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Funding available through the Spark Connecting Community grant program

Wed, 01/25/2023 - 3:28pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Funding is now available for organizations and projects across the state of Vermont through the Spark Connecting Community competitive grant program at the Vermont Community Foundation. Spark supports projects that nurture community and build social capital—the connective tissue of our communities. Spark prioritizes community resilience and strength, increased civic engagement, and collaboration among organizations. Spark awards grants of $500-$5,000.

Vermont’s inadequate tobacco control policies are not enough to prevent and reduce tobacco use

Wed, 01/25/2023 - 3:02pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The American Lung Association’s 21st annual “State of Tobacco Control” report, released today, described Vermont’s action on tobacco control policy as “dormant” as the state continued to earn mixed grades on this year’s report. The “State of Tobacco Control” report evaluates state and federal policies on actions taken to eliminate tobacco use and recommends proven-effective tobacco control laws and policies to save lives. This is critical, as tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in America and takes the lives of 960 Vermont residents each year.

AG Clark releases domestic violence fatality report

Wed, 01/25/2023 - 2:49pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine From the Cedar Creek Room of the Vermont State House, Attorney General Charity Clark today announced the release of the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Commission’s annual report, including statistics, trends, and recommendations. The Commission, housed within the Attorney General’s Office, found that in 2021, five of Vermont’s 12 homicides were related to domestic violence. Included in the Commission’s report are key recommendations for addressing the ongoing issues of domestic and intimate partner violence in Vermont, including calling on the Legislature to amend Vermont’s laws to increase transparency about officer misconduct involving domestic and sexual violence and allow for disciplinary action in instances involving Relief From Abuse Orders. The recommendations also include amending the law to allow prosecutorial discretion in instances of the most serious intimate partner violence cases committed by youth. 

Bennington College joins National Register of Historic Places

Wed, 01/25/2023 - 2:36pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine From the 1785 Shingle Cottage to the expansive gray-stone mansion of the Jennings Estate, the wood-framed Colonial Revival houses to the mid-century modernist structures, Bennington College’s buildings have been a point of pride and a home to a broad range of iconic alumni and faculty through the years. A new designation from the National Register of Historic Places honors that history. At the same time, an award from the Vermont chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Vermont), highlights how the college integrates its vibrant intellectual and artistic history with its need for innovation. 

VDH awards $4.8 million in grants to address COVID-19 disparities

Wed, 01/25/2023 - 2:22pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health, in partnership with the Vermont Community Foundation, has awarded grants totaling $4.8 million to 30 local organizations in 11 counties to support efforts to address COVID-19 disparities and advance health equity in their communities. Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the grants are designed to bolster organizational capacity to focus on the needs of populations who have experienced socioeconomic disadvantage, historical injustice, racism, and other systemic inequities. 

Scott signs voting bill H42 into law with reservations

Wed, 01/25/2023 - 1:21pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today signed into law H.42, An act relating to temporary alternative procedures for annual municipal meetings and electronic meetings of public bodies, passed by the General Assembly. He noted that he has concerns with the bill related to transparency. He is also calling for extending universal mail-in voting to all elections.

Citizens Business Conditions Index drops sharply in Q4

Wed, 01/25/2023 - 11:20am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Citizens announced today that the national Citizens Business Conditions Index (CBCI) dropped to 48.5 in the fourth quarter, ending a streak of eight consecutive quarters in growth mode above 50 and reflecting cooling sentiment as rate hikes from the Federal Reserve have their intended effect. The Vermont business index dropped 8% from last quarter, and 17.9% year-to-year (49.17). Vermont's decrease was less than the national average for the quarter but greater year-over-year. While business activity moderated, underlying components of the index were mixed, showing some areas of strength in the period. Consumers spent more on services as they shifted away from large-goods purchases, which tend to be more connected to financing costs.

Vermont businesses to see decrease in workers' comp rates for record seventh year

Wed, 01/25/2023 - 10:15am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott and Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) Commissioner Kevin Gaffney today announced that Vermont businesses will see another rate decrease in workers’ compensation insurance in 2023. This will mark the seventh consecutive year for such cuts. The rate reduction, which takes effect April 1, will save Vermont employers more than $11 million in premiums in 2023. The multi-year decreases reflect the continuing efforts of Vermont employers to maintain safe workplaces and a continued focus by the Department on workers’ compensation insurance. The 2023 rate reduction follows many years of decreasing loss trends: -2.5 percent for indemnity (wage replacement) and -3.0 percent for medical claim costs in 2023. Vermont employers will pay nearly 47 percent less in workers’ compensation premiums than they did in 2016.

Burlington promotes new climate policies to help city pursue net zero energy goal

Wed, 01/25/2023 - 9:41am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Mayor Miro Weinberger, leaders from Burlington Electric Department (BED) and Department of Permitting and Inspections (DPI), Hula developer Russ Scully, Burlington High School (BHS) students, and environmental partners today promoted ambitious, new climate policies that will help the City of Burlington pursue its bold Net Zero Energy goal. Specifically, they discussed policies outlined by BED and DPI in December, 2022 that proposed requiring new construction to be fully renewable, and for large existing buildings and City buildings to use renewable heating and water heating systems when replacing older systems, starting in 2024. For buildings unable to meet the requirements, a carbon pollution impact fee would be applied. This proposed fee is subject to approval by Burlington voters on Town Meeting Day, March 7, 2023.

Addison County Business Resource Update

Wed, 01/25/2023 - 4:13am -- tim

The Addison County Economic Development Corporation is promoting many Federal and State resources currently available to Vermont businesses and organizations. This includes the Short Term Forgivable Loan Program application is open to all business sectors. Businesses with fewer than 500 employees, operating since March 13, 2020, and suffering economic harm from COVID-19 may apply. As of November 1, 2022, the program is open to all business sectors.

Ben & Jerry's new dessert-inspired, ganache topped flavors

Wed, 01/25/2023 - 3:16am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine We may be just a few weeks into 2023, but Ben & Jerry's is already giving its fans a reason to break their New Year resolutions and indulge with a duo of delicious ice cream innovations. The Vermont-based dessert maker announced it is adding two more flavors, Bossin' Cream Pie and Raspberry Cheesecake, to their fan favorite collection of Topped offerings. These flavor-packed pints, complete with decadent top layers of chocolatey ganache, have dazzled fans since launching in 2021.