Vermont Business Magazine The Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commerce will be hosting their inaugural golf tournament, the B2B Golf Classic, on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at the Mount Anthony Country Club in Bennington, Vermont. The Chamber of Commerce invites the public and business leaders to enjoy an afternoon of golf and networking while enjoying the fresh Vermont fall air. The event serves as a delightful day out of the office and an opportunity to network with local business people in a beautiful, relaxed setting. Additionally, the event serves as a fundraiser for the chamber of commerce.
by C.B. Hall, Vermont Business Magazine After four construction seasons and the investment of tens of millions of dollars, the Middlebury rail tunnel project is all but complete. At 10 am on September 18, a Vermont Rail System (VRS) locomotive pulled a VIP train of eight vintage commuter cars through a grand-opening banner at the entrance of the new tunnel, which replaces two aging bridges built in the early 1920s in the heart of the town's business district.
by C.B. Hall, Vermont Business Magazine While the prospect of Amtrak's Ethan Allen Express reaching Burlington late next year has many people excited, the train from New York's Penn Station isn't even getting to Rutland right now: In late March Amtrak cut its itinerary back to a New York-Albany run in view of the precipitous drop in ridership occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. The other Vermont train, the Vermonter, got similar treatment, and currently is coming no closer to the Green Mountain State than New Haven, CT.
Vermont Business Magazine On Friday, the Vermont Department of Labor distributed $21.6 million to 25,675 claimants through the Lost Wage Assistance (LWA) program. Paper checks were mailed directly to claimants who certified their employment had been impacted by COVID-19 for the weeks ending August 1, August 8, and August 15, 2020.
Public Assets Institute The number of Vermonters who are working dropped by more than 2,000 in August, after recovering some over the summer. At 308,000, that’s more than 20,000 below pre-pandemic levels. And while 30,000 Vermonters are still applying for unemployment benefits, many of them are not included in the official federal unemployment rate. That rate is based on a narrow definition of unemployment that does not accurately reflect people who are still unable to work or look for work because of the pandemic.
Vermont Business Magazine Lodging facilities may now rent all their rooms, as long as guests comply with all other requirements. That includes mask-wearing, physical distancing, and travel and quarantine requirements, in addition to limits on dining and gathering size, he said. Governor Scott also announced today that bar seating in restaurants will also be allowed, with physical distancing requirements in place. This means food and drink service can be served at the counter.
Vermont Business Magazine Representative Peter Welch on Friday introduced legislation to extend the deadline for state and local governments to use funds appropriated by the CARES Act. Currently, the state and local relief funds from the CARES Act must be used by December 31st, making it impossible to complete long-term recovery projects. Welch’s bill would fix that by authorizing the use of these funds through September 30, 2021.
Vermont Business Magazine On Friday, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), joined by 37 senators, called on the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general to expeditiously investigate a whistleblower complaint alleging forced hysterectomies at an ICE facility and conduct a nationwide review of reproductive health policies and practices at ICE facilities.
Vermont Business Magazine US Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ranking Member of the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, on Thursday led 30 of his Senate colleagues including Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy in sending a letter to President Trump urging him to work with Congress on a bipartisan basis to enact legislation that provides the emergency assistance and protections renters need to stay in their homes. Millions of children and youth are at risk of being evicted from their homes due to the Trump administration’s refusal to support critical rental assistance and relief measures to protect their health and well-being during this pandemic.
by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims fell by over 100 last week and are at their lowest level since the first week of March. However, there are still about 35,000 Vermonters receiving either regular or pandemic unemployment benefits. For the week ending September 12, 2020, the Labor Department processed 612 Initial Claims, down 119 from the previous week and 372 more than the same time last year. Summer typically produces the lowest UI numbers.
Vermont Business Magazine Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) Thursday joined Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and all 10 committee Democrats in calling on the Justice Department inspector general to review whether U.S. Attorney John Durham’s probe into FBI activities is violating longstanding rules that protect criminal investigations from political influence. Their letter follows reports that Durham’s top deputy resigned due to concerns that Durham is being pressured to issue a report before the upcoming election.
Vermont Business Magazine Today, Governor Phil Scott and Lindsay Kurrle, Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development announced the distribution of S2.S million in federal CARES Act funding for Restart Vermont Technical Assistance. The program is free to COVID-19-impacted businesses and funded through $2.5 million in federal CARES Act funding. The program is now live and businesses can begin accessing resources immediately.