Vermont Business Magazine Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD, joined officials and community partners from Winooski and Burlington at a press conference Wednesday to mark the formal end of the state’s first significant outbreak and community spread of COVID-19. An outbreak is considered “resolved” following two full incubation periods (28 days total) with no new cases. The VDH also announced today that there were five new cases of COVID-19 statewide to go along with 11 yesterday for a total of 1,478.
Vermont Business Magazine While we only have preliminary, unofficial results, it would appear Vermont voters turned out to vote in record numbers, with well over 155,000 Vermonters exercising their right to vote on or before yesterday’s Primary Elections.
Vermont Business Magazine On Saturday, September 5th Bennington, Vermont will become “Garlic Town, USA” for one day in celebration of all things garlic and agriculture! Bennington has become world-renowned for its annual Garlic and Herb Festival held every year on Labor Day weekend. Last year, the festival saw crowds of over 16,000 patrons and 200 garlic-themed vendors. The Garlic and Herb Festival has been recognized as one of the top 10 garlic festivals in the world, featured in Yankee Magazine and recently was awarded Vermont’s Time-Honored Top 10 Fall Event. Due to the COVID pandemic and Vermont restrictions on festivals, the 25th annual “Garlicfest,” as the event has been affectionately known as, was canceled in early summer.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Community Foundation, in partnership with area philanthropists, has announced almost $1 million in grants from the Main Street Business Relief Fund for Arlington, Dorset, and Manchester. Led by an anonymous donor’s $500,000 contribution and match challenge, community members stepped up to help regional businesses overcome financial challenges stemming from the pandemic.
by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Economists Jeff Carr on behalf of the Scott Administration and Tom Kavet on behalf of the Legislature presented their updated, consensus state revenue projections to the Emergency Board Wednesday afternoon via Zoom. The economists stated that while revenue expectations are higher than prior estimates, the potential losses remain massive: more than $180 million in the General Fund in FY21 and $100 million in FY22, about $30 million in the Transportation Fund in FY21 and $15 million in FY22, and Education Fund losses of about $60 million in FY20 and $40 million in FY22.
Vermont Business Magazine In an effort to expand on existing programs that provide Vermonters with high-demand job skills, Community College of Vermont (CCV) is joining Amazon Web Services (AWS) Academy. AWS Academy provides higher education institutions with cloud computing curriculum that prepares students to pursue industry-recognized certifications and in-demand cloud jobs. One of these courses will be incorporated into “Special Topics: Fundamentals of Cloud Computing,” which will be offered online in fall 2020 and will prepare students to take the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott and the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers (VAST) today announced that the Legislature has approved funding to accelerate the completion of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail (LVRT). As proposed in the Governor’s FY21 budget, the allocation totals $2.8 million, which will be matched by $11.3 million in federal funds, to complete construction of the trail by the summer of 2022.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott, health and education officials said at a press conference Tuesday that, while anxiety about schools reopening this fall is understandable, Vermonters can have confidence in the robust system in place to prevent spread of the virus and quickly respond to any cases that arise. The Vermont Department of Health reported 11 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. Vermont has the lowest case count and the lowest positivity rate in the nation.
Vermont Business Magazine On August 6, the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board committed more than $30 million in federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to secure and rehabilitate housing for homeless households in 17 communities around the state. New apartments and emergency beds will be created for 212 households statewide in areas of greatest need. Thirteen homeless shelters that together provide 251 beds will receive support for improvements that will reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus and enable compliance with current public health protocols. Upgrades to shelters include improved ventilation systems, room dividers, additions, or reconfiguration of interiors to facilitate social distancing, no-touch faucets and soap dispensers, and automatic door openers.
Vermont Business Magazine Vermont's units of local government, including counties, cities, towns, and various service districts, can now apply for reimbursement of COVID-19 eligible expenses through a grant program created under Act 137 of 2020. The Vermont Legislature passed Act 137 of 2020 to distribute Coronavirus Relief Funds to various entities in Vermont. Section 7 appropriates $13 million to reimburse local government entities for COVID-19 expenses such as hazard pay, supplies and equipment, sanitation, and facilities alterations not already covered by insurance or Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding. The Agency of Administration, through the Vermont Department of Taxes, is responsible for distributing the grant funds.
Vermont Business Magazine A pandemic calls for creativity, and while Vermont artists have that in abundance, they might lack the support to help them express it. The Vermont Arts Council announces nine recipients of Artist Development grants, a special funding round to help artists adapt and respond to the current COVID-19 crisis. The grants, which range from $250-1,000, support activities that enhance mastery of an artist’s craft or skills or that increase the viability of an artist's business. Many of the grant proposals from this round focused on today’s digital reality, with proposals to support the redesign of websites or to attend online learning opportunities.
Vermont Business Magazine The deadline for the Eric Rozendaal Memorial Award has been extended, the Vermont Land Trust announced today. The $5,000 award is granted each year to a farmer who exemplifies service to community and innovation in honor of Eric Rozendaal who passed away in 2018. This year’s prize will seek to recognize a farmer who has been serving people most affected by the pandemic. The original deadline of June 30 has been extended to September 18, to give more farmers across the state the chance to apply. Applicants should be residents of Vermont, actively working on or managing a commercial farm operation in the state, and have not received the award in the past. The winning farmer can apply the $5,000 towards efforts related to serving the community.