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Governor Scott announces action on bills

Thu, 06/25/2020 - 10:38am -- tim

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.

Weekly unemployment claims take turn for the better

Thu, 06/25/2020 - 9:39am -- tim

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. 

Addison County COVID-19 business recovery resources Webinar June 29

Thu, 06/25/2020 - 7:40am -- tim
Addison County Economic Development Corporation Recovery resources and funding for Vermont businesses are changing on an almost daily basis. To help businesses through this maze of information, ACEDC and the Addison County Chamber have brought together local and state experts to explain the status and breadth of funding programs and other resources. Please join us and bring your questions. We are allowing for a generous Q&A time so that you can better understand the programs that are available.
DATE: Monday, June 29th
TIME: 9:00-11:00am

GMP solar net metering customers can share credits with small biz and nonprofits

Thu, 06/25/2020 - 7:13am -- tim

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.

On Friday, state parks open and gathering sizes increase

Thu, 06/25/2020 - 4:14am -- tim

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.

Comcast extends 60-days of free Internet offer through 2020

Thu, 06/25/2020 - 3:05am -- tim

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.

VDH COVID-19 Update: Responding to Rutland and Windham county clusters

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 6:36pm -- tim

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.

United Way issues $1.5 million in program funding grants

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 5:04pm -- tim

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.

Address of Senator Patrick Leahy on policing reform

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 4:35pm -- tim

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.

National Life reduces work force by 95 in face of economic downturn

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 3:07pm -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine National Life Group reduced its work force this week to respond to the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Montpelier-based insurer announced the layoffs today. The reductions affected both of National Life’s primary offices, in Montpelier and Addison, Texas. A total of 95 jobs were affected, 53 in Vermont, 30 in Texas, and 12 in other remote locations. National Life’s total employment company-wide stood at 1,400 before the reductions. The company will offer severance pay, as well as reimbursement for health, dental, and vision coverage, to impacted employees.

UVM Medical Center adjusts welcoming policy to allow limited visitors today

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 11:43am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Following guidance from the State of Vermont, the University of Vermont Medical Center is scaling back some limitations on visitors to the hospital. The UVM Medical Center and all other hospitals in the state began restricting visitation in March to slow the spread of COVID-19. To protect patients, visitors and staff, all visitors will be screened and required to follow safety measures.

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