Regional Planning & Economic Development in the Northeast Kingdom
David Snedeker, Executive Director
e-Newsletter – August 2022
Northern VT Economic Development District (NVEDD) Launches New Website
This District includes six Vermont counties located in close proximity to the Canadian border. The counties share economic interests that include a rural working landscape, stable manufacturing sector, and a robust tourism trade. NVEDD’s redesigned website contains a valuable Funding Opportunities Search Tool available to businesses, nonprofits, and municipalities for planning and infrastructure-related projects. Looking to leverage ARPA money? Users can filter the database by category, eligible recipient, and funding source to access specific up-to-date funding opportunities.
NEK Mountain Trail Guide Updated
Northwood Stewardship Center has published a second edition of the Northeast Kingdom Mountain Trail Guide nearly a decade after the sold-out first edition was released. The 250-page guidebook includes updates to original trail descriptions, photos, new maps, and new content on additional hiking trails. The guide, an in-depth resource, is available in NEK bookstores and can be ordered online from NorthWoods. The second edition is also available as a digital book. Trailguide.northwoodscenter.org.
FEMA Map Updates and Model Stand Alone Flood Hazard Bylaw
FEMA is preparing updated flood maps across Vermont. Most communities will need to update their bylaws before the maps become effective. The flood studies are being prepared by local watersheds. When complete, FEMA will release a Preliminary, and then an effective Flood Insurance Rate Map for the county. Municipal officials are encouraged to begin the process of updating early. Information on the map and bylaw process can be found at www.floodtraining.vt.gov.
Introduction to Floodplain Management: NFIP 101
FEMA’s online Floodplain Management Training will help floodplain administrators, emergency managers, elected officials, and others learn more about the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and its requirements. New administrators will also learn how floodplain management decisions affect insurance, health, and public safety. NFIP 101 is free and does not require ASFPM membership. Read more
Vermont Special Events List for 2023
The VT Homeland Security Unit and the VT Intelligence Center are compiling a list of statewide special events occurring between Dec. 1, 2022 to November 30, 2023. A comprehensive list of events helps local first responders, area law enforcement, and public safety organizations with situational awareness to better protect Vermont citizens and guests. Special events include gatherings that attract a minimum of 1,000 participants and spectators in a public and/or private venue. Examples include concerts, marathons, firework displays, parades, community celebrations, sporting events, etc. Town officials can assist in keeping Vermont prepared by completing an online Special Events Reporting Form.
Amtrak Service Opens from Burlington to New York City
The Amtrak Ethan Allen Express offers Vermonters and visitors expanded passenger rail service along the western corridor of the state. Affordable transportation option by train is nearly three times more energy efficient than automobiles. The new service began on July 29th after decades of collaboration by the Agency of Transportation to accommodate higher speed passenger rail. “This infrastructure upgrade and improved daily travel will benefit our state in countless ways, all while helping to grow our economy,” said Governor Phil Scott. Ethan Allen Express Train Amtrak 1-800-USA-RAIL
Vermont Community Leadership Summit, August 10th
The 2022 event, presented by the VT Council on Rural Development, will include skills workshops, networking opportunities, community project panels, and forum discussions with over 500 leaders from across Vermont! VT Technical College in Randolph will host the all-inclusive summit. Learn more and register online: https://www.vtrural.org/Summit22
Bylaw Modernization Grants Coming Soon
In August, special grants will be announced to help towns and cities pay for expert bylaw-writing assistance. Changes to municipal bylaws can create big opportunities for great neighborhoods and help towns prepare for a new State designation. Applications will be due Nov. 1st. More information will be added to the Bylaw Modernization Grants webpage as it becomes available.
Mobile Home Park Infrastructure Program to Launch This Year
The Department of Housing & Community Development is preparing a new program to improve mobile home park infrastructure and assist owners of mobile homes with necessary repairs. The Legislature allocated ARPA funds to address these needs. The program is under development and will be announcement soon.
