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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.

ACEDC approves $100,000 financing for Middlebury's Stonecutter Spirits

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 9:26am -- tim

The Addison County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) has approved financing that will allow Middlebury-based start-up Stonecutter Spirits, based in Middlebury, to begin production. Robin Scheu, Executive Director of ACEDC, confirmed her organization will use its revolving loan funds to lend $100,000 to the local gin and whiskey manufacturer. This financing is part of a $500,000 project with additional funding coming from Opportunities Credit Union and the National Bank of Middlebury.

Roper: Vermont should learn from Google on energy policy

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 9:09am -- tim

by Rob Roper The Vermont legislature has long been bent on saving the planet through government micromanagement of energy policy. The big issue this year appears to be passing a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that would require utilities to sell a set percentage renewable power (and thereby forcing customers buy the more expensive product). The other issue, likely debated but not moved on this year, is a Carbon Tax designed to make fossil fuel use artificially expensive.

Miller: Upcoming conference promotes 'Climate Change Economy'

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 5:43am -- tim

by Ron Miller The Vermont Council on Rural Development is holding a major statewide conference, “Creating Prosperity & Opportunity Confronting Climate Change,” in Randolph on February 18. The gathering will launch VCRD’s new Climate Change Economy initiative, which aims to stimulate the growth of small businesses that can prosper by addressing various aspects of the climate change scenario.

Image Outfitters unveils new tool to aid social and environmental responsibility

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 5:10am -- tim

Image Outfitters, an advertising specialties company has implemented a new product portal on their website that makes it easy for companies to make responsible choices when searching for branded merchandise that is ‘Sustainable’, ‘Recycled’ or ‘Made in the USA’. Image Outfitters is the first and only advertising specialties company in the United States to become a certified B Corporation and has been championing social responsibility through their iShare Charitable Donations Program.

Markowitz: Working together to clean up Vermont’s waters

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 4:19am -- tim

by Deb Markowitz, Secretary, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources This past month, Governor Shumlin opened the legislative session with an unprecedented focus on the environment. Understanding that global climate change threatens our way of life, the Governor announced new initiatives aimed at continuing to expand our renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors; creating jobs, saving Vermonters money and doing our part to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. He also talked at length about our Clean Water Initiative and Lake Champlain restoration plan.

Gaz Métro increases its credit facility by $200 million

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 3:13am -- tim

Gaz Métro inc (GMi) has announced it has entered into a first supplemental agreement to the credit agreement it entered into onMarch 2, 2012 with its bank syndicate providing for an increase of the initial revolving credit facility amount committed by the lenders from $600 million to $800 million and an extension of the maturity date to March 2, 2020. The First Supplemental Agreement is guaranteed by Gaz Métro Limited Partnership (Gaz Métro).

Twincraft opens second Vermont manufacturing facility

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 4:11pm -- tim

A Winooski soap company is expanding its manufactring into a second plant in Essex. When Twincraft Skincare opened its doors in 1978 the company formulated and manufactured bar soap. Now widely recognized as one of the most innovative and progressive contract manufacturers of prestige and specialty bar soap for the past 40 years, Twincraft continues to manufacture over 37 million bars of soap annually in the Winooski facility.