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Ocean State Job Lot distributes PPE across Northeast

Thu, 08/06/2020 - 12:18pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation has leveraged its supply chain to provide hundreds of thousands of pieces of personal protective equipment to healthcare organizations and municipalities, more than one million pounds of food to vulnerable populations, as well as thousands of cooked meals to frontline workers. Now, the Foundation is in the process of distributing more than $1.5 million worth of PPE to police and fire departments in the 142 communities where Ocean State Job Lot stores are currently, or soon-to-be, located across the Northeast. They operate two stores in Vermont, in St Johnsbury and Rutland.

Sanders introduces tax on billionaire wealth gains to provide health care for all

Thu, 08/06/2020 - 11:57am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Today, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) introduced a 60-percent tax on the windfall wealth increases of billionaires during this pandemic in order to pay for all out-of-pocket medical expenses for every person in America for a year. The Make Billionaires Pay Act would tax the $731 billion in wealth accumulated by 467 billionaires—the richest 0.001% of America—a from March 18th until August 5th, a period in which 5.4 million Americans recently lost their health insurance and 50 million applied for unemployment insurance. The funds from this emergency tax would be used to cover all necessary healthcare expenses of the uninsured and under-insured, including prescription drugs, for one year.

RNG investment in Quebec to benefit Vermont Gas parent

Thu, 08/06/2020 - 11:48am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Quebec-based Énergir welcomes the granting of $70 million in financial assistance to support renewable natural gas (RNG) production in Québec announced by the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Jonatan Julien. Of this amount, $45 million will be used to develop eight RNG production projects that Énergir can then distribute through its gas network. A growing proportion of Énergir's customers want to green their energy consumption, and RNG consumption contributes directly to this goal. These eight projects will add value to organic materials from the agricultural, industrial and engineered landfill sectors in several regions of Quebec.  Énergir is the leading electricity distributor (Green Mountain Power) and the sole natural gas distributor (Vermont Gas Systems) in Vermont.

Dairies offer cooler bags and meal equipment to help feed students, families

Thu, 08/06/2020 - 3:23am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine As school districts across the New England region worked around-the-clock to feed their students with either grab-n-go or home delivered meals, local dairy farmers stepped up to support those efforts. New England dairy farmers, along with other generous partners, have provided school meal programs nearly $255 thousand in total grants and equipment to date.  Dairy farm families have made possible the purchase of roughly 1,670 cooler bags for schools across the region so far. That equipment continues to aid schools now during summer feeding programs and will support meal efforts for years to come.

Norwich designates the Patton Peace and War Center

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 5:08pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Norwich University Peace and War Center has been named the John and Mary Frances Patton Peace and War Center in appreciation of a generous gift of $1.7 million to the university from the estate of Maj. General John S Patton, USAF (Ret) and his wife, Professor Mary Frances M Patton, $385,000 of which will go toward creating an endowment for the center. General Patton’s service as an intelligence officer during World War II inspired his and his wife’s interest in promoting the scholarly understanding of peace and war, the Patton estate said.

Sanders announces $3 million in federal funds for affordable housing in Vermont

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 4:23pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) announced Wednesday that Vermont will receive $3 million from the National Housing Trust Fund to build, preserve and rehabilitate affordable rental housing for extremely low-income families. This is the fifth year in a row that Vermont will receive a $3 million allocation from the trust fund, which Sanders helped create. Sanders first introduced legislation to create the National Housing Trust Fund in 2001, based on the success of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Trust Fund. Administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and funded through a small assessment on the government-sponsored housing agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the trust fund is the first new federal housing resource in more than a generation. It is also the first program exclusively targeted to help build housing that is affordable to people with the lowest incomes.

VDH COVID-19 Update: Five new cases, colleges prepare for students

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 4:11pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Among the more complicated undertakings for pandemic response, are the efforts by Vermont’s universities and colleges – large and small – to prepare for welcoming back their students and staff. Health Department and other state agencies have been working closely with these secondary education institutions, providing guidance and information to assist in their planning. Also, the Vermont Department of Health today reported five new cases of COVID-19 for a statewide total of 1,436, with one person hospitalized and deaths holding at 57. Vermont has the fewest number of cases in the US.

VEDA: Submit PPP applications by Thursday before time runs out

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 2:11pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The SBA Paycheck Protection Program application deadline is this Saturday, August 8th. All new PPP applications must be submitted to VEDA by 5 pm tomorrow, August 6th in order to be processed on time. The US Small Business Association, with support from the Department of Treasury, has implemented the Paycheck Protection Program, authorizing up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis.

Winooski School District gets $57.8 million direct loan from USDA for new campus

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 1:51pm -- tim

​Vermont Business Magazine The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $57.8 million to build a new campus for the Winooski School District (WSD). Funds will be used to renovate the existing educational facility infrastructure to modern educational standards and expand to serve one of the fastest-growing student populations in the state of Vermont. Through its Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program, USDA Rural Development will provide and secure funding for the initiative.

Opinion: With bold steps, Vermont could lead nation in remote work

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 12:45pm -- tim

by Betsy Bishop, President of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, and Aly Richards, CEO of Let’s Grow Kids When we look years ahead, how do we picture Vermont? Where are our workplaces centered, where are our homes in relation to our workplaces, and how do we see working parents in our state thriving? Vermont is in a pivotal moment. Amid the economic and emotional pain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is asking these questions and learning lessons about what community means, the necessity of innovation, and how to best live and work together.

Vermont Research News: What can VT teach the nation about COVID-19?

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 12:22pm -- tim

Vermont Research News Bill McKibben, the Vermont writer recently published a piece in the New Yorker, highlighting Vermont’s low COVID-19 death rates and exploring why. McKibben cites state leadership, high levels of social trust, competent health leaders that have been put front and center in the crisis, a fairly healthy population, and an active and engaged media among other factors.

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