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New law allows for alternative town meetings

Fri, 01/14/2022 - 4:09pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine On January 14, Governor Scott signed S.172, An act relating to authorizing alternative procedures for 2022 annual municipal meetings in response to COVID-19. Scot said in part: "Today, I signed S. 172, An act relating to authorizing alternative procedures for 2022 annual municipal meetings in response to COVID-19 because I believe public concerns regarding large gatherings may discourage some who would otherwise participate in Town Meetings and alternative arrangements will help increase voter turnout. Unfortunately, the Legislature has missed another opportunity to expand voter access further by expanding automatic mailing of ballots beyond general elections (Act 60) to include school budget votes, local elections and primary elections. Last year after signing Act 60 into law, I asked the Legislature to take this up when they returned in January, and if passed could be a model for the country."

VDH: COVID cases surge, hospitalizations near record, three deaths

Fri, 01/14/2022 - 3:48pm -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health today is reporting 2,295 cases of COVID-19 for Thursday (1,963 on Wednesday). This is more than 1,000 cases higher than Tuesday. The record daily high was set last Friday, January 7, with 2,975 cases of COVID-19. While the fatality rate has slowed, there were still three deaths reported today for a statewide total of 493.

Fayston man arrested for possession of child sex abuse materials

Fri, 01/14/2022 - 2:37pm -- tim

​Vermont Business Magazine The Attorney General’s Office announced today that Allen Zeiner, 59, of Fayston, Vermont, was arraigned on January 13, 2022, on six felony counts of Promoting a Recording of Sexual Conduct. The charges brought against Zeiner are the result of a criminal investigation – including the execution of residential and online data search warrants – conducted by the Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (VT-ICAC), including personnel from the Attorney General’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, Vermont State Police, Burlington Police Department, and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

VtSBDC selected as ‘hub’ grantee in SBA's Community Navigator Program, with nine ‘spokes’

Fri, 01/14/2022 - 1:37pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine As part of a national initiative introduced by President Biden and Vice President Harris, Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) has been chosen as one of 51 grantees nationwide to be part of the US Small Business Administration’s Community Navigator Pilot Program. There were more than 700 submissions for the program. As one of 11 Tier 2 grantees, VtSBDC will receive $2.5 million to fund the program over a two-year period. Tier 2 grantees support an individual state, region, municipality, or city with total service population of greater than or equal to 500,000.

Bolton partners with WCVT to expand fiber-optic broadband

Fri, 01/14/2022 - 1:14pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom (WCVT) plans to convert all remaining Bolton residents in its service area to fiber-optics in 2022. This was made possible in part by the Town of Bolton which has committed more than half of their American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to help expand fiber-optic broadband to more residents through a public-private partnership with WCVT. Approximately $200,000 in town ARPA funds are being committed to this project as well as a request of matching grant funds from the State of Vermont to build fiber-optics to approximately 440 additional homes.

Morgan, Beard imprisoned for stealing ATM from UVM campus

Fri, 01/14/2022 - 1:05pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Matthew Morgan, 52, and Ruebin Beard, 52, both of Burlington, have been sentenced in United States District Court in Burlington following their guilty pleas to a charge of bank larceny. Today, US District Judge Christina Reiss sentenced Beard to 14 months of imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release.

Working Lands Enterprise Board announces FY 2022 grants

Fri, 01/14/2022 - 12:54pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Working Lands program announces historic funding for those who make their living off the land. The Program has awarded $2.1 in grants that will help grow agriculture and small businesses in Vermont. This latest round of funding will address meat slaughter and processing bottlenecks, supply chain resiliency, marketing plans and overall business development.  Awards from this program also support farmers, producers, markets and co-ops that make up our food system; Vermont loggers, foresters and forest products businesses managing our natural resources; and service provider organizations that help strengthen our supply chain. A total of $5.294 million was allocated to the Working Lands Program this year.  Another $3.2 million in Working Lands Program grants will be announced in the spring.

Funding available for organizations in the Brattleboro area through the Crosby-Gannett Fund

Fri, 01/14/2022 - 10:42am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Funding is now available for Vermont organizations in the Brattleboro area through the Crosby-Gannett Fund grant program. The purpose of the Crosby-Gannett Fund is to support endeavors that contribute to the betterment and vitality of the Brattleboro area. To help address the impact of COVID-19, the Crosby-Gannett Fund will focus its grant making in 2022 on the needs amplified by the pandemic that have been inadequately addressed by public relief funds. The fund is temporarily accepting requests for general operating support from small and/or severely impacted nonprofits.

iSun launches 2022 ESG strategy

Fri, 01/14/2022 - 10:27am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Williston-based iSun, Inc (NASDAQ: ISUN), a leading solar energy and clean mobility infrastructure company with 50-years of construction experience in solar, electrical and data services and a provider of proprietary electric vehicle charging platforms, has released their 2021 ESG (Environmental Social Governance) Update and launch of their 2022 ESG strategy.

Physician Niki Thran to run for Vermont Senate seat

Fri, 01/14/2022 - 10:19am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Dr Niki Thran, a resident of Warren, Vermont, and an emergency room physician at Gifford Medical Center in Randolph, plans to announce her run for the United States Senate seat left open by the imminent retirement of Patrick Leahy. Her campaign will officially launch with a public announcement on January 16th at 12 noon at the Warren Town Municipal Building at 42 Cemetery Road in Warren, Vermont. Congressman Peter Welch previously announced he is seeking the seat.

Pandemic drives Americans to pursue financial mobility and personal priorities, KeyBank survey finds

Fri, 01/14/2022 - 3:42am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The KeyBank 2022 Financial Mobility Survey, released Wednesday, finds many Americans are reconsidering their work and financial priorities, with two-thirds (62%) of respondents indicating that work-life balance is more important to them than a high-paying salary (22%). While the desire for greater work-life balance exists, only a quarter (25%) of Americans say they have experienced an improvement in their standard of living compared to 2020. These findings highlight a shift in mentality as Americans take steps to overcome obstacles and re-align priorities for financial mobility.