The Vermont Economy

The home for VPR's coverage of economic issues affecting the state of Vermont as well as business and industry developments across the region.

VPR reporter Bob Kinzel covers economic issues from the Statehouse Bureau in Montpelier. In addition, All Things Considered Host/Reporter Henry Epp covers business from Colchester.

Follow Bob Kinzel and Henry Epp on Twitter for the latest Vermont Economy news. 

Explore our coverage by topic or chronologically by scrolling through the list below

Aging Well | Homelessness & Housing | Dairy Industry | EB-5

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Have an economy-related news tip that requires investigation?

Reach out to VPR's Investigations Desk.

What's blockchain? The unqiue computer network is a new piece of financial technology that Vermont lawmakers believe offers big opportunities for the state.
MF3d / iStock

Bitcoin. Cryptocurrency. These and other buzzwords make headlines in the world of finance, but underlying it all is a new piece of financial technology called blockchain. And state lawmakers are betting this new technology could be Vermont's next moneymaker, much like the state's captive insurance market.

frimages / iStockphoto.com

Since we started this show, there’s a question we’ve gotten a lot: Why are so many young people leaving the state?

Between two historic monitor barns in Richmond lies a working farm run by the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. The farm is home to the Health Care Share, a CSA that's free to Vermonters experiencing food insecurity and diet-related illness.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

This time of year, many Vermonters are thinking about signing up for a CSA share at their local farm. Meanwhile, the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps is getting ready to supply a different type of Community Supported Agriculture – one you pick up at a doctor's office.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

After a racially insensitive cartoon sparked a year-long discussion on inequality, the Upper Valley town of Hartford has released its plan for more fully embracing diversity in the community.

Vermont's small colleges and universities face growing challenges as enrollment drops across the state and region.
Photobuay / iStock

College enrollment is down across New England. We're looking at how Vermont's small private and state colleges are adjusting to fewer students, rising costs, and growing competition for tuition dollars.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

A group of Upper Valley residents has taken up the call to “bring the cows, back” to Norwich Farm.

A smartphone screen with a variety of travel app icons, including Airbnb in the center of the screen.
Wachiwit / iStock

The nation’s largest short-term rental company says it won’t fight a bill that would make Vermont the first to require people who rent out their homes to register with the state.

Dirty Mayor cans on the canning belt at Citizen Cider in Burlington.
Henry Epp / VPR

Tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump on some imported steel and aluminum went into effect late last week. Several countries have received exemptions from those tariffs, but still some industries in the U.S. are wary of them — including craft beer and cider makers.

We're talking about food tourism in Vermont: how it's changing and what it means for the state.
Mark Goebel / Flickr

Vermont's farms and food-and-drink producers are pitching themselves to tourists - not just as the source of what's on the table, but as destinations in their own right. We're talking about food tourism, how it fits into the state's economy, and whom it benefits.

Lee Youngman, owner of "Yarn" in downtown Montpelier, stands next to her shop's credit card terminal. Youngman was told she'd have to pay $8,000 to cancel the lease agreement she signed with a company that leases credit card equipment.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Vermont lawmakers are considering new regulations on the credit card processing industry after a spate of complaints to the Attorney General’s Office.

Cans of Heady Topper roll off the production line at The Alchemist brewery, in Waterbury. The brewery recently intentionally over-built a solar project and is sharing its extra power with the Waterbury Area Senior Center.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

"Microbrews and bluebird skies." It could almost be a Vermont tourism campaign — but in this instance, it describes an emerging trend in the region: solar-powered local beer production. And one central Vermont brewery's raising the bar even higher by throwing philanthropy into the mix.

A stretch of road with a mini cell tower on a utility pole that a car is driving by.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR/File

Vermont has been trying to get cell service into every corner of the state, and a few years ago, a new technology offered promise by mounting mini cell towers along utility poles.

But just last week the state learned that CoverageCo — the company that’s operating the cell system — is about to shut down after losing money on the experiment.

screenshot of timesargus.com

The Rutland Herald and Barre-Montpelier Times-Argus newspapers have been sold for the second time in 18 months.

courtesy

The Vermont Public Radio Board of Directors announced Thursday that West Virginia public broadcaster Scott Finn will be the next leader of VPR.

The Department of Taxes posted notices on the doors of The Hermitage Monday after the company fialed to make payments on more than $1 million in back taxes it owes.
Courtesy, Vermont Department of Taxes

The state has shut down The Hermitage ski resort in Dover.

courtesy, Hermitage Club

The Vermont Department of Taxes on Thursday sent the Hermitage a notice that the company was “not in good standing,” with the state.

As of Jan. 1, 2018, all Vermont employers are required by law to provide paid sick time to employees working 18 hours a week or more.
Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash

For more than a year, Vermont has required employers to provide paid sick time to employees working at least 18 hours per week. Even businesses that already offered paid sick leave often required policy changes to comply. We're looking at Vermont's paid sick time law one year in.

Syrup producer David Hall stands outside near Lac Brome, Québec.
Lorne Matalon / For VPR

While Vermont is by far the highest producing maple syrup state in the United States, 70 percent of the world's maple syrup is made in Québec.

And that's where the benchmark global price for bulk maple syrup — the price paid by processors to Vermont's maple syrup producers — is set each year by a powerful, but legal, cartel.

Bob Sabolefski, a small batch syrup producer in Stowe, pours sap from one bucket to another in the woods.
Lorne Matalon / For VPR

Demand for maple syrup and maple products is growing by about 6 to 8 percent per year globally. The prospect of that kind of return is drawing in investors to Vermont like moths to a flame.

Central Vermont Internet founder Jeremy Hansen answers questions about the proposal at town meeting in Berlin, where he also sits on the select board.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

With at least 12 towns voting in favor of forming a communications district so far, Central Vermont Internet will go forward. The idea is to bring publicly-run high-speed internet to those towns.

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