Regional Planning &
Economic Development 
in the Northeast Kingdom
 David Snedeker, Executive Director   

e-Newsletter - November 2023   

Flood Recovery Information

Vermont Communities are making progress in their flood recovery and the amount of new information is decreasing. As additional resources become available, NVDA will provide updates. Need assistance? Contact Dave Snedeker or Annie McLean

VT Main Street Recovery Fund

VT Main Street Recovery Fund, NEK businesses are eligible for up to $2,500 to cover equipment replacement and operation expenses. There is also an opportunity to reapply for additional funds.

BEGAP - Agriculture Assistance

ACCD funding relief is available through the Agency of Agriculture to support agricultural operations losses or physical damage related to flooding. BEGAP for Ag Operations

Questions? email or contact Abbey Willard 802/272-2885.

Efficiency Vermont - Flood Recovery Technical & Financial Assistance

  • What are your business's electrical and mechanical needs?
  • What equipment qualifies for the flood recovery rebate?
  • Are you moving your business location?
  • How can you mitigate future weather-related damage to your equipment?

Learn more at Visit the Rebate page for appliances or equipment rebates to replace flood-damaged equipment with energy efficient technologies. An additional $1,000 may be available for eligible products like heating & cooling equipment, refrigeration, and commercial kitchen equipment.

Links to follow for Flood Disaster Assistance:

Business Announcements

Vermont Land Trust Appoints Tracy Zschau President & CEO

Many in the Northeast Kingdom know Tracy from her years leading community based conservation projects in our region. She was instrumental in the purchase of Bluffside Farm in Newport with its farmland, woodlands, sandy beach, recreation trails and incredible scenery. Vermont Land Trust works to conserve productive, recreational, and scenic lands which give the state and its communities their rural character. Congratulations on your good work Tracy! VT Land Trust

Forestry Accelerator 2023 Final Event, Nov 1st, 3:00 pm - Burke Mountain Hotel

The Forestry Accelerator program will culminate with presentations from participating business owners. Each will provide a 5-minute overview of their startup company and the progress they've made during the 4-month training period. Winners of $20,000 in prizes will be announced. This free event, organized by Do North Coworking, is open to anyone interested in learning about the 2023 cohort of the Forestry Accelerator that supports some of the most promising startups in the forest industry. Reserve a Spot

Save the Date! Feb 7th, 2024, Vermont Entrepreneurs: Finding Your Groove

This is a great experience for high school and career-tech students! Join the visual media competition for 9-12th graders to celebrate Entrepreneurship Day and explore the world of entrepreneurship through creative expression. The FREE virtual event offers cash prizes. Questions? VT Small Business Development Center

State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Awarded $249K Export Grant

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

Planning Position at NVDA

NVDA has an opening for a Regional Land Use Planner with a background in planning and a desire to work in a rural context with a staff of dedicated professionals, municipal officials, and NVDA Commissioners. The full-time position will remain open until filled. NVDA Regional Planner Contact No phone calls please.

Caledonia Food Co-op Seeking Project Manager

The Project Manager will meet the goals and objectives set by the Directors and working committees of the CFC to create a community member-owned store in St. Johnsbury that supports local growers and vendors, and contributes to the economic vitality of the NEK. The Project Manager will be responsible for the successful planning and completion of the development process within a given deadline. Job Description

Job Opening: Executive Director, Hardwick Downtown Partnership

The Hardwick Downtown Partnership is a new organization formed to work in coordination with Hardwick's Downtown Designation. The Executive Director will work with the HDP Board of Directors to advance the mission of the organization in support of the economic, social, recreational, and cultural vitality of downtown Hardwick. The position is part-time with a flexible schedule. Job Description

Project Management 101 - Virtual Workshop, Jan 10th @ 10.30 am

Join Jenna Lapachinski of the Preservation Trust of VT for an introduction to project management for community revitalization projects. Learn how to organize around an initial vision, define goals & priorities, navigate funding options and move the project from idea to implementation. Register

Community Announcements

A New Regional Plan for the NEK - We need your input!

