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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Senate Republicans today shot down a proposal by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) to help install up to 10 million solar power systems for homes and businesses in the coming decade. Rebates for solar systems would have been authorized by a Sanders amendment to a Keystone XL oil pipeline bill now before the Senate.
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, 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.
Doppler on Wheels (DOW) returns to the Lyndon State College campus for a three-week stint beginning January 29. It’s rare for the DOW to make a return trip to a campus; this is the third visit in five years.
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 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).
Vermont Business Magazine The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) panel assigned to review the State of Vermont petition regarding the preservation of the Emergency Response Data System (ERDS) at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant has denied the petition in a 2-1 decision.