NEK Community Announcements
2022 Legislative Breakfast Forums
May 16 – North Country Chamber of Commerce, 8:00 am / Moderator: Bill Davies. e-mail [email protected] for Zoom (or) in-person information. Forum recordings can be found on YouTube.
May 23 – NEK Chamber of Commerce, 8:00 am / Co-hosts: Darcie McCann & Laural Ruggles. Forums will be recorded with links found on the NEK Chamber Facebook page www.nekchamber.com.
May is St. Johnsbury Bike Month!
Events are sponsored by Link, NEKProsper, St. Johnsbury Town Energy Committee & Local Motion. For more information go to: nekprosper.org/outcomes/physically-healthy/ .
E-Bike Demos – May 5th, 3:00 pm / St J School Walk & Roll to School Day
Bike Fair – May 14th
Family Bike Ride – May 15th / St. J to Danville
E-Bike Lending Library – April 15th – May 18th / Reserve your e-bike at www.localmotion.org/travelingebikes .
Green Up Day is May 7th
This annual statewide event was launched in 1970 to promote the stewardship of our state’s natural landscape and waterways, and raise public awareness about the benefits of a litter-free environment. Pick up Green Up bags and get out in the community on Saturday, May 7th to clean up your neighborhood after the long winter! Keep VERMONT beautiful. As volunteers we can make a difference!
Late ARPA Project & Expenditure Report?
Local municipalities will not be penalized if the first annual Project & Expenditure Report is late as a result of access issues to Treasury’s portal. If you were not able to complete your reporting by the April 30th deadline, please contact Annie McLean for assistance. [email protected]. NVDA is here to help with everything ARPA.
Lamoille Valley Rail Trail Scheduled for Completion This Fall
The long anticipated four-seasons recreation trail will run 93 miles from St. Johnsbury to Swanton. In addition to providing a smooth, safe surface on which to walk, run or ride (horseback, bicycle or snowmobile), the trail corridor is expected to bolster the economies of the towns through which it passes. In the NEK, those towns are Hardwick, Greensboro, Stannard, Walden, Danville and St. Johnsbury.
The segment between West Danville and Hardwick will be finished by November 12. Effective July 1st, the trails will be under the management of VTrans, and VAST will play a prominent role during the winter months.
Visit the website to stay informed and to see how the public can provide input on the LVRT: Here
Landlord Repair Program
The VT Rental Housing Investment Program VHIP provides funding for rental property owners to cover the cost of bringing vacant and blighted rental units back on the rental market. RuralEdge, the local Homeownership Center for the NEK, will assist landlords to repair and improve their rental units and address health & safety issues and code violations. Maximum grant $30,000 per unit. Visit the website for more information. Questions? Contact David Deluca, [email protected] (802) 535-3555.
State Surplus Property Launches Online Showroom
Are you looking for office furniture, audio visual equipment, computer supplies, vehicles? The state has a wide assortment of affordable surplus property available for sale. Browse through items on the online showroom at Bgs.vermont.gov/gbs/surplus. From paper clips to plow trucks, the website features useful affordable equipment and supplies for potential customers. Check it out.
Survey: Help EnVision a More Age-Friendly Vermont
The Older Vermonters Act of 2020 requires Vermont to create an “Action Plan for Aging Well”, a 10-year blueprint to build an age-friendly state across all sectors. As part of the effort to gather baseline information about the status of Vermont communities today, a survey has been developed to get as many Vermonters age 45+ to share their experiences on issues like Transportation, Housing, Health & Wellness, Social Participation, Job Opportunities, and more. The online survey takes about 20 minutes to complete and responses will be kept confidential. Survey
Vermont State University Has a New President
Dr. Parwinder Grewal has been appointed to lead Vermont State University, currently comprised of Castleton University, Northern Vermont University, and Vermont Technical College. Dr. Grewal brings over 25 years in higher education and 10 years of experience in research and development in industry and government. Most recently, he played a key leadership role at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, a new university created through the merger of three long-standing legacy institutions spanning multiple campuses and communities. Dr. Grewal will assume the presidency of Vermont State University on July 1st – the first statewide, hybrid institution in the United States!
