Vt. Chamber of Commerce Opposes Paid Leave Bill

By Kirk Carapezza The Vermont Chamber of Commerce says a bill in the House that would guarantee paid sick days for Vermont workers goes too far. If the measure were approved, workers would gain one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked up to 56 total hours – or seven days – each [...]

Dollar Store Battle Continues In Chester

by Steve Zind In February the District 2 Environmental Commission issued an Act 250 land use permit for the construction of a 9,100-square foot dollar store at the edge of the village. The store would be operated by the national chain Dollar General. The plan has been controversial as we reported last year, when it [...]

Keeping Main Street Relevant

By Steve Zind A piece by Kaid Benfield of the Natural Resources Defense Council titled “Are Main Streets A Thing Of The Past?  Is That OK? has prompted some discussion among people concerned with the vitality of downtowns. Benfield observes that, “a lot of once-thriving, literal Main Streets are now dead or hanging by a [...]

Report Says 76% Of Vt. Small Businesses Have No Employees

According to a new report from the Small Business Administration the vast majority of the state’s business are operated and staffed by a single owner. The largest concentration of these businesses is in the construction trades, followed by professional, scientific and technical services. Most of the businesses have fewer than 20 employees, but a ‘small [...]

A New Approach To Funding Social Programs

As Vermont debates spending on Reach Up and the earned income tax credit, a few states and municipalities are exploring a new approach to funding social programs. “Social impact bonds” are essentially partnerships between government, service providers and investors. Investors put money into social programs and if they achieve certain outcomes, the investors are repaid [...]

Vermonters’ Savings Rate Tops Nation

NPR reports on a study by the Corporation For Enterprise Development that indicates 44 percent of Americans live on the financial edge, without enough money in savings to stay out of poverty if they were without work for more than three months. A state-by-state breakdown shows Vermonters are actually doing better than anyone else in [...]

Report Pushes For Support For Vermont Manufacturing

A year after Governor Peter Shumlin called for a meeting of the minds on how to improve Vermont’s manufacturing base, the Agency Of Commerce And Community Development has issued its report. While it’s partly prescriptive – in the form of recommendations – it’s also descriptive in its effort to paint a clearer picture of manufacturing [...]

More on the Development Plans For I-89 Randolph Exit

Governor Peter Shumlin visited Randolph this week to highlight an agreement between the state and developer Jesse “Sam” Sammis to build the first privately run public rest area on I-89. The fanfare over the new rest area momentarily overshadowed a much larger development plan that has been in the works for several years and may [...]

Vermont Economy Forecast: Continues Slow Growth

For the 22nd year, economists Art Woolf and Dick Heaps of Vermont Economy Newsletter are forecasting where the state’s economy is headed at their annual Vermont Economic Outlook Conference in Burlington. As in past conferences a succession of speakers, including Woolf and Heaps are analyzing recent economic trends with an eye toward what will happen [...]

Air Force To Delay Environmental Report On Bringing F-35s To Vt.

A strong supporter of basing the F-35 fighter jets with the Vermont Air Guard in South Burlington says the Air Force is delaying its environmental impact report to include the latest census data. The Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation says that information could determine whether more properties around Burlington International Airport would be affected by noise [...]