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Auditor: Homeless tripled, as spending nears half-billion dollars

Fri, 07/29/2022 - 12:03pm -- tim

Vermont Auditor of Accounts Vermont policymakers have grappled for years with how to tackle the state’s persistent homelessness challenge. Prior to the pandemic, Vermont’s Point-in-Time (PIT) Count – an annual one-day snapshot of persons experiencing homelessness – hovered around 1,100 people, but the number increased significantly during the pandemic. We conclude that Vermont has spent more than $455 million in the last six years, with $300 million of that just in the last two. Throughout that time period, 200-300 households per night were typically housed in state-funded motel rooms. By April 2021, more than a year into the pandemic, there were more than 2,000 households staying in a motel or hotel funded by the GA Emergency Housing program. While these investments benefited the many Vermonters who received shelter, services, financial support, and/or new housing, it is not clear that there is a unified vision of what a steady state system to address homelessness should look like.

Former opioid maker Allergan agrees to up to $2.37 billion settlement

Fri, 07/29/2022 - 11:43am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont is set to receive another substantial settlement in its ongoing work to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for their role in the opioid crises. For the second time this week, a drug manufacturer, Abbvie, disclosed a proposed settlement to its investors in its earnings report released today. The proposed settlement will require Allergan, acquired by Abbvie in 2020, to pay up to $2.37 billion to participating states and local governments, Vermont Attorney General Susanne Young announced today.

Comcast expands services to nine Vermont communities

Fri, 07/29/2022 - 4:28am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Comcast will expand its fast, reliable and fiber-rich network to five new communities – Elmore, Eden, Sudbury, Wardsboro, and Wolcott – and further into four communities it already serves – Hubbardton, Jamaica, Stratton, and Morristown – as part of its latest project to make broadband available to more Vermonters. This network expansion delivers Comcast’s innovative portfolio of Xfinity and Comcast Business services, including residential broadband speeds up to 6 gigabits per second (Gbps) and business speeds up to 100 Gbps, to more than 2,000 additional residents and businesses in the Green Mountain State.

Goddard faculty union to oppose new president and chair with own admissions campaign

Fri, 07/29/2022 - 3:03am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Non-traditional educational institutions designed to support creative students of all learning styles and abilities have been under threat, according to the Goddard College faculty union. Students who need degree credentials but who find standard grading systems, enormously high price tag, and bureaucratic requirements that hem in creativity extremely prohibitive have had fewer choices for college that fit their needs in recent years.

Seth Andrew gets a year and a day in jail over prep school fraud

Thu, 07/28/2022 - 6:09pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced in a press release dated today that Seth Andrew was sentenced to 366 days in prison in connection with his execution of a scheme to defraud Democracy Prep Public Schools, a charter school network that he founded, of more than $218,000.  United States District Judge John P. Cronan imposed today’s sentence. An educational entrepreneur, Andrew was the public face of the nonprofit that purchased the Marlboro College campus in 2020. After more than a year of "messy" negotiations and legal haggling, the campus was acquired last September by the operators of the Marlboro Music Festival.

GlobalFoundries hails passage in Congress of CHIPS bill

Thu, 07/28/2022 - 4:12pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine GlobalFoundries (Nasdaq: GFS) (GF) today hailed the US House of Representatives’ passage of legislation to increase US semiconductor manufacturing known as “CHIPS and Science Act." The CHIPS legislation now moves to the White House and awaits President Biden’s signature. The Biden Administration has been a strong supporter of increasing semiconductor manufacturing and the many jobs it creates in the US, an effort that has been led by Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. GF has a major semiconductor plant in Essex Jct, Vermont, which employs about 2,000 people.

Maple Broadband awarded $8.69 million construction grant

Thu, 07/28/2022 - 3:59pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Community Broadband Board has awarded Maple Broadband a construction grant of $8.69 million. The award was made on July 15th and will enable Maple Broadband to roll out services exclusively to underserved areas within its designated geographic area. The source of the grant funding is the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Maple Broadband is a Communications Union District (CUD) composed of 20 member towns in Addison County.

VDH: COVID cases fall, July deaths higher than last year

Thu, 07/28/2022 - 3:02pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health reported July 27 that COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are still considered "Low." Total cases for the week fell by more than 100. Meanwhile, hospitalizations saw a slight increase. The BA.5 variant has become the predominant variant of COVID-19. There were 12 deaths in June attributed to COVID after 32 in May. May saw an increase in fatalities from April and March. June had the fewest COVID fatalities since last July 2021 (2). As of July 25, there have been 9 deaths from COVID in Vermont in July for a pandemic total of 693. The rate of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 Vermonters is below 200. New COVID-19 admissions are below 10 per 100,000 Vermonters per day, and the percent of staffed hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 is below 10%.

Vermont Homeowner Assistance Program awards $11 million in grants

Thu, 07/28/2022 - 2:38pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Over $11 million of a $50 million program to pay overdue housing costs for homeowners impacted by the pandemic has been disbursed within the first six months of the program. The Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) launched the Homeowner Assistance Program (HAP) in January 2022 with funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. It provides grants of up to $30,000 for income-eligible homeowners.

This Way UP mid-year report identifies more than 2,200 women-owned businesses

Thu, 07/28/2022 - 2:25pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Women’s Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation has announced the release of a mid-year report for This Way UP: there’s power in our numbers, the initiative to count and identify women business owners in the state. The goal of This Way UP is to provide missing pieces of Vermont’s economic data, including the size and scope of women-owned businesses and what they need to succeed and grow. To date, the 2,250 businesses that have been identified and counted (70 of whom are business leaders running companies and nonprofits)

Line repairs Friday morning require rolling roadblocks on part of Interstate 89

Thu, 07/28/2022 - 2:10pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Green Mountain Power (GMP) is alerting drivers that needed repairs to a line over Interstate 89 will require rolling roadblocks that could slow traffic to 5 miles per hour on Friday morning.  The roadblocks will take place as crews work between Richmond and Waterbury, and will affect both lanes of travel in both directions during a 30 minute timeframe scheduled to start at 9:00 a.m.

Forbes ranks Community National Bank #1 in Vermont

Thu, 07/28/2022 - 1:58pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Community National Bank CEO and President Kathy Austin is proud to announce Community National Bank was ranked as the number one bank in Vermont according to Forbes’ America’s Best Banks In Each State published June 21, 2022. Forbes teamed up with market research firm Statista to conduct interviews of more than 26,000 U.S. citizens for all 50 states about the financial institutions where they maintain accounts.

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