2022 Vermont Walk/Bike Summit
The VT Agency of Transportation, along with a number of participating organizations, will host the statewide Vermont Walk/Bike Summit at the Town Hall Theater in Middlebury on May 6th. The Summit Committee has put together a great event and looks forward to five tracks of presentations including two mobile workshop tracks. Pre-registration includes Lunch! Register Here
Loggers’ Expo – May 6 & 7
The Northeastern Forest Products Equipment Exposition, otherwise known at the Loggers’ Expo, is the premier forest products trade show in the Northeastern U.S. Industry buyers and sellers of equipment, supplies and services will be in attendance at the Champlain Valley Exposition Center in Essex Junction. Learn more
Webcast: State of the Construction Industry, 2022 and Beyond – May 10th, 1:00-2:30 pm
Join chief economists of the Associated General Contractors of America, the American Institute of Architects, and ConstructionConnect for a discussion on what’s in store for the construction industry for the remainder of 2022 and beyond. There is no cost to attend. Register Here
Vermont Municipal Equipment Show & Field Day – May 11th
The 2022 Equipment Show & Field Day will be held at the Barre Municipal Civic Center on May 11th. The event, previously put on by VT Municipal Highway Association, includes a Snowplow Rally and Backhoe Competition. Municipal Equipment Show & Field Day Questions? Contact Lisa Schaeffler (802) 735-3852 [email protected]
VT Emergency Preparedness Conference – May 26th
The 2022 Vermont Emergency Management Learning Day will be held May 26th, in-person at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, or virtually through Microsoft Teams. Registration is required and limited. For a schedule of events and to register for either event visit VEP Conference
Conference and Trade Show: Vermont Short Term Rentals – June 2nd & 3rd
Are you interested in learning about Short Term Rentals? Meet vendors with products and services, and learn about safety, regulation, and best practices at the VTSTRA Conference & Trade Show to be held at the Capitol Plaza in Montpelier. Register for the event here: https://vtstra.org/conference2022
Veterans Summit at Northern VT University, June 3rd
NVU-Lyndon will host the 10th Annual Veterans Summit with speakers and breakout sessions. There is no cost to attend or to have an exhibitor table, but advanced registration is required. All are welcome! Register Today
Downtown & Historic Preservation Conference in St. Johnsbury, June 9th
Join the Preservation Trust of Vermont and the Department of Housing & Community Development for this in-person event in St. Johnsbury on Thursday, June 9th. Sessions will revolve around the following themes: Redefining Main Street & Rural Economies; Outdoor Recreation; Arts, Culture & Creative Industries; and Housing Challenges. Register Now Take advantage of the early bird rate until May 13th. Space is limited and the conference may sell out quickly. Read more Questions? Contact Gary Holloway [email protected].
2022 Vermont Forest Industry Summit – Burke Mountain Resort, June 9th & 10th
Join in person for what has become the industry’s marquee event that brings together people and businesses from across Vermont’s forest economy. Keynotes, panel discussions, and breakout sessions will feature a range of topics. Network and learn about new innovations, technologies and products shaping the industry’s future while enjoying two days of hospitality at Burke Mountain Resort. Register
Vermont Employee Ownership Conference, UVM Davis Center, June 9th
Information about the conference and agenda are available on the VEOC website Here. Jennifer Briggs, CEO of Modern Times Beer, California’s first employee-owned brewery, will be the keynote speaker. Discounted registrations are being offered.
VCDA Spring Conference: Addressing the Vermont Housing Challenge, June 28th
At this event, housing experts, community and municipal leaders, and community development professionals from across the state will discuss local and regional strategies for success. The conference will be held at the Barre Elks Lodge. Registration will open soon. https://www.vtcda.org/spring-2022.html
The Freighthouse Receives Statewide Recognition!