Free Wood Heat Assessments for Small Businesses
The VT Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation, in partnership with VEIC, announces the availability of free assessments for small businesses interested in switching from fossil fuels to Advanced Wood Heat (AWH). AWH includes a wide scale of technologies, from EPA certified wood stoves to wood chip boilers appropriate for large commercial buildings. To be considered for participation in the program, businesses should complete this short intake form.
CNPP Assistance for Small Businesses
Would your business benefit from a website redesign, a new point-of-sale system, or other technical assistance? The VT Community Navigator Pilot Program (CNPP) was funded with a VT Community Development Block grant and the SBA. Some money remains and the application portal has reopened until 12/31/22 or until the funding is fully subscribed. This is an excellent opportunity for LMI business owners. Check eligibility Here Contact Annie McLean for assistance firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do North Co-working KickstartNEK Workshops – 2 Locations in August
This 3-hour course, broken down in three parts, helps participants develop and refine their business model to launch and grow their business. Part 1, Explore Your Idea; Part 2, Refine Your Model; Part 3, Define Next Steps. Register at bit.ly/getstartednek. Questions? email@example.com
- August 4, 5:30-8:30 pm @ Do North, Lyndonville
- August 10, 5:30-8:30 pm @ Spark, Greensboro
NEK Entrepreneur Mentoring Program
The NEK Entrepreneur Mentoring program is launching this Fall and applications are being accepted now from both mentors and entrepreneurs. Mentors with relevant experience starting or growing a business should apply. Entrepreneurs from any industry can participate if interested in growing their business and willing to accept feedback and coaching. For more information visit: https://donorthcoworking.com/mentorship/.
VT PTAC – Support for Businesses Seeking Government Contracts
Job Opening at Northern VT University
The full-time administrative position, Coordinator of Partner Engagement & Workforce Development, will contribute to the Learning & Working Initiative at NVU by generating opportunities for students to gain professional skills by integrating academic learning with work, and securing high-impact experiences such as internships and successful career placement. Read more
Career Training & Adult Education Courses
Two FREE Courses at NVU & VTC for Vermonters Affected by Covid-19:
- Northern Vermont University Center for Professional Studies https://www.northernvermont.edu/academics/non-traditional-students/center-for-professional-studies/ Take two Free courses at NVU while funding lasts. Select training options for workforce-focused courses through the Center for Professional Studies. Visit vtworkers.vsc.edu to learn more and sign up! NVU also offers career advancement and non-degree education through online platforms and traditional learning. Contact Ann Nygard firstname.lastname@example.org
- Vermont Tech – Continuing Education & Workforce Development www.vtc.edu If eligibility criteria is met, act fast! This legislature-funded program at VT Tech and the VT State College System offers two Free courses to upskill and reskill Vermont’s workforce. First come, first served until funding lasts. vtworkers.vsc.edu Course Listing VTC also offers one-day seminars, online training, short certificate programs, and a variety of training opportunities for in-demand healthcare careers. Visit VTC Healthcare website Here.
The T.H.R.I.V.E Emerging Leaders Reimagined training series includes in-person coaching, self-paced instruction, mentoring and classroom time. Six months of free intensive training sessions from July-December. Visit the SBA website to see if you qualify and find out how to apply to the nearest cohort.
Contact Marina Cole to register or learn more: (802) 334-5469 x3305 email@example.com
Visit the website to view many offerings that include home improvement skills, childcare, and career & professional development courses.
