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.

Dozens of employees at Dealer.com in Burlington were laid off Tuesday according to a statement from Dealer.com’s parent company, Cox Automotive.

Robert Congdon is vice president of the Rutland County Agricultural Society, which runs the Vermont State Fair. Congdon, 29, says his grandfather Edward Congdon, Sr., oversaw the fair for many years and it feels like the event is in his blood.
Nina Keck / VPR

The 172nd Vermont State Fair is underway in Rutland with a shorter five-day schedule. Officials say it's part of a rebuilding effort after a rocky few years.

Pat Embree of Rutland is one of more than 4,700 Vermonter seniors who receive home delivered food with Meals on Wheels.
Nina Keck / VPR

Meals on Wheels brings nutritious food to more than 15,000 Vermonters a year, most of them over age 60.

Nationally, data show the program saves lives and billions of dollars a year in health care spending. Yet increasing demand on top of funding shortfalls are forcing program administrators across Vermont to make tough choices.

We're talking about the impact of income sensitivity on school budgets across the state.
Don Kurto / iStock

Vermont has a program – known as income sensitivity - that allows some homeowners to pay their school taxes based on their income and not the value of their property.

Sen. Patrick Leahy speaks to a crowd at a barn along Route 15 in Hardwick Thursday, as Gov. Phil Scott looks on. Leahy and Scott were in Hardwick to announce the recipients of Northern Border Regional Commission grants.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Sen. Patrick Leahy and Gov. Phil Scott were in Hardwick Thursday to announce over $2.2 million in Northern Border Regional Commission grant awards in Vermont. Ten projects throughout the state received grants, ranging from $46,000 to $425,000.

Some Burlington residents who live in buildings served by Burlington Telecom could be getting high speed internet service for less than a dollar per month under a new program, officials announced Wednesday.

Up until now the outdoor recreation businesses in Vermont have not had a statewide advocacy group. Governor Phil Scott signed an executive order creating a collaborative to support the industry.
John Atkinson / Vermont Mountain Bike Association

Recreation businesses involving activities such as skiing, hiking, mountain biking and boating bring a lot of money into Vermont. But until now there hasn't been an organized effort to bring all of those businesses together and possibly provide some organized state support.

A Craftsbury Outdoor Center rowing coach instructs a camper on Great Hosmer Pond from a motorized coaching launch.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

The state is proposing a new rule for Great Hosmer Pond, in Craftsbury and Albany, and the draft language takes the unprecedented step of limiting the hours when rowing sculls and racing shells can be on the water to make room for other uses, including high speed motorboating.

Six new and aspiring businesses made their case to a group of motorcycle-riding investors and entrepreneurs at Green Mountain Harley-Davidson in Essex Junction Monday morning as part of the fourth annual "Road Pitch" tour of Vermont.
Road Pitch, Courtesy

A group of investors has been traveling Vermont on motorcycles this week to get pitched by local entrepreneurs with varying approaches who are looking for money and advice.

The Cowmobile is one of the endearing images of Ben & Jerry's. We discuss how important the social mission is to the company today.
Jonathansloane / iStock

Ben & Jerry's has always been a company that stands for something, a company that has a heart. But 17 years after it was sold to global food conglomerate Unilever, we check in to see if the company's social mission is still in place.

A summer study committe set to convene in Montpelier next week will set the stage for a legislative debate next year over whether to increase the minimum wage in Vermont to $15 an hour.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Supporters of a bill that would raise the minimum wage in Vermont to $15 an hour hope a new summer study committee will lay the groundwork for passage in 2018.

As more and more people rely on cell phones to stay connected, landline services, especially in rural areas, are becoming a challenge for providers. But those same customers are often the ones unable to rely on cell phones.
smiltena / iStock

Live call-in discussion: For some Vermonters, landlines remain a lifeline, a crucial service without many viable alternatives. But as more and more people switch to cellphones, providers are struggling to ensure the future of the traditional landline.

The Champlain Housing Trust announced Monday they have purchased what used to be the St. Joseph School in Burlington's Old North End.

Courtesy: Milk Money

What’s often called ‘equity crowdfunding’ is giving businesses, especially start-ups, a way to raise money when they can’t access capital from traditional sources, like bank loans.

It's also giving Vermonters a chance to invest locally.

Annie Russell / VPR

The idea of growing the tech industry and developing a Vermont spin on Silicon Valley has a lot of appeal. But the state faces big challenges in terms of attracting and keeping talent and companies.

Steve Zind / VPR

It should come as no surprise that the use of landline phones in the U.S. keeps dropping. But for residents of remote parts of Vermont, landlines can be essential.

Lori Claffee is a member of the Union/Park Neighborhood Association which has been working to take back a neighborhood in Springfield. She is standing in front of a demolition site where a nuisance house was torn down.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Neighborhood activists, who are trying to clean up one of Springfield's toughest neighborhoods, say they'll only be able to tackle the problem one building at a time.

Musicians and child care advocates gathered at a Burlington recording studio last week to work on the arrangement for 'Something Beautiful'. Shown here, from the left, are Chris Dorman, Anna Gebhardt, Kat Wright, Bob Wagner and Josh Weinstein.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

If all goes as organizers plan, a 1,000-person flash mob will be singing and dancing on Church Street in Burlington October 1 in support of adequate early childhood care for Vermont's kids.

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed rolling back net neutrality regulations. On this "Vermont Edition," we look at what the changes are and how they could affect internet users.
Kynny / iStock

Net neutrality is the concept that all data on the internet is treated equally. The Federal Communications Commission instituted these regulations during the Obama administration.

Now, those rules could be rolled back to allow internet providers to offer "fast lanes" for those willing to pay for that access.

Victoria Quine leads a class during the New England Center for Circus Arts camp Wednesday.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The entire board of trustees of the New England Center for Circus Arts stepped down Wednesday. The board members announced their decisions late in the day after accepting the resignation of the embattled executive director Michael Helmstadter.

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