Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health today reported five new cases of COVID-19 statewide. Health Commissioner Dr Mark Levin noted that recent cases do not suggest a community wide spread, such as seen in states like Arizona, Florida and Texas. He also said there have been no cases related to the Winooski or Fair Haven outbreaks for a week. Governor Phil Scott said that while Vermont has been successful in its testing efforts in recent months, we need help from our partners to keep it up. Scott thanked pharmacies that are already stepped up, including Kinney Drugs and Walgreens. Starting on Monday, and for each Monday through July, Kinney Drugs in Newport will offer testing as part of a pilot project. Walgreens in Essex is also preparing to offer testing for its customers.
Vermont Business Magazine Up to 20 weeks of Extended Benefits (EB) are now available for Vermonters who exhausted all other available benefits, the Vermont Department of Labor announced today. These additional weeks were made available due to the increase in the State’s overall unemployment rate based on predetermined economic thresholds. Regular unemployment insurance benefits provide a maximum of 26 weeks benefits, while Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which was a component of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, provides an additional 13 weeks. For regular unemployment insurance claimants that transition to PEUC, additional weeks from PEUC must be exhausted first before transitioning onto EB, if found eligible.
Vermont Business Magazine Green Mountain Power (GMP) is ready to respond to possible scattered outages, and is urging safety for customers as Tropical Storm Fay is forecasted to roll into southern Vermont starting late tonight. Meteorologists say the storm will move onshore and head north starting in southern New England, weakening as it reaches Vermont – though still bringing the possibility of heavy rain and scattered strong winds, which could take down trees and cause outages. Forecasters also say as Fay exits Vermont, pop-up thunderstorms are possible through Saturday afternoon and evening.
Vermont Business Magazine Maltz Auctions, of Central Islip, NY, has announced that the campus of Poultney's Green Mountain College will be auctioned off on August 18, at the campus of the defunct college. A press release from the company states that "a well-qualified, interested party" has placed a stalking-horse bid of $3 million for the property.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Scott today announced that two programs beginning Monday will provide $30 million in housing assistance to those affected by COVID-19. The programs, first proposed by the Administration and amended and passed by the Legislature, utilize federal CARES Act funding to provide relief for those tenants unable to pay rent, landlords suffering from a loss of rent payments and those lower income homeowners needing assistance in paying their mortgages. The rental program provides a total of $25 million and the mortgage program provides $5 million in assistance. These programs represent the first $30 million of the total $85 million allocated to address housing needs.
by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims fell last week after a spike the week before. After a steep decline as the economy began to reopen in April, initial unemployment claims for the last several weeks have flattened and are just under 2,000 claims. They hit their peak in early April. At that point, Governor Scott's "Stay Home" order resulted in the closing of schools, restaurants, construction and more, while many other industries cut back operations.
Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Humanities and the Vermont Arts Council together have now distributed nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in emergency relief grants to 122 Vermont cultural organizations, including museums, libraries, performing arts venues, and other cultural centers. The Covid-19 Cultural Relief Grant Program supported humanities and arts organizations struggling to survive the economic fallout resulting from the pandemic.
by Jack Hoffman, Public Assets Institute The federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) pumped $1.19 billion into the Vermont economy in April, May, and June to help employers hang onto nearly 114,000 jobs during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. To put that in perspective, in normal times Vermont has about 315,000 non-farm payroll jobs, and the state’s total output of goods and services in a three-month period is about $8.7 billion.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health today is reporting 16 new cases of COVID-19 statewide, with 11 of those cases in Chittenden County. The VDH reminds Vermonters that with “feels like” temperatures forecast to reach nearly 100 degrees this week, Vermonters are urged to know how to keep safe and cool. Heat illnesses are a real danger, even for young people. In fact, Vermonters between the ages of 15 and 34 have a greater risk of going to the emergency department for a heat-related reason compared to adults aged 35 to 65.
The Vermont State Police is identifying the Rutland City Police Officers present at the time of Wednesday’s shooting. State police investigators have determined that Officer Billings fired his service weapon during the encounter on Terrill Street. Officer Harvey was struck by the SUV in the course of the incident. The investigation into the full time line and sequence of events is continuing Thursday, July 9, 2020, including interviews with the officers that were involved.
Vermont Business Magazine On July 9th, the Local Support and Community Action Team of the Governor’s Economic Recovery Task Force will launch a series of virtual COVID-19 Recovery Visits to be held in each county across the state over the next several months. The Action Team was convened in mid-April as part of the Economic Mitigation and Recovery Task Force and charged by Governor Scott with identifying and replicating regional and community recovery initiatives and uncovering gaps in recovery efforts to ensure equitable distribution of resources, especially in rural areas and underserved populations.
Vermont Business Magazine Vermont PBS and Vermont Public Radio and today announced the 2020 VPR - Vermont PBS Debates, a series of pre-recorded primary candidate debates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor leading up to Vermont’s primary election on August 11. The first debate is scheduled for Tuesday, July 14 during Vermont Edition and at 8 p.m. on Vermont PBS. Moderated by Vermont Edition host Bob Kinzel, the debate will feature Republican lieutenant governor candidates Dana Colson, Meg Hansen, Jim Hogue and Scott Milne.