Regional Planning &
Economic Development 
in the Northeast Kingdom
 David Snedeker, Executive Director
        [email protected]   

e-Newsletter - February 2024   

Community Announcements

Kyle Dwyer Joins NVDA Staff as Regional Planner

Kyle grew up in Connecticut, graduated from UConn and earned a Master's degree at the University of Michigan where he studied environmental policy and planning. He joined the NVDA team in January and in addition to assisting with NVDA's active EPA Brownfields program, he'll work to update the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for northern Vermont. Kyle enjoys hockey, skiing, and playing the piano. He's also a big UConn basketball fan and supporter of Boston sports! Welcome to the Northeast Kingdom, Kyle. [email protected]

Upcoming Legislative Breakfasts - Presented by North Country Chamber of Commerce and NEK Chamber of Commerce - All are welcome!

  • February 19th, 7:30-8:45 am, Eastside Restaurant, Newport Presenters will be Senator Robert Starr, and Representatives David Templeman and Mark Higley. Bill Davis is Moderator. Recorded sessions by NEKTV will be available on YouTube. Contact Dan Pellerin for additional information [email protected].
  • February 26th, 8:00-9:00 am, St. Johnsbury House For more information about guest presenters, contact [email protected]

Permit Obtainment Assistance (POA)

Are you aware of property subject to the 3-acre permit? Vermont's 3-acre permit requirements pose a challenge to those who are unaccustomed to regulatory matters. Cost of compliance is also a concern. The POA program is a beneficiary program that provides financial assistance to eligible sites seeking to obtain permit coverage. Visit the website and learn more: POA Program Text Apply by Oct 31st.

VT Clean Water Initiative 2023 Performance Report

The Department of Environmental conservation (DEC) released the VT Clean Water Initiative 2023 Performance Report which highlights water quality progress achieved through public investment over the past eight years. The new report shows how State funding and regulatory programs have helped carry out agricultural conservation practices on thousands of acres of fields and pastures, and improved hundreds of miles of municipal roads through drainage and erosion control best practices. The report also details progress to reduce pollution in Lakes Champlain and Memphremagog. Visit the online Clean Water Interactive Dashboard to explore investment measures and view the data: Here

Former Orleans Representative Joins FEMA IRC Community Assistance Team

The work to recover from disasters like the major flood events last summer can take a long time to complete. Former Orleans legislative representative Sam Young is now a member of FEMA's Interagency Recovery Coordination Team in support of Vermont's ongoing disaster recovery efforts. Besides the collective efforts of community assistance, the State-identified focus area is on increasing the capacity of communities to plan for and recover from future disasters. Sam's contact information is: (802) 305-9563 [email protected].

Get Your Vermont Strong License Plate & Darn Tough Socks to Support Flood Victims! The popular Vermont Strong plates were revived in the wake of July's flooding. Darn Tough generously produced commemorative socks that have been bundled with a plate to aid disaster relief for individual Vermonters. Half of the proceeds support the Vermont Community Foundation which is helping fill gaps in funding, and half is supporting the Business Emergency Gap Assistance Program which has helped employers. To date, about $1 million has been raised, but needs in the areas of housing, home repairs, and small business remain high. Vermonters can continue to support this cause by purchasing the Vermont Strong bundle at

Links to Flood Disaster Assistance:

Business Opportunities

Flood Recovery Rebates Increased for Businesses

Efficiency Vermont Flood Recovery program has been enhanced to include more incentives for qualifying equipment losses. Businesses with heating, cooling, refrigeration, or commercial kitchen equipment damage can receive a flood recovery rebate of 100% of costs up to $4,000 per product (up to four products), in addition to standard offers. Learn more

Position Available: VtSBDC Area Business Advisor

VtSBDC is a statewide small business program providing resources for small business, from start-up to transition. Professional business advisors provide one-to-one, no-cost confidential business advising and low-cost online training. The open position serves Caledonia, Essex and Orleans Counties with remote work, mobile and shared office space. Job Description

State Trade Expansion Program (STEP)

The VT International Trade Division will manage STEP, a grant program for small businesses to compete globally by offsetting the cost of export-related activities like foreign trade missions, export trade shows, training workshops, or designing international marketing campaigns. 2024 STEP grants are awarded on a rolling basis. Visit

VTRANS Electrify Your Fleet Program

The Electrify Your Fleet Incentive Program aims to accelerate the retirement of internal combustion engine vehicles. A pool of $500,000 is available to all Vermont commercial, municipal and nonprofit fleet owners. The rebate has designated up to $2,500 for each vehicle replaced or avoided. Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Fleet owners must fill out the online preliminary application form Here. Deadline is on a rolling basis.

Survey Request for NEK Businesses

The Vermont Chamber of Commerce has launched the annual VT economic survey of small-to-medium-sized businesses. The results will be shared with state media and legislators. Please take a few minutes to complete the brief survey and provide valuable feedback from the NEK. It's important to ensure that our region is represented. Link to Survey Click here to see results from previous two surveys: 2023 2022

February Virtual Events

Webinar Series: VT Urban & Community Forestry Program UCF Winter Webinar Series

Feb 7th - Using your Municipal Tree Inventory

Feb 15th - Urban Trees and Biochar in Stockholm & Montpelier

Feb 23rd - Tree Pest & Diseases Round-Up

Feb 14th, Intro to VT APEX Accelerator (formerly VT PTAC) Zoom 10-11:00 am

Learn how experienced procurement counselors can assist your business to navigate the process of government contracting. Free. Sign up

Career Training & Adult Education Courses

Vermont State University - Lyndon, Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship Ann Nygard, [email protected]

Vermont Technical College - Vermont State University) 2 campuses: Williston & Randolph Division of Workforce, Community & Economic Development

North Country Career Center, Newport

Contact Chris Damato (802) 334-5469 x3305 [email protected]

St. Johnsbury Academy

Contact Sandra Mings Lamar (802) 748-7738 [email protected]

Lyndon Institute Career & Technical Education Center

Contact [email protected] or Michelle Parson, Work-based Learning Coordinator, [email protected].

