Vermont Business Magazine Builder Patrick O'Brien of O'Brien Brothers just wants "to build homes faster and cheaper." He is not alone in Vermont's wealthiest – but housing starved – county. Dozens of Chittenden County leaders in the fields of housing, business, local and state government, and social services announced Monday morning the formation of a new campaign to increase the production of housing and setting a target of 3,500 new homes created in the next five years. This goal might be "pie in the sky," as one observer mentioned, but the general mood was that building more housing and more affordable housing must begin soon and that 700 units a year might not be enough. Some 600 units were built in 2014, which was a recent high-water mark. The trend has been closer to 450 units.
Vermont Business Magazine The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that trash disposal throughout the state decreased 5 percent, while the recycling rate has increased from 33 percent to 35 percent since the new recycling services and requirements went into effect in July 2015. Over the past year, the Vermont Foodbank has also seen an increase in fresh food donations and in 2016, they estimate over 4 million pounds of food will be rescued from producers and retailers in Vermont, a 60 percent increase over 2015.
Vermont Business Magazine Special loan programs are now available for affected building contractors holding unpaid invoices for work done at Jay Peak and Burke Mountain Ski Areas. The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) and the Northern Community Investment Corporation (NCIC) are collaborating to provide interim working capital financing to eligible and qualified affected businesses as they face a busy summer construction season. VEDA has created the Jay/Burke Contractor Assistance Loan Program, providing financing through the Authority's Small Business Loan Program; no State funding will be utilized. Loans typically will be made for up to six years, with payments in the first year made on an interest-only basis. Loans will be due at the earlier of collection of the contractor's receivables, or at loan maturity, which may be extended, if necessary.
Business group says federal ‘compromise’ preempts Vermont’s stronger law
by Daniel Barlow Vermont should be incredibly proud of the work it has done to bring transparency to our food system. The state’s first in the nation GMO labeling law has sent ripples across the food industry and helped bring that same transparency that Vermonters demanded to food shelves across the country. Unfortunately, opponents of food transparency continue to try and undermine Vermont’s hard work. The latest draft of a so-called compromise bill in the U.S. Senate on GMO labeling would preempt Vermont’s law and limit consumers’ access to important information concerning the ingredients in the food they buy.
by Mike Smith It has been a dismal month for Donald Trump’s presidential aspirations and for the political prospects of the party whose nomination he has all but secured. First, Trump’s campaign gets sidetracked with controversial issues that are of the candidate’s own making. He picks a fight with a judge who rules against him in a court case involving fraud charges against Trump University, and also with Governor Susana Martinez, a popular Republican governor who doesn’t support him.
Vermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims spiked last week, as they typically do in June after school ends and education employment falls. Following this spike there is usually a fall and then a leveling off at a relatively low level of under 500 claims for the duration of the summer. However, last week's increase is greater than usual. Spikes of this magnitude generally are seen after the Christmas layoffs and transitions between seasons.
Vermont Business Magazine - The Vermont Teddy Bear Company announces its 35th Anniversary celebration, taking place this Saturday, June 25th. “This anniversary is a testament to our community, our customers and our employees who have helped our company grow and thrive over the last thirty-five years,” says Bill Shouldice, Chief Executive Officer of the Vermont Teddy Bear Company. “We are thrilled to be able to celebrate this milestone with all of them.”
Vermont Business Magazine - Marie Shutts, Operations Director at the Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce, has been appointed to the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union's ACT 46 study committee. According to Matt Harrington, Executive Director of the Chamber, Shutts will sit on the committee as a representative of the Bennington Chamber and its over 350 business members.
Vermont Business Magazine - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday commented on a new agreement reached between Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) and the panel’s ranking member, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) for a bill to institute mandatory national GMO labeling. Their bill would nullify Vermont’s GMO labeling law, which takes effect on July 1. Leahy notes that a bill by Roberts and Stabenow would not be able to reach the President’s desk for signing by July 1. The House is now in recess until July 5.
By Louisa Schibli & Janice Shade, Co-Founders, Milk Money L3C - Small business owners, whether they own a startup or a long-established family business, will inevitably need to seek outside funding at some point, or several points, during the life of their business. Funding could be needed to get off the ground, expand services or locations, build a team of trusted employees, or simply to add new equipment.
by Rob Miller, CEO of VSECU Imagine a strategy that could transform a country’s poorest regional economy into one of great wealth and prosperity. An approach that could build a community that produces more than 9 percent of that country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 12 percent of its exports, and 30 percent of its patents, while only comprising 7 percent of its population. This scenario is no fantasy. It’s the realty in Emilia Romagna, Italy. What’s their secret?
Gubernatorial candidates Matt Dunne, Peter Galbraith, Bruce Lisman, Sue Minter, and Phil Scott will participate in a forum focused on “Community Health and Support Services” in Burlington on Monday, June 27. The event is presented by Vermont Care Partners, The Vermont Association for Mental Health and Addiction Recovery, the VNAs of Vermont, the Vermont Association of Area Agencies on Aging, the Community of Vermont Elders, and Vermont PBS.