In This Issue

Learn about the Chamber's new Business Outreach Director, an update on the Declaration of Inclusion, workforce training grants, and more in July's Commerce Connection. We also spotlight Darn Tough.

July 2022
Chamber News
"State to Main" Episode 6: 2022 Legislative Session
“State to Main” is a policy-focused podcast series complementing the widely read weekly legislative newsletter of the same name.

The fifth episode of the series, “2022 Legislative Session,” features Betsy Bishop, President of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, and Megan Sullivan, Vice President of Government Affairs. They discuss some of the key takeaways for the Vermont business community.

Episodes are available to stream online via SpotifyApple PodcastsSoundcloud and on the Vermont Chamber of Commerce website.

“State to Main” is made possible by our sponsor, AT&T.
Vermont Chamber Announces New Hire, Business Outreach Director
The Vermont Chamber of Commerce has hired Emma Henderson as the organization’s Business Outreach Director. In this role, Emma will engage with businesses statewide, directing programs for membership recruitment and retention efforts and managing membership education and benefit programs. She will also serve as the liaison for businesses to the Vermont Chamber’s five-person lobbying team.

Declaration of Inclusion Initiative Update
To date 58 municipalities, home to 40% of Vermonters, have adopted a Declaration of Inclusion. The Vermont Chamber is dedicated to the ongoing effort to reach the goal of a Declaration of Inclusion being adopted and implemented by each of Vermont’s 246 towns and cities. The Vermont Chamber is amplifying this message because building equitable and inclusive communities and telling our story beyond our borders is the best way to attract diversity and encourage new people to live and work in Vermont.

The Manufacturing Summit 2022
A Virtual Supply Chain Event for Advanced Manufacturing

Connect with OEMs, Primes, Government Agencies, buyers, suppliers, and partners from the U.S. and Canada, and workforce in a timely and cost-effective way.

Take the uncertainty out of networking and meet key decision makers and peers with pre-scheduled B2B meetings. 

Build a quality network and expand your regional and international reach from the comfort and safety of your home or office.
Staples Discounts for Vermont Chamber Members
As a proud supporter of local small businesses, Vermont Chamber members have access to special partner discounts every time they shop in Staples stores, perfect for refreshing your marketing materials and restocking your workspace.

News You Need to Know
Vermont Is the Second Hardest State to Find Workers

Vermont has the 2nd most small businesses facing hiring struggles, according to a new report from The study found that 44% of small businesses in Vermont had trouble hiring new employees in April, and 41% of small businesses believe it will take at least 6 months until operations are back to normal, if at all. Only Missouri had a higher percentage.

Registration is now open for the 2022 Vermont Maple 100!
This fall, join the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets, in partnership with Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing and organizations from all across the state, to help visitors and Vermonters alike discover new ways to enjoy Vermont’s sweetest treat. The Maple 100 is a month-long, annual promotion highlighting the hundreds of maple activities, adventures, and maple-inspired products available across Vermont.

Farms, food businesses, sugar makers, restaurants, lodging establishments, producer associations, food system organizations, recreation businesses, tourism partners, and other businesses across the state are invited to participate in this special celebration of all things maple from September 15 - October 15, 2022. Promote a special maple-inspired product, host an event, or serve a Maple 100 special at your restaurant. Each activity will be featured on

Need inspiration? See some past highlights. The application closes July 30. Contact Kristen Wirkkala with any questions.

Vermont’s Unemployment Rate Falls Again
The Vermont Department of Labor recently reported that the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for May was 2.3 percent, according to household data. This reflects a decrease of two-tenths of one percentage point from the prior month’s revised estimate.

The civilian labor force participation rate rose to 61.5 percent in May, as all three major metrics showed improvement. The labor force increased, the number of employed grew and the number of unemployed fell.

Upskill Vermont Registration Now Open
Upskill Vermont is here to provide real-world training to Vermonters ready for the next chapter in their career story. Vermont residents can take charge of their career path by taking up to two professional development courses for free. Developing professional skills through education and training strengthens our state, communities, and families. View the full listing of courses available for the Upskill Scholarship. Explore professional certificates and courses resulting in college credit designed to help eligible Vermonters keep learning, progressing, and growing.

The Business of People Event
Join SHRM Vermont State Council and HR State Council of New Hampshire on Friday, July 22 for The Business of People: A Leadership Summit in the Age of Challenge. All local business leaders seeking an engaging one-day educational and networking opportunity are encouraged to attend. Sessions include the top 10 employment regulatory issues, the current Labor Market picture, a panel of the top female c-suite executives in our states discussing today’s people challenges, and more.

Workforce Training Grants Available to On-Board and Upskill Staff 
The Vermont Training Program (VTP) helps fund innovative solutions to today’s workforce challenges. VTP grants may cover up to 50% of expenses related to training and up-skilling staff, including employee wages for time spent training on the job. Training can be on-site or through an outside provider and funds can even be used to establish an in-house training or apprenticeship program. Learn how VHV utilized the Vermont Training Program to establish a nationally accredited construction apprenticeship program and certify its first graduates this year.

VTP grants are available to businesses from all sectors to help Vermont employers create and maintain the skilled workforce needed in order to compete and grow. Visit the VTP webpage for more information and contact John Young to start your application. 

Employers to See Unemployment Insurance Tax Relief
The Vermont Department of Labor has announced that effective July 1, 2022, employer unemployment insurance (UI) contributions, or taxes, will decrease as the UI tax schedule moves from Schedule III to Schedule I.

Taxable employers will receive additional relief in January 2023 when the UI taxable wage base (TWB) decreases by $2,000. Effective January 1, 2023, the TWB will decrease from its current level of $15,500 to $13,500. Employers will pay UI taxes on the first $13,500 an employee makes in a calendar year. The last time the taxable wage base was near this level was in 2011 when it was set at $13,000.

Vermont ATHENA Leadership Awards
Nominations are now open for the Vermont ATHENA Leadership Awards. The ATHENA Leadership Award® is a prestigious recognition presented to a person who provides significant mentoring and direction to women professionals. The ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award® honors emerging women leaders who demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession.

Completed nomination forms must be submitted to Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce by 5 pm on September 1, 2022.

Member Spotlight
As part of their new initiative Knit to Give, Darn Tough will be releasing an exclusive new sock every three months, with all profits supporting the Vermont Foodbank and Vermonters in need. The socks will be created with overstock yarn, giving new life to recycled materials. Barnyard is the first Knit to Give sock, which is a nod to a future where food insecurity is a lesson of the past.

Want great exposure for your business? Sponsoring the statewide Vermont Chamber newsletter is an affordable and effective way to reach your target customers. Email for pricing and information.