Canaan School CTE Program

Chuck Patterson, Coordinator of Curriculum, [email protected] or call (802) 266-8910

Sterling College School of the New American Farmstead Contact [email protected]

Community Funding Opportunities

  • AARP 2024 Community Challenge Grant Eligible nonprofit organizations and municipalities can apply before Mar 6th. The grants fund quick-action projects that help communities become more livable in the long-term by improving public spaces, transportation, housing, digital connections, and more. Community Challenge Grant Opportunities.
  • Town of Lyndon Fund The Lyndon Small Business Fund was established to support both the development of new businesses in Lyndon and the growth of existing small businesses. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis over a two-year period. NVDA will manage the program. Half the funding will be dispersed in 2024 and half in 2025. Click here to fill out a short application or contact Annie McLean for more information [email protected].
  • Funding Cycle Open: FFY2024 Clean Water Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water Revolving Fund (DWSRF) The VT Agency of Natural Resources is soliciting a project priority list. Planning and design funds are available at any time, however, any project that requires construction funding must be on the priority list. For more information and applications visit Priority Lists - CWSRF & DWSRF
  • Better Places Grants If your town is thinking of more parks and green spaces, a vibrant main street, public art, and community gardens, Better Places grants can help. The statewide program is supported by VT Department of Housing & Community Development, VT Department of Health, and VT Community Foundation. Projects are accepted on a rolling basis. Visit the website: Better Places
  • 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. Awards are made on a rolling basis.

Funding for the Arts

  • Creation Grants The VT Arts Council is accepting applications for its annual Creation Grant, which supports artists or artist groups in creating new work. Funds may be used to compensate artists for time spent creating new work, to purchase materials, or to rent equipment or space for the process. New this year - Applicants will have an option to have their proposal spotlighted on the Councill's website. For more information Click here Application deadline is Apr 9th.

Grant Funding for VT Farm, Food & Forestry Sectors

  • Value Added Producer Grants USDA is accepting applications for grants to help agricultural producers maximize the value of their products and venture into new and better markets. Learn more & apply Application deadline Apr 16th.
  • Meat & Produce Agriculture Development Grant Eligible projects include infrastructure improvements, equipment and material upgrades, safety and quality improvements, staff and management training, and implementing improved operations management. Applications close Feb 26th. Learn more
  • Agriculture Funding Opportunities: The VT Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets maintains a website of grants, loans and financial assistance that targets specific agricultural needs Here. View the VAAFM Grants Calendar

Grant Writing Assistance

  • 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 working land businesses to access funding for development projects. For more information visit Questions? Mariah Noth [email protected] (802) 828-1098.  

Loan Programs

  • NEK Prosperity Fund The NEK Prosperity Fund is a project of NEK Prosper, NEK Community Action (NEKCA), and Community Capital of VT. The fund was created to organize and focus investment on equity and population health. Loan recipients will receive business support services from NEKCA's financial and business counselors. NEK Prosperity Fund
  • USDA RD Home Repair Loan Program Federal regulations have made it easier for low-income rural residents to rehab and modernize their homes through USDA 504 Home Repair Loans & Grants. The program provides funding for single family housing to remove health and safety hazards.
  • Vermont Community Loan Fund The VCLF is a community-focused alternative lender that provides loans and other resources to local businesses, organizations, early care & learning providers, and developers of affordable housing who don't qualify for a loan from a traditional lender. For more information 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. Contact Sandy Croft at (802) 828-5472 [email protected].
  • 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 protected].
  • 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 Tina Gonyaw [email protected] (802) 748-1220
  • NVDA Revolving Loan Fund is available to businesses and municipalities for brownfield cleanup projects! Contact [email protected].
  • Efficiency Vermont Energy Loan  The 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. Energy Loan 

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 or contact Abbie Sherman, [email protected].    
  • 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 - for pre-employment, new hire, and/or incumbent employee training. Are your employees eligible? Contact John Young, Director of Workforce Development Programs (802) 355-2725 [email protected]. VTP
  • 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. 

Business Resources

  • VT Manufacturing Extension Center Visit the VMEC website and check out current postings for learning opportunities involving professional development, coaching, and hands-on training for leaders and workers. VMEC
  • Vermont APEX Accelerator (formerly VT PTAC) VT APEX Accelerator provides businesses with free one-on-one counseling services, technical assistance, and market research to understand the requirements of government contracting. Visit the website Here for a list of workshops with sign-up information. Questions? Contact Brenda Plastridge [email protected].
  • 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 For Information about job openings and training opportunities by region and industry visit VDOL provides free services to employers to help RECRUIT, TRAIN and RETAIN a high quality workforce.
  • 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 [email protected] or Heather Gonyaw [email protected]
  • Micro Business Development (MBDP) An experienced business coach can help with business financials, marketing plans, and access to financing for low-to-moderate-income entrepreneurs form Caledonia, Essex and Orleans County. Contact Dustin Smith, NEK Community Action [email protected] (802) 323-9010 for free coaching.
  • 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.

Looking for Commercial Space?

[email protected] (802) 748-8303

[email protected] (802) 748-1220

Commercial Building Lots for Sale: St. Johnsbury-Lyndon Industrial Park

& Orleans Industrial Park (water & sewer available)  


Northeastern Vermont Development Association   

St. Johnsbury Office: 802.748-5181 Fax: 802.748-1223


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