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Leonine: Legislature almost there, $7.1 billion budget

Sun, 09/20/2020 - 5:55pm -- tim

Leonine Public Affairs There is no greater signal that the session is coming to a close than the Senate passing the budget. Last week the Senate Appropriations Committee put its mark on the FY21 budget bill and the full Senate passed it unanimously on Friday. The Senate had possession of the $7.1 billion budget bill for barely a week, which is likely a record. The Senate is worried about getting their priority bills across the finish line by the end of the session, which is expected to be this coming week.

Restaurant and lodging updates, hotels 100 percent

Sun, 09/20/2020 - 5:38pm -- tim

Agency of Commerce & Commerce Development Governor Phil Scott has announced updates to the current restaurant and lodging guidance. Restaurants and bars can now utilize bar seating if patrons are six feet apart and a partition is in place between the patrons and the staff behind the bar. In addition, capacity limits were removed from lodging properties, allowing them to book all of their available rooms. All mandatory safety measures, travel restrictions, quarantine requirements, and the cross state travel map remain in place.

Tourism industry updates: Bar's open, hotels full capacity

Sun, 09/20/2020 - 4:45pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott has announced updates to the current lodging and restaurant guidance. Occupancy limits have now been removed for lodging properties, allowing lodging establishments the ability to book all available rooms. In addition, restaurants and bars can now utilize bar seating if patrons are six feet apart and a partition is in place between the patrons and the staff behind the bar. All mandatory safety measures, travel restrictions, quarantine requirements, and the cross state travel map remain in place.

Snelling Center graduates Vermont Leadership Institute Class of 2020

Sun, 09/20/2020 - 1:05pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Snelling Center for Government announced today the graduates of the Vermont Leadership Institute Class of 2020. The Vermont Leadership Institute Class (VLI) of 2020 experienced a year like no other after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the program’s delivery. After initially postponing sessions, the Snelling Center and VLI cohort adapted via Zoom panels and discussions, eventually adding distanced, outdoor sessions following all health and safety precautions.

SVMC announces flu vaccination opportunities

Sun, 09/20/2020 - 6:29am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Public health and infectious disease experts, including Vermont’s Commissioner of Health Dr Mark Levine, are urging members of the public to get the influenza vaccine in September or October this year. Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC), has responded by announcing a schedule of flu vaccination opportunities region wide.

Vermont leaders comment on death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Sat, 09/19/2020 - 8:18pm -- tim

Senator Patrick Leahy Marcelle and I are overcome with sadness. She was unmistakably kind and funny, and a fundamentally decent human being. Senators McConnell and Graham must not treat this President’s Supreme Court nominees differently than President Obama’s Supreme Court nominees. They must exhibit a shred of integrity and recognize that abandoning their word now, and breaking all precedents by ramming a nominee through — most likely after the election — would cause the nation tremendous pain.

Girl Scouts donate more than 81,000 packages of cookies

Sat, 09/19/2020 - 10:28am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains have donated more than 81,000 packages of Girl Scout Cookies to hometown heroes, those in the military, and to those simply in need this year. That’s more than four times the number of packages donated last year, and a likely record for the council. The donations came about through the generosity of those who decided to buy packages at cookie booths and donate to a troop’s particular charity or through the Girl Scouts’ Gift of Caring initiative, those who made donations online once the pandemic struck and kept girls from selling in person, and also through the Girl Scout council deciding that unsold cookies would best benefit people in need and to thank our hometown heroes and military for their service.

Southwestern Chamber to host inaugural B2B Golf Classic

Sat, 09/19/2020 - 5:24am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commerce will be hosting their inaugural golf tournament, the B2B Golf Classic, on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at the Mount Anthony Country Club in Bennington, Vermont. The Chamber of Commerce invites the public and business leaders to enjoy an afternoon of golf and networking while enjoying the fresh Vermont fall air. The event serves as a delightful day out of the office and an opportunity to network with local business people in a beautiful, relaxed setting. Additionally, the event serves as a fundraiser for the chamber of commerce.

Middlebury celebrates rail tunnel opening

Fri, 09/18/2020 - 5:58pm -- tim

by C.B. Hall, Vermont Business Magazine After four construction seasons and the investment of tens of millions of dollars, the Middlebury rail tunnel project is all but complete. At 10 am on September 18, a Vermont Rail System (VRS) locomotive pulled a VIP train of eight vintage commuter cars through a grand-opening banner at the entrance of the new tunnel, which replaces two aging bridges built in the early 1920s in the heart of the town's business district.

Amtrak, where are you?

Fri, 09/18/2020 - 5:45pm -- tim

by C.B. Hall, Vermont Business Magazine While the prospect of Amtrak's Ethan Allen Express reaching Burlington late next year has many people excited, the train from New York's Penn Station isn't even getting to Rutland right now: In late March Amtrak cut its itinerary back to a New York-Albany run in view of the precipitous drop in ridership occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. The other Vermont train, the Vermonter, got similar treatment, and currently is coming no closer to the Green Mountain State than New Haven, CT.

State distributes more than $21 million through Lost Wage Assistance program

Fri, 09/18/2020 - 5:38pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine On Friday, the Vermont Department of Labor distributed $21.6 million to 25,675 claimants through the Lost Wage Assistance (LWA) program. Paper checks were mailed directly to claimants who certified their employment had been impacted by COVID-19 for the weeks ending August 1, August 8, and August 15, 2020.

PAI: Widespread joblessness persists

Fri, 09/18/2020 - 5:31pm -- tim

Public Assets Institute The number of Vermonters who are working dropped by more than 2,000 in August, after recovering some over the summer. At 308,000, that’s more than 20,000 below pre-pandemic levels. And while 30,000 Vermonters are still applying for unemployment benefits, many of them are not included in the official federal unemployment rate. That rate is based on a narrow definition of unemployment that does not accurately reflect people who are still unable to work or look for work because of the pandemic.

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