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Auditor Doug Hoffer announces new COVID-19 website

Thu, 05/21/2020 - 4:47pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont State Auditor Doug Hoffer has announced the creation of an online dashboard to help Vermonters track federal and state expenditures related to COVID-19. The online tool is available at auditor.vermont.gov and will evolve over time, as the situation progresses and information is updated. In response to COVID-19, the federal government appropriated unprecedented levels of funding to the State of Vermont, its institutions, and directly to Vermonters. The State Auditor’s Office created this webpage to help Vermonters follow the flow of these public dollars. As the Auditor’s Office works to mitigate risks and guide the State in cost-effective directions, we will post graphics, memos, and other resources that can help us all better understand how this $2 billion-plus is spent.

Vermont Air Guard honors COVID-19 responders with F-35A flyover Friday

Thu, 05/21/2020 - 4:42pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The 158th Fighter Wing of the Vermont Air National Guard will honor Vermont’s front line COVID-19 responders and essential workers with a flyover on Friday, May 22, 2020. A formation of four F-35A Lightning IIs will takeoff from the Vermont Air National Guard Base in South Burlington at noon for the flyover that is scheduled to last 90 minutes. The flyover is part of Operation America Strong, an Air Force effort to salute healthcare workers across the country.

Sticky Brand Creative launches social distancing product line

Thu, 05/21/2020 - 4:38pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Sticky Brand - a local Burlington company specializing in custom-made stickers, decals, and design services - today announces the launch of an innovative social distancing product line. With this launch, the company has also pledged to donate 10% of profits from this specific line to the UVM Medical Center’s COVID-19 Response Fund. As the brand itself prepares to reopen its downtown Burlington offices, it will continue to work to help other small businesses safely reopen and adapt to new norms.

VDH: Take steps to prevent water quality issues before your business reopens

Thu, 05/21/2020 - 4:29pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine State officials are urging owners and managers of buildings that have been closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to take steps that can prevent illnesses associated with stagnant water in plumbing systems. The Departments of Health and Environmental Conservation have set up a website where building and facility managers can access guidance and recommendations for actions to take before a building’s drinking water is used again: dec.vermont.gov/water/COVID-19-Response-and-Resources

MEND Fund hopes to help heal Montpelier's downtown

Thu, 05/21/2020 - 4:18pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Montpelier Development Corporation (MDC) with one of its partners the Montpelier Foundation (MF) announced today the launch of the Montpelier Economic Need and Distress (MEND) Fund. The MEND Fund was created last week to respond to the burden faced by downtown businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic and the State of Vermont’s subsequent ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ order. MEND will provide funding to downtown storefront businesses in the form of grants to assist with their recovery and revitalization efforts during this time of unprecedented economic hardship.

Labor Dept launches PEUC program, providing additional benefits for unemployed Vermonters

Thu, 05/21/2020 - 3:47pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine An additional 13 weeks of benefits are available to individuals who have exhausted their regular state unemployment insurance claim with a benefit year that expired on or after July 1, 2019. The additional weeks of benefits are provided by the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program. Individuals will also receive Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), an additional $600 to their weekly benefits through the week ending July 25, 2020.

Vermont regulators approve GMP energy storage programs

Thu, 05/21/2020 - 1:10pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Green Mountain Power (GMP) customers now have two new home battery programs they can enroll in starting on June 5, after a Vermont Public Utility Commission order issued late Wednesday. GMP’s Tesla Powerwall and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs are both modeled on the company’s popular and groundbreaking pilot programs that have shown proven cost savings for all GMP customers, while providing convenient and seamless back up power to participating customers during outages. GMP is the first utility in the country to get tariff approval to offer customers these types of programs.

ISO New England expects sufficient summer power, COVID dampens demand

Thu, 05/21/2020 - 12:48pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine New England should have the necessary resources to meet peak consumer demand for electricity this summer under both typical and extreme weather conditions, according to ISO New England Inc., the operator of the region’s bulk power system and wholesale electricity markets. Societal changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to change consumer demand for electricity during the summer months, but these changes do not pose a reliability threat because the system is designed to handle fluctuations in consumer demand. ISO New England has observed a 3% to 5% decline in consumer demand attributable to the pandemic.

Sanders introduces Paycheck Security Act to keep millions of workers on payrolls

Thu, 05/21/2020 - 12:26pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) today introduced the Paycheck Security Act to cover the wages and benefits of employees of affected businesses and non-profits until the economic and public health crisis is resolved. The Paycheck Security Act would act to avert mass layoffs, stem catastrophic unemployment levels, and prevent irreversible business losses, prevent millions from losing their health insurance, and provide resources for firms to rehire laid-off and furloughed workers and restore their health care benefits.

Randolph man arrested for aggravated sexual assault of a child, child pornography, voyeurism

Thu, 05/21/2020 - 12:23pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Attorney General TJ Donovan announced today that Michael Hartigan of Randolph, Vermont, was arraigned on May 14, 2020, on two felony counts of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child, two felony counts of Promotion of Child Pornography, and two misdemeanor counts of Voyeurism. Hartigan pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Vermont Superior Court, Orange Criminal Division. The Court, Judge Thomas A Zonay presiding, ordered him held him without bail.

Weekly unemployment claims keep falling, still over 2,100

Thu, 05/21/2020 - 11:59am -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Layoffs, furloughs and business closures due to the COVID-19 economic downturn and Governor Scott's emergency order and subsequent mitigation efforts have resulted in a rush of unemployment insurance claims. But as Scott has allowed more sectors to get back to work, initial and ongoing claims have now decreased every week since the peak in early April.

VDH: Stay healthy outdoors as the weather warms up

Thu, 05/21/2020 - 10:25am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine As we see the first signs of summer this Memorial Day weekend, health officials are reminding Vermonters to enjoy the outdoors safely – which includes continuing to take steps to slow the spread of COVID-19. Temperatures will be warmer than we’ve had yet this year, so it’s important to take extra caution in early season heat. Even though it’s not as hot as mid-summer, it can take several weeks for our bodies to adjust to warmer conditions, so ease into outdoor activities.

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