The Small Business Administration and Vermont Business Magazine has awarded the Freighthouse in Lyndonville, Vermont’s 2022 Family-Owned Small Business of the Year. An Awards Ceremony will be held on June 16th at the Country Club of Vermont in Waterbury. Congratulations to Bonnie Paris and the Paris family!
CAE Receives Food Hub Award
The VT Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets awarded five Vermont nonprofit food hubs to support more farm and food businesses, expand their workforce, and advance ongoing efforts to access larger markets. The funding program is part of a 2021 Northern Border Regional Commission partnership. The Center for an Agricultural Economy in Hardwick will be able to use grant funds to support the need to outfit their space at the Yellow Barn project by doubling their local product storage capacity. Congratulations CAE!
Forest Products Accelerator Program – Applications Now Being Accepted
DoNorth Co-working and Northern VT University are now accepting applications for the 4-month cohort for the new Forest Products Accelerator Program.
- Are you a start-up company using wood byproducts?
- Are you using technology that improves the forest industry operations?
- Does your product increase efficiency in wood-based heat or fuel?
- Are you looking for networking opportunities such as mentors, advisors and partnerships with industry leaders?
The program is supported by a grant from the Northern Border Regional Commission and will begin in mid-July. Applications will be accepted through June 17th
. For more information and to apply, visit www.forestaccelerator.org
. Questions? email [email protected]
Small Business Assessment Survey – VT Professionals of Color Network (VT PoC)
As part of a national initiative, the VT PoC, Main Street Alliance, and VT Small Business Development Center have launched a survey to assess the needs of small businesses owned by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. While seeking to further understand what is working well for small rural business owners and identify gaps that exist, a goal of the survey is to connect with those who have yet to access resources from regional and state-based programming. BIPOC small business owners can take the survey Here
. You’re also invited to participate in Main Street Alliance and VT PoC Listening Sessions. BIPOC small business owners can be compensated for their time – $150 for each listening session.
No Cost CPT Training for Manufacturing Production Technician Registered Apprentices
Community College of Vermont is offering a fully funded Certified Production Technician (CPT) workshop for manufacturing apprentices. Students will earn four individual certificates in Safety, Quality Practices, Manufacturing Processes, and Maintenance Awareness from the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council, resulting in full CPT certification. Local manufacturers looking to hire new apprentices or upskill current production workers can now have this technical instruction and certification provided at no cost. Contact Michael Keogh, CCV Director of Business Engagement at (802) 786-5188 or [email protected]
Northern Border Regional Commission Names Chris Saunders, Federal Co-Chair
Chris joins the NBRC after nearly two decades of service as part of Senator Leahy’s staff. His work work for Senator Leahy focused on a number of crucial issues in the NBRC region, including community and economic development, and transportation. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and will now work collaboratively with the Governors of Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont to oversee a $35M core budget along with partnership programs that deploy funds across the region.
Job Opportunity: Bookkeeper/Grant Manager for NEK Broadband
NEK Broadband is a Communications Union District with a mission to bring reliable and affordable high-speed internet options to everyone in the NEK. The open position with benefits is negotiable. A full job description is available at nekbroadband.org
. Submit a resume and cover letter by May 6th.
NVDA is Searching for a Part-time Bookkeeper
Northeastern Vermont Development Association is seeking to expand its business office to accommodate a growing number of projects serving the businesses and communities of the NEK. The position will stay open until filled. Job Description
UVM Job Opening: Farm & Forest Business Outreach Educator
This new position will expand the overall capacity of the Farm and Forest Viability network to offer Business and Transfer Planning to farm and forest businesses across Vermont. The position will be located in either the St. Johnsbury or Rutland Extension Office. Read more
SBA Accepting Applications for Free Executive Entrepreneurship Training
The T.H.R.I.V.E. training series is slated to begin this summer. Over six months, small business owners will benefit from in-person coaching, self-paced instruction, mentoring, and classroom time. There are no restrictions on the type of businesses that can participate. For more information visit www.sbathrive.com
Adult Education & Career Training
Visit the website to view many offerings that include Career & Technical Training, Home Improvement Skills, Childcare, Life Skills, and Enrichment & Professional Development courses.
