Vermont Business Magazine Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) Friday welcomed the award of $2.1 million in federal CARES Act funds to capitalize and administer Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) that will provide critical gap financing to small businesses and entrepreneurs adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic across Vermont. The grants are administered by the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA).
Vermont Business Magazine The Small Business Administration is sending a cyber warning alert to loan applicants seeking federal aid in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Email phishing campaigns are where malicious actors are impersonating the SBA and its Office of Disaster Assistance to collect personally identifiable information for fraudulent purposes have surfaced. The SBA is particularly concerned about scam emails targeting applicants of the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program asking them to verify their accounts using a third-party online platform to collect personally identifiable information.
Vermont Business Magazine A new analysis by Airlines for America (A4A) – the industry trade group representing major US carriers – shows which states are experiencing the greatest impact on air service and air-travel demand amid the COVID-19 health crisis. Vermont is in the top ten worst in number of canceled flights and reduction in passengers. According A4A analysis of published schedules, New York has been the hardest hit state in the country, having experienced the largest decrease in scheduled departures from July 2019 to July 2020. New York experienced a 70% decline in scheduled passenger flights. New Jersey is the second-most impacted state, experiencing a 67% decline in scheduled passenger flights.
Vermont Business Magazine The Health Department announced today that Daniel Batsie has been appointed the new director of the Division of Emergency Preparedness, Response and Injury Prevention. Batsie previously served as the department’s Emergency Medical Services Chief for four years. The VDH also reported today that there were six new cases of COVID-19 for a statewide total of 1,484. There are two hospitalized and deaths are holding at 58.
by Win Smith, President, Sugarbush Resort When we announced the decision to sell Sugarbush to Alterra Mountain Company this past November, I said that I would continue as President and Chief Operating Officer for awhile in order to ensure a smooth transition and to make certain that the right successor was ready to take the reins. Now, nine months later, I believe that the time is right to step down, and I will be retiring from my enjoyable second career effective September 1. I will, however, remain a senior advisor, acting as a resource for our leadership team as needed.
Vermont Business Magazine Sugarbush Resort has announced that John Hammond, formerly Vice President of Mountain Operations and Recreational Services, will be stepping into the role of President and Chief Operating Officer. The announcement coincides with former owner and current President and COO, Win Smith, announcing his retirement. While Smith will continue on as an advisor to the current leadership team, he leaves behind a lasting legacy at Sugarbush, having owned the resort from September, 2001 to January, 2020.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today announced the recipients of $3.2 million in Downtown and Village Center tax credits to support 30 projects in 27 Vermont communities. The tax credits will support over $160 million in downtown, village center and rehabilitation projects. This includes over $500,000 to support redevelopment of two properties in downtown Springfield: a former manufacturing facility that will be converted into multi-family housing, and the former Park Street School, which will be redeveloped into a multi-use facility with space for a business accelerator with co-working and private commercial space, studio apartments, and community use of the former gymnasium and 800-seat theater.
Vermont Business Magazine Green Mountain Power (GMP) is reminding customers that enhanced rebates on products that help save energy and money while reducing carbon pollution will close at the end of the month. GMP’s popular Go, Save and Share Green initiative increased rebates on electric mowers, electric bikes, heat pumps and heat pump water heaters. To get the larger rebates, customers need proof of purchase on or before August 31.
by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims fell steeply last week and below 1,000 claims for the first time since the early weeks of the pandemic. Nationally, claims fell under 1 million. The Vermont unemployment trust fund has added over $3 million since last week and remains in a strong position. After a steep decline as the economy began to reopen in April, initial unemployment claims for the last several weeks flattened, rose slightly and now are falling consistently. For the week ending August 8, 2020, the Labor Department processed 904 Initial Claims, down 356 from the previous week and 615 more than the same time last year. Summer typically produces the lowest UI numbers.
by University of Vermont President Suresh V Garimella Hardly a day goes by without a story in the news media on the unsettled state of higher education this fall. The importance of opening our campuses is not in dispute. The question is: Can we do it safely? Colleges and universities are implementing an array of programs to answer that question affirmatively, limiting classrooms to half or a quarter of their capacity, investing in online education for hybrid teaching, banning athletic events and other large gatherings, re-engineering dining services and residence halls, and putting programs in place that test for the virus.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, along with the Shrewsbury community and the Vermont Land Trust, are celebrating the conservation of their 100th Wildlife Management Area (WMA), coincidentally, in the 100th year of department WMA ownership and management in Vermont. On August 4th, the department established the new Wildlife Management Area, a 526.7-acre property in the Town of Shrewsbury. Originally settled in the late 1700s, the site was later purchased by the Town in 1870 to create a town farm to house the poor. The town farm was abandoned by 1903 and despite exchanging hands several times over the years, it has remained undeveloped, aside from the scattered stone walls and foundations that preserve the old town farm.
Vermont Business Magazine Attorney General TJ Donovan has filed an amicus brief with the Vermont Supreme Court arguing that the Vermont Constitution protects all Vermonters accused of a crime in state court—even when the evidence leading to the charge was initially obtained by a federal officer. The brief, filed earlier this week in State v. Walker-Brazie, argues that a person charged with a crime in state court is entitled to the protection of the Vermont Constitution. At issue is the admissibility of evidence in state court that was obtained by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers without consent to search the vehicle or a warrant based on probable cause—all required under Article 11 of the Vermont Constitution.