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Wheeler: The value of NVU and a strong Vermont State College System

Wed, 02/17/2021 - 4:35pm -- tim

by Jake Wheeler As a 47-year resident of the Northeast Kingdom, I have watched with great interest the statewide conversations around the future of the Vermont State Colleges System, and Northern Vermont University in particular. While the Kingdom has faced its share of challenges over the years, it remains a region of the state bursting with promise. Driven by the success of our creative economy, our diverse outdoor recreation and our growing and entrepreneurial food sector, we see bright economic indicators throughout our region. NVU has played a critical role in this success.

SBA accepting applications for 2021 Vermont Emerging Leaders

Wed, 02/17/2021 - 4:22pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Small Business Administration is accepting applications for the 2021 Vermont Emerging Leaders Program which will be held virtually and is slated to begin in the April. Emerging Leaders is an intensive executive-level series intended to accelerate the growth of high-potential small businesses in America’s underserved cities and rural areas. During the course, small business owners will learn to create a three-year strategic growth plan to build a sustainable business of size and scale.

A safe return to Vermont: Airmen test negative for COVID-19

Wed, 02/17/2021 - 3:36pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine All 158th Fighter Wing members who deployed for training last month to Florida have tested negative for COVID-19. Upon their return from last month's deployment to a Weapons System Evaluation Program (WSEP) at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., members of the Vermont Air National Guard were tested for COVID-19.

Scott seeks applications for State Board of Education

Wed, 02/17/2021 - 3:15pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott announced today that he is seeking applications for two openings on the State Board of Education. The Board is responsible for the establishment, advancement, and evaluation of public education policy. Board duties include making regulations governing attendance and records of attendance of all pupils, standards for student performance, adult basic education programs, approval of independent schools, disbursement of funds, and equal access for all Vermont students to a quality education.

Tax revenues still ahead of projections after revision, but less so

Wed, 02/17/2021 - 9:55am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont’s tax revenue results for January 2021 show that General Fund revenues came in above target, while the Transportation and Education Fund revenues came in below target. Compared to the January revised estimate, the state’s General Fund, Transportation Fund, and Education Fund receipts were a combined $12.1 million, or 4.8% above the consensus expectations

SIT to host spring webinar series on critical global issues

Wed, 02/17/2021 - 6:13am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine School for International Training (SIT) is pleased to announce it will host the Spring 2021 Critical Conversations Webinar Series, which aims to inspire community-wide dialogue on global, interdisciplinary topics within SIT’s Critical Global Issues Framework. Launching in mid-February, the semester-long series will feature more than 40 webinars, all of which are free and open to anyone who is interested. 

Roper: Commission proposes to expand sales tax to services and necessities

Wed, 02/17/2021 - 4:21am -- tim

by Rob Roper The Vermont Tax Structure Commission released its 180-page draft report to the legislature in January, and one of the major recommendations it makes is to expand Vermont’s 6% sales tax, currently limited to non-essential goods and a few select services, to all goods and services except healthcare. Doing this would be accompanied by an overall rate reduction to 3.6%.

VDH COVID-19 Update: Cases down, vaccine increases, Vermonters sign up

Tue, 02/16/2021 - 5:42pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The VDH reported a relatively low 53 new cases of COVID-19 today and one more death for 191 statewide. Cases across the US and in the Northeast have been declining, with associated deaths also going down.Around 18,800 Vermonters age 70-74 made appointments Tuesday through the state’s registration system – nearly 57% of those eligible – the first day vaccination was expanded to that age group. We continue to provide vaccine to those age 75 and older as well. Nearly 80,000 Vermonters have received at least one dose of vaccine. The federal government is upping the state's allotment by 2,500 doses a week starting next week. They also hope to have approval of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by the end of the month.

70+ phase in vaccination efforts yields overwhelming first-day response

Tue, 02/16/2021 - 5:13pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine At 8:15 this morning, Vermonters age 70 to 74 were able to sign up and make appointments to receive their COVID-19 vaccine. In just the first 15 minutes the Health Department received more than 7,000 calls from people making appointments to be vaccinated – flooding the Department of Health’s call center and racking up the clicks at the department’s website. By 4:45 in the afternoon, around 18,800 people had signed up – nearly 57% of the 33,200 people eligible. Nearly 80,000 Vermonters have received at least one dose of vaccine. The federal government is upping the state's allotment by 2,500 doses a week starting next week. They also hope to have approval of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by the end of the month.

VGS requests 2.6 percent rate hike, focuses on safety, affordability, efficiency, clean energy

Tue, 02/16/2021 - 5:04pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine VGS today filed its 2021 rate request for November 2021 that it says reinforces its commitment to customer safety and affordability, energy efficiency, and investments in clean energy solutions. The proposal, which requires approval from the Public Utility Commission (PUC), calls for an overall rate increase of 2.6 percent. This adjustment would mean an average residential customer would pay an additional $2.40 per month. This change comes after generally declining overall rates over the last 10 years.

VHCB water quality grants available for Vermont farms

Tue, 02/16/2021 - 4:18pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program, a program of the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, has grant funds available for on-farm capital improvement projects that have a positive impact on water quality. Eligible farmers can apply for a Water Quality Grant, which provides $5,000 to $40,000 in funding. Applications are due by March 26, 2021.