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'Shop Vermont This Holiday Season!' campaign kicks off

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 2:47pm -- tim

The Vermont Retail & Grocers Association (VRGA), in partnership with Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) and the Vermont Small Business Administration (VT SBA), held a press conference today at Outdoor Gear Exchange in Burlington to kick off a “Shop Vermont This Holiday Season!” statewide awareness campaign. VRGA President Jim Harrison, VBSR Executive Director Andrea Cohen, and VT SBA District Director Darcy Carter worked with Representative Peter Welch’s office to organize and present the event.

Vermont EPSCoR survey finds most are willing to pay more for lake cleanup

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 12:42pm -- tim

Vermont EPSCoR RACC has concluded its surveys assessing Vermont household’s willingness to pay to improve the health of Lake Champlain. The first survey was distributed in 2012 to over 5,000 households in Vermont. The second was conducted in 2013, as part of the longstanding “Vermonter Poll” which the University of Vermont’s Center for Rural Studies performs annually, contacting over 2,000 households. Together, results indicated that 65 percent of respondents would be willing to pay at least $40 per year to help improve the health of Lake Champlain.

National Life Group donates money to buy 500 turkeys

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 12:32pm -- tim

National Life Group donated $6,000 to Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf, enough to buy 500 turkeys, as the agency struggles to meet demand during this Thanksgiving season. Late last week the Food Shelf reported that supplies were “critically low” and it was only one-third of the way toward its goal to provide 3,000 turkeys to food insecure families.

Vermont Auditor Hoffer questions state role in liquor sales

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 9:32am -- tim

Vermont State Auditor Doug Hoffer today released the findings of an audit into the Vermont Department of Liquor Control’s (DLC) purchasing, warehousing, distribution, and sales of liquor. Turns out, this likely will not be a financial windfall for the state. The audit first examined the financial impacts of privatizing or partially privatizing the sale of liquor in Vermont. The SAO’s financial modeling suggests that full or partial privatization of liquor sales may yield a neutral budget impact, but there are other considerations.

Little progress for workers now—and not much ahead

Sun, 11/23/2014 - 7:03am -- tim

Public Assets Institute The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 4.4 percent in October. Vermont has the second-lowest rate in New England (New Hampshire 4.2 percent), but lags when it comes to increasing employment. So far this year, the southern New England states have seen at least 3 percent growth in the number of people employed. In Vermont, that number is up less than 0.05 percent, and employment has shrunk in Maine.

Weekly unemployment claims fall to under 800

Sun, 11/23/2014 - 6:36am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine New weekly unemployment claims in Vermont were down slightly last week. Claims had been very low during the summer, but increased in early October. After five weeks of increases, claims are down for the last two. Levels this year had been running consistently lower than those of last year, but are now nearly the same. For the week of November 15, 2014, there were 792 new, regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance in Vermont. This is a decrease of 41 from the previous week's total, and 3 more than they were a year ago. 

What it takes to grow a successful business: 10 tips for success

Sat, 11/22/2014 - 5:43am -- tim

by Amanda Kuhnert Over the past two decades, Manufacturing Solutions, Inc. in Morrisville, Vermont has grown from a niche manufacturing business into a multifaceted company with 250,000 square feet of commercial building space and 180 employees. Company owner and CEO Garret Hirchak and his wife Beth Salvas have stood at the helm as revenues have steadily increased over the years — 135 percent since 2009, while other manufacturers across the country have laid off employees and shut their doors.

Spherion celebrates 25 years in South Burlington

Sat, 11/22/2014 - 5:01am -- tim

Spherion Staffing Services, a local recruiting, staffing and workforce solutions provider backed by the resources of a $2 billion global workforce leader, announced today that Ken Ballard, franchise owner of the South Burlington office, is celebrating a major milestone - 25 years of exceptional service to local employees and clients. A temporary employee himself, Ballard quickly ascended to a variety of recruiting and managerial positions including recruiter, client services manager, and branch manager, and eventually took over the South Burlington Spherion office in 1997.

Ski Vermont posts record early openings

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 4:42pm -- tim

Coming off of not only one, but two near record breaking seasons with over 4.5 million skier visits each, Vermont is once again paving the path to stellar ski and snowboard season. The state boasts twelve resorts open for skiing, riding and even Nordic skiing by November 22, 2014 and at least another opening prior to Thanksgiving. This time last season Vermont was bragging about a record breaking ten resorts opening the weekend before Thanksgiving, but that goal has been far surpassed already this season.

Mount Snow opens

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 4:22pm -- tim

Thanks to a sustained period of ideal snowmaking conditions, Mount Snow Resort opened for its 60th winter season on Friday, November 21st. Traditionally, the resort opens around the Thanksgiving holiday, but recent upgrades to its snowmaking system coupled with cold weather had the snow piling up, allowing for an earlier than normal start to the season. Skiers and snowboarders enjoyed top-to-bottom terrain for all ability levels on a dozen trails covering 117 acres of skiable terrain accessed by three chairlifts.

Public/private partnership to comprehensively redevelop downtown Burlington mall for $200 million

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 11:58am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Burlington's downtown mall, Church Street, the transit center and surrounding streets will get a $200 million makeover, which will include a rooftop park and access between streets that was lost when the mall was first built in 1976. The plan also includes 250 apartment spaces, a convention center/hotel, more retail and more parking.

Vermont unemployment rate holds at 4.4 percent in October

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 10:36am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine For the first time in several months, the number of employed and the labor force both grew, both from the prior month and from the prior year, with both the adjusted and unadjusted numbers showing progress, despite an increase in the number of unemployed. The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for October 2014 was 4.4 percent. This represents no change from the revised September rate (4.4 percent).