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Last Updated: November 17, 2020

COVID-19 Announcements

NVDA staff continue to work remotely. When staff are present in our offices they will follow VT Department of Health and CDC guidelines by wearing face covering and maintaining physical distancing. We will continue to keep you informed of updated COVID-19 news and announcements by posting information on our website and Facebook, and in NVDA's bi-monthly newsletters.


If there is an urgent need to communicate with NVDA, please contact:


New Travel Restrictions and More...

Amid a surge of cases and outbreaks spreading across the state, Governor Scott implemented a mandatory 14-day quarantine for anyone returning to or traveling to Vermont. (The quarantine can be cut in half if the person tests negative for Covid-19.) Previously the state relied on a leisure travel map - people traveling into Vermont from counties with high caseloads had to quarantine, while others did not. The Governor's announcement went into effect immediately on Nov. 10th. In addition, with multiple outbreaks rising from social spread, further restrictions were announced on Nov. 13th to restrict multi-household social gatherings inside and out, close in-person service in bars and social clubs, and limit in-person restaurant service - at least to Dec. 15th. Dr. Mark Levine, Head of the VT Department of Health, said that Vermont is on a threshold and the sacrifices we make at this time will determine our future in the winter months ahead. We need to slow the spread, ensure hospitals are not overwhelmed, help schools continue to offer in-person instruction, and keep as many Vermonters working as possible. "Our actions now will make a difference."

CARES Act Training at UVM for Business Community

Funding from the VT CARES Act can cover tuition costs for professional development training. The University of Vermont is offering a number of courses View Course List. Business owners must be registered in the Restart Vermont Technical Assistance Program (ReVTA) and work with the local Navigator. Don't delay. The window is short to get started and some courses may be filled. Find out more. Contact an enrollment advisor at UVM learn@uvm.edu and Navigator@nvda.net.

How to Apply for PPP Loan Forgiveness

Did you take out a Paycheck Protection Program loan? Here are four steps to apply for forgiveness:
1. Contact your lender and complete the form
2. Compile documentation
3. Submit the forgiveness form and documentation to your lender
4. Communicate with your lender throughout the process
Learn more


Resource Websites

Local Resources:

NVDA (www.nvda.net), NCIC (www.ncic.org), and the NEK Collaborative (www.nekcollaborative.org), are working to distribute information and guidance on the resources and opportunities available in the region. Reach out by phone, email or Zoom for information.

VT Department of Labor (DOL)

The DOL website contains important information for employees, employers, unemployment assistance, job openings and training opportunities. VDOL is available to assist businesses with virtual job fairs. For more information contact Kinsley Sicard at Kinsley.Sicard@vermont.gov.

VT Emergency Management

Connect to resources on the current COVID-19 emergency response in Vermont VEM website. Bruce Melendy is NVDA's Emergency Management Specialist and Regional Emergency Management Coordinator Bmelendy@nvda.net.

USDA Rural Development Resource Webpage

USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate steps to help rural residents, businesses and communities impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Visit the website for updates on utilities and housing services. .

VT Manufacturing Extension Center

Vermont's go-to resource for manufacturing has a VMEC COVID-19 Resource webpage.



Business Announcements

NEK Business Assistance Tool

The region's new online resource hub for individuals, businesses and communities NEKstrong.com is developing a tool to help small businesses in the NEK to connect to the people and resources they need to succeed. Complete the survey by answering a few quick questions to help design the tool so that it's useful, accessible and easy to use. For helping out, businesses will be entered to win a $50 gift card and also be entitled to a free business consultation with NCIC (Northern Community Investment Corporation). Please Take the Survey

Diagnosing Your Business Health

UVM is offering Vermont small and medium sized businesses and nonprofits a free two-hour interactive webinar focusing on diagnosing needs and points of vulnerability given the current COVID crisis. Learn how to identify, rank, and prioritize the actions your business should take to improve its sustainability and profitability. Sign up for one session as each is a stand-alone session and participants need only attend once. RSVP for Wednesday, Nov 18, 1:00-3:00 pm Here; RSVP for Wednesday, Dec. 16, 1:00-3:00 pm Here.

NCIC & NVU Team Up to Offer Training Courses

Find your path forward by boosting your Business Management, Writing & Design and Marketing & Technology skills through offerings by Northern Vermont University's Center for Professional Studies. Take advantage of training courses free of charge with financial assistance available through Northern Community Investment Corporation (funded by a Small Business Recovery grant from the VT Agency of Commerce & Community Development.) Contact Mike Welch at NCIC mwelch@ncic.org at (802) 748-5101, ext. 2025. NCIC will work with you to coordinate payment to NVU. Note: you must contact NCIC prior to registering for the course. For a list of class offerings, visit www.NorthernVermont.edu/Achieve.

