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Cheesemaker, woodworker receive working land grants

MONTPELIER — In response to the ongoing urgent needs arising from COVID-19 challenges to Vermont’s working lands businesses, the Working Lands Enterprise Board (WLEB) recently announced that 16 businesses will receive more than $250,000 in COVID-19 Response Business Development Grants within the sectors of agriculture and forestry. Two of these businesses are in Addison County.
These awards focus on business response, shifting marketing strategies, or other activities that may improve business recovery.
“Vermont’s agricultural and forestry businesses are critical to our future. Getting grants quickly to these companies will help Vermont’s economy to recover and grow as well as help feed Vermonters,” Gov. Phil Scott said in a press release last month.
Champlain Valley Creamery makes handcrafted, organic- certified cheese at its plant off Mainelli Road in Middlebury. It will use a $5,300 award for a product line expansion and to hone marketing strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The other local award winner is Middlebury’s Maple Landmark Inc, which makes all sorts of wooden toys and produces at its Exchange Street plant. It will use a $12,807 grant to fund production improvements for efficiency and flexibility.
The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative (WLEI) received funds from the Vermont and Northeast USDA Dairy Business Innovation Center.

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