Vermont Business Magazine VBM is proud to announce a special monthly Business Forum with top business minds and thought leaders to give insight to businesspeople in Vermont during these unprecedented times. The upcoming year will hold many challenges for Vermont businesses so to help you through these troubling times, we are giving you free access to successful executives, leaders, and experts.
Vermont Business Magazine Burlington-based North Star Leasing announces that 2020 was a record-setting year in the 41-year history of the equipment leasing company, with all-time highs set in annual, quarterly, and monthly funding. Buoyed by a $10 million December – the company's top funding month ever – North Star Leasing closed the year on a remarkable run, exceeding 2019 funding levels, it’s prior annual high-funding level. Additionally, total funding in Q4 ‘20 set a record, while North Star Leasing processed over 6,600 applications totaling $236 million during the year.
Agency of Commerce & Community Development will host a webinar for Vermont businesses regarding updates to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) on Wednesday, January 6th at 3 pm. The Agency’s leadership team will be joined by the Vermont Department of Labor, the Vermont Bankers Association (VBA), the Small Business Administration (SBA) Vermont District Office and Thomas Lauzon, CPA to help businesses navigate and understand the updates to these programs.
Vermont Business Magazine While it’s still too early to know how the recent holidays impacted COVID-19 cases in Vermont, Health Commissioner Mark Levine MD said at Tuesday’s press conference that Vermonters can still protect one another by getting tested. This message comes on a day when the VDH reported a spike in case counts, which have surpassed 8,000, and five more deaths for a statewide total of 149. The post holiday numbers will still take another week or so to fully play out. Meanwhile, the vaccine rollout has frustrated government officials as it has Vermonters. The federal government has not met its original distribution goals in Vermont or elsewhere.
Vermont Business Magazine Vermont’s State House is first in the nation to have clean backup power stored in batteries – using a GMP program to help lower costs for all Vermonters. A coalition of Vermont businesses, state officials, and GMP are demonstrating that storage is a clean alternative for backup power over fossil fuel. The backup system received an allocation of $450,000, which was originally to replace the old diesel system.
Vermont Business Magazine The City of Burlington’s Racial Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (REIB) department, in concert with their Rapid Response Team (RRT) and Business Support Team, today announced the recipients of the BIPOC Small Business and Non-Profit Relief Grant Program. In total, they received 30 inquiries about the program and fulfilled 29 applications with awards of $2,000-$7,000, amounting to $180,000 dollars. These grantees covered a wide range of industries and services including, but not limited to, food, beauty, exercise, language access, legal aid, mental health, masonry, holistic healing, and more.
Lawmakers Urged to Put Economy Front and Center
Vermont Business Magazine Nearly two dozen business organizations, representing more than 200,000 workers, issued an open letter to the Governor and Vermont General Assembly in December acknowledging the daunting task lawmakers have in governing during a global pandemic. The virtual nature of lawmaking during this extraordinary time – requiring physical distancing – creates challenges for everyone.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont legislative schedule for first (January 6) and second day of the House and Senate is presented below. The Speaker and a few members will be in the House Chamber, but the House of Representatives will not be convening in person, and the events of the day will be live streamed. A quorum of Senators will be present in person on Wednesday, with the remainder participating remotely, and the events will be live streamed. The Senate will convene remotely on Thursday.
Vermont Business Magazine Recognizing that community organizations are facing increased demands due to COVID, as 2020 ended New England Federal Credit Union (NEFCU) provided each employee with $100 to pledge to one of four community non-profit organizations. As a result, the Credit Union directed $5,200 to the Committee on Temporary Shelter, $10,400 to Vermont Foodbank, $6,700 to the Howard Center, and $2,800 to Gleaners Community Food Bank (for the Credit Union’s Michigan Division.)
Vermont Business Magazine The Heart of Winooski (HOW) Foundation has secured a lead gift of $100,000 from Shelburne residents, Bruce Lisman and Kyla Sternlieb. Lisman visited the district several years ago and was struck by how crowded the classrooms were, but also how critical the role of the school is in the lives of all community members—not just the students.
Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Mutual Insurance Group, a Vermont-based Property & Casualty insurer operating from Montpelier, has completed the distribution of $1 million to 45 Vermont nonprofit organizations to help with COVID-19 relief efforts. As the impact of COVID-19 on the Green Mountain state quickly became evident in early spring of 2020, Vermont Mutual responded with a declaration of one million dollars reserved specifically for COVID-19 relief efforts in Vermont. A significant portion was immediately distributed to the Vermont Foodbank and the Vermont Community Foundation. These two charitable institutions were chosen for their well-established infrastructures and their ability to quickly assist fellow Vermonters in need.
Vermont Business Magazine The US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded $450,464 to Vermont public housing authorities to help residents of public housing and voucher-assisted housing increase their earned income and reduce their dependency on public assistance and rental subsidies, this funding is part of $78 million being awarded nationally. Under Secretary Carson’s leadership, more money has been allocated to the Family Self -Sufficiency (FSS) Program in FY20 (fiscal year 2020) than at any other point in the program’s history. See below for a list of Vermont funding.