Vermont Tech – Continuing Education & Workforce Development www.vtc.edu
- Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship & Industrial Maintenance Apprenticeship – a series of courses fully grant funded. Upcoming classes include online CNC Training
- Health Care Trainings – Find one-day seminars, online training, short certificate programs, and a variety of training opportunities for in-demand healthcare careers. Visit the website VTC Healthcare
- Upgrade your skills with flexible, affordable classes. NVU offers job training, career advancement and non-degree education through online platforms and traditional learning. Explore the website for more information. Contact Ann Nygard, [email protected] (802) 626-4867
Sterling College School of the New American Farmstead
- Two 3-day / in-person summer workshops on campus / June 4-6 and July 22-24. Both are open to the public and designed to help farmers and gardeners make spaces more biodiverse, vibrant, and resilient. Full tuition funding is available to support the participation of a Veteran. For more information email [email protected].
- VHCB Farm & Forest Viability Program The program mission is to enhance the economic viability of Vermont farms and forestry enterprises. Business coaching services are offered to eligible farmers, agriculturally-related businesses, forest products enterprises, and forest landowners. The VHCB also has a program specifically focused on helping those businesses navigate pandemic impacts. VHCB
- VT Department of Labor and its Workforce Development Division are ready to assist Vermonters on their path to re-employment. For Information about job openings and training opportunities by region and industry, visit labor.vermont.gov/jobs. VDOL is also available to assist businesses with virtual job fairs. For more information contact Kinsley Sicard, [email protected].
- VT Manufacturing Extension Center Visit the VMEC website and check out Winter training opportunities for leaders and workers involving professional development, coaching and hands-on training. VMEC
- VT Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) VT PTAC provides businesses with training to understand the requirements of government contracting and the know-how to obtain federal, state and local contracts. Visit https://vtptac.ecenterdirect.com/events for a list of free workshops with sign-up information. Questions? Contact Brenda Plastridge [email protected]. Accd.vermont.gov/economic-development/programs/ptac
- VT Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) Experienced business advisors are available by email, phone or video conferencing. Do you need help constructing financial statements or application forms for recovery relief funding? For free customized service, contact: Ross Hart [email protected] (802) 535-4240 (c) or Heidi Krantz [email protected]
- NEK Collaborative (NEKC) The Collaborative’s mission is to improve the quality of life for all residents in the NEK through coordinated economic and community-supported development. www.nekcollaborative.org. NEK Strong, the Collaborative’s monthly newsletter, offers no-cost and low-cost Business Resources NEKstrong.com. Sign up!
- Two Vermont Clean Energy Grant Opportunities: 1) Requests for proposals to create and operate a residential comprehensive whole-home clean energy assistance program to benefit Vermont’s low-income residents. Maximum contract $1M. Proposals due May 6 – RFP Here. 2) Preliminary grant applications are being accepted from Vermont public schools in low-income areas for repairs of existing HVAC systems and the installation of new clean heating systems. $2.5M in ARPA funds available. Initial applications due May 6 – RFP Here.
- Local Market Development Grant Vermont farm and food businesses, and noto-for-profit organizations are eligible to apply to this competitive funding opportunity, designed to increase access to wholesale and institutional markets. The maximum award is $15,000 and applicants are required to provide a 25% match. Deadline: May 10. Read more
- Second Round of Resilient Communities Fund Grants The second round will fund buyouts of flood-vulnerable homes, floodplain restoration, and other natural resource projects that will help protect life and property from future floods in Vermont. The program was created in 2021 to enhance community resilience to flooding and improve water quality. More than $2.1 million in grants will go to towns and nonprofit organizations in round two. Read more
- E.M.B.R.A.C.E. Grants for Vermont Micro-businesses The VT Community Action Partnership and Micro Business Development Program have come together to establish Economic Micro Business Recovery Assistance for the Covid-19 Epidemic. The direct grant program supports the smallest Vermont micro-businesses owned by individuals with a household income at or under 80% of the state median household income. $5,000 grants are awarded to qualifying businesses having 5 employees or less (including the owner.) Visit the website for more information and to apply on a first come, first served basis: mbdp.org/embrace-grant.
