BUSINESS LINKS & RESOURCES

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At local, state, and federal levels, there are many organizations whose purpose is to assist business owners and provide a source of information to help them be as successful as possible. Please visit the websites below to learn more about them and how they can help your business grow.

Center for Rural Entrepreneurship: Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom has long been characterized by limited economic opportunities and a low percentage of residents with a four-year college education. Lyndon State College is working to reverse this trend with the establishment of the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship (CRE). The creation of the CRE is the latest step in fulfilling the College’s mission of educating first-in-family and low- and moderate-income students, and serving as an economic engine for the region. The CRE represents a natural outgrowth of two existing programs at the College: Incubator Without Walls (IWoW) and the Northeast Kingdom Manufacturing Training Program. These and other new initiatives on the drawing boards will now be under the umbrella of the CRE and its director, Ann Nygard, who has been promoted from her previous position as director of IWoW. The CRE will continue to work alongside the College’s Leahy Center for Rural Students to raise student aspirations in the Northeast Kingdom and to spark workforce development.

Northeastern Vermont Development Association: Formed in 1950, at the same meeting where U.S. Senator George D. Aiken coined the term "Northeast Kingdom" to describe Caledonia, Essex and Orleans counties, the Northeastern Vermont Development Association has served the people, municipalities and businesses of this region as both the Regional Planning Commission and Regional Development Corporation. As the Regional Planning Commission, NVDA assists municipalities, organizations, committees and individuals with a wide variety of planning and technical services. From assisting municipalities with regulatory options, to administering grants, creating maps, and implementing transportation and natural resource plans, NVDA is actively working with land use issues in the region. As the Regional Development Corporation, NVDA works on infrastructure improvements, assists companies relocating to the area, helps existing businesses to grow, and administers revolving loan funds. NVDA also fosters key partnerships with the Small Business Development Center, the Northeast Kingdom Collaborative, the Northeast Kingdom Travel and Tourism Association, and the various Chambers of Commerce in the region.

Northern Community Investment Corporation: NCIC is a jobs-based private non-profit serving Caledonia, Essex and Orleans Counties of Vermont (Northeast Kingdom) and Carroll, Coos and Grafton Counties of New Hampshire (North Country). We provide capital and professional assistance for a full variety of businesses as well as spearheading community economic development projects. Our business lending is focused on job-creating-businesses throughout our region. As a US Department of the Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution we offer a full spectrum of economic development based financial products ranging from US Small Business Administration (SBA) Microloans, direct loans primarily funded through USDA Rural Development IRPs and SBA 504 loans. NCIC has provided over $100 million to businesses while leveraging an additional $300 million from other sources and helped to retain in excess of 10,000 jobs while creating more than 5,000 new jobs.

USDA - Rural Development: The local Rural Development officeis in St. Johnsbury, VT. Rural Development has a network of 6,100 employees and 500 offices, a portfolio of business, housing, and infrastructure loans totaling $132 billion, and provides an estimated $20 billion annually to support economic and community development in rural America. Visit their website to learn about funding opportunities currently available.

US Small Business Administration: The US SBA was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. We recognize that small business is critical to our economic recovery and strength, to building America's future, and to helping the United States compete in today's global marketplace. Although SBA has grown and evolved in the years since it was established in 1953, the bottom line mission remains the same. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam.

Vermont Business for Social Responsibility: VBSR's mission is to advance a business ethic that values multiple bottom lines - economic, social, and environmental. We do this by: Education - Empowering our members to solve environmental, social and economic problems. We provide concrete resources and information to help improve our members' business practices; Public Influence - Initiating tangible change in public policy that combats exploitation and promotes sustainability. We work to capture the inherent power of business to represent socially responsible ideals to legislative bodies, news media, and the general public; Workplace Quality - Enabling every worker to live and work with respect and dignity by creating work environments and economic climates that provide fair income in safe work settings, and allow each employee to contribute to a high quality product or service.

Vermont Department of Economic Development: Part of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, the department works to create and retain quality jobs and strengthen the competitiveness of Vermont's businesses and the overall economy while creating vital communities. While the department is responsible for statewide economic and community development policy and assumes a leadership role, it works with a variety of partners including other state and federal government agencies; institutions of higher learning; municipalities; regional development corporations; and non-governmental organizations to achieve our shared goals.

Vermont Department of Labor: The Department's primary focus is to help support efforts to make Vermont a more competitive place to do business and create good jobs. The Department of Labor consists of the following divisions: Economic and Labor Market Information, Workers' Compensation and Safety, Workforce Development, Workforce Development Council, and Unemployment Insurance and Wages. The goal of the Department is to create one administrative umbrella that will strengthen critical areas, utilize available resources to their fullest, and provide an effective and efficient service delivery model for employers, workers and job seekers. We welcome your suggestions on how best to provide and improve those services.

Vermont Business Center at UVM: The Center for Leadership and Innovation (CLI) in partnership with UVM Continuing Education was created to address the needs of developing leaders and growing companies in Vermont. The CLI offers a Professional Certificate in Leadership and Management, one and two day management development seminars, week-long intensive programs for professionals and in-house corporate training solutions. Additionally, we are a point of access for area businesses to a variety of UVM resources. Also affiliated with the Center for Leadership and Innovation is the Vermont Family Business Initiative (VFBI), an ongoing membership program that provides a training and support network to family businesses in the state.

Vermont Economic Development Authority: VEDA is Vermont’s statewide economic development finance lender. Created by the General Assembly in 1974, VEDA’s mission is “to contribute to the creation and retention of quality jobs in Vermont by providing loans and other financial support to eligible and qualified Vermont industrial, commercial and agricultural enterprises.” Since 1974, VEDA has provided over $1.8 billion in financing assistance to thousands of eligible Vermont entrepreneurs, manufacturers, small businesses, and agricultural enterprises, helping them to realize their business growth goals, create jobs, and enhance the vitality of Vermont’s economy. Working in partnership with Vermont banks to help meet the financing needs of Vermont businesses, VEDA’s low-interest programs help Vermont’s economy grow and prosper.

Associated General Contractors of Vermont: Chartered on January 31, 1961, the Associated General Contractors of Vermont, Inc. is a state chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America, Inc., a nationwide organization representing the interests of more than 32,000 construction industry professionals. AGC/VT has more than 140 active general contractor, associate and affiliate members, including equipment and material suppliers, insurance companies, bonding firms, financial institutions, consultants and others with an interest in the construction industry.The mission of AGC/VT is to serve as the advocate for the highway and building contracting community. We promote the free enterprise system encompassing social, environmental, economic considerations which are consistent with the Associated General Contractors of America's Motto of Skill - Integrity - Responsibility. We accomplish our services and educational pursuits through collective strength and unity. We are the association of choice for the contracting industry in Vermont.

Vermont Small Business Development Center: VTSBDC provides no-cost business advising and low-cost training to all Vermont entrepreneurs starting or growing their own businesses. Our highly committed and professional business advisors will work with you in one-on-one, confidential sessions. We cover all areas of business from start-up planning to loan package development to long term growth strategies and everything in-between. Since VtSBDC was established in 1992 we have served over 17,500 clients with over 167,800 hours of counseling and provided training to 22,000 people. We support your needs through a variety of programs and partnerships with other state and federal agencies. The mission of VtSBDC is to strengthen existing business entities, and assist start-ups through high quality, no cost counseling, and high quality, affordable training programs. We believe our Business Advisors are among the most enthusiastic and committed in all of the country. Their combined experience covers almost every size and type of business and they work as a team to deliver the best advice and assistance. They are highly trained, knowledgeable and united in the belief that small business is the backbone of our country.

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