Sterling College School of the New American Farmstead
- Sterling College offers full tuition funding for Veterans interested in continuing education courses in agroecological farming and craft food production. For more information about eligible course offerings, email Nakasi Fortune firstname.lastname@example.org
- Municipal Park-and-Ride Grant Program The VT Agency of Transportation is accepting grant applications for SFY 2023 Municipal Park-and-Ride funding for small park-and-ride facilities in Vermont communities. These facilities will assist in the effort of reducing the number of single occupancy vehicles on the roadway which helps reduce vehicle pollutants and traffic congestion. E-mail applications are due by Sept. 2nd. Park-and-Ride Program Information
- Grant Funding for Municipalities Along the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail VTrans has issued a notice about an upcoming grant program to fund projects that improve trail amenities and function. Municipalities located adjacent to the LVRT are eligible to apply. There is no program cap on the amount awarded for a specific project. A 20% local match will be required. All projects will need to be developed according to published guidelines for municipal assistance. Visit the website Here. Complete information will be available in August.
- Coming Soon! Local Emergency Management Enhancement Grant VT Emergency Management is releasing a new grant program this summer. The program will provide opportunities to purchase EOC equipment, backup generators, etc. Up to $500,000 is expected to be available. Municipalities are encouraged to begin thinking about priority needs. Complete information will be available when the program opens.
- Regional Communications Grant Program Vermont is seeking specific projects that address the development and implementation of Regional Dispatch/Communications Centers. Interested entities should view the Request for Proposal’s Here Applications with accompanying materials are due to DPS.HSU@vermont.gov on Sept. 2nd. Questions? Contact Mancy Wooster, Department of Public Safety Mandy.Wooster@vermont.gov.
- FY2023 Building Communities Grants This program, administered by the Department of Buildings and General Services, includes funding for Recreational Facilities, Human Services Facilities, Educational Facilities, and Regional Economic Development. The grants are for construction and capital improvements. Deadline to submit applications is Sept.10th. http://www.bgs.vermont.gov/commissioner/building-communities-grants.
- VT e-bike Incentive Program The State of Vermont is offering $400 off the purchase of a new e-bike. The Incentive Program is applicable through local bike shops and online retailers. It can also be used in combination with rebates available through Vermont power utilities. Find out about eligibility requirements Here.
- 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 small 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. The 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 lasts. 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 a priority of the program, but other eligible projects are included. 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 for small businesses. Contact Aimee Quimby (802) 748-5101 x2019 Aquimby@ncic.org www.ncic.org
- 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 reviewed on a rolling basis. Visit FPPA Grants 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. REDI funds may be used to hire a grant writer, develop a fundraising strategy for a project, or complete steps to make a grant application more competitive. 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 Mariah@vhcb.org (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 Scroft@veda.org.
- 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@example.com.
- NVDA Revolving Loan Program The Northeastern Vermont Development Association 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 and equipment, working capital, and feasibility studies. For more information contact Judith Butson firstname.lastname@example.org (802) 748-1222. www.nvda.net
- NCIC Loan Program Northern Community Investment Corporation offers a variety of business lending and support programs with flexible financing solutions. For more information contact Aaron Krone (802) 748-5101 x2021 Akrone@ncic.org 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, 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@example.com.
- 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 more information, visit http://accd.vermont.gov/economic-development/funding-incentives/vegi or contact Abbie Sherman, Abbie.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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 John.email@example.com.
- VT Talent Pipeline Management (VTPM) VTPM addresses the talent-supply gap by connecting employer needs with training programs and funding resources to prepare the labor force with job-ready skills. In 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 to connect job seekers with career opportunities.) Visit https://www.vermonttpm.org or contact Mary Anne Sheahan for more information. firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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. 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 next round of funding. Tax Credit for Downtown & Village Centers
- VT Manufacturing Extension Center Visit the VMEC website and check out 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. Contact Brenda Plastridge Brenda.Plastridge@vermont.gov. VT PTAC
- 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. VHCB
- VT Department of Labor and its Workforce Development Division 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, Kinsley.email@example.com.
- 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: Heidi Krantz HKrantz@vtsbdc.org
- 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. The Collaborative’s monthly newsletter, NEK Strong, offers no-cost and low-cost Business Resources NEKstrong.com. Sign up!
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)
Northeastern Vermont Development Association www.nvda.net
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 is made possible in part by a grant
from the State of Vermont through the Agency of Commerce & Community Development