NVDA Updates for Businesses and Organizations

"I believe strongly that if we do what you've been doing in Vermont in the rest of the
country...that we cannot only get through the fall and winter, but we can come out on
the other end better off then we went in."
This quote is from Dr. Anthony Fauci at a September 14 press conference with Governor Scott and Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine. The nation's top infectious disease expert praised Vermont's continued success in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Appearing by video, Dr. Fauci said he has been working hard to communicate to the nation about how to open up the economy, get children back to school, and get people back to work in a safe, prudent, measured way - as Vermont has been doing.
Canada Continues to Extend US Border Restrictions The U.S. and Canada mutually agreed in March to close the world's longest international border to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus. No one at that time predicted it would be closed this long. The ban on non-essential travel has had a negative economic impact in both countries. However, Gov. Scott doesn't believe that current conditions support a recent call from officials in Maine, New Hampshire and New York to loosen restrictions at this time. Many agree that it's important to not compromise the health and safety of our citizens on either side of the border.
Grant Support for VT Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 Economic Downturn
Using federal CARES Act funding, this program will leverage a statewide network of for-profit and nonprofit technical assistance providers to help small businesses in every sector and region. NVDA is one of five organizations selected to implement Restart Vermont Technical Assistance . NVDA has a Navigator to work one-on-one with business clients to determine the best form of technical assistance needed, and develop an appropriate scope of work. Technical assistance may include (but is not limited to) financial management, bookkeeping, marketing, graphic design, digital strategies, architecture and design, technology, software consulting and legal or professional services. The ReVTA application period opened September 21, and the program is expected to assist over 250 Vermont businesses before December 20. This is a win-win opportunity that will put NEK businesses to work helping other NEK businesses adapt to challenges created by COVID-19. Visit ReVTA and learn how businesses and technical assistance providers can participate. Questions? Contact Navigator@NVDA.net.
Round 1 of Vermont Business Recovery Grants Closes - The VT Agency of Commerce & Community Development and the VT Department of Taxes announced that the first round of CARES Act Recovery Grants is fully subscribed - 4,819 grant applications were approved totaling $161.8 million. On September 25, the Legislature passed the State Budget Bill H.969 containing $76.7 million for additional business grants. Details are being finalized for Round 2 which will not be first-come-first served . Rather, there will be a 2-3 week application period. Watch for updates and the opening of the application portal.
Resource Websites
VT Emergency Management (VEM) Connect to resources on current COVID-19 emergency response in Vermont. (VEM website) Bruce Melendy is NVDA's Emergency Management Specialist and Regional Emergency Management Coordinator Bmelendy@nvda.net
VT Department of Labor (DOL) The DOL website contains important information for employees, employers, unemployment assistance, job openings and training opportunities. http://Labor.Vermont.gov . VDOL is available to assist businesses with virtual job fairs. For more information contact Kinsley Sicard at Kinsley.Sicard@vermont.gov.
VT Agency of Commerce & Community Development (ACCD) Visit the website for Recovery Resources and information for businesses, communities, and individuals Here.
VT Manufacturing Extension Center Vermont's go-to resource for manufacturing has a COVID-19 Resource webpage www.vmec.org.
USDA Rural Development Visit rd.usda.gov/coronavirus for COVID-19 Resources for Rural Communities.
Local Resources NVDA ( www.nvda.net ); NCIC ( www.ncic.org ); and the NEK Collaborative ( www.nekcollaborative.org ) All distribute up-to-date information on resources and opportunities available in the region. Visit the websites and reach out by phone, email or Zoom
Business Announcements
VT Public Service Accepting Applications for Wi-Fi Hot Spot Program
The focus is on outdoor access but winter is approaching and additional indoor locations are critical at this time for remote learning and/or telehealth. Public hot spot sites/upgrades can be municipal-owned, non-profits, co-working spaces, or even general stores that serve as community gathering places. 50 units are ready for rapid installation of commercial-grade Wireless Access Points as soon as a contract is fully executed and the program receives a final sign-off for CARES Act funding. Applications will be approved on an ongoing basis until funds are exhausted. Due to reporting requirements, each potential location or upgrade must have survey results from https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7MXG7Z6 . Please contact Robert Fish with questions or for more information. Robert.Fish@vermont.gov .
