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Weekly unemployment claims fall again

Fri, 01/30/2015 - 4:25pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims fell again to their lowest levels since early fall. For the week of January 24, 2015, there were 616 new, regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance in Vermont. This is a decrease of 178 from the previous week's total, and 119 fewer than they were a year ago. In 2014, claims were consistently below 2013 levels on a week-to-week basis.

OpenTempo expands headquarters to accommodate growing staff

Fri, 01/30/2015 - 4:11pm -- tim

OpenTempo, a healthcare IT company that reduces the cost of providing healthcare by helping hospitals optimize workforce efficiency, is expanding its offices to accommodate its rapidly increasing staff. Between December and January, six new employees were brought on, all based in Vermont.

“OpenTempo loves being a Vermont company,” says Brian McNabb, Vice President of Professional Services. “We are able to help the local community by providing green, high-paying jobs while also helping our company's performance by adding very talented individuals with Vermont values.”

Ledyard Financial Group declares increase to quarterly dividend

Fri, 01/30/2015 - 4:06pm -- tim

Ledyard Financial Group, based in Hanover, NH, with offices in Vermont, (Ticker Symbol: LFGP) announced today a $0.03 increase to its quarterly dividend, based in Hanover, NH, with offices in Vermont. The dividend of $0.48 is payable March 3, 2015 to shareholders of record as of February 13, 2015. The dividend was last increased by $0.04 for the dividend paid during September 2014. Strength in the Company’s core businesses is supporting the ability to continue with its dividend payouts and ensure that its shareholders benefit from the Company’s improved earnings.

Vermont brewer tops list of Ratebeers Top Brewers in the World

Fri, 01/30/2015 - 2:34pm -- tim

Ratebeer.com today released its list of the world's top brewers, with Hill Farmstead from Greensboro, Vermont, rated the world's number one brewery. The top 100 brewers in the world are ranked according to reviews taken last year and weighted by performance within and outside of style, balanced by indicators of depth. The winners here are presented by top 10 and country of origin and reflect the top performing brewers of over 19,000 listed at RateBeer.

Merchants Bancshares reports Q4 and FY14 results, 28 cent dividend

Fri, 01/30/2015 - 1:29pm -- tim

Merchants Bancshares, Inc (NASDAQ: MBVT), the parent company of Merchants Bank, today announced net income of $2.50 million, or $0.40 per basic and $0.39 per diluted share for the fourth quarter of 2014. This compares to net income of $3.82 million, or $0.61 per basic and $0.60 per diluted share for the fourth quarter of 2013. For the year ended December 31, 2014, net income totaled $12.13 million, or $1.92 per basic and $1.91 per diluted share, compared to net income of $15.13 million, or $2.40 per basic and diluted share for the year ended December 31, 2013.

Vermont Tech and VYCC to offer alternative college program

Fri, 01/30/2015 - 10:30am -- tim

Thomas Hark, president and CEO of Vermont Youth Conservation Corps joined Vermont Tech President Dan Smith Thursday in announcing the new Working Lands Certificate Program at the Vermont Farm Show in Essex Junction. Venture Semester, a VYCC and Vermont Tech partnership program, is designed to immerse students in agriculture, food, and leadership, as well as enhance high school graduates’ access to higher education. 

Vermont dairy industry generates $2.2 billion in economic activity each year

Fri, 01/30/2015 - 10:16am -- tim

The Vermont Dairy Industry brings $2.2 Billion in economic activity to Vermont annually, according to a new study funded by the Vermont Dairy Promotion Council. Findings from the study were unveiled Thursday at the Vermont Farm Show in Essex. Recognizing the need for up-to-date data about dairy’s impact on Vermont’s economy, the Vermont Dairy Promotion Council partnered with the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, and Castleton Polling to quantify the impact of the industry on Vermont’s economy and way of life.

Vermont Department of Tourism offers hospitality training

Fri, 01/30/2015 - 10:12am -- tim

How well do you know your state? If you’re in the hospitality industry, it pays to know everything you can about Vermont. The Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing has created a new series of online classes for employees at Vermont lodgings and attractions. The online Ambassador Training program focuses on Vermont branding, state parks, history, heritage and more. Ambassador Training also offers valuable customer service tips, and insight into consumer trends such as agritourism and culinary travel.

Darn Tough Vermont to sponsor Special Olympics Vermont Winter Games and Penguin Plunge fundraiser

Fri, 01/30/2015 - 9:17am -- tim

Darn Tough Vermont, American manufacturer of the fastest growing collection of outdoor performance socks, has partnered with Special Olympics Vermont for the 2015 Penguin Plunge and Winter Games events. In honor of the 20th Anniversary of the Penguin Plunge, sponsor Darn Tough Vermont will provide complimentary pairs of wool socks to Plungers who raise $520 or more. Darn Tough will also outfit all 200 Special Olympics Vermont athletes who compete in the 2015 Winter Games.

Cynthia Stuart named deputy commissioner of Vermont Banking Division

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 5:05pm -- tim

Cynthia Stuart has been named deputy commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation’s Banking Division, Commissioner Susan L Donegan announced today. Stuart has more than 18 years of experience in both the retail and community aspects of banking and brings to the job a wealth of knowledge of current operations and senior management.

Vermont AG settles claims against marketing company, to get $90,000

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 10:53am -- tim

Vermont will receive $90,000 from Main Street Power Mail, Inc, of Sheridan, Indiana, which generated leads for insurance agents by sending direct mailings to Vermonters, many of them elderly, asking for personal information without explaining how the information would be used. Such activity is a violation of state and federal law. Under the settlement, Main Street Power Mail will pay the State $90,000 and be required to clearly disclose the purpose of its mailings in the future.

USDA revises US maple syrup grade standards

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 10:30am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has revised the US Standards for Grades of Maple Syrup. The revision defines quality factors and establishes new color determinations for Grade A. The grade of syrup will be determined based on flavor, odor, damage, and turbidity or cloudiness. Further, the spelling of the product in the standard was changed from “sirup” to “syrup.” The four new categories will be more descriptive. Vermont revised its grading system last year and the USDA likewise wants to standardize it across the nation.

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