- Better Places Grants If you are thinking of more parks and green spaces, a vibrant main street, public art projects, and community gardens, Better Places grants can help turn those ideas into reality. This statewide community grant program is supported by the VT Department of Housing & Community Development, the VT Department of Health, and VT Community Foundation. There is no deadline to apply. Projects are accepted on a rolling basis while funding is available. The Better Places program anticipates offering two rounds of funding in 2022. Visit the website for more information: Better Places
- Rural Fire Protection Grant Program The VT Rural Fire Protection Task Force and VT Association of Conservation Districts (VACD) is offering maximum grant awards of $10,000 per project/system. The installation of new dry hydrants and other types of rural water supplies are still a priority of the program, but other eligible projects are included. Learn more. Visit the website vacd.org/programs/rural-fire-protection to download the application packet.
- Firefighter Assistance Grants The goal of the Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG) is to meet the fire and emergency response needs of fire departments and non-affiliated emergency medical service organizations. For more information visit: FEMA AFG Funding.
- NCIC Technical Assistance Grants Cost sharing grants are available for professional services that businesses may not otherwise be able to afford. Contact Aimee Quimby for more information (802) 748-5101 x2019 [email protected]
- Grant Available for Permitting Costs for Value-Added Forest Products Businesses The Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation is offering grant funds to cover permitting costs for businesses engaged in adding value to forest products. Sawmills, firewood processors, and furniture makers are eligible, but not logging and forestry. Applications will be received and reviewed on a rolling basis. Visit FPPA Grants for more information and to apply.
- Community Heart & Soul The Community Heart & Soul Seed Grant Program is uniquely designed for small cities and towns (population 2,500-30,000). Successful applicants will receive $10,000 grants to match funding from a participating municipality or a partnering organization. Apply Here. Read the Grant Guidelines for more information. Awards are made on a rolling basis.
- Need Help with Grant Writing? REDI Offers Funding for Grant Writing Assistance The Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI), a program of the VT Housing and Conservation Board, helps rural communities and small businesses access funding for community and business development projects. Eligible applicants must be based in or serving populations under 5,000. For more information with an online application visit vhcb.org/redi. Questions? Contact Mariah Noth [email protected] (802) 828-1098.
- USDA RD Home Repair Loan Program Federal regulations have made it easier for low-income rural residents to rehab and repair their homes through USDA 504 Home Repair Loans & Grants. The program provides funding for low income homeowners to repair, improve or modernize their homes, and/or remove health and safety hazards.
- Vermont Recovery Loan Fund (VRLF) This revolving loan program, provides flexible terms and low-to-no-cost debt financing and advisory services to help alleviate economic disruptions caused by the pandemic. Loans are available to businesses across multiple sectors including manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, forestry & wood products, education & early care, nonprofits, and other drivers of rural economic development. For more information on VRLF and other VT Community Loan Fund lending programs, visit the website Here.
- Northeast Kingdom Special Loan Program The VT Economic Development Authority (VEDA) is offering low interest loans under its Small Business Program to growing qualified businesses in Essex, Caledonia and Orleans Counties. The NEK Program can make loans of up to $150,000 for fixed asset acquisition or for working capital purposes. Find out more by visiting the VEDA website or contact Sandy Croft at (802) 828-5472 [email protected].
- VT Employee Ownership Loan Fund The VEOL Fund provides capital assistance to businesses that are already employee-owned or becoming so, as well as start ups owned by employees. VT Employee Ownership Loan. For more information, contact Don Jamison, Program Director of VT Employee Ownership Center, (802) 338-7448, [email protected].
- NVDA Revolving Loan Program The Northeastern Vermont Development Association (NVDA) has a limited amount of loan funds available for businesses in Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans Counties. Funds may be used for the purchase of real property & equipment, working capital, and feasibility studies. For more information contact Judith Butson [email protected] (802) 748-1222.
