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FEMA awards Vermont nearly $1.5 million for COVID emergency meals program

Fri, 06/24/2022 - 4:21pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Federal Emergency Management Agency will be sending nearly $1.5 million to the State of Vermont to reimburse the costs of providing emergency meals for residents in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. The $1,497,525 Public Assistance grant will go to the Agency of Commerce and Community Development for providing meal preparation and delivery service to high-risk populations under the state’s emergency feeding program “Vermont Everyone Eats” between February and March 2022.

LaunchVT Demo Night celebrates entrepreneurs, dishes out cash

Fri, 06/24/2022 - 3:55pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Over 200 business-minded community members gathered at Hula on Tuesday to support LaunchVT’s 2022 cohort at Demo Night, the program’s annual pitch night and celebration of entrepreneurship. The 2022 cohort pitched their businesses to the audience and a panel of investor judges, including Bridget Croke, John Howard, and Matthew Upton. Two businesses walked away with cash awards and all seven will receive professional services from local businesses worth over $100,000. Demo Night marks the end of LaunchVT’s annual 10-week intensive accelerator program where entrepreneurs in the cohort work with dedicated business coaches and strategic advisors to address their startup’s most pressing needs, including refining their business models, developing their go-to market strategies, and preparing for future fundraising and investment. 

Vermont health care organizations support reproductive rights in light of Supreme Court striking down Roe v. Wade

Fri, 06/24/2022 - 10:47am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine A diverse coalition of Vermont health care organizations denounces the Supreme Court opinion which overturns both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The group includes the state's largest hospital system (University of Vermont Health Network) and the largest health insurer (Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont), as well as provider organizations and advocates.

VMEC hires Patrick Boyle as director and CEO

Fri, 06/24/2022 - 10:24am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center (VMEC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Patrick Boyle as its next Center Director and CEO. Patrick is based at VMEC’s office on the Vermont Technical College (VTC) campus in Randolph Center. He is responsible for leading the VMEC team in their mission to strengthen and grow Vermont’s manufacturing sector, and is the focal point for the Center’s collaboration with Vermont, regional, and federal stakeholders and partners.

Vermont employers to see unemployment insurance tax relief

Fri, 06/24/2022 - 6:27am -- tim

​Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Labor has announced that effective July 1, 2022, employer unemployment insurance (UI) contributions, or taxes, will decrease as the UI tax schedule moves from Schedule III to Schedule I. This change is part of an annual statutory calculation performed by the Department of Labor’s Economic and Labor Market Information Division. In addition, taxable employers will receive additional relief in January 2023 when the UI taxable wage base (TWB) decreases by $2,000. Effective January 1, 2023, the TWB will decrease from its current level of $15,500 to $13,500. Employers will pay UI taxes on the first $13,500 an employee makes in a calendar year. The last time the taxable wage base was near this level was in 2011 when it was set at $13,000.

Champlain Parkway construction resumes after 35 years in limbo

Thu, 06/23/2022 - 5:17pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Construction on the Champlain Parkway – after 35 years since initial site work was halted – has now resumed. This week, site preparation has begun. Following the federal judge’s ruling Friday, June 17 to lift the temporary restraining order on the Champlain Parkway, construction activities on the Champlain Parkway Project began on Tuesday.  The Court gave the go-ahead to start construction while the legal challenge is pending. The City hopes to agree on a schedule resolving that legal challenge before the next construction season. 

VDH: COVID cases, hospitalizations, deaths fall

Thu, 06/23/2022 - 4:00pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health reported June 22 that COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to decline and are considered "Low." Levels are at their lowest since a surge in cases that began last August. Deaths attributed to COVID-19 stand at 682. There have been 10 deaths in June attributed to COVID so far after 32 in May. May saw an increase in fatalities from April and March. Vermonters are reminded that all state COVID testing sites will close by Saturday, June 25. PCR and take home tests will be available until then and also through doctors' offices, pharmacies and via mail from the federal government. 

Leahy: Urgent need for additional COVID funding

Thu, 06/23/2022 - 2:52pm -- tim

Senator Patrick Leahy As Senators prepare to return to their home states for the July 4th holiday, it is frustrating that we have once again kicked the can down the road on providing the needed funding to address the ongoing COVID pandemic.  For months, the Administration, scientists, and health care experts have raised the alarm that we do not have the resources we need to stay ahead of this virus.  And with COVID, if you are not staying ahead of it, you are slipping behind, to the detriment of all Americans. To keep our recovery afloat, we have robbed Peter to pay Paul.  Earlier this month, the Administration announced that it is repurposing $10 billion appropriated by Congress to help purchase additional vaccines and additional therapeutics because our stocks were running low. 

Highest July 4 gas prices ever unlikely to curb American appetite for road trips

Thu, 06/23/2022 - 12:34pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Drivers will be facing the most expensive July 4th at the pump ever this year, though the news isn’t all bad. According to GasBuddy, the leading fuel savings platform saving North American drivers the most money on gas, U.S. gas prices are expected to drop 10 to 20 cents by Independence Day. After months of fireworks at the pump, culminating in a $5 national average recorded for the first time just weeks ago, drivers will feel a bit of relief, though many were already determined to get out on the road despite high prices. Gas prices on average fell 6 cents per gallon in Vermont since last week to $4.98 and fell 8 cents nationally to $4.93. This is still about $2 per gallon higher than one year ago.

AOE supports summer programs, mentoring for Afghan students

Thu, 06/23/2022 - 12:19pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Agency of Education has committed $200,000 to support two national refugee non-profits with a presence in Vermont to ensure that refugee students and their families are provided with access to summer programs and community mentoring. The AOE will also leverage an existing partnership with the WIDA Consortium to offer targeted professional learning opportunities for teachers serving Afghan students and other multilingual newcomers. As of spring 2022, Vermont is now home to over 100 school-aged Afghan children and more families are expected to arrive in summer 2022. The AOE will use $200,000 in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to create the Afghan Refugee Partnership Grant.

UVM gets $5.5 million to launch integrative health center

Thu, 06/23/2022 - 12:15pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The University of Vermont announced a broad, new initiative today that will deliver innovative, transdisciplinary, evidence-based healthcare practices to our region. Funded by a $5.5 million grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation, the Osher Center for Integrative Health at UVM will dramatically advance whole patient care, research, education, and health policy centered on treatments that incorporate proven methods from a variety of fields complementing allopathic medicine.

ISO New England investigated as part of FERC allegations against MA power plant

Thu, 06/23/2022 - 11:26am -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine As the independent administrator of Vermont's and New England’s wholesale electricity markets, ISO New England runs an annual forward capacity auction to ensure sufficient resources will be available to meet the region’s expected future reliability needs. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Enforcement (FERC OE) is currently investigating whether there were violations of ISO’s tariff and a fraudulent scheme related to said violations by a project developer that participated in a previous auction. While FERC OE has alleged that the project developer engaged in a fraudulent scheme to deceive the ISO and the market, and failed to provide the ISO with complete and relevant information, this investigation also includes the ISO’s role in administering the capacity market. ISO New England said it has cooperated fully with the investigation.

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