Business

Ryan Christiansen of Caledonia Spirits, Ben Whitcomb of the North Williston Cattle Company, Lisa Lorimer, former owner of the Vermont Bread Company, Allison Hooper, former owner of Vermont Creamery and Charles Storey of Harpoon Brewery spoke on a panel.
Nina Keck / vpr

Nearly a third of Vermont farms are run by someone over age 65, and according to a recent study by Land for Good, 91 percent of them don’t have someone younger ready to take over.

The co-founders of the Phytoscience Institute, Willy Cats-Baril, Dr. Kalev Freeman, Monique McHenry, Tom Grace and Robin Grace, from left, say they started the firm to improve medical cannabis research. The institute won a license to open a dispensary.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

The Phytoscience Institute in Waterbury won a license last week to become the state's fifth medical marijuana dispensary.  Competition for the new dispensary license was fierce, with five applicants vying for the coveted registration certificate. But the CEO of the winning cannabis research firm says he doesn't expect to profit from the dispensaries themselves.

Nokian Tyres sign outside its Colchester headquarters with arrows pointing to corporate offices, customer service, and shipping and receiving.
Meg Malone / VPR

Nokian Tyres recently announced plans to build a plant in Tennessee, but Tommi Heinonen – head of Nokian Tyres North America – says there are no plans at the moment to move the company's North American headquarters out of Vermont.

LPETTET / iStock.com

How do you define an 'employee' versus a 'contractor'? This is a debate that has gone on for years at the Statehouse, but if the question were simple, it would have been solved already.

Elaine Thompson / AP

If you had to pay a fee whenever you needed a plastic bag at the checkout, would it prompt you to remember a reusable bag? What if plastic bags were altogether banned? On the next Vermont Edition, we look at different efforts to reduce flimsy plastic bags.

Matthias Rietschel / AP

Two years ago, the Legislature created an Enterprise Fund, designed to provide assistance for businesses trying to create new jobs in the state. It's supposed to be available when other funds or incentives can't meet the need.

Auditor of Accounts Doug Hoffer reviews the awards and says there’s little scrutiny applied to doling out Enterprise Fund money.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Plans have recently been presented for large-scale redevelopment of two big malls in Burlington and South Burlington. At the same time, in malls across Vermont, stores are struggling and closing, leaving the malls as shells of their former selves. We're checking in on the retail landscape in the state - both indoor malls and other kinds of shopping centers - what's changing and where it's headed.

Tony Talbot / AP

With the world's two largest beer companies set to merge, craft brewers across the country are eying how the deal might affect their distribution. At the same time, Vermont's brewing scene continues to be the envy of many states, with a variety of options that draw in beer lovers from beyond the state's borders. Are we anywhere near the boom turning to bust?  We're talking about the state of the state's brewing industry - beer and beyond.

retrorocket / iStock.com

What do these three things have in common? We're talking about all of them on the next Vermont Edition.

Wilson Ring / AP

One of the state’s largest employers is about to undergo a major change in ownership. Keurig Green Mountain, the Waterbury-based coffee company that employs more than 600 people statewide, is to be bought by an investor group for $13.9 billion. But state officials say they’re confident that Vermont workers will keep their jobs.

Jochen Kunz / iStock

Small businesses are believed to be the driver of an economic recovery. But how does someone go about raising the capital needed to buy an existing small business or to start a new one? And what about growing a small business when it's time to expand?

Meriel Jane Waissman / iStock

Think about cybersecurity, and you'll likely think about some of those headline-making data breaches at big corporations. Superstores and credit card companies losing control over long lists of customers and data.

But the majority of companies that suffer data breaches are small businesses, with fewer than 100 employees. And it's just those businesses that often have the least access to resources needed to guarantee the security of their data online. What can they do to keep their data - and their customers - safe?

John Locher / AP

Earlier this month, the rideshare service Uber appeared in Burlington. Uber is an app-based service that allows passengers to use mobile and other devices to call for a ride when they need one. 

But last week, Burlington’s city attorney announced that Uber and its drivers were in violation of city law.  That’s not new for Uber, which has faced regulatory challenges nearly everywhere it operates.

Mike Isaac, technology reporter for the New York Times, spoke with Vermont Edition about the roadblocks Uber has faced in other markets.

Siri Stafford / Thinkstock

The dream of opening your own business can lead to satisfaction and accomplishment... or frustration and financial setback. On the next Vermont Edition, we look at what it takes to start a small business.  We talk about writing a solid business plan, the legal and financial regulations you need to learn, and how to test your product or service against the marketplace.

Stuart Ramson / AP

Hiring a new employee is a positive time. Everyone looks forward to the work the employee will do and how he or she will move the company forward. But the reverse – having to fire someone – is a challenge for an organization, the person being fired and their co-workers who are still with the company.

We look at the right and wrong methods of firing an individual, and the proper decorum of those being fired and their former co-workers.

diego_cervo / Thinkstock

We tend to think about Vermont products in terms of 'buy local' but Vermont businesses are also tapping into international markets and sending their goods all over the world. From specialty foods to aerospace technology, Vermont exports are gaining a foothold. On this episode of Vermont Edition, we learn about the business infrastructure that helps Vermont producers connect with buyers and distributors abroad.

Vermont businesses come in a lot of shapes and sizes – small companies, publicly traded corporations, and non-profits among them. Tomorrow the annual Vermont Employee Ownership conference will give inspiration and expertise to companies that are practicing or considering putting the employees in charge of the business.

Don Jamison is the Executive Director and one of the founders of the Vermont Employee Ownership Center. He spoke with Vermont Edition about the conference.

A Newport company won a $21 million defense contract this week that is expected to bring 43 new jobs to the city.

Revision Military manufactures high-tech helmets and eye protection for military use, and won a Defense Logistics Agency contract to provide 90,000 Advanced Combat Helmets at more than $230 apiece.

One of Burlington’s largest businesses, Dealer.com, sold to a New York company for almost $1 billion in a deal announced Thursday.

Dealer.com, founded in 1998, is a leading online marketing company for automotive dealerships across the nation and employs about 700 people in Burlington. The company was purchased today by Dealer Track, a Now York-based dealership consulting company with an overlapping business model.

Dealer Track bought Dealer.com for $620 million cash in addition to 8.7 million shares of Dealer Track stock, worth about $300 million.

We hear a lot about college students emerging from school with a lot of debt and few job prospects.  But David Bradbury has observed a number of Vermont college students testing their entrepreneurial skills by starting up their own enterprises.

Bradbury is the president of the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies, an entrepreneurial tech incubator. He spoke with Vermont Edition about trends in students and recent grads starting up technology-based companies.