In This Issue

Learn about the importance of addressing housing for Vermont's workforce, the results of the Vermont Economic Survey, the relocating and remoter worker grants, and more in March's Commerce Connection. We also share a feature that spotlights our member West Hill House B&B.

March 2022
The Future of Vermont Depends on an Equitable Housing Market

Megan Sullivan, VP of Government Affairs at the Vermont Chamber, recently penned an op-ed discussing how Vermont's housing market is exacerbating our workforce crisis: "We must invest in solutions that address housing for middle-income workers to stay in the communities they love and ensure the opportunity of moving to Vermont is achievable for all."

We're Hiring: Business Outreach Director

Do you love meeting new people, making connections, talking issues, valuing differences, and finding solutions? Do you enjoy reaching out to business owners and managers to schedule time to learn about their challenges and goals? Are you a connector, making referrals and introductions for mutual benefit? Can you ask these contacts for financial support to advance economic growth? If the answer is yes, we invite you to apply for the Business Outreach Director position and join the team at the Vermont Chamber of Commerce.
"Vermont Restaurants Need Help Now, and the Way Forward Is Clear"

The commitment to restaurants to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund remains unfulfilled, leaving a $120.5 million hole in Vermont's restaurant industry.

Congress must make replenishing the Restaurant Revitalization Fund a priority, and our Vermont Congressional delegation are in key positions to do this. Replenishing the RRF will keep our restaurants open, help workers stay employed, and protect the vibrancy of Vermont.

Optimism in Vermont Small Businesses Economic Survey Results

Vermont businesses from diverse industries completed the latest annual economic survey in January regarding the outlook of Vermont’s small- to medium-sized businesses.

The survey, presented by Davis and Hodgdon CPAs and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, revealed that there is less pessimism in business owners’ attitudes about the Vermont and U.S. economies than in previous years. While pandemic-related issues continue to affect most businesses, owners remain optimistic about their operations and profitability.

Vermont Mutual Sponsors National Girls and Women in Sports Day

Vermont Mutual Insurance Group, one of the oldest and most successful property and casualty insurers in the Northeast, has partnered with University of Vermont Athletics in a multi-year sponsorship of National Girls and Women in Sports Day.

The initiative is designed to recognize the accomplishments and contributions of female athletes, enhance the influence of women and girls in the sports world, and promote the continued growth of women in all aspects of sports.
Sue Bette Named Top Influential Restaurant Executive

Congratulations to Chamber Member and VT Independent Restaurants co-founder, Sue Bette, on being ranked one of the most influential restaurant executives nationwide by Nation's Restaurant News.

Better Places Program Launches in Vermont

The community matching grant program, Better Places, empowers Vermonters to create vibrant and inclusive public spaces that bring people together to build welcome and thriving places across Vermont. The Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development, the Vermont Department of Health, the Vermont Community Foundation, and Patronicity are leading interested participants through this place-based economic development initiative. View a recording of the program launch webinar 

Remote Worker Relocation Grant Program

The New Remote Worker Grant, with a maximum award of $7,500, is to encourage professionals who perform the majority of their employment duties remotely from a home office or co-working space to relocate to Vermont. The application portal is now live and accepting applications. Find answers to the most frequently asked questions and detailed eligibility criteria here
Upcoming SBA Vermont Events

The Small Business Administration and the Center for Women and Enterprise Vermont are hosting a virtual panel discussion about strategic growth opportunities for woman-owned businesses at 10 am on March 11. Strategic growth planning is one of the most important aspects of building a business and can be difficult. This panel will explore why past participants of CWE and SBA’s strategic growth training programs have raved about these free opportunities to plan for sustainable, profitable growth.

The New England Veteran Business Outreach Center is hosting a Business Plan Basics For Veterans webinar at 4 pm on March 4. Topics include building a strong business plan and discussing market research, how to market your business, financials, and more.

Member Spotlight

In the heart of the Mad River Valley, an inviting country inn stands on a quiet and idyllic hillside. Located on the former site of a historic 19th century Vermont farm, the West Hill House B&B provides a pleasurable and relaxed lodging experience. Its well-appointed rooms are decorated with charming nostalgic artifacts, which further enhance its welcoming atmosphere. Owners Peter and Susan MacLaren have overseen the West Hill House B&B for the past fifteen years. After working for decades in the fields of communications engineering, philanthropic fundraising, education, and radio broadcasting, the MacLarens have channeled their shared passion for positive connection into building profound relationships with both their guests and their local community. Their dedication to respectful and genuine hospitality is manifested through their thoughtful stewardship of their cherished country inn, which serves as a welcoming sanctuary where tasteful vacationers can enjoy an exceptional Vermont sojourn.

Learn about our new members Willington Design and Paint, and Sticky Brand. Interested in being a Vermont Chamber member? Learn about the benefits and join here.
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.