October 2022
In this issue, learn about the recent Vermont Chamber events, the current grant and assistance programs available to Vermont businesses, and more. We also feature member Open Approach, and our sponsor MVP Health Care.
Vermont Chamber News
Inform Our 2023 Policy Agenda
At the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, we’re forming our 2023 policy agenda by meeting with members, connecting our Board and Industry Councils, learning from our peers, and connecting with legislators. As we continue our preparation, we welcome your input. Please take this three-question survey and tell us your story.

Over 350 B2B Connections Made at Manufacturing Summit
Since 2013, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce has convened manufacturing industry leaders from across North America at the annual Manufacturing Summit. This year, over 200 participants came together for two days dedicated to “Supply Chains and Workforce through Content, Collaboration, and Contacts.”

Vermont's Economic Future
Chamber President Betsy Bishop and Kevin Chu, Executive Director for our partner, the Vermont Futures Project, co-presented at the SHRM Vermont State Conference to discuss population and demographic data, implications for workforce and Vermont’s economic future.

Balint and Pieciak Address Vermont Business Leaders
The Vermont Chamber of Commerce hosted The Wellspring Forum to capitalize on the historic election cycle and further our commitment to growing the business community and the Vermont economy. U.S. House Candidate Becca Balint and State Treasurer Candidate Mike Pieciak spoke on several economic issues of top concerns for the business community.

Cross Border Collaboration at Aerospace Innovation Forum
In partnership with the Vermont Agency of Commerce and U.S. Commercial Service, the Vermont Chamber hosted a delegation of aerospace companies at Aéro Montréal's Aerospace Innovation Forum. This work supports the Vermont Chamber's commitment to building the Vermont - Québec Aerospace Trade Corridor to connect Vermont's combined $2 billion aerospace and aviation industry with an $18 billion Québec aerospace cluster.

Vermont Futures Project Data Dive
A recent Washington Post story, citing novel research using LinkedIn data that quantifies the brain drain (or gain) phenomenon across the country, has been getting a lot of attention in the Green Mountain State. The data shows Vermont to be the biggest loser which means we have the highest proportion of college graduates that leave compared to every other state.

Internship and Legislative Page Opportunities
The Vermont Chamber of Commerce is seeking interns for this upcoming legislative session. To apply, candidates must email a resume and cover letter to Megan Sullivan by October 21, 2022.

High school juniors who are at least sixteen years old are eligible to be U.S. Senate pages and can learn more about the program including how to apply, here.
News You Need to Know
Last Chance for Business Grants
VEDA is accepting applications for the Short-Term Forgivable Loan Program, which provides assistance to businesses that continue to experience current and on-going economic harm due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Priority is being given to applicants from the hardest hit sectors including travel and tourism, food service, lodging, childcare, and agriculture, as well as applications from Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) owned businesses in all industry sectors.

Ensure the Continuation of To-Go Alcoholic Beverages
In 2021, the Vermont Legislature added a clause to Act 70 that requires DLL to assess the economic impact of to-go alcoholic beverages on the licensees that were approved to sell. Please complete the To-Go Cocktail Survey to inform DLL's report, due January, 2023. The information provided in the report will be helpful to VTIR, who will be advocating for the continuation of this program.

Vermont Receives $249,000 for Export Assistance Grants
Vermont has received an additional $249,000 in State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) funding from the SBA. Eligible Vermont businesses may apply for STEP funds to offset costs associated with entering or expanding into international markets, including trade shows, foreign trade missions, export training and compliance, and developing company websites and advertising campaigns. Vermont has received an award in each of the ten consecutive rounds of funding, totaling more than $2.5 million.

$200,000 Grants for Creative Sector
The Vermont Arts Council is now accepting applications for its Creative Futures Grant Program to help the creative sector recover from economic losses due to the pandemic. Creative sector businesses include culture and heritage, design, film and media, literary arts and publishing, performing arts, specialty foods, and visual arts and crafts. Grants of up to $200,000 will be available to creative sector non-profits and for-profit entities.

Free Workforce Assessment & Engagement Assistance 
The Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center (VMEC) is providing free workforce assessment and engagement assistance to small and medium sized manufacturers. The service is designed to complement a business's human resource activities to support employee development and help leaders prioritize upskilling and retention actions.

Inflation Concerns Reach New High Among Small Business Owners
This quarter, small businesses’ concern over inflation reached a new high as more brace for an uncertain future according to the latest MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index that was recently released. Half of small businesses say inflation is the top challenge facing the small business community, a drastic 31-point increase since this time last year. This is the fifth consecutive quarter of increasing concern over inflation

Vermont Chamber In Action
The Future of Tourism in Vermont
Amy Spear, VP of Tourism at the Chamber, will be a panelist at The Future of Tourism in Vermont event on October 14. Panelists will discuss the changes the COVID-19 pandemic brought to the state and share their predictions about the future of this important Vermont industry.

Manufacturing and Aerospace Industries Take Center-Stage
Chris Carrigan, Vice President of Business Development, discussed the success of the recent Vermont delegation trip to Aéro Montréal's 2022 Aerospace Innovation Forum, as well as the Vermont Chamber’s Manufacturing Summit, in a recent in-depth interview with former Governor Jim Douglas on WDEV.

Vermont Foliage Season Could Break Records, Business Group Says
Amy Spear, Vice President of Tourism, spoke with NECN about the potential for a record-breaking fall foliage season, and the economic impact on the Vermont tourism industry.

Members in the News
In Other News
Open Approach, Inc. 
Open Approach is a managed IT services company based in Burlington, VT, serving New England and beyond. Every day, Open Approach focuses on one thing; helping their clients use technology to make their businesses better. They remove IT complexity through the practice of trust, integrity, and partnerships so that companies can move forward with confidence. The team at Open Approach is a group of friendly, curious, motivated individuals with years of experience helping businesses grow. Their list of services is broad — and looks like what you’d find at any good IT company. Yet while they may be jacks-of-all-trades, they’re masters of one: Making IT systems work to leverage and advance your business. Learn more about Open Approach.
Sponsored By:
A trusted partner. A better experience. MVP Health Care® has been providing affordable, high-quality health insurance for Vermont businesses for 20+ years—for healthier employees and a better bottom line. See why so many people are switching to MVP.
Want great exposure for your business? By sponsoring a Vermont Chamber newsletter, you can reach a target audience of over 1,800 people. Email Megan Bullard for more information on our affordable pricing opportunities.