Vermont Business Magazine Along with recent guidance on money for housing and preventing homelessness, college reopening and the $163 million in grants for businesses and nonprofits, new rules also allow for larger gatherings for outside events under specific conditions.
by Bruce Edwards, Vermont Business Magazine Frank Cioffi didn’t sugarcoat what Vermont and Chittenden County are facing: “COVID was a beast and still is a beast and we’re going to be awhile recovering from it,” said Cioffi, president of the Greater Burlington Industrial Corp. Cioffi has the facts to back up the toll the pandemic could take on Chittenden County’s businesses. He cites a Brookings Institution analysis that of the 6,631 small businesses in the county, 21 percent are at immediate risk of failure, 30 percent face a near term risk and 47 percent face a longterm risk.
by Bruce Edwards, Vermont Business Magazine Despite the challenging times, Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger remains an optimist. That’s not so easy when the city you lead is facing a steep drop in revenues and your budget is $62 million. It’s the new normal or at the very least the temporary COVID-19 normal.
by Bruce Edwards, Vermont Business Magazine The restaurant business has never been easy - long hours and tight margins. Enter COVID-19 and that scenario got progressively worse, literally overnight. That’s when Governor Phil Scott took the painful step in mid-March of ordering all non-essential businesses to close. For The Skinny Pancake founder Benjamin Adler, the first priority was to get his people signed up for unemployment insurance.
Vermont Business Magazine Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) has welcomed Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer’s (D-NY) support for his amendment to the annual National Defense Authorization Act, which has been guaranteed a floor vote during the week of July 20th. "Let me thank Senator Schumer for his support for my amendment to cut the bloated $740 billion Pentagon budget by 10% and invest $74 billion in communities that have been ravaged by extreme poverty and mass incarceration," said Sanders on Twitter. “This amendment will begin to change our national priorities."
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott, the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Vermont State Housing Authority, and the Vermont Housing Finance Agency today announced $30 million in housing assistance to those affected by COVID-19. The programs utilize federal CARES Act funding to provide relief for those tenants unable to pay rent, landlords suffering from a loss of rent payments, and those lower income homeowners needing assistance in paying the mortgage.
Vermont Business Magazine During the pandemic, we have heard of many people who have come (or returned) to Vermont to “shelter in place” – sometimes bringing their remote job with them. In collaboration with the Vermont Futures Project and the University of Vermont we are asking people if they think they might stay in Vermont when things return to more normal. And what Vermont might do to keep them here.
Vermont Business Magazine The Hickok & Boardman affiliated companies has announced the nine recipients of 2020’s non-profit organization charitable gifts. In this annual tradition, each firm contributes to a fund, and then Hickok & Boardman employees and associates are given the opportunity to nominate a charity in which they are involved. This year, the companies have selected: Frontline Foods VT, Mercy Connections, Black Lives Matter of Greater Burlington, Fairfax Rescue Squad, Fairfax Community Food Shelf, First Step Recovery House, Lamoille County Home & Health Hospice, Courtney’s Allies, and South Burlington Food Shelf.
Vermont Business Magazine VT SafetyNet has been providing Basic Life Support CPR/AED and First Aid certification onsite for business and for individuals through the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, and other nationally-recognized organizations for the past 20 years. In March, when Governor Scott issued a stay at home order in Vermont, they put classes on hold and shifted their focus to PPE fittings for healthcare professionals.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health today reported five new cases of COVID-19 statewide. Health Commissioner Dr Mark Levin noted that recent cases do not suggest a community wide spread, such as seen in states like Arizona, Florida and Texas. He also said there have been no cases related to the Winooski or Fair Haven outbreaks for a week. Governor Phil Scott said that while Vermont has been successful in its testing efforts in recent months, we need help from our partners to keep it up. Scott thanked pharmacies that are already stepped up, including Kinney Drugs and Walgreens. Starting on Monday, and for each Monday through July, Kinney Drugs in Newport will offer testing as part of a pilot project. Walgreens in Essex is also preparing to offer testing for its customers.
Vermont Business Magazine Up to 20 weeks of Extended Benefits (EB) are now available for Vermonters who exhausted all other available benefits, the Vermont Department of Labor announced today. These additional weeks were made available due to the increase in the State’s overall unemployment rate based on predetermined economic thresholds. Regular unemployment insurance benefits provide a maximum of 26 weeks benefits, while Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which was a component of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, provides an additional 13 weeks. For regular unemployment insurance claimants that transition to PEUC, additional weeks from PEUC must be exhausted first before transitioning onto EB, if found eligible.
Vermont Business Magazine Green Mountain Power (GMP) is ready to respond to possible scattered outages, and is urging safety for customers as Tropical Storm Fay is forecasted to roll into southern Vermont starting late tonight. Meteorologists say the storm will move onshore and head north starting in southern New England, weakening as it reaches Vermont – though still bringing the possibility of heavy rain and scattered strong winds, which could take down trees and cause outages. Forecasters also say as Fay exits Vermont, pop-up thunderstorms are possible through Saturday afternoon and evening.