Buy Local Vermont status report released

Vermont Business Magazine The Buy Local Vermont program drew an overwhelming response as soon as the program went live last week. Almost 12,000 Vermonters received discount offers to support local businesses in their communities. ACCD has released a status report that shows economic activity happening above the average $30 gift amount per customer. Vermonters who have redeemed their gifts thus far have spent 53 percent more than the value of the discount, resulting in approximately $1.50 in economic activity for local businesses for every $1 invested in the program in just the first week.

One of the many benefits of a consumer stimulus program like #BuyLocalVermont, is that the economic activity generated surpasses the original investment as the discounts offered to customers spur additional spending. As more consumers use the discount offers in the days and weeks ahead, the cumulative impact of the original $425,000 investment will be multiplied. This type of consumer stimulus also has the benefit of bringing local Vermont businesses new customers for future sales, brings consumers to nearby merchants in downtowns and village centers, and influences overall consumer spending habits to reinforce the effect that local spending has on the Vermont economy. #BuyLocalVermont

CVOEO Launches EMBRACE Program to Provide Grants to Micro Businesses

The statewide Micro Business Development Programs (MBDPs), operated by the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO) in Addison County, have launched the EMBRACE grant program for micro businesses. These grants are available to businesses with 0 – 5 employees in which the applicant (owner) makes 80% of state median income or less. The business must have been registered in Vermont on or before March 1, 2020. Applicants can request between $2,500 - $5,000 depending on their need. Visit the CVOEO website for full details.

Funding Available for Rental Housing in Need of Repair

Landlords and property owners that have vacant, unused rental properties may be eligible to receive up to a $30,000 grant per rental unit to fix up and renovate rental units and get them ready for use again. Grants are available from the Department of Housing and Community Development utilizing CARES Act funding to improve the overall quality, availability, and affordability of rental housing throughout the state. Full details are available at the ACCD Recovery Resource Center.

Marketing Micro-Grants for Farms

The Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE) in Hardwick, Vermont is offering micro-grants for farms impacted by COVID-19. If farms are shifting their marketing approach, please consider applying to CAE's Market Development & Sales Innovation Micro-Grant program to help fund new innovative marketing solutions. These grants are available to most Vermont farmers on a first-come, first-served basis.

Business Impact

ACCD wants to hear from all Vermont businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please use the ACCD Business Impact Form to help us continue to assess the full impact as we work toward additional solutions.

Source: Agency of Commerce & Community Development 9.15.2020