Vermont Business Magazine The positive economic impacts of outdoor recreation and outdoor recreation businesses will be a leading driver of post-pandemic recovery, according to a report released this week by the Vermont Outdoor Business Alliance (VOBA) and the State Outdoor Business Alliance Network (SOBAN). Titled “Inspiring the Future Outdoor Recreation Economy,” the report is a deep dive into the many local economic benefits of outdoor recreation, as well as a call to action for continued investment in the outdoor sector.
Vermont Outdoor Business Alliance June marks the opening of Vermont’s state parks and trail networks, which were busy over the Memorial Day weekend. June is also Pride Month which provides an opportunity to support the LGBTQ community and address barriers to access in the outdoors. The anniversary of the murder of George Floyd serves as another reminder that there is still much work to do in making Vermont's workspaces and outdoor places truly welcoming and equitable.
Vermont Business Magazine The ACLU of Vermont is announcing six new staff positions in its legal, advocacy, and communications programs, including four new hires as well as the promotion of the organization’s two Senior Staff Attorneys, Lia Ernst and Jay Diaz, to the roles of Legal Director and General Counsel, respectively. The recent staff expansion is backed by a 70% increase in Vermont-based supporters over the past year, and will bring the number of full-time ACLU of Vermont staff to thirteen people, up from five in 2017.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health is reporting only 12 new cases of COVID-19 in the state and no deaths. However, it is also reporting only 292 people were vaccinated on Wednesday. Still Vermont needs only 2,093 more eligible people to get vaccinated for Governor Scott to lift all COVID restrictions. So, the state will reopen June 13 if about 500 Vermonters are vaccinated daily; June 12 if about 650 Vermonters are vaccinated daily; and June 11 if about 1,000 Vermonters are vaccinated daily. New walk-in clinics available across Vermont throughout the weekend, including at numerous State parks as part of the annual Vermont Days Weekend. Getting vaccinated is free and easy, with no appointment needed. Visit healthvermont.gov/MyVaccine to find a clinic near you, with some offering special incentives!
by Jack Hoffman, Public Assets Institute Many legislators and school officials are eager to adjust Vermont’s education finance system to provide more money for school districts with kids from low-income families and those for whom English is not their first language. We agree these resources are necessary and should be provided as soon as possible. But the Legislature was right to set up a special legislative task force this session to research and discuss with Vermont parents and voters the options for providing additional funding to these school districts.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Agricultural Hall of Fame announced today the 2021 inductees. Over the past 19 years 90 contributors of Vermont agricultural have been celebrated with the Vermont Agricultural Hall of Fame honor. This year the nominations were thoughtful and competitive with over 25 submissions. Thankfully, this year the COVID-19 restrictions have eased enough to enjoy a celebration in honor of the 2020 and 2021 inductees. The luncheon is scheduled during the Champlain Valley Fair on Wednesday, September 1, 2021 at noon.
Vermont Business Magazine Vermont maple syrup production was down in 2021. This comes as no surprise. An early warm spell shortened the season. And while 2020 was also down from 2019, that decline was marginal and Vermont's position as producing nearly half the national crop was unchanged. However, in 2021 Vermont suffered even more than all the other states in the Northeast. The state produced 1.54 million gallons of syrup (down 410,000 gallons, or 21 percent). While that is 45 percent of the US total, Vermont produced 47.4 percent of the total in 2020 and 49.5 percent in 2019.
Vermont Business Magazine As one of the most iconic barns and farms along the Route 7 corridor, Charlotte’s Nordic Farm is set to realize the future of Vermont agriculture as a multifaceted working landscape. While the dairy industry continues to undergo consolidation, Nordic Farm is focusing on finding new ways for sustainable agriculture to continue on its lands — proven to be vital for both local communities and the natural environment. This project, led by the founder of Gardener's Supply and the Intervale Center Will Raap, will become the largest regenerative agricultural ‘carbon negative farm’ and business development center for grains, botanicals, local food, and agritourism in Vermont.
Vermont Business Magazine Many Vermonters around the state are encountering gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar dispar) caterpillars causing defoliation of their trees. This invasive insect arrived in the United States over 100 years ago and has been expanding its range ever since. Gypsy moth can be a significant defoliator (leaf eater) of trees and shrubs, and although they prefer oak trees, high populations will cause them to eat many types of leaves, including maple and pine. Gypsy moth caterpillars can create a nuisance for homeowners, from the sights of caterpillars climbing the sides of residences and falling excrement to the sounds of chewing on leaves.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Community Foundation has announced $447,500 in grants from its VT COVID-19 Response Fund to support activities and events that re-engage Vermonters, particularly youth, in community events during summer 2021. Since it was created in March 2020 to support a coordinated response to the pandemic, the VT COVID-19 Response Fund has distributed more than $9 million in grants to over 800 organizations, beginning with basic needs and adapting to ensure nonprofit partners have the resources they need to meet the challenges at hand, particularly when federal aid is not yet available.
Vermont Farm to Plate The Vermont Food System Plan Issue Brief on Racial Equity in the Food System dives into the current state of racial inequity in the food system, and offers pathways towards an equitable one. While food and agriculture can be a source of justice and equity for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities, the Vermont food system is built on hundreds of years of marginalization and inequity. As a result, BIPOC communities experience entrenched and varied challenges throughout the food system.
Vermont Business Magazine and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce revealed the rankings of the top 50 Best Places to Work in Vermont 2021, at a live/virtual ceremony Thursday. The Number One company in each category is: Small (15-99 employees) – ASIC North; Medium (100-249 employees) – OnLogic; Large (250+ employees) - Edward Jones.