by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Today, the Vermont Department of Labor announced that the state's unemployment rate fell dramatically in August to a seasonally-adjusted rate of 4.8 percent. This reflects a decrease of three and five-tenths percentage points from the prior month’s revised estimate of 8.3 percent. Vermont's jobless rate is tied for fourth lowest in the nation. The decline was fueled largely by a Labor Force decline of nearly 15,000 workers from the July report and a steep decline in the number of unemployed of almost 13,000. The number of employed also fell by about 2,000.
Vermont Business Magazine While the rate of virus in Vermont remains low, we continue to see additional cases of COVID-19. As the state carefully reopens, it’s an important time to understand stigma, and how it has caused real, tangible harm to people’s health and safety. Let’s start with a core fact: No single person or group of people are more likely than others to spread COVID-19.
Vermont Business Magazine Today, US Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) held a conversation on Facebook Live to announce the Postal Banking Act. The United States Postal Service (USPS) has faced repeated attacks by the Trump administration including denying emergency funding during the pandemic and putting postal workers at risk of losing their jobs, disrupting operations and services, and delaying mail delivery. The Postal Banking Act would re-establish postal banking to provide financial security to millions of Americans in low-income and rural communities and create approximately $9 billion in annual revenue and strengthen USPS.
Vermont Business Magazine On September 16, 2020 at 10:48 PM a fire was reported to 911 at the Pownal Race Track on US Route 7 in the town of Pownal a short distance from the Massachusetts state line in Bennington County. First arriving crews noted heavy fire throughout the building that had not been occupied for several years. The fire progression was extensive and it was decided by the fire chief to only fight the fire from the exterior to prevent injury or possible death by any internal fire fighting efforts by fire personnel.
Vermont Business Magazine In a historic vote, the Vermont House today overrode Governor Phil Scott’s veto of H.688, the Global Warming Solutions Act on a vote of 103-47. The Senate will now have the opportunity to vote, which is expected next week.
Vermont Business Magazine The Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (AAFM) is proud to announce the receipt of a $7 million grant award from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) that will enable the Agency to launch a statewide Vermont Pay-for-Phosphorus (VPFP) Program to further expand and support agriculture’s role in delivering clean water results for Vermont. The VPFP Program will use an innovative ‘pay-for-performance’ approach to compensate farmers for voluntary and verified phosphorus load reductions in agricultural crop fields that exceed phosphorus reductions set by state and federal standards on a farm-by-farm basis.
Vermont Business Magazine The 15th annual Kelly Brush Ride powered by VBT Bicycling Vacations looked a little different this year. The Kelly Brush Ride went virtual for 2020 and received overwhelming support from the organization’s local and national community. The Kelly Brush Foundation (KBF) hosted a summer of weekly fundraising and Strava challenges, culminating in a day of getting active on September 12 to celebrate the event. A total of 748 people joined the virtual Kelly Brush Ride, including 35 handcyclists. Participation spanned 27 states and 2 Canadian provinces. The Kelly Brush Foundation set a fundraising goal of $500,000 for the 2020 event, and as of September 16, the event had brought in over $566,000 in peer-to-peer donations and sponsorship.
by Julie Moore, Secretary, Agency of Natural ResourcesThe Legislature’s Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) has been a centerpiece of the legislative session. It has become something of a rallying cry, an outlet even, for our collective concern and well-founded worry about our changing climate. Legislators have presented this bill as solving the climate crisis. Sadly, the bill provides little in the way of solutions.
Vermont Business Magazine How are Vermonters feeling about the upcoming national and local elections, the state’s handling of the coronavirus, and the reopening of schools and universities this fall? Next week, VPR and Vermont PBS will release the results of the third of three statewide public opinion surveys, providing valuable insight into the minds of Vermonters in the 2020 presidential election year.
Vermont Business Magazine Green Mountain Power is reaching out to customers to let them know they could qualify for free money from the State of Vermont that can help pay overdue utility bills tied to the pandemic. More than 23,000 GMP customers have balances older than 60 days for service after the pandemic began – mostly residential customers. Many utilities have voiced concern that the historic unemployment is resulting in crushing customer debt. At the beginning of the pandemic, Vermont instituted a moratorium on disconnects. Lawmakers created the Vermont COVID-19 Arrearage Assistance program using $8 million in federal COVID relief funds to help Vermonters pay overdue electric, telephone, water, and natural gas balances at least 60 days overdue that were caused by the pandemic.
Vermont Business Magazine Burlington School District Superintendent Tom Flanagan issued a letter to the community Wednesday evening that because of PCBs in the air, which had closed Burlington High School and Burlington Technical Center earlier this week, that in-person learning will not return to BHS or BTC without further diagnosing and mitigating the issue of PCB’s in the air. Beginning immediately, the school will be closed to any personnel non-essential to the testing, mitigation, or maintenance processes for at least the duration of this semester.
Vermont Business Magazine The only company in the world selling leaves – and the only company in the world selling leaf themed items. Hailing the magnificence of what the state itself calls the world’s best foliage. Founded in 2015, Vermont Leaf Company phoenix-ed from its old website September 1st with an all new expression; a significantly expanded product offering of distinguished leaf themed items (from pasta to apparel); celebrating Vermont leaves across all four seasons.