Current News

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Vermont Business Magazine The technical issues impacting the Department of Labor’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) Claimant Portal have been resolved as of this afternoon, Thursday, December 14, 2023. On Monday, December 11, 2023, Department of Labor staff became aware of an issue affecting a number of unemployment claimants. These individuals reported encountering difficulties filing their weekly claims or reopening existing claims. Impacted claimants who were unable to file for the benefit week of 12/03/23-12/09/23 should now find that option available in their claimant portal account. 

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Vermont Business Magazine The Attorney General’s Office announced that Jeffrey Coolidge, 58, of Montpelier, Vermont, was arraigned today on two charges of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child. The charges brought against the defendant are the result of a criminal investigation, including the execution of a residential search warrant, conducted by the Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (VT-ICAC), including personnel from the Attorney General’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, and Montpelier Police Department.

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Vermont Business Magazine Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission (CVRPC) has been selected as a participant in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Energy to Communities (C2C) Peer-Learning Cohorts program (led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory), which will advance local clean energy and decarbonization initiatives. Stowe Electric Department is also part of the newest three cohorts. CVRPC will serve as part of a cohort that will support local government, tribes, and municipal utilities to develop community-driven approaches to transportation electrification.

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Vermont Business Magazine Want to build or improve a recreational trail in your Vermont community? The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation (FPR) invites municipalities, non-profits, and other governmental entities to apply for funding through the Recreational Trails Program. In 2024, FPR will award approximately $500,000, funded through the Federal Highways Administration, to build and maintain trails across the state. Over the past 15 years, the Recreational Trails Program, or RTP, has provided almost $8.5 million in competitive grants to Vermont communities for the development and maintenance of public trails, for both motorized and non-motorized recreation.

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Vermont Business Magazine Emerge Vermont, the state’s premier organization that recruits and trains Democratic women to run for office, announced today that it has selected its 2024 class. This year’s chosen group of 18 future women and non-binary political leaders hails from all parts of the Green Mountain State and from diverse backgrounds, and spans the spectrum of races, sexual orientation, socioeconomic levels, and professional experiences. Emerge Vermont’s training program offers Democratic women who want to run for public office a unique opportunity. Cohort members receive 70+ hours of in-depth education over five months that inspires them to run for office and gives them the tools to win. The program’s trainers are an elite team of campaign consultants, advisors, and staff from Vermont and all over the country who have been involved in some of the most successful campaigns and initiatives seen in recent election cycles.

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Vermont Business Magazine The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative (WLEI) is now accepting applications for the ARPA Primary Producer Impact Grant and the Supply Chain Impact Grant. Vermont-based farm, food, and forest sector businesses may apply for grants for $50,000 - $250,000.  These two different Impact Grants are available targeting specific segments of Vermont’s agricultural supply chain.

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Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott and the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) today announced recipients of $4,591,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Recovery Housing Program (RHP) federal funding awards through the Vermont Community Development Program (VCDP). The funding will support two mixed-income housing developments; continued funding for the five home-ownership centers throughout Vermont to support affordable home repair financing and housing counseling services for low-and-moderate income homeowners; provide funding to renovate a historic farmhouse into childcare and community space, including two units of affordable housing; provide funding to support a regional healthcare facility’s heating plant; planning for ADA improvements to a historic theater; and an enhancement of RHP funding.

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Vermont Business Magazine Senator Peter Welch (D-Vermont) on Wednesday night released the following statement on the Senate’s passage of the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA): “I am grateful every day for the sacrifices our servicemembers and their families make, including those in Vermont and those defending our freedom across the world. I am encouraged the NDAA contains bipartisan priorities I led, including policies to support employee-led business partnerships with the Department of Defense, and more accountability for veterans who have suffered from service-related medical complications as a result of toxic burn pits. But I have long been concerned about the disparities between domestic and defense spending and ultimately, I cannot support a defense bill that fails to rein in our unbalanced military spending. It’s time we get smart about reducing our military spending and ensuring Vermonters’ tax dollars are going to programs that complement America’s larger foreign policy goals.”

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Vermont Business Magazine Vermont boasts over 1,400 miles of lakeshore, and nearly half is developed in a way that impacts water quality and wildlife habitat. Ahead of construction season, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is holding a free online course on best practices to develop and manage shorelands. The Natural Shoreland Erosion Control Certification (NSECC) course is a great training opportunity for engineers, landscapers, designers, contractors, consultants, and other site workers. The all-day training will cover lake ecology, permitting, native plants for landscaping, bioengineering, and other shoreland best practice concepts. The online course will be held on Microsoft Teams on Friday, January 26, 2024, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Register to attend by January 25, 2024.

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Vermont Business Magazine The Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors have announced that Havah Armstrong Walther is their new Executive Director.
The Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce (HACC) has appointed Havah as its new Executive Director. With an impressive background in advocacy, fundraising, and business consulting, Havah brings a wealth of experience, passion, and strategic vision to lead the Chamber. Havah has a proven track record of organizational management, strategic planning, and program design, allowing her leadership qualities to align seamlessly with the Chamber's mission to promote economic development, foster community engagement, and support local businesses.

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Vermont Business Magazine Average gasoline prices in Vermont is $3.37 per gallon. This is 4 cents/g lower than last week, 14 cents lower than last month and 10 cents lower than this time last year. The lowest price in the state is $2.89/g in Brattleboro while the highest 1s $3.63/g in Lyndonville. The national average price of gasoline has fallen 12 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.07/g today. Falling demand has contributed to lower prices, which is a trend that is likely to continue into next year.

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Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Congressional Delegation, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), Senator Peter Welch (D-Vermont), and Representative Becca Balint (D-Vermont), this week wrote to US Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Colette Peters to express their strong support for the Bureau’s plan to place a Residential Re-Entry Center (RRC) in Vermont. Vermont is one of only two states, the other being Hawaii, without an RRC and a recent study by the Bureau recommended the placement of a center in the state.