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Weekly unemployment claims fall to lowest level since early March

Fri, 09/18/2020 - 1:50pm -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims fell by over 100 last week and are at their lowest level since the first week of March. However, there are still about 35,000 Vermonters receiving either regular or pandemic unemployment benefits. For the week ending September 12, 2020, the Labor Department processed 612 Initial Claims, down 119 from the previous week and 372 more than the same time last year. Summer typically produces the lowest UI numbers.

Leahy calls for review of political interference in the Durham investigation

Fri, 09/18/2020 - 1:11pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) Thursday joined Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and all 10 committee Democrats in calling on the Justice Department inspector general to review whether U.S. Attorney John Durham’s probe into FBI activities is violating longstanding rules that protect criminal investigations from political influence. Their letter follows reports that Durham’s top deputy resigned due to concerns that Durham is being pressured to issue a report before the upcoming election.

RDCs of Vermont to deliver $1.17 million in small business technical assistance

Fri, 09/18/2020 - 11:41am -- tim

​Vermont Business Magazine Today, Governor Phil Scott and Lindsay Kurrle, Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development announced the distribution of S2.S million in federal CARES Act funding for Restart Vermont Technical Assistance. The program is free to COVID-19-impacted businesses and funded through $2.5 million in federal CARES Act funding. The program is now live and businesses can begin accessing resources immediately.

August unemployment rate drops steeply to 4.8 as Labor Force falls

Fri, 09/18/2020 - 10:33am -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Today, the Vermont Department of Labor announced that the state's unemployment rate fell dramatically in August to a seasonally-adjusted rate of 4.8 percent. This reflects a decrease of three and five-tenths percentage points from the prior month’s revised estimate of 8.3 percent. Vermont's jobless rate is tied for fourth lowest in the nation. The decline was fueled largely by a Labor Force decline of nearly 15,000 workers from the July report and a steep decline in the number of unemployed of almost 13,000. The number of employed also fell by about 2,000.

VDH COVID-19 Update: The virus doesn't care

Thu, 09/17/2020 - 5:26pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine While the rate of virus in Vermont remains low, we continue to see additional cases of COVID-19. As the state carefully reopens, it’s an important time to understand stigma, and how it has caused real, tangible harm to people’s health and safety. Let’s start with a core fact: No single person or group of people are more likely than others to spread COVID-19.

Sanders reintroduces Postal Banking Act to fund US Postal Service

Thu, 09/17/2020 - 4:46pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Today, US Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) held a conversation on Facebook Live to announce the Postal Banking Act. The United States Postal Service (USPS) has faced repeated attacks by the Trump administration including denying emergency funding during the pandemic and putting postal workers at risk of losing their jobs, disrupting operations and services, and delaying mail delivery. The Postal Banking Act would re-establish postal banking to provide financial security to millions of Americans in low-income and rural communities and create approximately $9 billion in annual revenue and strengthen USPS.

VSP investigates suspicious Pownal Race Track fire

Thu, 09/17/2020 - 4:05pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine On September 16, 2020 at 10:48 PM a fire was reported to 911 at the Pownal Race Track on US Route 7 in the town of Pownal a short distance from the Massachusetts state line in Bennington County. First arriving crews noted heavy fire throughout the building that had not been occupied for several years. The fire progression was extensive and it was decided by the fire chief to only fight the fire from the exterior to prevent injury or possible death by any internal fire fighting efforts by fire personnel.

Vermont gets $7 million from USDA for ‘Pay-For-Performance’ phosphorus reduction program

Thu, 09/17/2020 - 2:25pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (AAFM) is proud to announce the receipt of a $7 million grant award from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) that will enable the Agency to launch a statewide Vermont Pay-for-Phosphorus (VPFP) Program to further expand and support agriculture’s role in delivering clean water results for Vermont. The VPFP Program will use an innovative ‘pay-for-performance’ approach to compensate farmers for voluntary and verified phosphorus load reductions in agricultural crop fields that exceed phosphorus reductions set by state and federal standards on a farm-by-farm basis.

15th Annual Kelly Brush Ride draws 748, raises over $566,000

Thu, 09/17/2020 - 1:43pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The 15th annual Kelly Brush Ride powered by VBT Bicycling Vacations looked a little different this year. The Kelly Brush Ride went virtual for 2020 and received overwhelming support from the organization’s local and national community. The Kelly Brush Foundation (KBF) hosted a summer of weekly fundraising and Strava challenges, culminating in a day of getting active on September 12 to celebrate the event. A total of 748 people joined the virtual Kelly Brush Ride, including 35 handcyclists. Participation spanned 27 states and 2 Canadian provinces. The Kelly Brush Foundation set a fundraising goal of $500,000 for the 2020 event, and as of September 16, the event had brought in over $566,000 in peer-to-peer donations and sponsorship. 

Julie Moore: We need real solutions on climate

Thu, 09/17/2020 - 12:32pm -- tim

by Julie Moore, Secretary, Agency of Natural ResourcesThe Legislature’s Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) has been a centerpiece of the legislative session. It has become something of a rallying cry, an outlet even, for our collective concern and well-founded worry about our changing climate. Legislators have presented this bill as solving the climate crisis. Sadly, the bill provides little in the way of solutions.

VPR and Vermont PBS to share 2020 election poll results

Thu, 09/17/2020 - 12:15pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine How are Vermonters feeling about the upcoming national and local elections, the state’s handling of the coronavirus, and the reopening of schools and universities this fall? Next week, VPR and Vermont PBS will release the results of the third of three statewide public opinion surveys, providing valuable insight into the minds of Vermonters in the 2020 presidential election year.