September 21, 2022

Good Morning -

September in Vermont is often spent enjoying the final few days of summer in anticipation of colder weather ahead. 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. What are your top issues? How have you had to innovate in response to the workforce shortage? What has the impact of rising costs meant for your business? Please take this three-question survey and tell us your story.

Megan Sullivan, VP of Government Affairs

Rising Business Costs Inform Policy Agenda

While consumer spending remains high, the rising cost of labor, goods, and services are a strain on the business community. In the year ahead, there will be opportunities to advocate for responsible policies that address this issue by prioritizing specific solutions.

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The Wellspring Forum with Balint and Pieciak

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. US House Candidate Becca Balint and State Treasurer Candidate Mike Pieciak spoke on several economic issues of top concerns for the business community.

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Delegation Champions 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.

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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.

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Solutions for Recruiting and Retaining Workers

During the 2022 legislative session, the Vermont Chamber centered our advocacy around the impact of the workforce crisis on Vermont businesses. While there is no easy fix, there are a variety of new or expanded tools for relocation, training, housing, and child care that are available for employers to use to recruit and retain talent.

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Inflation Remains Voters’ Top Concern

A recent New York Times/Siena Poll finds that Democrats are struggling to persuade voters that they should be trusted on the economy. However, candidates remain unexpectedly competitive in Congressional races ahead of November’s midterm election.

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Program Updates

  • Short-Term Forgivable Loan Program: The VEDA (Vermont Economic Development Authority) Short-Term Forgivable Loan Program is open and will provide financial assistance to businesses that continue to experience current and ongoing harm due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, VEDA is only considering applications from priority sectors (travel and tourism, restaurants, lodging, childcare, and agriculture) and BIPOC-owned businesses. Learn more.
  • Creative Futures Grants: The Vermont Arts Council is now accepting applications for grants up to $200,000 for creative sector non-profit and for-profit entities that sustained substantial losses from the pandemic, which may be used to cover a wide range of regular operating expenses. The application deadline is November 1, 2022. Learn more.
  • COVID Paid Leave Grant Program: Applications open on October 1, 2022, for this program. Employers must demonstrate the dates each employee was out due to COVID, 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.

Employer Resources

  • Workforce Assessment and Engagement Service: Through the end of September, the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center (VMEC) is offering grant-funded service to complement manufacturers’ HR activities in support of people development. For more information, contact a VMEC advisor and/or Carla Wuthrich, VMEC Director of Field Operations. Learn more.
  • Kingdom Career Connect: Businesses and professionals in and around the Northeast Kingdom are invited to participate in Kingdom Career Connect, a career exploration event for middle schoolers at Northern Vermont University-Lyndon on Tuesday, October 4. This multi-school event offers students a chance to think about the future, explore new avenues, and engage in hands-on activities related to dozens of careers. For more information, reach out to Anna at
Vermont Chamber News

Manufacturing and Aerospace Industries Take Center-Stage This Month 

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.

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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.

Do you know an 8th grader who would like to learn more about the legislative process by becoming a page at the Vermont State House? Click here to learn more and apply by September 30.

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.

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