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Quechee Balloon Festival cancelled for 2020

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 2:57am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The 2020 Quechee Hot Air Balloon Craft and Music festival has been cancelled for the first time in the 40 year history of the event, it was announced by the Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce (HACC), organizers of the annual event. Thousands of entertainment gatherings, festivals and events have been postponed or cancelled around the state and country due to the COVID-19. The Quechee Hot Air Balloon Craft and Music Festival, which runs annually on Father’s Day weekend was originally scheduled for June 19-21 and then rescheduled for the weekend of September 11-13.

Scott talks about racism, protests, COVID-19, drivers licenses, mail-in ballots

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 5:20pm -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott began his media briefing Monday by speaking about the “heartbreaking tragedy” of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of police. Protests and riots have engulfed the nation since his death on May 25, one police officer has been arrested. Scott called on the other three officers to be charged and said, “enough is enough.”

VDH COVID-19 Update: 5 new cases, no deaths, none hospitalized

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 5:06pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health today reported that there were deaths associated with COVID-19 since Monday, which stand at 55, there are none hospitalized and the total cases statewide is 988 – an increase of five since Monday. Overall, more than a 1,000 tests are administered daily in Vermont. Nearly 37,000 Vermonters have been tested since the beginning of the pandemic and 879 people have recovered from COVID-19.

PAI: ‘A riot is the language of the unheard’

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 2:20pm -- tim

by Paul Cillo, Public Assets Institute The national unrest of the last week has added a layer of pain to what many Vermonters were already experiencing during the pandemic: economic hardship, inequitable access to public resources and health care, and the stress of being isolated from family and friends. The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the protests that have followed over the past week, including in Burlington and Montpelier, have forced us to reckon with the reality that our state does not work for every resident, particularly for Black Vermonters.

Businesses urge fast action on state emergency grants to survive

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 12:58pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Business owners from the restaurant, construction, retail and agricultural sectors held a press conference via Zoom on Tuesday to urge the Vermont State Legislature to act quickly to release much needed state financial assistance in the form of flexible grants. Various committees in the legislature have been reviewing the Scott Administration's proposal for a $400 million stimulus package which uses federal CARES Act money. It includes emergency grants and loans for businesses impacted by the pandemic and subsequent closures. But many businesses across the state fear that the current legislative process will not get them the money they desperately need quickly enough.

Vermont Medical Society pronounces systemic racism a public health threat

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 12:39pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The physicians and physician assistants of the Vermont Medical Society (VMS) denounce the recent brutal and senseless acts of violence towards Black people by law enforcement officers and acknowledge the impact systemic racism has in driving adverse health outcomes in Vermont and across the nation.

AARP Vermont accepting Community Action Grant applications

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 12:31pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine As a way to encourage and support grassroots action to make Vermont communities more livable, AARP Vermont has expanded its Community Action Grants to communities across the state providing modest funding and technical support to community groups or individuals. The initiative is part an AARP Vermont initiative aimed at preparing Vermont cities and towns for the rapidly aging demographic shift – particularly in the areas of housing, mobility and community engagement. 

Community Action Team makes first recommendations for economic and social recovery

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 12:11pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Local Support and Community Action Team led by Paul Costello, Executive Director of Vermont Council on Rural Development, today released its interim report for economic and social recovery. The Action Team was convened in mid-April as part of the Economic Mitigation and Recovery Task Force and charged by Governor Scott with identifying and replicating regional and community recovery initiatives and gaps in recovery efforts to ensure equitable distribution of resources, especially in rural areas and underserved populations. The report emphasizes six initial recommendations, many already underway and part of the State’s first phases of economic mitigation proposals.

Blue Cross of Vermont selects Further to administer HSAs

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 11:34am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont has selected Further, a leader in health care spending and savings account administration, to administer their consumer directed health plan (CDHP) spending account administration services starting January 1, 2021. The relationship provides Blue Cross members a consistent, high quality experience to pay for qualified health-related expenses pre-taxed through Further’s health savings accounts (HSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), and flexible spending accounts (FSAs).

Governor Scott establishes Racial Equity Task Force

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 10:21am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott announced at his press briefing Monday and has signed an Executive Order to form the Racial Equity Task Force as a component of a broader state effort to promote racial, ethnic and cultural equity, including in its response to COVID-19. Executive Director of Racial Equity Xusana Davis will chair the task force.

Man killed after crossing line and hitting truck

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 10:02am -- tim

Vermont State Police On 06/01/2020 at approximately 1533 hours, Troopers from the Vermont State Police responded to a report of a two-vehicle crash in the area of Vermont Route 103 north of Town Hill Rd in the Town of Shrewsbury. Preliminary investigation indicated that vehicle #1, operated by Ryan Ahonen age 21 of Mt. Holly, was traveling northbound when Vehicle #1 crossed the solid double yellow centerline into the southbound travel lane and crashed into vehicle #2, operated by Benjamin Dufield age 49 of Springfield, VT. Dufield was uninjured. Ahonen was pronounced deceased at the scene.

ACCD reminds small businesses that PPP is still available

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 8:03am -- tim

Agency of Commerce & Community Development The Department of Economic Development will host a virtual town hall on Friday, June 5th at 2:00pm to share updates about the Paycheck Protection Program. Funds are still available for businesses to access. Representatives from the SBA and local banks and credit unions will be available to answer questions.