by Joan Goldstein Greetings and Happy Holidays from all of us at the Department of Economic Development.
We watched with bated breath as the rain came down on Monday and the rivers rose. We’ve spoken with many of you throughout the state. While some experienced significant damage, we can report the extent of the damage to our business community is nothing like what we experienced in July. For that, we are truly grateful.
Many Vermont businesses received an award from our Business Emergency Gap Assistance Program (BEGAP) after this summer’s flood, but they could still use your support. If you are looking to pick up some last-minute gifts, please consider shopping in your local downtown.
We have distributed $20,000,000 in BEGAP funds to help businesses, landlords, and nonprofits that suffered physical damage from July’s flood. We are continuing to raise money for BEGAP through ‘Vermont Strong’ license plate sales. Please consider buying a plate if you haven’t already.
At DED we are celebrating Vermont’s designation as a Tech Hub by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Our goal is to support Vermont as it becomes a global leader in the development and production of Gallium Nitride (GaN) semiconductors, which are more efficient and durable than silicon-based semiconductors. This WCAX story explains the initiative and our efforts to win up to $75,000,000 in federal funding.
There are a lot of other grant and loan opportunities to share with you this month. Please read on to discover funding available for flood relief, recreation trails, working lands, and trade shows.
We look forward to working with you and hearing from you in the New Year. Please be in touch if we can be of any assistance.
Wishing you all the best during this holiday season and in 2024,
Commissioner, Department of Economic Development
State Street in Montpelier.
BEGAP Helps Montpelier’s Downtown Reopen for the Holidays
Retailers always wish for a successful holiday season, but this year many Montpelier business owners need strong holiday sales to fully recover from this summer’s floods.
When looking at distribution of the 500+ Business Emergency Gap Assistance Program (BEGAP) grants, about 45% of them went to businesses and nonprofits in Washington County.
Learn more about the difficulties in Montpelier’s downtown corridor and see before and after pictures showing the transformation from rebuilding to reopening.
SBA Economic Injury Loans
The opportunity to apply for an SBA loan for physical damage from July’s flood has passed, but SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) are still available. May 6, 2024 is the EIDL filing deadline for businesses and nonprofits in all of Vermont’s 14 counties that cannot meet financial obligations because of the flood.
If you are interested, please apply now. If you don’t like the terms of the loan, you don’t have to take it, but you can’t take it if you never apply.
Hutchins Roofing and Sheet Metal in Barre.
BEGAP Helps Barre Family Business Build Back After Flood
It’s like the Stevens Branch was made to flood Hutchins Roofing and Sheet Metal on West 2nd Street in Barre. Remember that viral video of a Frito Lay truck swept up by the flood, cruising down the river, and slamming into an overpass? It wound up here at Hutchins’ doorstep.
On July 10, water ran through Hutchins’ building, tore up the yard, and destroyed thousands of dollars’ worth of inventory. See how this family-owned business of 77 years put a BEGAP grant towards its recovery as it gets ready for the next roofing season.
Brownfields Become Housing
The Brownfields Revitalization Fund (BRF) is helping ease the state’s severe housing shortage. Since October 2021, more than 51 contaminated acres have been cleaned and now support 468 units of housing. Learn where those units are and how BRF discourages development of green spaces.
Join industry professionals, policymakers, business owners, and community members at the 2024 Vermont Economic Conference hosted by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce at UVM’s Davis Center in Burlington. The event will feature a statewide economic outlook, networking, workforce development and diversity strategies. Registration is required.
Total Solar Eclipse
On April 8, 2024 a total solar eclipse will darken the sky over much of Vermont. The southern end of the path runs from Middlebury to Barre to St. Johnsbury and then extends north past the Canadian border. At least 50,000 people are expected to visit Vermont to witness this marvel.
Visit here to see the resources available to help your organization prepare. You will find several resources including free eclipse glasses the state is making available to municipalities and nonprofit community organizations for events.
Opportunities for Agriculture Businesses
- Working Lands Enterprise Initiative grant applications are due January 19, 2024. These grants can be used for market development, research and development, infrastructure, and workforce training and development.
- Trade Show Assistance Grants can help businesses in the agriculture and forestry sectors. They are for exhibiting and/or selling Vermont products at trade shows targeting out-of-state buyers. Applications are due January 15, 2024.
- The Vermont Farm Fund is offering 0% interest loans via its Emergency Loan Program to organizations that suffered loses in July. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
Vermont Department of Economic Development
1 National Life Dr
Montpelier, VT 05620-5001