- NCIC Loan Program Northern Community Investment Corporation (NCIC) offers a variety of business lending and support programs with flexible financing solutions to meet the needs of the business and the borrower. For more information contact Aaron Krone (802) 748-5101 x2021 [email protected] or visit www.ncic.org.
- Efficiency Vermont’s Energy Loan This loan program offers affordable financing options to help residents and business customers move forward with energy efficiency projects designed to deliver savings and spur the economy. Find out more: Energy Loan
- VT Farm Fund New Producer Loan Are you thinking about projects for your farm or food business this spring, but wondering how to cover the up-front costs? The VT Farm Fund can help. The Business Builder Loan is for farm businesses to invest and innovate for growth. The VT Farm Fund is a program of The Center for an Agricultural Economy. [email protected].
- VT Farm Fund (VFF) Revolving Loan Programs: Emergency & Business Builder Loans When local farmers and food producers are struck by disaster or have a new business idea that will increase efficiency, they are best served by quick and easy access to a loan with friendly terms. Find out more at www.vermontfarmfund.org. Questions? Contact Kate Stephenson (802) 560-3099
Incentive Programs for Vermont Businesses
- VT Employment Growth Incentive Program (VEGI) Vermont offers an economic incentive for business recruitment, growth and expansion. The VEGI program provides financial incentives to qualified businesses that meet performance requirements. Authorization occurs through an application to the VT Economic Progress Council. For applicant information, visit http://accd.vermont.gov/economic-development/funding-incentives/vegi or contact Abbie Sherman, [email protected].
- VT Training Program (VTP) The Vermont Training Program can be used to train new employees or existing employees if the training is needed for new equipment or technology. VTP can pay up to 50% of an employee’s wages/salary during the training period. Are your employees eligible? Contact John Young, Director of Workforce Development Programs (802) 355-2725 [email protected] or visit VTP.
- VT Talent Pipeline Management (VTPM) VTPM addresses the talent-supply gap by connecting employer needs with training programs and funding resources to better prepare the labor force with job-ready skills. During July and August 2021, VTPM invited Advanced Manufacturing employers to participate in a collaborative planning process to assess hiring needs for new and replacement jobs over a two-year period, Aug 2021-2023. Read the VTPM Report: Hiring Needs – VT Manufacturing (Any Vermont manufacturer is welcome to join the VTPM collaborative effort to connect job seekers with career opportunities.) Visit the website https://www.vermonttpm.org or contact Mary Anne Sheahan for more information. [email protected].
- State Trade Expansion Program – STEP Program The STEP grant program provides funding assistance in the form of reimbursement to help businesses with an array of export-related projects aimed at increasing international sales through trade missions, trade shows, and export education. The objective is to increase the overall number of small business exporters, and assist in developing a strategic plan to boost export sales and accelerate growth. For more information visit accd.vermont.gov/economic-development/programs/international-trade
- Downtown & Village Center Tax Credit Program This program is designed to stimulate private investment, create jobs, restore historic buildings, and jumpstart revitalization efforts in Vermont’s Designated Downtowns and Village Centers. Visit the ACCD website for information about eligible projects and the 2021 round of funding. Tax Credit for Downtown & Village Centers
Looking for Commercial or Office Space?
Offices for Rent: (electricity & heat included) Gallery Building, St. Johnsbury
Commercial Building Lots for Sale: St. Johnsbury-Lyndon Industrial Park & Orleans Industrial Park (water & sewer available)
St. Johnsbury Office: 802.748-5181 Fax: 802.748-1223
Newport Office: 194 Main Street, Suite 219, Newport, VT 05855; 802.334-5861
NVDA is the regional planning and development organization serving
Caledonia, Essex and Orleans Counties. – An equal opportunity lender, provider and employer.
This monthly newsletter from NVDA is made possible in part by a grant
from the State of Vermont through the Agency of Commerce & Community Development