Coronavirus updates

$2.5 million to be granted to small businesses through tech assistance

On Friday, Sept. 18, Governor Phil Scott and Secretary Lindsay Kurrle of the Agency of Commerce & Community Development (ACCD) announced the launch of the Small Business Recovery Technical Assistance Program. The program will connect small businesses in need with five technical assistance teams across the state offering resources to help to address businesses challenges brought on by the Covid-19 crisis.

Each team will offer navigators to help businesses access public and private sector business service providers related to digital sales, marketing, design services to accomplish low-contact workplaces, workforce retraining, and supply chain optimization.

The program is free to Covid-19-impacted businesses and funded through $2.5 million in federal CARES Act funding.  The program is now live and businesses can begin accessing resources immediately.

“Vermonters built their businesses in a pre-Covid-19 environment. This program will help them adapt to the ongoing crisis by offering tools to put more of their business online, implement novel and innovative ways to do in-person business, and develop processes to increase profits,” said Kurrle.

“Ultimately, we hope this will result in stronger businesses coming out of the pandemic, putting more Vermonters back to work, and strengthening our economy to withstand these types of pressures moving forward,” she said.

The five technical assistance teams are:

Vermont’s 12 Regional Development Corporations (RDCs) will connect a wide variety of small non-profit and for-profit businesses to a newly formed network of business service providers.

The Vermont Chamber of Commerce will offer restaurant and lodging businesses expert advice in partnership with On the Fly, a Vermont based group of hospitality business experts who have begun providing free services to peer businesses in the past few months.

Champlain College will connect participating businesses with in-house expertise to help businesses refine the tools necessary to flourish in a market that is embracing 21st-century technologies.

The Northern Community Investment Corporation will provide businesses in the Northeast Kingdom direct business services through a network of public and private consultants.

The Vermont Sustainable Jobs fund will provide a cohort approach to helping wood product businesses modernize their sales and marketing efforts.

This funding will deliver robust support to Vermont businesses impacted by the economic downturn due to Covid-19. The funding, allocated by the Vermont General Assembly in Act 137, leverages existing statewide and regional assets to reach a broad range of companies in every sector and region.

In Rutland County, the RDCs ReVTA Program will be administered by Chamber & Economic Development of the Rutland Region. Businesses that have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and would like to receive technical assistance and businesses that can provide technical assistance must register to participate in the program.

Each RDC will deploy a recovery navigator to work one-on-one with businesses and determine the best form of technical assistance to help each business on its path to recovery.  The navigator, client business, and technical assistance provider will develop a scope of work appropriate to solving the client’s issues. The cost of the work will be covered by the grant.

The program is expected to assist over 250 businesses with grants averaging $3,000 between now and Dec. 20, the deadline to expend CARES Act funds.

This program was first proposed as part of Governor Scott’s first emergency economic recovery package. For more info visit  VermontEconomicDevelopment.com.

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