Vermont


Sas Stewart runs an adventure dinner business from her home in Vergennes and heads On the Fly, an organization that helps restaurateurs struggling as a result of the pandemic. Courtesy photo by Kevin King
Even before the pandemic closed up businesses in March, a lot of small business owners were too focused on their day-to-day operations to do things like set up a marketing plan, create or update a website, or modernize the accounting system. Some of them are getting a chance to do that now, thanks to a $2.5 million technical assistance grant, a small slice of Vermont’s federal coronavirus funding designed to help keep businesses afloat so they’re ready to return to full operation when the COVID-19 crisis eases. Five organizations applied for a share of the grant, and all five received money...
MONTPELIER — Vermonters who have seen COVID-19 affect their employment can access more than 100 free classes and training opportunities this fall through the Vermont State Colleges System, thanks to a $2.3 million allocation of Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) from the Vermont Legislature. Funding provides tuition, supplies and support services to Vermonters who have been laid off, furloughed, had hours cut, or been employed in an industry that has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible Vermonters can enroll in a wide variety of classes and training at the Community College...
MONTPELIER —Vermont’s minimum wage is going up. Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the state’s minimum wage will increase 79 center per hour, from $10.96 to $11.75 per hour, Vermont Department of Labor announced. The calculation for this increase is in accordance with Act 86 of the 2019 Vermont General Assembly. This adjustment also affects the minimum wage of “tipped employees.” The Basic Tipped Wage Rate for service or tipped employees equals 50% of the full minimum wage or $5.88 per hour starting Jan. 1. The measure is expected to increase wages for about 40,000 Vermont residents. The minimum wage is...

Gus Speth
SALISBURY — The Salisbury Conservation Commission in the coming weeks will present two outstanding public presentations on economic sustainability. Delivering the presentations via Zoom will be Tom Wessels and Gus Speth. At a time when many of our Vermont politicians and candidates seem to believe that we need to bring in more people, create more development, and increase consumption; environmental economists, ecologists, and wildlife biologists tell us that those actions are not sustainable and they are inconsistent with maintaining the healthy ecosystems that all living things (including us...
Vermont’s congressional delegation has raised concerns about the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s decision to move the state’s Farmers to Families contract, part of a pandemic program that helps feed people in need, from a Vermont-based food distributor to two out-of-state companies. In a letter sent Friday to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Sen. Patrick Leahy, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch questioned the decision to give the contract to Boston’s Costa Fruit & Produce and Texas-based Sysco Foods. Earlier in the pandemic, two rounds of the program’s Vermont contracts...
All of Vermont’s mail-in ballots for the 2020 general election have been shipped, according to the Secretary of State’s office. It’s the first time all registered active voters in the state have been automatically mailed a ballot, a precaution aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19 at polling places. Vermonters can still vote in person on Nov. 3. But starting now, voters can also return completed ballots by mail, or drop them off with their town clerk. The Secretary of State’s office recommends mailing ballots back by Oct. 24, or returning them to town clerks before Election Day. Completed...
COLCHESTER — 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. 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. In...
MIDDLEBURY— Governor Phil Scott and Lindsay Kurrle, Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, recently announced the distribution of $2.5 million in federal CARES Act funding for Restart Vermont Technical Assistance. This funding will deliver robust support to Vermont businesses impacted by the economic downturn due to COVID-19. The funding, allocated by the Vermont General Assembly in Act 137, leverages existing statewide and regional assets to reach a broad range of companies in every sector and region. The Regional Development Corporations of Vermont (RDCs of VT)...
COLCHESTER — 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. 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. In the...
The Vermont House voted Thursday to override Gov. Phil Scott’s veto of the Global Warming Solutions Act, legislation that would legally require the state to meet carbon emission reductions targets in the coming years, and allow individuals to sue the government if it fails to do so. Two days after the governor vetoed the bill, H.688, the House overturned Scott’s decision on a vote of 103-47 — surpassing the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto. Rep. Jim Harrison, R-North Chittenden, said he was disappointed that the House was ending its special legislative session with an override,...

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Addison County Independent