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.

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.

Emily Corwin

One year ago, two nonprofits and a county planning commission set out to add 3,500 new homes to Chittenden County’s housing stock within five years.

This railroad bridge is part of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail in Morrisville. According to the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers, there are 42 bridges to repair or replace along the trail before it is complete.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

The Vermont Association of Snow Travelers and the state have finalized an agreement regarding the construction of a four-season trail across Vermont.

Many Vermont mobile home parks were built in the 1960s-1980s. We'll explore the role this housing option plays across the state.
clubfoto / iStock

About 10 percent of Vermonters live in mobile, or manufactured, homes. They provide an important option in a state where affordable housing can be difficult to secure.

Steve Wadsworth greets cows at Laggis Brothers Farm in East Hardwick with a kiss on Sept. 1. Wadsworth, a large animal vet who serves dairy farms, took "Vermont Edition" host Jane Lindholm on a tour of four farms earlier this month.
Jane Lindholm / VPR

We've left the studio in favor of a field trip on this Vermont Edition to see what goes on behind-the-scenes at four large dairy farms in Franklin and Caledonia Counties.

Brenda Thibault stands in front of her mobile home at St. George Villa, where the residents are looking into forming a cooperative to purchase the park.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

As Vermont sees a growing number of mobile home parks go on the market, some residents are turning toward cooperative ownership to take over control of the properties.

A screenshot of the Airbnb website, taken Sept. 20, shows some available rentals in Vermont. A Vermont working group is studying short-term rentals, prompting Airbnb to reach out to Vermont hosts registered on the site to share their experiences.
Screenshot from Airbnb.com

Airbnb says more than 3,600 people across the state use the online service to rent out their homes. Now the company is asking those homeowners to get involved with a statewide study that could impact the future of home sharing in Vermont.

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 city of Burlington has released the names of the three groups making bids to buy Burlington Telecom, the city's telecommunications service.

This drawing shows part of the plan developers have for The Putnam Block in downtown Bennington.
courtesy of Stevens &-Associates

A development group in Bennington says it's acquired a major downtown property that's part of a $50 million renovation project.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows Vermont to be the only state in the country to see an increase in the poverty rate in 2016 — however the lower rate in 2015 was an outlier compared to previous years, according to an official at the U.S. Census Bureau.

Jay Burstein, who makes ukuleles out of hemp like the one he's holding above, attended this year's Hemp Fest at Burke Mountain Resort on Sept. 9.
Jon Kalish / VPR

On Saturday, Sept. 9, about 400 people gathered at the Burke Mountain Resort for Hemp Fest, a daylong series of workshops and displays focused on the cultivation of industrial hemp.

Karin Hardy points to land along Ball Mountain Brook in Jamaica where her house stood before Tropical Storm Irene swept it away. Hardy's former house was not in the FEMA flood zone and she did not have flood insurance.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Karin Hardy says she never thought much about flood insurance before Tropical Storm Irene, but she learned a pretty tough lesson the Monday after the storm in 2011.

Keep BT Local is a co-op and one of three potential bidders in the sale of Burlington Telecom.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

The four potential buyers of Burlington Telecom will be revealed next week, according to a statement from Burlington City Council president Jane Knodell.

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