State distributes more pandemic aid
MIDDLEBURY— Governor Phil Scott and Lindsay Kurrle, Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, recently announced the distribution of $2.5 million in federal CARES Act funding for Restart Vermont Technical Assistance. This funding will deliver robust support to Vermont businesses impacted by the economic downturn due to COVID-19. The funding, allocated by the Vermont General Assembly in Act 137, leverages existing statewide and regional assets to reach a broad range of companies in every sector and region.
The Regional Development Corporations of Vermont (RDCs of VT) were among five organizations selected to implement Restart programming. The RDC program, Restart Vermont Technical Assistance (ReVTA), will create a regional and statewide network of for-profit and non-profit technicalassistance providers to help small businesses. Each RDC will deploy a Recovery Navigator to work one-on-one with businesses and determine the best form of technical assistance to help each business on its path to recovery. The Navigator, client business, and technical assistance provider will develop a scope of work appropriate to solving the client’s issues. The cost of the work will be covered by the grant. The program is expected to assist over 250 businesses with grants averaging $3,000.
“Vermonters built their businesses in a pre-COVID-19 environment. This program will help them adapt to the ongoing crisis by offering tools to put more of their business online, implement novel and innovative ways to do in-person business, and develop processes to increase profits,” said ACCD Secretary Lindsay Kurrle. “Ultimately, we hope this will result in stronger businesses coming out of the pandemic, putting more Vermonters back to work, and strengthening our economy to withstand these types of pressures moving forward.”
The five technical assistance teams are:
Vermont’s 12 Regional Development Corporations (RDCs) will connect a wide variety of small non-profit and for-profit businesses to a newly formed network of business service providers.
• The Vermont Chamber of Commerce will offer restaurant and lodging businesses expert advice in partnership with On the Fly, a Vermont based group of hospitality business experts who have begun providing free services to peer businesses in the past few months.
• Champlain College will connect participating businesses with in- house expertise to help businesses refine the tools necessary to flourish in a market that is embracing 21st- century technologies.
• The Northern Community Investment Corporation will provide businesses in the Northeast Kingdom direct business services through a network of public and private consultants.
• The Vermont Sustainable Jobs fund will provide a cohort approach to helping wood product businesses modernize their sales and marketing efforts.
In Addison County, the ReVTA Program will be administered by the Addison County Economic
Development Corporation (ACEDC). Sue Hoxie, former president of the Addison County Chamber of Commerce, has been hired as the Addison County Recovery Navigator. ACEDC Executive Director Fred Kenney says, “We’re happy to have Sue on board to serve in the role of Recovery Navigator for Addison County. With the connections she’s made over the last ten years through the Chamber and more recently, her consulting business, she’s a great choice for working with local businesses and identifying the right TA providers to help solve their COVID-related challenges.” Businesses that want to request technical assistance and businesses that can offer technical assistance services must register atVermontEconomicDevelopment. com.
Orientation webinars are scheduled for Sept. 25 for business that have registered or might register to receive technical assistance. Links to registration, webinar training, and more information on the RDCs of Vermont’s Restart Vermont Technical Assistance Program can be found atVermontEconomicDevelopment. com.
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