Vermont Forward Plan
More than 80% of Vermonters have now received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Per the Vermont Forward plan, all business, gathering, and travel restrictions are lifted.
Economic Recovery Bridge Program Opens to Additional Businesses
ACCD is expanding eligibility for the Economic Recovery Bridge Program. With this change, ACCD is now accepting applications from organizations that have received prior State of Federal assistance. Find more information on the program, including program guidelines and a pre-recorded tutorial on how to apply.
Healthy Buildings: Strategies to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19
FEMA's Region 1 COVID-19 Recovery Task Force held a webinar outlining healthy building principles and strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The webinar looked at common issues across a range of spaces including historic buildings, meeting halls, opera houses, theatres, community centers, bars and restaurants, inns and lodging, weddings and events. A recording of the webinar (Passcode: 27a6#OAa) is now available.
Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program Reopened
The Vermont Housing Finance Agency is accepting applications again from Vermont homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This latest round of program funding provides grants for up to 12 months of past-due mortgage and property tax payments for eligible Vermont homeowners. For mortgage assistance, visit www.vhfa.org/map or call (888) 714-2260 to learn more and apply. A separate rental assistance program is available through the Vermont State Housing Authority at erap.vsha.org.
Community Development Block Grant CARES Act Funding (CDBG-CV)
The Department of Housing and Community Development is accepting applications from municipalities throughout Vermont for CDBG-CV funding through the Municipal Public Facility and Service Program for activities related to COVID-19. Nearly $1.8 million remains to assist communities and non-profits with grants for public facility and service projects that have an unmet need due to COVID-19. Applications must be submitted by the municipality where the project is located. Funding will be on a first come, first served basis and will be awarded through a competitive application process. Grants range from $5,000 to $200,000. Projects serving 70% low- and moderate-income individuals, as well as projects in an area-wide, low- and moderate-income community, will be prioritized. Contact Nathan Cleveland at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Housing Support Services
If you are struggling with your mortgage, rent, utilities and other housing expenses because of COVID-19, your local Home Ownership Center can help. They have HUD-approved counselors on staff and available to help you obtain the assistance you need to keep your home. These housing counseling services are provided to any household affected by COVID-19.
Your location will influence which Homeownership Center can provide assistance to you. Find the Homeownership Center that covers your region.
Vermont Products Marketing Opportunity
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (AAFM) is seeking food, beverage and retail businesses to be a part of the Vermont Building at the Eastern States Exposition, home of the Big E fair. In 2019, 1.6 million people attended the Big E, held in West Springfield, Massachusetts, making this a great event to showcase Vermont products to the southern New England audience. For more information and to apply for booth space, visit the AAFM website.
New Resource to Promote Events
The new VermontVacation.com events calendar is now live. If you have an event planned, fill out the event submission form to be included on the calendar. Don’t have an event? Make sure your business is listed on the trip planning directory by signing up. Events and business listings must be tourism-related and appropriate for out of state visitors.
Northern Vermont Recovery Loans
The Vermont Community Loan Fund has launched the Northern Vermont Recovery Loan Fund, serving manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, forestry and wood products, education and early care, and nonprofits impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Business owners from Vermont’s six northernmost counties – Caledonia, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille and Orleans – are eligible. Loans include flexible terms and low- to no-cost debt financing, along with business coaching services and support.
Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act
Consider how the re-opening process and operational changes might impact compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The health and safety guidance provided by ACCD does not negate any obligations as outlined by the ADA. Refer to A Primer for Small Business for additional information.
Upcoming VT PTAC Webinars
Whether your business is new to government contracting or is a seasoned vendor, VT PTAC is offering a series of webinars featuring workshops and insights to help all businesses find pathways to government contracts.
Recovery Resource for Communities
The Local Support and Community Action Team, a committee of the Economic Mitigation & Recovery Task Force, is developing strategies to speed long-term community recovery. Their new website shares stand-out examples of best practices and other news in the Vermont community recovery.
Resources for Vermont's Creative Sector
The COVID-19 outbreak brings particularly uncertain and challenging times for Vermont's creative sector, and the Vermont Arts Council is working to enable artists and arts and culture organizations to respond effectively. Visit the Council's COVID-19 Resource Page to find information about special funding opportunities, recovery and response events for the creative sector, and how to stay connected through virtual art experiences while social distancing, and more.