More Vermont grants available for towns, Ag, marketing

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More Vermont grants available for towns, Ag, marketing

Wed, 08/19/2020 - 2:29pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott, ACCD, and the Department of Taxes Tuesday announced an increase to the maximum grant award for Economic Recovery Grants for Vermont businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The increase in the maximum grant award is available to businesses in the lodging, retail, hospitality, arts, travel and event affiliated sectors that have continued capacity constraints.

Previously, businesses could receive up to $50,000 in grant funds. Now, businesses in eligible industries can receive up to an additional $100,000 in grant funding, for a total of $150,000 from the program. The increased maximum award is available both to new applicants to the program and to those businesses that have already received a $50,000 grant.

All businesses that received a $50,000 grant award from the Department of Taxes are eligible to request an increase to the new maximum award amount and can do so through myVTax starting today. Starting Monday, August 24, 2020 ACCD will be contacting eligible businesses that already received a $50,000 grant notifying that the supplemental grant funding may be available.

If a business has not applied for a grant yet, you can still do so at the ACCD website.

Restart Vermont Regional Marketing and Stimulus Grants

ACCD has launched the Restart Vermont Regional Marketing and Stimulus Grant Program. The program will provide $500,000 in grants to organizations for efforts and activities related to economic recovery, consumer stimulus, marketing, or tourism projects to support businesses that have suffered economic harm due to the COVID-19.

Eligible applicants include downtown organizations, chambers of commerce, regional development corporations, municipal economic development/community development departments and committees, local community/economic development organizations, statewide business organizations, or other similar groups.

The application window is now open and the deadline to apply is August 31st. For full eligibility requirements and application process, please visit the ACCD Business Recovery Resource Center. An informational webinar about the program will be held on Thursday, August 20th.

Utility Bill Assistance Program Announced

Governor Phil Scott Tuesday announced $8 million in available grant funding to assist Vermonters with overdue utility bills as a result of economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will provide 100% of eligible outstanding arrearages that are more than 60 days overdue for regulated utility customers with delinquent balances who may face disconnection of service.

Applications will be accepted through November 30, 2020 and grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis. For more information about the program visit the Public Service Department website or contact the Department at psd.consumer@vermont.gov or 1-800-622-4496.

Municipal Planning Grants

Municipal Planning Grants help communities implement town plan recommendations and jump start initiatives like zoning updates to welcome new homes, plans for a state designated area, or economic recovery strategies. A total of approximately $450,000 will be awarded to municipalities through this program.

Towns may apply for up to $22,000 and joint applications from several municipalities (a consortium) may apply for up to $35,000. Please review the Program Description for eligibility requirements and use the new Application Guide. A webinar for the program will be held on Wednesday, August 19th.

Agriculture and Working Lands Grants Webinars

The Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets will begin accepting applications on August 19th for Agriculture and Working Lands Assistance grants. A total of $8.5 million is available to help farmers, meat and poultry processors, slaughterhouses, farmers markets, agricultural food products businesses, forest products businesses, and producer associations to cover losses and expenses caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“Farmers have not stopped working since the pandemic and are providing us with food but many of their markets were disrupted, creating economic hardship.  These grants are intended to alleviate losses and added expenses due to the impacts of COVID-19,” said Governor Phil Scott. 

The Agriculture and Working Lands Assistance Application is the third and final Vermont COVID-19 Agriculture Assistance Program (VCAAP) to launch this summer, following the earlier release of the Dairy Assistance Application and the Agricultural Fairs Application. 

“The Agriculture and Working Lands Assistance Application is designed to provide broad support across many sectors of Vermont agriculture that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts. “We are eager to get much-needed financial relief into the hands of Vermont farm, food, and forestry businesses to support their recovery and long-term viability.”

How to Apply: Prospective applicants can learn more and apply at https://agriculture.vermont.gov/covid-19-information/vermont-covid-19-agriculture-assistance-program/agriculture-and-working-lands.  

Before applying, applicants should complete a W-9 form and gather documentation of losses and costs incurred since March 1, 2020 that are related to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

In addition, the Agency will host a series of webinars to walk through the application process and answer questions from prospective applicants.

The first webinar will take place on Friday, August 21st at 12:00 p.m. Join the webinar or view the webinar recording at the Agriculture and Working Lands Assistance Application webpage.  

Vermont dairy producers and processors who wish to apply for VCAAP relief funds should investigate and apply through the VCAAP dairy application, which can be found on the VAAFM website.  Visit https://agriculture.vermont.gov/covid-19-information/vermont-covid-19-agriculture-assistance-program/vermont-covid-19-agriculture to begin your application today.

Application deadline is October 1, 2020: However, grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so the application may close prior to October 1 if all funds are expended.

Business Impact

ACCD wants to hear from all Vermont businesses impacted by the response to the COVID-19 virus. Please share these impacts via the ACCD Business Impact Form, which will help us assess the full impact as we work toward solutions.