business

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury distributor of John Deere and other brand farm equipment has been sold to a larger chain of stores that sells new and used equipment to farmers, commercial landscapers, builders, and homeowners. United Ag & Turf of East Windsor, Conn., announced this week that it had purchased Mountain View Equipment, which has showrooms in Middlebury and three other locations. The buy declined to divulge the terms of the deal. Mountain View Equipment was formed Jan. 1, 2012, when Hendy Brothers, founded more than 60 years ago in Middlebury, merged with Giroux Brothers...
MONTPELIER — After a computerized sorting snafu sent the wrong 1099 tax forms to thousands of Vermonters earlier this year, the Vermont Department of Labor is once again facing another error that appears to have sent erroneous invoices to Vermont businesses for underfunding unemployment accounts in the fourth quarter of 2020. Middlebury-based Addison Independent publisher Angelo Lynn received such an invoice Friday morning and, after a half hour of research and a few calls between the company’s bookkeeper and payroll service, discovered that the invoice was another error made by the Vermont...
MIDDLEBURY — A private investor has purchased Bee’s Wrap, a Middlebury maker of food storage wrappings. The company did not disclose the purchase price or the name the buyer, but did say the purchaser was based in Vermont. The transaction closed Feb. 4. Founded in 2012 in Sarah Kaeck’s New Haven basement, Bee’s Wrap has been very successful in developing and marketing a versatile and durable warp made of cloth and covered in bee’s wax. After a move to a bigger production space in Bristol, the company moved to the former Sear’s space on Exchange Street in Middlebury two years ago, and last...
WASHINGTON — The Small Business Administration on Friday announced that it had approved approximately 60,000 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications submitted by nearly 3,000 lenders, for over $5 billion, between the program’s re-opening on Monday, Jan. 11, at through to Sunday, Jan. 17. Last week, the PPP provided dedicated access to community financial institutions that specialize in serving underserved communities, including minority- women- and veteran-owned small businesses from Monday through Thursday, joined Friday by smaller lenders. First Draw PPP loans are for those...
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration is re-opening an aid program for small businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. The Paycheck Protection Program will re-open the week of Jan. 11 for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. To promote access to capital, initially only community financial institutions will be able to make First Draw PPP Loans on Monday, Jan. 11, and Second Draw PPP Loans on Wednesday, Jan. 13. The PPP will open to all participating lenders shortly thereafter. Updated PPP guidance outlining program changes to enhance its effectiveness and...

CHRIS GALLANT
MIDDLEBURY — Aqua ViTea, the Middlebury maker of the fermented, tea-based beverage kombucha, has just hired a slate of new executives to help it substantially grow its business. Hailing from nationally recognized consumer good brands including Heineken International, Red Bull North America, Unreal and more, Aqua ViTea said its new hires will build out the brand’s distribution partnerships and expand its retail presence. An important target for that growth is to expand sales of its alcoholic kombucha line, called AfterGlow, by bringing in a sales director dedicated to the product. The goal is...
MIDDLEURY — The Middlebury selectboard on Tuesday unanimously endorsed the community’s new downtown master plan, a 138-page blueprint showing how the core village area could grow and flourish during the next decade and beyond. “It’s exceeded my expectations,” selectboard member Lindsey Fuentes-George said of the document, which includes more than 130 recommendations on how to promote the ideals of orderly growth in housing, retail, green spaces, the local arts scene and other downtown assets. “It’s obviously aspirational — thinking big,” she added. “It gives us a framework for talking about...

Main Street in Bristol
BRISTOL — While choosing among candidates for federal, state and local offices this past Tuesday, Bristol voters also approved updates to the 2017 Bristol Zoning Regulations, which advocates say will make the town more business-friendly. Three of the most significant things the updates do is 1. add to the town plan a set of “Subdivision Regulations” that will give Bristol more local control over business development; 2. change the name of the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) to the “Development Review Board” (DRB); and 3. assign the local business development review process to this renamed...

A new report from the Middlebury Economic Health Committee suggests ways the town could attract and grow businesses.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury should resume its economic development efforts through a new entity — either hired or volunteer — that would reach out to business prospects, as well as invest in better broadband infrastructure to boost nascent and growing enterprises in Addison County’s shire town. Those are but two in a series of recommendations contained in a report released this week by the Middlebury Economic Health Committee (MEHC). The Middlebury selectboard created the committee in 2018 to recommend economic development tools, policies, strategies and actions the community could employ to...

VERMONT AGENCY OF Agriculture hemp program chief Timothy Schmalz, left, Vermont Hemp Company CEO Joel Bedard and local farmer Sam Berthiaume stand in a field of hemp being grown in Middlebury by Berthiaume and his cousin Joel Pomainville in 2017.
 Independent file photo/Trent Campbell
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Federal hemp regulations that were scheduled to go into effect at the end of this month have been delayed for a year, according to the office of Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. The hemp rules, which were written by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, would have set the THC limit for industrial hemp at only 0.3%, which is vastly more restrictive than Vermont current regulations, which set the limit at 1%. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is a psychoactive substance in recreational and medicinal marijuana plants; in occurs naturally in trace amounts in industrial hemp plants. Leahy’s...

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Addison County Independent