Application Deadline is One Week Away!
The NEK Leadership Institute is a program created by NorthWoods Stewardship Center with support from the NEK Collaborative. The program seeks to support and promote leaders who serve in the Northeast Kingdom to be more effective leaders as they address challenges in their work and in their communities. NEKLI encourages applicants from a diverse set of backgrounds, work and personal experiences, across private, public, and non-profit sectors to participate in this free initiative - and benefit from the tools, resources, connections, and shared leadership experience. Friday, October 23rd is the application deadline. Learn more and apply Here
NCIC & NVU Team Up to Offer Training Courses
Entrepreneurs : Find your path forward by boosting your Business Management, Writing & Design and Marketing & Technology skills through offerings by Northern Vermont University's Center for Professional Studies. Take advantage of training courses free of charge with financial assistance available through Northern Community Investment Corporation (funded by a Small Business Recovery grant from the VT Agency of Commerce & Community Development.) Contact Mike Welch at NCIC mwelch@ncic.org at (802) 748-5101, ext. 2025. NCIC will work with you to coordinate payment to NVU. Note: you must contact NCIC prior to registering for the course. For a list of class offerings, visit www.NorthernVermont.edu/Achieve .
VT Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) Experienced business advisors work remotely and provide virtual services and workshops. All are available by email, phone or video conferencing. Do you need help constructing financial statements or application forms for disaster relief funding? VtSBDC will help you curate, decipher and disseminate information into manageable practical steps tailored specifically for your business - all at no cost. Contact: Ross Hart, VtSBDC Area Business Advisor Rhart@vtsbdc.org (802) 535-4240 (cell) or Heidi Krantz HKrantz@vtsbdc.org .
Funding Options
Application Deadline Extended for Agriculture Grants Relief funding for farmers, sugar makers, meat & poultry processors, slaughterhouses, farmers markets, ag food and forest products businesses, and producer associations to cover losses caused by the Covid-19 emergency now has a 11/15/20 deadline. For complete information go Here.
Grants Still Available for Arts & Culture Organizations Through the VT Arts Council As of September 2nd, ACCD is no longer administering Economic Recovery Grants to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations. The Arts Council is now accepting applications and awarding grants until funds are depleted. For complete information go Here.
Front-Line Hazard Pay Grant Program For public safety, public health, health care, and human services EMPLOYERS whose employees were responding to public health emergencies between March 13 - May 15, 2020. Hazard Pay
EIDL - Economic Injury Disaster Loan This low interest, long-term federal loan program is available through December 31st but funds are low and may run out before the deadline. EIDL
PPP Loan Forgiveness Application is Open A modified, simpler loan forgiveness application has been approved by the SBA and U.S. Treasury Department. The new process is streamlined for borrowers with loans of $50,000 or less. Banks and other lenders are now able to process the forgiveness applications quicker. Small businesses should receive notification from their lenders soon. PPP Application Instructions. PPP Forgiveness Webinar: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 11:30 am-12:30 pm. To join the webinar, visit https://meet.lync.com/sba123/sbmazza/SFFM2N9R. To join by phone, call (202) 765-1264 - enter code 237511921#.
Micro-Grants for Farmers The Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE) announced a second round of funding of up to $500 for sales and marketing projects that benefit other farm businesses as well as the applicant's farm. (Examples might include CSAs, farm stores, and e-commerce platforms.) CAE Micro-Grants, in response to challenges presented by COVID-19 disruptions, will be awarded on a rolling basis. CAE Micro-Grant