VT Public Service Accepting Applications for Wi-Fi Hot Spot Program

The focus is on outdoor access but winter is approaching and additional indoor locations are critical at this time for remote learning and/or telehealth. Public hot spot sites/upgrades can be municipal-owned, non-profits, co-working spaces, or even general stores that serve as community gathering places. 50 units are ready for rapid installation of commercial-grade Wireless Access Points as soon as a contract is fully executed and the program receives a final sign-off for CARES Act funding. Applications will be approved on an ongoing basis until funds are exhausted. Due to reporting requirements, each potential location or upgrade must have survey results from https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7MXG7Z6. Please contact Robert Fish with questions or for more information. Robert.Fish@vermont.gov.

NEK Collaborative Seeking Executive Director

Executive Director Katherine Sims was recently elected State Representative for Orleans-Caledonia- 1. The NEK Collaborative Board of Directors has begun the search for another expert facilitator who will continue to spearhead positive change in our region and maintain a strong and stable organization. A full job description can be found Here.

VT Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC)

Experienced business advisors work remotely and provide virtual services and workshops. All are available by email, phone or video conferencing. Do you need help constructing financial statements or application forms for disaster relief funding? VtSBDC will help you curate, decipher and disseminate information into manageable practical steps tailored specifically for your business - all at no cost. Contact: Ross Hart, VtSBDC Area Business Advisor Rhart@vtsbdc.org (802) 535-4240 (cell) or Heidi Krantz HKrantz@vtsbdc.org.



Funding Opportunities

Northern VT Recovery Loan Fund (NVRLF)

This new loan program, serving Northern Vermont businesses and organizations negatively impacted by COVIC-19, is designed to support business owners from Caledonia, Essex, Orleans, Franklin, Grand Isle, and Lamoille Counties. The fund provides flexible terms and low-to-no-cost debt financing, along with business coaching services. Loans are available to businesses across multiple sectors including manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, forestry & wood products, education & early care, nonprofits, and other drivers of rural economic development. For more information on NVRLF and other Vermont Community Loan Fund lending programs, visit the website.

Front-Line Hazard Pay Grant Program

For public safety, public health, health care, and human services EMPLOYERS whose employees were responding to public health emergencies between March 13 - May 15, 2020. Hazard Pay

EIDL - Economic Injury Disaster Loan

This low interest, long-term federal loan program is available through December 31st but funds are low and may run out before the deadline. EIDL

PPP Loan Forgiveness Application is Open

A modified, simpler loan forgiveness application has been approved by the SBA and U.S. Treasury Department. The new process is streamlined for borrowers with loans of $50,000 or less. Banks and other lenders are now able to process the forgiveness applications quicker. Small businesses should receive notification from their lenders soon. PPP Application Instructions.
PPP Forgiveness Webinar: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 11:30 am-12:30 pm. To join the webinar, visit https://meet.lync.com/sba123/sbmazza/SFFM2N9R. To join by phone, call (202) 765-1264 - enter code 237511921#.

Micro-Grants for Farmers

The Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE) announced a second round of funding of up to $500 for sales and marketing projects that benefit other farm businesses as well as the applicant's farm. (Examples might include CSAs, farm stores, and e-commerce platforms.) CAE Micro-Grants, in response to challenges presented by COVID-19 disruptions, will be awarded on a rolling basis. CAE Micro-Grant

Vermont Covid-19 Agriculture Assistance Program

The purpose of these grants is to stabilize ag businesses and organizations based on expenses and lost revenue related to the public health emergency. Eligible farmers, meat & poultry processors, commercial slaughterhouses, farmers' markets, value-added food product businesses, forest products businesses, producer associations, dairy producers & processors, and farm-to-school programs run by schools and child care providers are invited to apply. VCAAP Grant Program

NVDA Revolving Loan Program

The Northeastern Vermont Development Association has a limited amount of loan funds available for businesses in Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans Counties. Funds may be used for the purchase of real property & equipment, working capital, and feasibility studies. Normal lending guidelines and rules apply. For more information, contact Judith Butson at jbutson@nvda.net or (802) 748-1222.

NCIC Revolving Loan Program

Northern Community Investment Corporation has extensive revolving loan programs targeted for helping NEK employers. Contact Jon Freeman for more information: jfreeman@ncic.org | (802) 748-1888.