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Vermont licensed 38 new captive insurance companies in 2020, 589 total

Thu, 01/21/2021 - 1:03pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Economic Development announced today that the State of Vermont licensed 38 new captive insurance companies in 2020, Vermont is now home to 589 licensed captives, consisting of 564 active and 25 dormant captive insurance companies. The new captives were licensed in healthcare, real estate, manufacturing, insurance, transportation, technology, construction, and professional services. New and notable companies this year include the University of Southern California, State Street Bank, Saputo, and the Blackstone Group. At least six of Vermont’s new captives in 2020 were formed by companies with international roots — including Canada, Germany (2), Sweden, Dubai, and Australia.

Union Bankshares reports record earnings for 2020

Thu, 01/21/2021 - 12:19pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Union Bankshares, Inc (NASDAQ - UNB) has announced results for the three months and year ended December 31, 2020. Net income was $3.8 million and $12.8 million for the three months and year ended December 31, 2020, resulting in earnings per share of $0.85 and $2.86 for the same periods, respectively. The Board of Directors also declared a cash dividend of $0.33 per share for the quarter, an increase of 3.1% from the cash dividend of $0.32 paid in recent prior quarters, payable February 5, 2021 to shareholders of record as of February 1, 2021.

VGS praises President Biden’s decision to return to Paris Climate Agreement

Thu, 01/21/2021 - 12:11pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine VGS President and CEO Neale Lunderville issued the following statement: “VGS praises President Joe Biden on his decision to return to the Paris Climate Agreement, which sets ambitious goals for all countries to dramatically reduce their carbon footprints in the years ahead. At VGS, we will continue to be guided by science. Our nation and our world has experienced an unprecedented health and economic crisis with the COVID-19 pandemic. Although hope is on the horizon with the vaccine rollout, we know another health threat still looms: climate change..."

New federal incentives reduce cost of installing wood heat

Thu, 01/21/2021 - 10:20am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Renewable Energy Vermont applauds US Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch for supporting smart investments in renewable energy that can grow our local economy while addressing the climate crisis. Thanks to their efforts, a federal tax credit is now available to cover 26 percent of the installed price of new residential advanced wood heat systems, making it easier for Vermonters to stay warm this winter.

The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center launches

Thu, 01/21/2021 - 6:16am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets has introduced the new Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC), hosted by VAAFM. In 2019, we were selected as one of three Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives in the US by USDA. NE-DBIC provides support to cow, goat, and sheep dairy businesses throughout the Northeast region. Projects promote the development, production, marketing, and distribution of dairy products and will target dairy farms and processors while providing additional support through market research and technical assistance. 

Solar apprenticeship training program launches

Thu, 01/21/2021 - 5:32am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Adult Continuing Education at Burlington Technical College (ACE-BTC) has launched a new program to help individuals without previous experience find jobs in the solar industry. ACE’s “Solar Installation Apprenticeship Program” started in the fall with the mission of offering workforce development programs that graduate highly qualified students to enter the workforce, with all the skills and abilities to succeed.

Roper: Candid comments reveal illogic behind Vermont's climate policy

Thu, 01/21/2021 - 4:08am -- tim

by Rob Roper Responding to an email inquiry from a concerned citizen about the real impact – and cost -- of the Global Warming Solutions Act, passed last spring over the veto of Governor Phil Scott (R), Representative Scott Campbell (D-St. Johnsbury) admitted, “Let me start by repeating that no one, least of all me, believes Vermont can stop climate change — or even affect climate change.

Tax revenues soar with one-time money

Wed, 01/20/2021 - 5:17pm -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Led by the personal income and corporate taxes, all three revenue funds substantially exceeded their projections for the month of December 2020 and all three are now ahead of their annual targets. Meanwhile, the Emergency Board on Wednesday upgraded its forecast for FY21 and FY22, which had been downgraded last August because of the pandemic-caused economic downturn. The State’s General Fund, Transportation Fund, and Education Fund receipts were a combined $54.33 million, or 30.6% above consensus expectations.

Governor Scott in quarantine, tested for COVID today

Wed, 01/20/2021 - 4:07pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott will be tested for COVID-19 today, and again on Tuesday – day seven of his quarantine – based on guidance from the Vermont Department of Health. The Governor’s Office will release the results of each test. Governor Scott, Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD, and Financial Regulation Commissioner Mike Pieciak, who participated in Tuesday’s press conference, are all quarantining due to their close proximity to the COVID-positive individual. Human Services Secretary Mike Smith and Public Safety Commissioner Mike Schirling are also quarantining due to their proximity to the positive case on Friday, January 15. The press briefing for Friday will go on as scheduled with the governor participating remotely.

Elevated law-enforcement presence remains in place in Montpelier

Wed, 01/20/2021 - 3:35pm -- tim

Vermont State Police Police are continuing high-visibility patrols at the Capitol Complex in Montpelier. State Street remains open. There are no reports of any incidents.

Updates will be provided later this afternoon.

***Update, 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 20***

The enhanced presence by law enforcement agencies is ongoing this afternoon at the Capitol Complex in Montpelier. State Street in front of the Vermont Statehouse remains open. No incidents have been reported.

Additional updates will follow this afternoon.