December 16, 2022

Good Morning -

A new biennium is right around the corner, and the Vermont Chamber advocacy team is gearing up to hit the ground running after the holidays. In recent weeks we’ve met with legislators, members of the Governor’s administration, and partner organizations to set the tone for finding common-ground policies that value the contributions of Vermont businesses.

The 2023 session is perhaps more anticipated than most, with a broad slate of new legislators and the depletion of federal pandemic funding, we’ve reached a pivot point in the return to “normalcy.” While businesses continue to face volatile economic conditions, the ability of Vermonters to absorb the cost of sustained programs will be central to our work.

Wishing you a healthy and joyful holiday season, 

Megan Sullivan, VP of Government Affairs

2023 Legislative Session Priorities

Each year, our legislative agenda is data-driven and cost-conscious. Our advocacy team is determined to ensure the well-being of the Vermont business community and the vitality of the Vermont economy.

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Vermont Chamber Hosts Business Roundtable with Sen. Ram Hinsdale

Business leaders emphasizing the need for workforce recruitment and retention efforts were met with support from Sen. Ram Hinsdale, who expressed her commitment to essential investments in housing and economic recovery initiatives.

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The Wellspring Forum Featured Commissioners of Economic Development, Housing

Business leaders urged action on initiatives to grow the economy and attract more workers to Vermont. The issue of top concern was the statewide shortage of workforce housing. Businesses advocated for making regulatory reform a top priority to increase the supply of suitable housing for employees.

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Restaurant Leaders Meet with Senator-Elect Welch to Urge Continued Industry Support

The Vermont Chamber, in partnership with the National Restaurant Association, facilitated a roundtable discussion with Vermont restauranteurs and Congressman Peter Welch to express gratitude for his ongoing commitment to the hospitality industry and his efforts to secure federal aid throughout the pandemic.

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Legislative Interns Elevate Vermont Chamber Lobbying Efforts

Eight University of Vermont and St. Michael’s College students will join the Legislative Monitoring Collaborative for the 2023 legislative session. Interns will spend time at the State House, gaining exposure to the legislative process and increasing the capacity of our advocacy work.

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Key Population Trends Shaping Vermont's Economy: Age Dependency Ratio

Every single day between now and 2030, more Vermonters will reach their average retirement age of 65.3 and put more strain on the healthcare and pension systems. The slowing of revenue due to the growing Age Dependency Ratio is likely to coincide with dramatic pressure on government budgets.

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Program Updates

  • Community Recovery and Revitalization Program: Funding is intended for projects that make capital improvements or capital expansions that spur economic recovery and revitalization in communities across the state. The funding is also available for capital expenditures that support childcare and affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income households, and to establish or improve municipal water and wastewater systems to build housing or create jobs through business creation and expansion. Learn more.
  • COVID Paid Leave Grant Program: The application window for this program is now open. Employers must demonstrate the dates each employee was out due to COVID, the total and hourly sick leave wages paid to each employee out due to COVID and provide documentation to support that the leave was due to eligible COVID-related reasons. Learn more.
  • Short-Term Forgivable Loan Program: The program administered by the Vermont Economic Development Authority is now open for all business sectors and will provide financial assistance to businesses that continue to experience current and ongoing harm due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more.
  • First Generation Homebuyer Program: Vermont Housing Finance Agency launched this program with the goal of helping more Vermonters afford their first home. This program provides a grant to eligible homebuyers whose parents or legal guardians were likely unable to pass on the generational wealth homeownership can provide. Learn more.
Vermont Chamber News

Register For the Vermont Economic Conference – January 30, 2023

The robust agenda features star speakers and seminars dedicated to providing an in-depth look at national, global, and state perspectives on the economy as well as the latest economic indicators for business growth.

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We’re Hiring: Director of Events & Business Education

The Vermont Chamber of Commerce is seeking a Director of Events & Business Education with a passion for bringing people together for unforgettable experiences and desire to create events and educational programming that will further a mission of advancing Vermont’s economic growth.

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