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House gives final approval to Global Warming Solutions Act

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 5:44pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont House today gave final approval to H.688, the Global Warming Solutions Act, on a vote of 102-45. The House concurred with the Senate proposal of amendment and the bill will now be sent to Governor Scott. The governor suggested at his press conference Tuesday that he would veto the bill if it came to his desk without changes, which were not forthcoming. He does not explicitly comment on whether he will sign a bill or not until it reaches his desk. The bill will need to go through the usual legal vetting process first.

Buy Local Vermont Program fully subscribed in under 24 hours

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 5:09pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) announced today that the Buy Local Vermont Program is now fully subscribed and $425,000 is on its way to 959 locally owned businesses. The pilot program, funded through an allocation of the Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF), launched to consumers at 11 am on Tuesday, September 8. At the time the program opened, 1,052 businesses from every county were vetted and approved to be a part of the program. Ninety-one percent of those businesses (959) will receive money from the program from the deals consumers selected. In total, 20,857 Vermonters activated verification codes and 11,847 received discount offers to local businesses in their communities.

VDH COVID-19 Update: Two new cases, contact tracing explained

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 4:38pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health reported today that recent COVID-19 cases remain low, with two today. The VDH is also prepared for any outbreak, including for contact tracing. Contact tracing is not a notification system. A contact tracer determines the epidemiological facts – things like when a person was actually contagious, and then identifying who they may have been within 6 feet of, for at least 15 minutes.

Donovan joins lawsuit to protect Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 2:46pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Attorney General TJ Donovan today announced filing a federal lawsuit, along with 14 other Attorneys General, against the federal government to protect the Coastal Plain of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil and gas development. The cause of the lawsuit is the authorization by the federal government of an oil and gas leasing program, which opens the Coastal Plain to potential future oil and gas exploration and development. The lawsuit argues that by increasing greenhouse gas emissions oil and gas development will exacerbate the impacts of climate change on the environment and economy. It will also have devastating impacts on migratory birds that migrate through the lower 48 states, including Vermont.

Leahy urges action on new COVID relief bill

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 2:02pm -- tim

Senator Patrick Leahy We are in the middle of a public health crisis, and the American people are hurting.  Nearly 190,000 people have died. Millions have lost their jobs and are struggling to make ends meet. People are being evicted from their homes and struggling to feed their families. And the virus is still not under control. The need for another emergency funding bill to address the COVID crisis is clear. Yet four weeks ago, the Trump administration and Senate Republican Leadership walked away from the negotiating table. Democrats offered compromise. Republicans said, “my way or the highway” and left town.

Vermont Community Foundation announces five COVID-19 recovery initiatives

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 1:59pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Today, the Vermont Community Foundation announced five key recovery initiatives that will be the focus of upcoming grant rounds from the VT COVID-19 Response Fund. Since the Fund’s inception, the Community Foundation has granted over $2.6 million to support pandemic response, while earmarking a significant portion of the more than $7.4 million raised to support initiatives that the Foundation has identified as essential to help the state recover from—and improve upon—major challenges magnified by the pandemic.

VPR and Vermont PBS will merge

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 1:33pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Today, the boards of Vermont PBS and Vermont Public Radio unanimously voted to join together to create a new public media organization, to better serve the community. The new organization will be led by Scott Finn, current president and CEO of VPR. Steve Ferreira, acting Vermont PBS CEO, will serve as COO. The merger is expected to be completed next spring. In the meantime, there will be no program changes at either organization.

Farmer reports theft of entire hemp crop in Moretown

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 11:17am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Earlier this week the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) was notified of a hemp crop theft that occurred on Pony Farm Road in Moretown, Vermont. In the early morning hours of Monday September 7th, the hemp field of Fancy Plants adjacent to Austin Heights Road was accessed by unknown individuals who cut down and removed 50 hemp plants. Signage was visible at the field indicating that the crop was Hemp/CBD. The theft appears to have been premeditated and involve more than one individual, utilizing shearing tools and large vehicles to remove the 500 pounds of hemp. The 50 plants comprised the entire hemp crop of the Fancy Plants business.

UVM Study: Without right messaging, masks could lead to more COVID-19 spread

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 10:52am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine A novel study suggests that the behavior public officials are now mandating or recommending unequivocally to slow the spread of COVID-19—wearing a face covering—should come with a caveat. If not accompanied by proper public education, the practice could lead to more infections. The finding is part of an unique study, just published as a preprint in SSRN, that was conducted by a team of health economists and public health faculty at the University of Vermont’s Larner College of Medicine in partnership with public health officials for the state of Vermont.

Scott calls on President Trump to reverse US tariffs on Canadian aluminum

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 10:26am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Maine Governor Janet Mills, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu and Vermont Governor Phil Scott are calling on President Donald Trump to reverse the re-imposition of a 10 percent tariff on imports of non-alloyed unwrought aluminum from Canada, citing the negative impact on manufacturers and supply chain businesses in northern New England. About half of all trade for Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine companies is conducted with Canada.

Waterbury-Stowe hotel honored as ‘Grounding Force’ during COVID

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 2:56am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Best Western Plus Waterbury-Stowe has been recognized for a second year in a row with the brand’s most prestigious honor, the M.K. Guertin Award, for exceptional levels of service, quality, value, and commitment to guests. Framed within the COVID crisis this year, Best Western President and CEO David Kong noted that the staff’s commitment to superior guest service has been a grounding force to the brand.