November 26th, 2014
This week’s writer is Shawn Shouldice of Montpelier, state director of the Vermont chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business.
The campaign to “shop small” on the Saturday after Thanksgiving started in 2010 as an effort to give small businesses — many struggling to get out of the red after a long recession — a much-needed shot in the arm. Since then, it has become a powerful movement to give back to the brick-and-mortar establishments that line our Main Streets and keep our communities vibrant.
Some are trying to change the discussion from what we think of what Mr. Gruber has said vs. what he is doing. Vermont Democrat Rep. Browning has been championing the lead to have Gov. Shumlin show Vermonters the plan of how we’re to pay for single payer health insurance.
Art Woolf, the oft-cited University of Vermont economics professor, last week explained the source of Vermont’s economic difficulties to the annual gathering of the Franklin County Industrial Development Corp. It was not lengthy. Nor was it complicated. The prevailing leadership in Vermont, he said, doesn’t like growth.
There are complicating factors. We’re small. We’re geographically isolated. We don’t have a hospitable climate and we’re old and growing older. Even a pro-growth movement would find Vermont tough sledding.
MIDDLEBURY — The locally owned Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury will host three authors as honorary booksellers this Saturday.
Hundreds of independent bookstores across the country will be hosting local authors this Saturday, Nov. 29, Small Business Saturday, thanks to a movement called Indies First. Launched by noted author Sherman Alexie in 2013, Indies First encourages authors to volunteer at their local bookstore, to give back some of the support that independent bookstores have traditionally given to authors.
ADDISON COUNTY — It is not unusual for people to stop at Middlebury’s Otter Creek Falls and linger for a while to drink in its scenic beauty.
BRISTOL — Bristol Fire Chief Brett LaRose gave a grim appraisal of the town firehouse’s condition to the Bristol selectboard Monday evening.
LaRose presented a 10-page study by Williston firm Childs Engineering that outlined the numerous shortcomings of the North Street firehouse, which was built in 1897.
“This report makes it reality, all the issues we have had and currently have,” LaRose told the board. “We’re dealing with a building that’s just unsafe.”
VERGENNES — Thanks to the effort of many Vergennes Union High School students, 20 families who could use a helping hand will have turkeys on their table this Thursday, and more than a dozen of those families will also receive all the trimmings.
On this past Friday, VUHS students donated a dozen complete Thanksgiving dinners, plus another eight turkeys and other holiday side dishes, to the Vergennes Community Food Shelf, which is housed in the Vergennes Congregational Church on South Water Street.