Essex brewery named vet-owned company of year
1st Republic Brewing Company in Essex has been named Vermont Veteran-Owned Business of the Year for 2018 by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The company was founded in 2015 by Army veteran Shawn Trout, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Vermont National Guardsman Kevin Jarvis, who served in Iraq.
In addition to brewing beer, the company sells brewing supplies at its shop on River Road and online at 1strepublic-homebrew.com.
“Military service can translate very well to the private sector,” said Darcy Carter, SBA Vermont district director. “Veterans were taught leadership, motivation and work ethic when they served. These qualities are necessary to be a successful entrepreneur.”
‘Taste of Vermont’ returns to D.C.
The Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Vermont Convention Bureau and the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation will host the 13th annual “Taste of Vermont” reception in Washington, D.C., on May 10.
The event will showcase about 60 Vermont businesses, from hotels, resorts and attractions to food- and beverage-makers. Writers, food-buyers, meeting-planners and policy-makers will be on hand to learn about the businesses. More information is available at vermontmeetings.org.
NEFCU hosts ‘Shred Fest’ for secure document disposal
Do you have old and/or sensitive papers that need secure disposal? Bring them to New England Federal Credit Union’s “Shred Fest” on Saturday, May 5. This free event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at NEFCU’s 141 Harvest Lane, Williston, location is a way to protect against identity and data theft while destroying sensitive documents.
Participants can watch on a video monitor as their documents are shredded by SecurShred, a local documents-shredding company.
Shred Fest participants will be limited to five boxes of documents. For more information, visit nefcu.com.
Community Capital of Vt. hires executive director
Community Capital of Vermont has named Rich Grogan its next executive director. Grogan comes to the company with a background of working with small businesses. He has been director of the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center since 2015.
Community Capital of Vermont is a statewide, nonprofit community-based lending organization whose mission is to help small businesses and lower income entrepreneurs prosper by providing flexible financing and business coaching.
Loans range from $1000 to $100,000 and may be used to start or grow a business. Visit communitycapitalvt.org for more information or to apply for a loan.
Redeemed Thrift Shop closing
The volunteer-run Redeemed Thrift Shop on 3060 Williston Road in South Burlington will close in May after nine years in operation, manager Ellen Lyon announced earlier this month.
The store will stay open Tuesday through Saturday until May 25. The Burlington United Pentecostal Church has provided volunteers and financial backing to sustain the operation through the years. Call 881-0277 for more information.
Vermont receives $59 million tobacco settlement
Vermont received $29 million last week in a tobacco company settlement, on top of its annual $29 million payment it has received every April since a 1998 agreement related to claims tobacco companies were deceiving the public about the health consequences of smoking.
The total payment, announced Monday by Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan, amounts to $58.9 million.
Legislative leaders and Gov. Phil Scott have pledged to use a portion of the funds to fight opiate addiction in Vermont.
“I am proud of the work my office did on this deal, and I can think of no more urgent public health crisis than the opiate epidemic,” Donovan said.
Vermont Systems awarded Army contract
Vermont Systems Inc. was recently awarded a multi-million-dollar contract by the U.S. Army to upgrade its software system that manages recreational activities on military bases around the world. First installed 30 years ago, the Essex company’s software handles registration for recreational programs, selling concessions at venues, signing up for fitness center memberships and reserving golf tee times.
To fulfill the new contract, Vermont Systems Inc. plans to significantly increase its staff size. The family-run, 100 percent employee-owned business currently employs nearly 100 software developers, quality assurance specialists and customer support experts. The company has about 1,100 customers including all branches of the military, municipalities, college campuses and several parks and recreation departments in Chittenden County.
Giving Garden concept takes aim at food insecurity
Gardener’s Supply Company of Burlington and Williston kicks off Garden to Give this spring, challenging gardeners across the country to donate fruits and vegetables from their own gardens to their local food pantries.
“We can easily lose sight of the fact that people in our own communities don’t know from one day to the next whether they’re going to have food on the table,” said Gardener’s Supply Company president Jim Feinson. “Our goal for Garden to Give is to donate 25,000 tons of food this year. That’s a big goal, but we feel it’s in reach if gardeners take the pledge to make a difference in their own back yards.”
In consultation with numerous food pantries, Gardener’s Supply has also developed free, online resources to help gardeners design a Giving Garden that includes many of the durable veggies food pantries are most keen to accept.
The first 500 people to take the Garden to Give pledge will receive free seeds for their Giving Garden, courtesy of High Mowing Organic Seeds. People who pledge will also be entered in a monthly drawing for a $100 Gardener’s Supply gift certificate.
“Raising awareness about hunger is a major component of this campaign,” said Gardener’s Supply Director of Good Works Claudia Marshall.
Visit gardeners.com for more information.
NBT Bank hires Williston branch manager
David Micklas has been hired as the branch manager for NBT Bank’s Williston Office.
Before joining NBT Bank, Micklas was a mortgage loan officer and branch manager for KeyBank in Burlington.
Micklas graduated from the SUNY Plattsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. He formerly served on the board for the Northern New England Chapter of the ALS Association and is a past president of the Essex Rotary Club.
Vermont unemployment rate holds at 2.8 percent
The Vermont Department of Labor last week reported a statewide unemployment rate of 2.8 percent for March. This reflects no change from the revised February rate. The national rate in March was 4.1 percent.