The Vermont Economy

VPR's Steve Zind

VPR senior reporter Steve Zind focuses on the Vermont economy and its impact on our lives. Follow Steve Zind on Twitter, post comments on the stories, and let Steve know what local economy stories you think VPR should cover.

Signage in front of a soon-to-be Target in 2013. The first Vermont store, to be located in the University Mall in South Burlington, has attracted strong feelings from Vermonters.
shaunl / iStock

Reactions to the news that Target will be opening its first Vermont store have been all over the place. Some are lamenting the arrival of another "big box store," while others are barely able express their joy in words — instead relying on strings of celebratory emojis.

Kyle Gruter-Curham grows 6 acres of hemp in Irasburg. He says if lawmakers allowed it, he could add marijuana to his crops as early as next spring.
Emily Corwin / VPR

Vermont's handful of medical marijuana dispensaries have exclusive permission to grow and sell marijuana in the state.  If and when lawmakers legalize non-medical weed, they will likely have a head start on a very profitable industry.

Courtesy

Target has signed a lease to open a "small-format store" in South Burlington on Dorset Street.

For the last decade or more, my neighbor Walter has hosted an Annual Apple Squeeze on the Saturday of October’s long holiday weekend.

In the wake of an investigative report by The Washington Post and "60 Minutes," Rep. Peter Welch is calling for congressional investigations into the effects of legislation he co-sponsored in 2015.

An image from one of several 30-second ads Mondo Mediaworks has created as part of a $200,000 marketing campaign to attract new residents to Rutland County.
screenshot, Mondo Mediaworks video

Thirty-second ads touting Rutland have begun to air on cable TV networks in Burlington and Plattsburgh, Boston and Hartford and even Rutland.

Supporters of Keep BT Local came out in droves to the Burlington City Council meeting Monday to voice their support for the co-op's bid to buy Burlington Telecom. The council advanced the bids of Tuecows/Ting and Keep BT Local.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

The Burlington City Council voted Monday night to advance the bids of Keep BT Local and Ting  in the process to buy Burlington Telecom.

The Burlington Telecom building. The City of Burlington hopes to have a buyer for Burlington Telecom lined up by the fall. The City Council will vote to eliminate one of three bids from the sale process.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

The three bidders hoping to buy Burlington Telecom will be narrowed down to two after the city council meets on Monday evening.

Boxes of food are seen being prepared for distribution in Enosburg Falls, Vt., in this Nov. 18, 2010 file photo. An estimated one-fourth of Vermonters will receive some form of food assistance this year.
Toby Talbot / Associated Press/File

Local food shelves across the state have been seeing an increase in demand this fall. John Sayles, CEO of the Vermont Foodbank, joins Vermont Edition to discuss reasons for this increase in demand and explain how local organizations are dealing with it.  

Pixabay/Public Domain

Librarian and privacy advocate Jessamyn West was outraged when she heard about the massive data breach affecting 134 million people at credit reporting agency Equifax. So the Randolph librarian decided to sue the multi-billion dollar company in Vermont Small Claims Court.

Christina Moore of Halifax, Vt. sits at her desk in San Juan where she is managing disaster relief, using software she developed.
Christina Moore, Courtesy

A Halifax resident who developed a software program to help with the federal disaster relief process is in Puerto Rico managing the relief effort there.

The Vermont Agency of Human Services is cutting about $500,000 that would have gone toward support services for the state's Reach Up program.

Two people bike on the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail last year. Bike paths were one topic brought up at a recent forum held by the Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative in Rutland, along with other outdoor recreation activities.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR File

Outdoor recreation brings in $2.5 billion a year in consumer spending in Vermont, but many believe the state could bring in even more.

James Douglas is homeless and he says he panhandles around Brattleboro. Douglas says he has beeen collecting less money since the selectboard began a townwide dialogue on panhandling.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

A conversation in Brattleboro about panhandling has led to some tough debates over homelessness, mental illness, drug addiction, but there's still no consensus on what to do about people in the street asking for money.

Electric vehicles and a charging station in Burlington, where utilities and car dealerships announced new incentives for electric cars on Tuesday.
Henry Epp / VPR

A group of electric utilities, car dealerships and government officials in Vermont are pushing incentives aimed at making electric vehicles more affordable.

An acre-and-a-half block is available in downtown Rutland, and that got us thinking: What would people in the area like to see fill the space?
Nina Keck / VPR file

It’s not often an-acre-and-a-half of contiguous downtown real estate is available all at one time. But that’s exactly what’s happened in Rutland.

Migrant Justice activists gather to celebrate the signing an agreement with Ben & Jerry's that took two years to negotiate.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Ben & Jerry's and Vermont dairy farmworkers have come to an agreement on a program they say will ensure "just and dignified working conditions" on the Vermont farms that supply milk for the ice cream company.

According to a new report, 63 percent of those hosts are women; the average age of Airbnb host is 50 and 29 percent of the Airbnb hosts are over the age of 60.
Wachiwit / iStock

A newly issued legislative report says online home sharing services like Airbnb should be regulated locally. But one of the lawmakers who requested the study says oversight should happen on a statewide level.

The long time headquarters of the 'Rutland Herald' will be put up for auction by the paper's former owners on Oct. 27, 2017.
Nina Keck / VPR

Next month, the buildings that have housed the Rutland Herald for more than 80 years will be sold at auction. 

Some sparse shelves are visible at the Montpelier Food Pantry on Tuesday. They saw a spike in demand over the summer months, according to executive director Jaime Bedard.
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Officials at organizations providing food assistance to Vermonters say a sluggish state economy might be one of the reasons why demand at many local food shelves has risen in the past few months.

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