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Power restored to more than 59,000 GMP customers

Wed, 03/15/2023 - 11:06am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Green Mountain Power (GMP) is expanding its field force even further Wednesday, as crews continue making progress restoring power as snow continues to fall and  conditions remain challenging. So far, more than 59,000 customers have been restored, with 24,000 left to go. Adding to difficulties in the field, crews face time consuming challenges working with local first responders in clearing roads from downed trees and lines, as the regionwide storm continues to dump cement-like snow even today. Forecasters have extended wind advisories and the winter storm warnings into this afternoon for some of the hardest hit areas of Vermont, which could cause additional outages and continued dangerous travel conditions. Windsor and Windham counties were especially hit hard.

National Life Group launches ‘Do Good Heroes’ to honor first responders

Wed, 03/15/2023 - 10:46am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine National Life Group has launched a new program to honor first responders who are making a difference in the communities they serve beyond their public safety duty. Through the Do Good Heroes program, National Life’s network of community-based agents will recognize and reward local police and fire-rescue departments and individual personnel making a positive impact through participation in community service activities. National Life agents across the country, with help from community members, will identify fire-rescue or police departments and personnel at the municipal, county or state level deserving of recognition and nominate them for a Do Good Heroes award.

All nominees receive a public profile on, an awards presentation event, local press release and recognition on social media. Each month, one nominee will receive a $1000 award to be donated to a nonprofit organization of their choice, and up to four additional nominees will receive a $500 award to donate.

Working Lands Enterprise Board announces over $1 million in FY 2023 impact grants

Wed, 03/15/2023 - 9:55am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Working Lands Enterprise Board (WLEB) announces 29 awards to businesses and organizations in 2023. The $1,034,423 million in awards will help grow the agricultural and forestry sectors in Vermont. Another $1 million in Working Lands Enterprise Initiative grants will be announced in April 2023. Please follow the link in each category to view the individual businesses receiving awards: Service Providers – $414,152 awarded; Producer Associations – $39,500 awarded; Business Enhancement – $580,771 awarded. 

Schubart: A new Vermont prison, build it and they will come?

Wed, 03/15/2023 - 4:51am -- tim

by Bill Schubart As a community, we need to make cost-efficient, long-term, and morally responsible decisions. Are we a punitive state or a supportive community that enables healing and shared prosperity? Do we invest in people and communities or jails, homeless shelters, and emergency rooms? The women’s prison (CRCF) is filthy, inhumane, and unsafe, and should be closed. No one disagrees with this, but what do we replace it with?

Vermont Federal Credit Union wins Best of the Best Award for online banking/mobile

Wed, 03/15/2023 - 4:03am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine MemberXP, a leading customer experience program offered through CU Solutions Group, has named Vermont Federal Credit Union as one of their 2023 Best of the Best award winners. Annually, the Best of the Best award is given to credit unions that consistently provide extraordinary service, as reported by their own members. Only the highest-performing credit unions using the MemberXP program receive this incredible honor.

Vermont Public announces 2023 Made Here Fund recipients 

Wed, 03/15/2023 - 3:44am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Public has announced the first recipients of the Made Here Fund, an initiative to broaden and diversify storytelling in Vermont. Ten projects by content creators representing six Vermont counties will receive a total of $100,000 to produce pieces including short documentary and animated films, digital shorts and audio series. The fund was launched in 2022 to broaden and diversify Vermont storytelling. Makers from across the state were invited to apply for special funding, provided by supporters including current and former members of Vermont Public’s board of directors. 

Red Cross will open disaster shelter in Brattleboro

Tue, 03/14/2023 - 5:51pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The American Red Cross will open a regional disaster shelter at the Brattleboro Union High School (131 Fairground Rd.) to provide safe shelter for residents in Brattleboro and surrounding communities affected by widespread power outages due to heavy snow and winds. The shelter will open at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, March 15th. Until then, given the hazardous travel conditions, those impacted by this storm are urged to shelter in place. This is a Red Cross managed shelter operating in coordination with the Greater Brattleboro community. The Red Cross is also working closely with local and state emergency management and government officials. 