NVDA is beginning a process of updating its Regional Plan, a guiding document that outlines a vision for the region with goals to help achieve that vision. The Plan covers a range of topics including transportation, housing, energy, recreation, and zoning. Regional Plan We are distributing a survey to get input from the community regarding existing conditions in the NEK. Please visit the website and make your voice heard: NVDA Regional Priorities Poll

Lyndon Receives Funding for Wastewater Pretreatment Project The Department of Environmental Conservation's Wastewater Program is awarding ARPA funds to Vermont municipalities to improve waste wastewater quality for businesses by installing and upgrading their wastewater treatment infrastructure. The Town of Lyndon will receive $502,000 for Ellipsis, Inc. for their wastewater pretreatment system. Ellipsis, Inc. will be building in the St. Johnsbury-Lyndon Industrial Park.

Special BONUS Round of Funding for the Downtown & Village Center Tax Credit Program

In January, additional state income tax credits will be available for projects that enhance the historic character and improve building safety of older and historic commercial and community buildings in designated communities. The tax credit program also funds flood mitigation upgrades and exterior facade improvements. Applications for the bonus round are due Jan 8th 2024. Visit the website Here to download the Program Guidelines and Application. There is a pre-recorded webinar available on the website which covers program basics, scoring criteria, and how to compile a strong application. Questions? Contact

There's still time to Vote! LVRT is a Finalist for National Transportation Award

The Lamoille Valley Rail Trail is a finalist for two America's Transportation Awards given annually by the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials. The LVRT is competing against 11 other transportation projects from around the country for a Grand Prize and the People's Choice Award (chosen by the public through online voting). The VT Agency of Transportation submitted the project for an award. Supporters of the LVRT must vote online before Nov 13th. Click here to view the entry page and VOTE often (once per 24 hours!)

Regional Emergency Management / November Meetings

  • Orleans-Essex REMC Meeting, Nov 27th, 1:00 pm, Newport City Fire Station
  • Cal-Essex REMC Meeting, Nov 29th, 2:00 pm, Barnet Fire Station

Contact Bruce Melendy for Zoom access: (802) 424-1420.

Energy Announcements

Climate Catalyst Innovation Fund

The VT Council on Rural Development (VCRD) and others invite applications for small grants to support local innovators developing solutions that move Vermont closer to its climate and energy goals. Open to municipalities, schools, non-profits, town energy committees, or businesses. Application deadline is Nov 6th. Apply Now

Sign up For a Free Business Energy Visit

Efficiency Vermont is offering on-site energy visits to all Vermont businesses. These free consultations give businesses access to rebate offers, financing solutions, and technical advice. Find out more and schedule a walkthrough! Here

Upcoming Events

Nov 2nd, 9:00 am-4:30 pm, VCDA Fall Conference, Brandon Inn, Brandon, VT

Climate Resilience & Adaptation: Ways Vermonters Can Mitigate Disaster The 2023 VT Community Development Association conference will investigate how our communities can become more equipped to deal with disasters. VCDA Conference

Nov 8th, 2:30 pm, ADA 101

Learn what your municipality needs to know about the Americans With Disabilities Act and how to create a more accessible community for residents and visitors. This online Zoom training is a free VLCT event. Register Here

Nov 8th, White + Burke Vermont Development Conference, Hilton Hotel, Burlington

The conference will offer a full day of programming with timely discussions of Act 250, rural development, permitting, and designing for the future. Register Here

Nov 9th, 9:00 am-4:00 pm, NEK Together 2023 at Burke Mountain Resort

The NEK Collaborative is hosting this event where NEK changemakers gather annually to celebrate, discuss, and explore regional solutions to pressing issues. Attend for a full day of panels and great speakers. Kevin Chu of the Vermont Futures Project will give the keynote address. Registration options. Questions? Reach out to

Career Training & Adult Education Courses

Vermont State University - Lyndon, Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship Ann Nygard,

  • Supervisor Development Boot Camp, Nov 10 & 11 (in person) 9:00 am-4:00 pm @ VTSU-Lyndon campus, Registration link
  • Customer Service Excellence, Nov 12 (in person) 9:00 am-1:00 pm @ VTSU-Lyndon campus, Registration link
  • Avalanche-AIARE, Level 1, Dec 6 &13 7:00-9:00 pm (online). Dec 16 &17 (in the field), Registration link
  • SOLO Wilderness Outdoor First Aid & CPR, Dec 9 & 10 (in person) 8:30 am-5:00 pm @ VTSU-Lyndon campus, Registration link

