Current News

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Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports has announced it is accepting proposals for its 2024 Outdoor Fitness and Sports Access Grants (“OFSAG”) starting today. OFSAG provides funding for the development or continuation of community initiatives that enhance access to sports and fitness activities for all Vermonters, particularly members of historically and/or presently marginalized or underrepresented communities. The grant period, slated from July 1, 2024, to December 31, 2024, offers an opportunity for organizations to propose new—or enhance existing—programming that fosters inclusivity and accessibility in fitness and sports. In keeping with its mission, the Council recognizes the importance of addressing systemic barriers that have historically deterred or excluded certain communities from participating in these activities, and seeks to support initiatives addressing these issues, in part, through this grant program.

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Vermont Business Magazine Recently, Rutland Regional Medical Center’s Nursing Excellence Team honored two nurses and the Operating Room team with the Daisy Award for extraordinary nurses. The ceremony took place in the hospital’s CVPS/Leahy Community Health Education Center with nurse leaders and nursing staff. The DAISY (an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Foundation was started in Glen Allen, CA by family members of J. Patrick Barnes, who died from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little-known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. As a way of thanking Barnes’ nurses, his family established the award program to recognize the super-human efforts nurses everywhere perform every day.

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Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today allowed three bills to become law without his signature: H.612, An act relating to miscellaneous cannabis amendments; H.630, An act relating to improving access to high-quality education through community collaborations; and H.875, An act relating to the State Ethics Commission and the State Code of Ethics. In the cannabis bill, he noted that the bill closes some loopholes, but is concerned about higher potency medical cannabis getting into the hands of people who are not medically qualified to receive it. Scott has generally been concerned with the legalization of cannabis for, among other reasons, the potential for kids getting a hold of such products and for creating more opportunities for people to drive impaired.

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Vermont Business Magazine The Stowe Area Excellence Awards, presented at the Stowe Area Association (SAA) Annual Meeting on June 4, 2024 at the Backyard, recognize leadership and innovation within the local community. Carolyn Lawrence, executive director at Stowe Trails Partnership, was awarded the inaugural Stowe Emerging Leader Award. Nominated by fellow SAA members, this award recognizes individuals who embody the highest levels of personal and professional accomplishment and who serve as role models in the Stowe business community. Rachel Vandenberg, co-owner of Sun & Ski Inn and Suites, Stowe Bowl and Stowe Golf Park, was named SAA's Stowe Business Person of the Year. This award recognizes an SAA member in good standing who is involved in the community with town projects or sits on a town board, acts as an ambassador of Stowe, and participates in the tourism industry. 

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Vermont Business Magazine Despite a national Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) debacle which has delayed college decisions typically made on May 1 to June 1, Vermont State University (VTSU) is on track to welcome a larger class this fall than in fall 2023. Just how much larger remains to be seen, as students have until classes start in August to enroll. Colleges and universities around the country have been alarmed by the rollout of the new, streamlined FAFSA form, and have deployed additional resources to ensure families have the financial information they need to make decisions. At VTSU, significantly more students are enrolling, particularly in online programming. 

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Vermont Business Magazine During Make-A-Wish Night at Centennial Field, six-year-old Wish Kid Lila from Manchester, Vermont, kicked off the evening's game against the visiting Westfield Starfires with a heartwarming rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner." Immediately following her performance, a special announcement was made revealing that Make-A-Wish Vermont would be granting Lila's wish for a community stage in her hometown. This exceptional and thoughtful wish—one that gives back to her community—will be built by Vermont Construction Company at Hunter Park in Manchester, Vermont.

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Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Council on Rural Development, along with an advisory group of youth leaders and adults that work with and support youth, are announcing the release of the “VT Vision for Youth Success” report today to showcase bright spots, challenges, and concrete action recommendations to advance opportunities for youth in Vermont communities. This report is the culmination of a deep engagement process that included the voices and insights of over 600 Vermonters of all ages, including more than 200 youth voices. Input was captured through a series of youth-adult co-facilitated forums in every region of the state, stakeholder interviews, youth-led discussion around the state, and a statewide survey reaching every corner of Vermont. 

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Vermont Business Magazine The Agency of Education in partnership with The Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets recognized six supervisory unions (SU/SDs) that have achieved the highest rates of local purchasing through The Local Foods Incentive Grant program established in 2021. The efforts of schools, farms, community partners, and the state continue to create new and exciting partnerships that are boosting both the economy and food access across the state. Windham Northeast has paved the way for this program’s success in recent years. In recognition of their success and to recognize the other programs making impressive strides, on Monday June 10 Interim Secretary Zoie Saunders held an event with the school community at Bellows Falls Union High School.

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Vermont Business Magazine Average gasoline prices in Vermont- $3.48/g, down 7.2 cents per gallon from last week's $3.55/g. The lowest price in the state yesterday was $3.19/g while the highest was $3.79/g, a difference of 60.0 cents per gallon. The national average price of gasoline has fallen 10.0 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.40/g today. The national average is down 23.0 cents per gallon from a month ago and stands 18.2 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.

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Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets The Working Lands Enterprise Board (WLEB) has announced 51 awards to Vermont farm, forest, and food businesses and organizations in 2024. The $2,329,561 in awards will support those who are earning a living off the land. The award categories are: American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Primary Producer Impact Grants - $812,991 awarded to 6 farms to support businesses after being negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic; Business Enhancement Grants - $558,343 awarded to 14 businesses to support market development, infrastructure, equipment costs, and workforce development; Small Farm Diversification & Transition Grants - $150,000 awarded to 12 farms to support them in diversifying farm products, transitioning to a new form of farming, processing farm products, and/or developing an accessory on-farm business; Supply Chain Impact Grants - $788,159 awarded to 6 businesses and nonprofits to support critical supply chain infrastructure investments that create new opportunities for multiple businesses in their respective supply chains; Trade Show Assistance Grants - $59,968 awarded to 13 businesses to support attendance at trade shows to bring Vermont products to out of state markets.  

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Vermont Business Magazine This weekly report is a list of planned construction activities that will impact traffic on state highways and interstates throughout Vermont for the week of June 10, 2024. Please remember to drive safely in all work zones. Lives depend on it. 

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Vermont Business Magazine For World Oceans Day, the Richmond, Vermont-based stainless steel cycling water bottle company Bivo is launching the Sea Turtle Bottle, with 100% of profits going to the Sea Turtle Conservancy to protect sea turtles. Made in collaboration with South-Florida based photographer, environmental advocate and avid cyclist, Ben Hicks, these bottles feature laser-engraved sea turtle artwork meant to highlight the concerns around plastic debris in the ocean and how that’s impacting sea turtles and other marine life.