing workforce. Successful applicants include University of Vermont Health Network, Northwestern Medical Center, Southern Vermont Medical Center, and Cedar Hill Continuing Care Community. The grants seek to address barriers to workforce growth, such as a shortage of clinical educators and financial obstacles for prospective students. The initiative will provide tuition assistance, paid release time or study stipends, and clinical support at the worksite. It aims to draw new students into Vermont nursing programs and facilitate advanced degree education for existing nurses. 

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Vermont Business Magazine Pomerleau Real Estate in Burlington has announced recent commercial real estate deals. Principals include: Peerless Clothing International, Kylee Boutique, American Family Care, Milton Food and Fun, and VOR, Inc.

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Vermont Business Magazine President Joe Biden Tuesday signed Senator Peter Welch’s (D-Vermont) bipartisan bill, the Testing, Rapid Analysis, and Narcotic Quality (TRANQ) Research Act, into law. The Testing, Rapid Analysis, and Narcotic Quality (TRANQ) Research Act takes steps to address the deadly rise in the illicit use of Xylazine – a harmful animal tranquilizer also known by its street name Tranq – and other novel synthetic drugs that have become increasingly prevalent in Vermont and across the country. The legislation directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to research the drug, develop new tests for rapid detection, and establish partnerships with the frontline entities that are often the first points of contact with new street drugs.  

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US Census Bureau Births in 2023 once again began to outpace deaths in over half of U.S. states as mortality declined, inching closer to pre-pandemic levels, according to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates released today. By July 1, 2023, natural change had rebounded slightly with only 19 states experiencing natural decrease, according to provisional data. And the South and the Northeast returned to being the regions with the most states with more deaths than births, although the levels were still much lower than during the two previous periods. In the 2010s, only four states (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and West Virginia) consistently had more deaths than births. But from 2020 to 2021 and 2021 to 2022, half of all states experienced natural decrease. While 19 states rebounded slightly, 15 — mostly in the South — experienced natural decrease during all estimates periods between April 1, 2020 (Census Day) and July 1, 2023.

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Vermont Business Magazine An all-new fiber internet service, Fidium, is now available to residents in Fairfax and Fletcher. More than 2,200 area homes and businesses can now access Fidium’s symmetrical, multi-gig speed fiber internet service, and enjoy all the benefits that come with access to high-speed broadband connection.  Fairfax and Fletcher are the newest communities in the state to be connected to Fidium. In the last year,  Fidium has expanded to communities in Franklin and Chittenden County, including Fairfax, Fletcher, St. Albans Town, St. Albans City, Swanton, Georgia, Fairfield, East Fairfield, Bakersfield, Essex Junction, Essex Town, Colchester and Williston. More than 110,000 Vermont homes and businesses now have access to Fidium Fiber.  

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Vermont Business Magazine The Ludlow Fire Department successfully raised $14,570 through a series of fundraising events. The funds were collected from the highly anticipated Fire & Ice Event, an online Silent Auction, and the Fire & Ice merchandise sale. The fundraising committee, comprised of Kathy Burns, Kevin Barnes, Terry Fortuna, Abby Childs, Lisa Schmidt, and Claire Isherwood, worked tirelessly to organize this event. Their unwavering commitment and effort were instrumental in making this fundraising campaign such a resounding success.

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Vermont Business Magazine The water is receding in much of Vermont after powerful rains and snowmelt led to flooding on December 18th and 19th.  The Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) has focused on outreach to our regional partners to hear more about the impact of the flooding, both to our downtowns and within the business community. Though it appears the storm impacts were not as severe as the July flood, damage is more widespread across the state. ACCD will remain in close contact with our regional partners and the business community to assess what recovery needs exist and work in conjunction with Vermont Emergency Management (VEM) to provide what support we can in the days ahead.

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Vermont Business Magazine Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) on Tuesday evening spoke on the floor of the US Senate about the humanitarian disaster in Gaza and what Congress should be doing to address this crisis. "Let me begin by wishing all Americans and my colleagues a very happy and peaceful holiday season. Unfortunately, for the people in Israel and Palestine, that will not be the case. In Gaza, millions of people will end the year under constant bombardment, exposed to the winter or living in tents, wondering where they will find their next meal, or clean drinking water, or the medical supplies they need. This is an unmitigated humanitarian disaster, and we must not look away from it."

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Vermont Business Magazine Today Campaign for Vermont Prosperity (CFV) released the final batch of questions along with the full results of the November poll. When asked how safe respondents felt in their community, 30% felt unsafe. Residents of Chittenden and Rutland counties and families with children were especially likely to express safety concerns. Respondents also expressed unhappiness with the recently passed payroll tax, which was used to expand childcare credits to upper middle-class families. Even more unpopular was the Legislature’s effort to increase their own pay and benefits with two-thirds of Vermonters saying they would be much less likely to vote for a candidate who supported such a measure.

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Vermont Business Magazine State Treasurer Mike Pieciak was joined by state and national leaders today at a press conference in Burlington to announce legislation that would establish a baby bonds program in Vermont. Baby Bonds is an innovative policy to address intergenerational poverty, support rural economic development, and retain young people in Vermont. Speaking to a room of lawmakers and community stakeholders, Pieciak unveiled the policy alongside bill sponsors Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale and Rep. Dan Noyes, nationally recognized baby bonds expert Dr. Darrick Hamilton, Connecticut Treasurer Erick Russell, and Spectrum Youth & Family Services Executive Director Mark Redmond. The policy would invest $3,200 for every Vermont child born on Medicaid into a trust fund managed by the State Treasurer’s Office. Children could access their baby bond between ages 18 and 30, with the initial $3,200 investment projected to grow to $11,500 by age 18 and $24,500 by age 30. 

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Vermont Business Magazine Mayor Miro Weinberger announced that he and President Suresh Garimella of UVM have overcome prior setbacks and reached a housing agreement intended to increase student beds, reduce student pressure on the broader local housing market, and support UVM’s admission goals. The MOU, if approved by the City Council, will commit the university to providing a minimum of an additional 1.5 beds per every one undergraduate student it enrolls above the fall 2023 level. To facilitate the creation of on-campus beds, the Administration commits to work with UVM to advance several zoning amendments for UVM’s Trinity Campus on Colchester Ave, the 280 East Avenue parcel, and the Waterman block on South Prospect Street.