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Early Learning Center reopening soon at Fort Ethan Allen

Sat, 08/08/2020 - 5:49am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Following the closure of the Early Learning Center at Saint Michael’ s College in June, a small group of dedicated staff, parents and community members have worked tirelessly to re-establish an independent, non-profit early childhood education center in the same building on North Campus/Fort Ethan Allen, scheduled to open August 31. Board members of the new Early Learning Center (ELC) said this week that the work has involved everything from legal incorporation with the State of Vermont, designing a website and organizing payroll administration, to coordinating open house meetings with families, writing a family handbook and cleaning the center in preparation for re-opening.

State Farm cuts Vermont auto rates 14.3%

Sat, 08/08/2020 - 2:51am -- tim

Driving Trends Result in Insurance Rate Reduction for 45,700 customers

Vermont Business Magazine Driving behaviors across the country continue to evolve during the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on current trends, State Farm® is working to reduce auto insurance rates in Vermont by 14.3%. This rate reduction will save 45,700 State Farm customers in Vermont a total of $4.2 million. This applies to current customers at policy renewal, as well as new and returning customers. 

VDH COVID-19 Update: $12M for child care, fall sports coming back

Fri, 08/07/2020 - 5:42pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Saying that good quality child care is critical for Vermont, giving kids a strong foundation for their future, and supporting working families, Governor Phil Scott on Friday announced the launch of a new grant program to help mitigate operational expenses and losses for child care providers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Operational Relief Grant (ORG) program includes $12 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funding. Governor Scott announced that Vermont has now tested more than 100,000 people for the COVID-19 virus. Of those, 1,448 have tested positive, with two new cases reported today. There have been 58 deaths, with one reported yesterday in Franklin County. Meanwhile, guidelines for high school sports could come as soon as next week. “Things will look different," Scott said, but all fall sports are expected to be back in play.

Judge pushes pause on Quiros plea deal in Jay Peak fraud

Fri, 08/07/2020 - 5:19pm -- tim

by Mike Donoghue, Correspondent, Vermont Business Magazine A proposed change of plea court hearing for the reported mastermind behind a major federal EB-5 investment fraud in the Northeast Kingdom was delayed on Friday in Burlington for one week. Ariel Quiros, the former owner of the Jay Peak Ski Resort, has signed a plea agreement that could net him more than an 8-year federal prison term. But Chief Federal Judge Geoffrey W Crawford said Friday he wanted to ensure the defendant’s lawyer was clear of any conflict of interest or divided loyalty.

Weekly unemployment claims fall again, Trust Fund grows

Fri, 08/07/2020 - 4:54pm -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims continue to fall as the economy slowly reopens and with it the unemployment trust fund has added nearly $2 million since last week. After a steep decline as the economy began to reopen in April, initial unemployment claims for the last several weeks flattened, rose slightly and now are falling consistently.

Vermont has second most home equity in US

Fri, 08/07/2020 - 4:18pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation's premier property database and first property data provider of Data-as-a-Service (DaaS), just released its second-quarter 2020 US Home Equity & Underwater Report, which shows that 15.2 million residential properties in the United States were considered equity-rich, meaning that the combined estimated amount of loans secured by those properties was 50 percent or less of their estimated market value. Vermont surpassed Hawaii for second place behind California.

Vermont gets $2 million for programs targeting rural addiction

Fri, 08/07/2020 - 12:49pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Friday announced that the Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin and Connecticut Valley Addiction Recovery Inc in Windsor are each receiving federal grants of $1 million to target rural addiction challenges. Each RCORP-Implementation grant recipient will use the funding to enhance and expand service delivery for substance use disorder (SUD), including opioid use disorder (OUD), in rural communities. Awardees will work with rural communities to implement a set of core SUD and OUD prevention, treatment and recovery activities grounded in evidence-based or promising practice models, which can be tailored to communities’ unique needs.

Scott launches $12 million child care operational relief grant program

Fri, 08/07/2020 - 11:08am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott and the Department for Children and Families (DCF) today announced the launch of a new grant program to help mitigate operational expenses and losses for child care providers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Operational Relief Grant (ORG) program includes $12 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funding to help child care programs offset pandemic-related expenses and losses. Grant applications are open now through August 26 and award notices are anticipated by September 11. Eligible applicants include child care and afterschool programs, summer day camps, parent child centers and agencies that serve as fiscal agents for local Children’s Integrated Services.

Up to $100,000 available in Forest Economy Stabilization Grant Program

Fri, 08/07/2020 - 10:38am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation (FPR) announced the Forest Economy Stabilization Grant Program (FESG), to provide $5 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds available to eligible forest products businesses in Vermont. FPR is working with other state agencies and the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) to deliver this program to provide economic relief to forest products businesses experiencing economic harm as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic public health emergency.

Leahy hails boost to Vermont water quality funding

Thu, 08/06/2020 - 5:13pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont’s ongoing efforts to address water quality received another significant boost Thursday as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a new initiative to address New England water quality and wildlife habitat work on a regional scale.  The creation of a new Critical Conservation Area (CCA) within USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), will allow Vermont to partner with other New England states on large-scale conservation projects.

VDH COVID-19 Update: One death for 58 total, nine new cases

Thu, 08/06/2020 - 4:55pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health today is reporting that another Vermonter has died of COVID-19. The VDH generally does not reveal the location or circumstances of the deceased with respect to privacy. However, the data provided by VDH indicated that the death occurred in Franklin County. This is the second death since June 16. The last one was on July 30 in Washington County. As for total COVID-19 cases, the VDH reported nine new cases, but none in Chittenden County, which has by far the most cases. Five of the new cases were in Rutland County. There have been a total of 1,445 cases in Vermont, the fewest of any state.

DFR reaches $230,000 settlement with State Farm for underpayment to life insurance beneficiaries

Thu, 08/06/2020 - 4:13pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine On August 6, 2020, Commissioner Michael Pieciak announced the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) entered into a settlement agreement with State Farm Insurance Company, of Illinois, for improperly calculating interest payments resulting in underpayments to over 500 life insurance policy beneficiaries. Under the terms of the settlement, State Farm will pay $204,000 as an administrative penalty and implement a corrective action plan to ensure compliance with Vermont law. The company also paid $30,347 in restitution to the affected beneficiaries.