RDCs of Vermont to deliver $1.17 million in small business technical assistance

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RDCs of Vermont to deliver $1.17 million in small business technical assistance

Fri, 09/18/2020 - 11:41am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Today, Governor Phil Scott and Lindsay Kurrle, Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development announced the distribution of S2.S million in federal CARES Act funding for Restart Vermont Technical Assistance. The program is free to COVID-19-impacted businesses and funded through $2.5 million in federal CARES Act funding. The program is now live and businesses can begin accessing resources immediately.

This funding will deliver robust support to Vermont businesses impacted by the economic downturn due to COVID-19. The funding, allocated by the Vermont General Assembly in Act L37, leverages existing statewide and regional assets to reach a broad range of companies in every sector and region.

The Regional Development Corporations of Vermont (RDCs of VT) were among five organizations selected to implement Restart programming. The RDC program, Restart Vermont Technical Assistance (ReWA), will leverage a regional and statewide network of for-profit and non-profit technical assistance providers to help small businesses.

Kurrle said at the governor's press briefing today that this could include Website development, or advice in how to lay out a social distancing appropriate restaurant, or in any way in which to deliver their srevice.

Each RDC will deploy a Recovery Navigator to work one-on-one with businesses and determine the best form of technical assistance to help each business on its path to recovery.

The Navigator, client business, and technical assistance provider will develop a scope of work appropriate to solving - the client's issues. The cost of the work will be covered by the grant.

The program is expected to assist over 250 businesses with grants averaging $3,000. ln Lamoille County the RDCS ReVTA Program will be administered by the Lamoille Economic Development Corporation.

The five technical assistance teams are:

  • Vermont’s 12 Regional Development Corporations (RDCs) will connect a wide variety of small non-profit and for-profit businesses to a newly formed network of business service providers.
  • The Vermont Chamber of Commerce will offer restaurant and lodging businesses expert advice in partnership with On the Fly, a Vermont based group of hospitality business experts who have begun providing free services to peer businesses in the past few months.
  • Champlain College will connect participating businesses with in-house expertise to help businesses refine the tools necessary to flourish in a market that is embracing 21st-century technologies.
  • The Northern Community Investment Corporation will provide businesses in the Northeast Kingdom direct business services through a network of public and private consultants. 
  • The Vermont Sustainable Jobs fund will provide a cohort approach to helping wood product businesses modernize their sales and marketing efforts.

This program was first proposed as part of Governor Scott’s first emergency economic recovery package. For full details on the Small Business Recovery Technical Assistance Program, visit the ACCD Recovery Resource Center.  This program complements a robust system of traditional business technical assistance programs already available in the state.

Each team will offer navigators to help businesses access public and private sector business service providers related to digital sales, marketing, design services to accomplish low-contact workplaces, workforce retraining, and supply chain optimization.

“Vermonters built their businesses in a pre-COVID-19 environment. This program will help them adapt to the ongoing crisis by offering tools to put more of their business online, implement novel and innovative ways to do in-person business, and develop processes to increase profits,” said ACCD Secretary Lindsay Kurrle. “Ultimately, we hope this will result in stronger businesses coming out of the pandemic, putting more Vermonters back to work, and strengthening our economy to withstand these types of pressures moving forward.”

Businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and would like to receive technical assistance and businesses that can provide technical assistance should register to participate in the program at: www.VermontEconomicDevelopment.com.

About 250 businesses are expected to receive technical assistance through the ReVTA program between now and December 20, the deadline to expend CARES Act funds. Technical Assistance providers and impacted businesses are encouraged to register now.

Links to registration, webinar training, and more information on the RDCs of Vermont's Restart Vermont Technical Assistance Program can be found at www.VermontEconomicDevelopment.com

Source: LEDC 9.18.2020 & www.accd.vermont.gov