UVMMC receives CON to relocate and combine dermatology, ophthalmology

Tue, 03/14/2023 - 5:35pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The University of Vermont Medical Center has received a Certificate of Need from the Green Mountain Care Board to relocate and consolidate its existing outpatient Dermatology and Ophthalmology practices at its Tilley Drive campus in South Burlington. The project, estimated to cost $35 million, will allow UVM Medical Center to address longstanding access challenges to these services, based on historical demand and highlighted by the State of Vermont’s assessment in 2021. The plan brings together four existing Dermatology and Ophthalmology sites, two of the busiest specialty practices on the hospital’s main campus, which currently have limited physical space and cannot expand to meet demand. The new facility will make more efficient use of space and resources, and offer patients a location easily reached by car or public transportation, including the free shuttle operated by SSTA, which brings patients from the downtown Burlington transportation hub to all of the clinical sites at Tilley Drive.

EPA proposes new protections for drinking water from toxic PFAS chemicals

Tue, 03/14/2023 - 4:38pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Today, the federal Environmental Protection Agency proposed its first national drinking water standards for six of the thousands of PFAS chemicals. The proposal would regulate two of these harmful chemicals, PFOA and PFOS, at 4 parts per trillion (ppt), and it also sets a hazard-based standard for a mix of four other PFAS chemicals - PFNA, PFHxS, PFBS and GenX. This rule is now open for public comment before being finalized later this year. Once this rule is adopted, water systems would have to monitor for these six specific PFAS chemicals. If they are detected, the public would need to be notified and work would be required to clean up the contaminated water. Vermont already has drinking water standards in place for five PFAS chemicals, at a combined limit of 20 parts per trillion. These new federal standards, if adopted, would be more health protective than the current Vermont regulations.

Vermonters with developmental disabilities join the push for permanent supportive housing 

Tue, 03/14/2023 - 3:45pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The need for more Service Supported Housing for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) is the centerpiece of a new study that will be released by the Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council at a State House press conference on Wednesday, March 15 at noon in the Cedar Creek Room. Resources exist to build, rehabilitate, subsidize, and enhance housing for financially eligible Vermonters, including those with I/DD, but disability service providers and housing developers have not traditionally worked together in Vermont, according to the report. During the 2022 legislative session, parents of adults with I/DD came forward to advocate that more housing options be created for their sons and daughters. The result was Act 186, which commissioned the Council to prepare the report and set aside $500,000 for pilot planning grants for new housing models. The grants will be awarded later this spring.

Vermont produce safety improvement grants now accepting applications

Tue, 03/14/2023 - 2:53pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets is now accepting applications for the Vermont Produce Improvement Grant program. Produce Safety Improvement Grants can support the costs of implementing on-farm food safety practices to help vegetable and fruit growers transition to compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule, address compliance with new Produce Safety Rule harvest and post-harvest water requirements, or meet market demands for on-farm food safety. Awards will range from $5,000 to $20,000. Applicants must grow, harvest, pack, or hold “covered produce” as defined by the federal FSMA Produce Safety Rule and have average annual produce sales of greater than $29,245 over the past three years.

Community Health fuels National Nutrition Month

Tue, 03/14/2023 - 2:45pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Nutrition is important but it’s something that can be forgotten and taken for granted. “People can get on a good track, get healthy, then become overwhelmed,” said Community Health Dietician Maria Durkee, MS, RDN, CD. National Nutrition Month brings focus back to nutrition. “It’s a whole month to celebrate nutrition and it’s helpful for remembering to make healthy choices,” she said. “It’s also about recognizing nutrition around the world. It’s about cultures and eating patterns.” “Fuel for the Future” is the theme of National Nutrition Month 2023, a reminder to be resourceful and pay attention to the environment, reduce food waste, learn to eat on a budget and feed your community. “Eating what’s in season is cheaper and helps to sustain local growers and businesses,” Durkee said.