Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Mutual Insurance Group, headquartered in Montpelier, has announced that they will contribute $1 million in charitable donations to assist with COVID-19 relief efforts in Vermont. Two organizations, the Vermont Foodbank and the Vermont Community Foundation have already been named as the first recipients, with $500,000 total being designated for the two institutions.
Vermont Business Magazine The state’s independent non-partisan Vermont Commission on Women just released a new data dashboard report focusing on the ways the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately and uniquely impacted women. For those who work in child care and for those that rely on child care to work, the loss of jobs and access have real and potentially lasting economic impacts for women. June 1st marked the first date child care programs could reopen, but with limitations on numbers of children and challenging new health protocols. Some programs are closing, further limiting availability. Before COVID-19, over 70% of Vermont children 6 and under had all available parents in the labor force – the need for more quality affordable care is now likely greater than ever.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott announced today actions on the following bills, passed by the Legislature. And while in many ways it's been a lifetime since he vetoed the minimum wage bill back on February 10, Scott has signed off on every piece of legislation since, including recent ones regarding regulation of long-term care facilities and economic recovery grants.
by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Initial unemployment claims fell last week after two weeks of increase. The hit their peak in early April. At that point, Governor Scott's "Stay Home" order resulted in the closing of schools, restaurants, construction and more, while many other industries cut back operations. As the governor has continued to open up the economy, the weekly unemployment insurance claims fell rapidly until three weeks ago when they took a turn for the worse.
Vermont Business Magazine Green Mountain Power (GMP) customers can now enroll in Share With Vermont Green, a pioneering pilot program empowering solar net metering customers to share their credits with other customers. The shared energy credits will go to small businesses and nonprofits in Vermont recovering after the COVID-19 shutdown. Solar net metering customers, who are not already in a group share, can download an app to set the maximum amount of energy credit they’d like to share on a daily basis, and small businesses and nonprofits can sign up online to receive those credits on their monthly energy statements.
Vermont Business Magazine This summer Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) will be returning patronage capital to members a month earlier than usual in an effort to provide some financial support to members during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Agency of Commerce All of Vermont’s state parks will be open for public use effective June 26th. Mandatory health and safety guidelines will be in effect. Day use activity will be managed to ensure sufficient physical space is available for social distancing, and amenities will be scaled back. State park campgrounds will be limited to tent, RV and lean-to camping; a new and improved web-based reservation system is also now available. Also effective Friday, arts, culture, and entertainment venues, as well as restaurants, can expand capacity for events and dining to 50% of approved occupancy size, with new maximum gathering sizes of 75 people for indoor events and 150 people for outdoor events.
Vermont Business Magazine As cities and towns across the country begin to open up, Comcast is continuing its efforts to help people connect to the Internet during the COVID-19 crisis. Today, the company announced it will extend free access to its 1.5 million public Xfinity WiFi hotspots to anyone who needs them, including non-customers, through the end of 2020.
Vermont Business Magazine Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD, said as the state reopens, and as more of us are outside, being active, seeing family and friends, gathering in groups at events like barbecues on the lake, or even at a protest, the risk of transmission does increase. However, the virus is still out there and should continue to practice health care commonsense. Dr Levine also provided an update on three Health Department investigations: A community outbreak based in Winooski/Burlington has 114 associated cases; An employer-based cluster in the Fair Haven region has 12 associated cases; A family-based cluster in Windham County has no new cases and fewer than 10 total to date. However, as of today's report, there were 20 new cases statewide for a total of 1,184.
Vermont Business Magazine United Way of Northwest Vermont has issued its third round of program funding grants to 50 local nonprofit organizations serving Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle counties, finalizing a three-year funding commitment that collectively totals $4.5 million in community investments. In May of 2018, United Way’s board of directors unanimously approved the funding cycle, aimed at supporting a portfolio of programs that address five strategic priorities: Advancing Employment, Reducing Substance Use Disorder, Meeting Basic Needs (Housing, Food, Transportation and Health Care), Supporting Families and Promoting Mental Health.
Senator Patrick Leahy No one will dispute that police officers have incredibly cha ollenging jobs. No one will dispute that they are faced with difficult split second decisions that impact life and death. But that difficulty does not excuse the fact that something is deeply wrong in our country. It does not excuse the fact that people of color have disproportionately suffered from police misconduct. People of color disproportionately are profiled by police, are stopped by the police, are arrested by police, and are victims of excessive force at the hands of police.