January 6, 2023

Good Afternoon – With the new year, comes the official start of the new biennium. The first week of the session is dedicated to formality, with new legislators and statewide elected officials being sworn in, and the appointment of committees. We’ve been on the ground at the State House throughout the pomp and circumstance and are already hard at work for Vermont businesses. The majority of pandemic restrictions have been lifted in the State House, meaning we can once again advocate for business priorities in person.

With the return to weekly editions of State to Main, each Friday you’ll have the most up-to-date information on the policy proposals legislators are talking about, how they will impact your business, what the Vermont Chamber is doing on your behalf, and how to engage on the issues that matter most to you.

As always, our advocacy team can be reached at

Megan Sullivan, VP of Government Affairs

Governor Scott Echoes the Vermont Chamber’s Commitment to the Economy

In his Inaugural Address, many of the policy priorities presented by the Governor reflect those that the Vermont Chamber has highlighted. Housing, workforce recruitment and retention, and valuing economic stewardship, were all key themes.

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Legislature Must Balance Economic Conditions with Priorities

The Vermont economy is showing signs of distress, and as the legislature convenes, they need to carefully balance current conditions with the weight of the work ahead. While proposals are worthy endeavors, the cumulative impact of these millions of dollars of new taxes and spending could overwhelm the Vermont economy.

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Chairs Take the Helm in Key Committees

With 12 newly appointed committee chairs, some of whom will oversee policy that impacts the business community, there’s been a notable shift in the House and Senate leadership this session.

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State House Shakeup: Committee Assignments

With substantial turnover in both the House and the Senate, many legislators find themselves on new committees, and some committees find themselves largely made up of new legislators.

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Vermont Futures Project: “An Unbalanced Equation”

With unemployment consistently below 3% in 2022, there aren’t enough people in Vermont to meet the workforce demand. A single solution won’t fix this problem, so it’s important to understand the potential impact of proposed strategies.

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Survey: Impact of the Housing Crisis on Workforce Recruitment and Retention

The Vermont Chamber is collecting stories of businesses that have lost employees or prospective employees because of housing. If you are an employer who has experienced this, please complete the form linked below.

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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: Is your business still feeling the financial impacts of the pandemic? Apply for VEDA's Short-Term Forgivable Loan program which 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.
  • Worker Relocation Incentive Program: The program has received a high volume of applications that total more than the amount of funding available. While applications continue to be processed in the order they are received, and the program will remain open and continue to accept applications until all available funding has been distributed, applicants should understand that funding is not guaranteed. Learn more.
Vermont Chamber News

Limited Tickets Remaining - Register Today 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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Annual Vermont Business Economic Survey

Davis & Hodgdon Associates and the Vermont Chamber have launched our annual Business Economic Survey to understand the economic issues facing your business in 2023. 

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How to Access Legislative Hearings Remotely

While the majority of pandemic restrictions have been lifted at the State House, the legislative session will continue to be accessible online:

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