April 2022 – News & Announcements from NVDA

NEK Community Announcements

2022 Legislative Breakfast Forums

  • April 4 – North Country Chamber of Commerce, 8:00 am / Moderator: Bill Davies. e-mail vice-president@vtnorthcountry.org for Zoom (or) in-person information. Forums will be recorded and found on YouTube.

  • April 25 – North Country Chamber of Commerce, 8:00 am / Bill Davies, Moderator. email vice-president@vtnorthcountry.org for Zoom or in-person information. Forums will be recorded and found on YouTube.

  • April 25 – NEK Chamber of Commerce, 8:00 am / Co-hosts: Darcie McCann & Laural Ruggles. Forums will be recorded with video links found on NEK Chamber Facebook page www.nekchamber.com.

Clean School Bus Program

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $5 billion over five years (FY22-26) for the replacement of existing school buses with low and zero-emission school buses. Under the Clean School Bus Program, EPA has an opportunity to make significant investments in community health, equity, and resilience. Program information and updates can be found at www.epa.gov/cleanschoolbus. Stakeholders can sign up for the Clean School Bus newsletter to stay up-to-date on program efforts. The CSB Program application period is scheduled to open in late April and close in July.

Big Changes to USDA RD Home Repair Loan and Grant Program

On March 9th, several significant federal regulations were passed that 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.

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, rentalrehab@ruraledge.org (802) 535-3555.

Rental Housing Improvement Grant Program

The Town of St. Johnsbury is accepting applications for grant funding for improvements to rental housing units located in St. Johnsbury. The purpose of the program is to encourage landlords to invest in rental housing properties that result in a more livable, marketable environment. This is a competitive program and discretionary points will be awarded to projects aligned with Universal Design and/or energy efficiency. The deadline to apply is April 30th. Download the application www.stjvt.com or contact Joe Kasprzak, Assistant Town Manager Jkasprzak@stjvt.com or call

(802) 748-3926, ext. 5.

Weatherization 101 Training in St. Johnsbury

ReSOURCE, the Vermont non-profit in Burlington, Barre and Hyde Park, is bringing a 6-week, hands-on Weatherization 101 training to St. Johnsbury starting April 25th. The goal of this program is to provide training and job placement to Vermonters ready for entry-level employment in the growing weatherization field. Tuition is free and trainees earn a $300/week training stipend. Detailed information and an online application can be found Here

Upcoming Events

VT Climate Council Public Forum

The Vermont Climate Council is holding two public forums to share information about its ongoing work and hear directly from from Vermonters across the state. Learn about Vermont’s Climate Action Plan, the legislative initiatives it has inspired, and the Council’s plans for the coming year. The Zoom forums will split into small groups to discuss feedback. Register for an early evening session on April 12th or lunch session on April 13th. Climate Council Public Forums

Woodchip Pad Tour – April 29th, 10 am-12 pm

The Caledonia Country Natural Resources Conservation District has planned a Woodchip Pad Tour at Chandler Pond Farm, 528 Burroughs Rd, in South Wheelock. Woodchip pads are a livestock holding area that uses screened woodchips as a surface material instead of concrete. This practice can help protect pastures during sensitive times of the year, increase animal comfort, help protect clean water, and can be less expensive than concrete. The tour provides an opportunity to see this innovative conservation practice on site. RSVP to emily.finnegan@vt.nacdnet.net (802) 424-3149.

Registration is Open: 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

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. Register by April 15th. Municipal Equipment Show & Field Day Questions? Contact Lisa Schaeffler (802) 735-3852 lschaeffler@willistonvt.org

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

Save the Date! June 9th – Downtown & Historic Preservation Conference in St. Johnsbury

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. Registration will open in April. Read more Questions? Contact Gary Holloway Gary.Holloway@vermont.gov.

2022 Vermont Forest Industry Summit – Burke Mountain Resort, June 9-10, 2022

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

Business Announcements

EIDL Borrowers Receiving Additional Six-Month Deferment

The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced an additional deferment of principal and interest payments on all approved EIDL loans. The extended deferment, 30 months from inception, will provide borrowers additional flexibility, especially those in hard-hit sectors managing disruption with recent variants, as well as supply chain and inflation challenges amid a growing economic recovery. Read more

 

DoNorth KickstartNEK Demo Day – April 21st

Watch some of the NEK’s most promising entrepreneurs present their business ideas in the culmination of ten weeks of hard work! Using the nationally recognized Co-Starters curriculum, KickStartNEK has worked to help local participants understand their business, customers, operations, messaging, and financials. Attend an evening of entrepreneurial excitement on April 21st as local participants share their final pitches for a successful, sustainable business enterprise. For more information and register to attend, visit: bit.ly/kickdem.