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

St. Johnsbury Academy

Contact Sandra Mings Lamar (802) 748-7738

Lyndon Institute Career & Technical Education Center

Contact or Michelle Parson, Work-based Learning Coordinator,

Canaan School CTE Program

Chuck Patterson, Coordinator of Curriculum, or call (802) 266-8910

Sterling College School of the New American Farmstead

Contact Nakasi Fortune

Community Funding Opportunities


  • Funding for Municipal Park-and-Ride Lots Park-and-Rides provide safe and convenient parking facilities. They encourage ride sharing and can advance a community's energy and transportation goals. Application deadline is Nov 3rd. Visit the website Here
  • VT Diesel Emissions Reduction Financial Assistance The Department of Environmental Conservation will be offering incentive funding later this fall through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Assistance Program. The upcoming funding opportunity will be available for NEW projects that reduce emissions from diesel-powered vehicles, engines, and nonroad equipment. Plan ahead prior to the application period and stay tuned for program details. Questions? Contact Leigh Martin
  • Thriving Communities Grant Program The US Department of Transportation is accepting applications from communities across the country for transformative transportation projects. The grant support will provide technical assistance, planning, and capacity building assistance for disadvantaged and under-resourced communities. Visit the TCP website for more information and application deadlines.
  • VT Urban & Community Forestry Program - Tree Grants! Grants are available in three categories to support a broad range of activities for urban and community forestry programs. Urban & Community Forestry Grants / Communities Caring for Canopy / Growing Urban Forests in the Face of Emerald Ash Borer. Applications due Jan 5th, 2024.
  • Rural Fire Protection Grant Program The installation of new dry hydrants & other types of rural water supplies is a priority, but eligible projects also include repair/upgrades, replacement, relocation of existing rural water supplies, and drafting site development. Visit to download the application.
  • Community Recovery & Revitalization Program (CRRP) The CRRP grant program is available to municipal, for-profit and nonprofit applicants seeking support for capital improvement projects to spur economic and revitalization efforts in the community. Deadline Nov 15th. Details Here.
  • Better Places Grants If your town is thinking of more parks and green spaces, a vibrant main street, public art projects, and community gardens, Better Places grants can help. The statewide grant 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

  • Flood Relief Funding for Artists If recent flooding has adversely affected an artist's ability to produce, perform, and/or market their work, this grant for up to $3,000 may help with immediate relief. The application deadline is on a rolling basis as long as available funds last. Application Preview Questions?

Grant Funding for VT Farm, Food & Forestry Sectors

  • Farm to School & Early Childhood Capacity Building The grant combines funding with customized grant coaching, technical assistance, and professional development to build capacity for agriculture and food systems education. Apply by Nov. 15th. Farm to School Capacity Building Grant
  • Applications Open: Working Lands Business Enhancement Grant: Vermont-based farm, food, and forest sector businesses may apply for $15,000-$50,000. Eligible projects may relate to the following: Market development; Research & Development; Infrastructure development; Workforce training & development. The application portal is open through Nov 20th. WLEI Business Enhancement Grant.
  • More Funding Opportunities: The VT Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets maintains a calendar on their website of multiple grants that target specific agricultural needs. 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 (802) 828-1098.  

Loan Programs

  • NEK Prosperity Fund This business loan fund is a collaborative effort between an economic development organization and a social service provider. NEK Community Action and NCIC launched the NEK Prosperity Fund to achieve a social return on investment. The aim is to provide borrowers with financial resources and business support services to improve the local economy, population health, and the area's standard of living. 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
  • 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,
  • 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 (802) 748-1220
  • Coming soon: NVDA Revolving Loan Fund available to businesses and municipalities for brownfield cleanup projects!
  • 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 
  • VT Farm Fund Revolving Loan Programs Are you thinking about investing in new infrastructure or equipment to grow your business in 2023? The VT Farm Fund can help with no-hassle, low-interest loans to farmers and food producers in need of financing. Find out about Business Builder Loans, New Producer Loans and Emergency Loans. The VT Farm Fund is a program of The Center for an Agricultural Economy Contact Kristin Blodgett for more information. 

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,    
  • 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 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
  • 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 or Karianne Scott
  • 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? (802) 748-8303 (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