The Who, the What, the When for Local Businesses
Vermont’s ‘most promising jobs’ identified
The State of Vermont has released a “Most Promising Jobs” list of occupations that pay above the state median wage of $22.55 per hour and are expected to have at least 500 openings over the next decade. Atop the list are K-12 teachers, bookkeeping and accounting clerks, carpenters and registered nurses. The full list includes information on median wages, number of projected openings and minimum education requirements.
Energy consultations available for businesses
Efficiency Vermont is offering free on-site energy visits to Vermont businesses of all sizes. The consultations give business owners access to rebate offers, financing solutions and technical advice to lower energy costs and increase resiliency.
They offer a clear understanding of what systems are wasting energy and money. Financial incentives on lighting, HVAC, weatherization and renovations are available.
Schedule a walkthrough at www.efficiencyvermont.com/bizconsult.
VCF launches venture capital fund
The Fund at Hula, a venture capital firm that invests in seed and early-stage technology start-ups, has partnered with the Vermont Community Foundation (VCF) to create a new fund, “VCF at Hula.” Investment returns from VCF at Hula go toward participating charitable funds, giving VCF fundholders an opportunity to invest charitable assets in growth-stage, Vermont-based companies.
VCF at Hula will prioritize investing in local startups that have the greatest potential to generate venture returns, create jobs, advance economic activity and make positive change in their industries. It aims to raise at least $3 million.
ARPA ag grants available
Producers of farm and forest products can now apply for federal grants from the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act through the Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Initiative. A first round of grants totaling $1 million will be available this year, and a second $1 million round is anticipated in 2023.
Examples of eligible primary production activities are farming, livestock rearing, maple sugaring, dairy production and logging. Applicants will need to demonstrate how their business experienced a negative economic impact due to the Covid pandemic, even if that impact was not sustained.
The deadline to apply is Dec. 16. Email email@example.com or call (802) 917-2637.
BBB warns of job-seeker scams
Job-seekers looking for temporary seasonal work around the holidays should be aware of scams, according to the Better Business Bureau. The organization offers the following advice:
— Beware of businesses that ask applicants to pay for job supplies, application or training fees. These expenses are the employer’s responsibility.
— Be wary of job offers that don’t require an interview. Even during the peak hiring season, reputable companies prefer to talk to top job candidates before hiring them. If a job offer is presented without an interview or is offered only via the internet, question the company’s hiring practices and do a little more digging.
— Be wary of big money for small jobs. If an employer is promising outrageously good wages for what seems like simple tasks such as reshipping packages, stuffing envelopes or answering phones, this is a red flag. These too-good-to-be-true offers are an attempt to steal your personal information.
— Don’t work before you are hired. Before beginning any work, request an offer letter or written confirmation of what the job entails, including an official start date and compensation details.
SBA opens small business award nominations
The Small Business Administration’s Vermont District Office is accepting nominations for its 2023 small business awards. Previous Vermont winners include Ben and Jerry’s, Mamava and Blake Hill Preserves. The annual awards recognize the achievements of SBA-assisted small businesses and the contributions they have made to their communities and Vermont’s economy.
Categories include: Small Business Person of the Year; Exporting Small Business of the Year; Family-Owned Small Business of the Year; Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year; Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year; and Young Entrepreneur of the Year; among others.
To nominate a Vermont small business, email the name of the business along with the owner’s name and award category to firstname.lastname@example.org.