 

The Super Bowl of Career Fairs! April 26th, 10:00 am-6:00 pm

The Associated General Contractors of Vermont is hosting this multi-sector career/job fair at the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex Junction. The huge event has the potential to host 150 recruiters and 1500 job-seekers with traditional recruiter booths, virtual hiring islands, and static outdoor displays. Vermont high schools, technical centers and colleges are invited along with employers from all employment sectors. The ultimate goal of the large inclusive event is to bring everyone together under one roof and move Vermont back to work! Super Bowl of Job/Career Fairs

 

Job Opportunity: Town Administrator

The Town of Burke is seeking a full-time Town Administrator to assist Burke’s three-person select board with day-to-day operations. The successful candidate will have a minimum of five years of municipal or project management experience. A complete job description is available on the Town website: www.burkevermont.org. To apply in confidence, send a letter of interest, resume and contact information for three references to Town of Burke, 212 School Street, West Burke, VT 05871, by April 15th.

 

Remote Worker Relocation Program

The Remote Worker Grant program, with a maximum award of $7,500, is designed to encourage professionals who perform the majority of their employment duties remotely, to relocate to Vermont. The application portal is live and accepting applications. Learn More

 

2022 Winter/Spring Virtual Job & Internship Fair

The VT State College System is hosting a virtual Job and Internship Fair with no set day or time. The information that businesses provide will be used to let students and community members know about the posted employment opportunities. There is no obligation. If your business is recruiting interns, and if you have full, part-time or seasonal jobs, register your business and upload your company logo. It’s free! https://bit.ly/2ZBzhCJ

 

2022 Student Business/Entrepreneurship Competitions

This competition is for all Vermont secondary students – open now through May 2nd. Students prepare a Business Model Canvas (BMC) plan and Executive Summary, or Business Video Pitch and Executive Summary of a product(s) and/or service(s). Find out more Here

 

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

 

  • 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, CPSDirector@NorthernVermont.edu (802) 626-4867

 

Sterling College School of the New American Farmstead

  • Two summer 3-day / in-person 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 continuingeducation@sterlingcollege.edu.

Business Resources:

  • 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, Kinsley.sicard@vermont.gov. 
  • 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 Brenda.Plastridge@vermont.gov. 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 Rhart@vtsbdc.org (802) 535-4240 (c) or 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.orgNEK Strong, the Collaborative’s monthly newsletter, offers no-cost and low-cost Business Resources NEKstrong.com. Sign up! 

Grant Funding 

 

  • Farm to School Vision Grant The Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets has announced the opening of the 2022 Farm to School Vision grant. This competitive funding opportunity is designed to help schools, childcare providers, and afterschool programs engage with food system issues through youth education and empowerment. Non-profits that conduct programming in Vermont are also eligible to apply in partnership with a school or childcare provider. Deadline to apply: April 22ndLearn More
  • Northern Border Regional Commission – 2022 State Economic & Infrastructure Development Grant Round Eligible organizations, which include nonprofit and governmental entities, can access grant application details via NBRC’s website nbrc.gov. New for 2022 is the requirement that applicants express interest through a Letter of Interest which must be submitted to loi@nbrc.gov by April 22nd. Inquiries concerning eligibility, suitability, and integration with economic development priorities should be directed to Kristie Farnham (802) 398-5268 kristie.farnham@vermont.gov. Applicants are encouraged to review the application materials closely for several programmatic changes.
  • 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 Aquimby@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 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.
  • Creation Grants for Vermont Artists Creation Grants can fund time, materials, some equipment costs, and space rental for artists and artist groups. Both established and emerging artists are encouraged to apply. Grant amount is $4,000 per award. Apply by April 4th on VT Arts Council website Here
  • Digital Capacity Grant The pandemic has made clear that a strong digital foundation is essential to digital programming. Cultural organizations have varying levels of digital readiness and different needs. Read more about the Digital Capacity Grant Program (deadline April 20th) to help organizations adapt. www.vermontartscouncil.org/programs/digital-capacity/digital-capacity-grants.
  • Cultural Facilities Grants Cultural Facilities Grants help Vermont nonprofit organizations and municipalities enhance, create, or expand the capacity of an existing building to provide cultural activities for the public. Application deadline is May 2ndCultural Facilities FY2023 Guidelines
  • 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 Mariah@vhcb.org (802) 828-1098.  

Loan Programs

  • 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 scroft@veda.org 802 828-5472.
  • 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, info@veoc.org.
  • 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 jbutson@nvda.net (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 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 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. info@vermontfarmfund.org.
  • 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, Abbie.sherman@vermont.gov.    
  • 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.young@vermont.gov 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. maryanne@vtroundtable.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. 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)  

——– 

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 from NVDA is made possible in part by a grant

from the State of Vermont through the Agency of Commerce & Community Development 

 

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