HOME ABOUT GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS MEMBERSHIP EVENTS NEWS RESOURCES MEMBER LOGIN
SEARCH OUR MEMBERS: OR OR
NEWS
TELL A FRIEND PRINT THIS PAGE

Windsor County Economic Report: Jobs many, workers few across several industries

September 4, 2018

Vermont Business Magazine

Windsor County and the Upper Valley don’t have much to complain about. The county posted a June unemployment rate of 2.6 percent (not seasonally adjusted), one-tenth better from the prior year, and slightly better than the state’s rate of 3.0 percent (Vermont’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 2.8 percent; county rates are not adjusted.)

Within the county, the Labor Market Areas saw rates from 3.6 percent in Woodstock to 3.3 percent in Springfield, and a painfully low 2.1 percent in White River Jct, by far the lowest in the state. 

According to the US Census Bureau, the county’s household median income in 2016 was $54,763 which is below the state median of $56,104.

There are plenty of jobs available in all sectors from manufacturing and health care to recreation and retail. 

But like the rest of the state or for that matter New England, the number of jobs available far exceeds the number of workers. Tied to that is the shortage of affordable housing needed to accommodate workers. 

Housing

“If you’re an employer looking to attract employees to the Upper Valley, many of those with whom we speak are struggling with employees and prospective employees coming up and being surprised how expensive it is and how difficult it is to get housing,” said Andrew Winter, executive director of Twin Pines Housing.

The Upper Valley includes parts of Orange County and the neighboring towns in New Hampshire.

Winter said rents continue to climb in the region with newer units renting for a premium over older units that are not always in the best shape.

According to the latest report from the National Low-Income Housing Association, an annual income of $42,960 is needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Windsor County with a fair market rent of $1,074 a month. 

Statewide the fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,165.


Twin Pines owns 417 apartments in the Upper Valley for low and moderate-income individuals and families.

The nonprofit housing group is adding to that list with three projects under construction.

Winter said an 18-unit building undergoing renovations in Lebanon, NH, (across the Connecticut River) is targeted toward the chronically homeless.

Twin Pines is also building a 30-unit, mixed-income apartment building in White River Junction on Sykes Mountain Avenue. He said the apartments will serve families and individuals making as little as 50 percent of the area median income and as much as 120 percent of the area median income.

“The Upper Valley, because of its proximity to Dartmouth College and Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, we’re seeing demand among higher income folks for housing,” Winter said.

He said nine of the 30 units will be set aside for people making 80 to 120 percent of the area median income.

The U.S. Census Bureau pegs the median household income in the county at $54,763. 

Twin Pines has plans for a second phase with another 12-18 units. 
The current project is being funded in part by a state bond issue that was passed last year by the Legislature. 

The third Twin Pines project is a three-story, 29-unit apartment building in West Lebanon, N.H., on Tracy Street.

Winter said the one and two-bedroom apartments are geared toward people making 50 percent to 60 percent of the area median income.
Although new affordable apartments are part of the solution, Winter said renovating older housing stock has to be part of the mix.

“We can’t build our way out of it,” he said. 

Peter Gregory, executive director of the Twin Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission, said because of the housing issue many people are forced to commute “a fair distance” to their job. 

Kevin Geiger, a senior planner with the commission, said housing is a key component for economic development in the region.

Geiger said the commission is working with its partner regional planning commission in New Hampshire to undertake an in-depth affordable housing study that goes beyond the numbers.

He said a joint study would look at locations, impediments to building, social impediments, and asking developers why more housing units aren’t being built.

Geiger said based on past studies the region needs 4,000 additional housing units. He said that’s tied to the shortage of workers.

“We know in our region we have unfilled slots because they can’t find housing,” he said.

Private developers are also taking steps to address the housing crunch.

Just completed is a $4.5 million mixed-use building at the corner of Bridge and Main streets in White River Junction.

The project was undertaken by local developer Bill Bittinger who purchased the vacant property after a fire in 2005 destroyed the existing building.

The four-story building has 16 one-bedroom apartments on the upper floors and retail on the street level.

Bittinger, who has been doing redevelopment projects for more than 25 years, said the project was funded with the help of two federal housing programs.

“The people who have come and rented to date … people who are working within a block or two of where our building is and they can obviously walk to work,” Bittinger said. 

He said the building is energy efficient, employing electric heat pumps with plans to build a solar array off-site next year.

Bittinger said other efforts are being made to increase the affordable housing available.

“It’s harder today for a lot reasons to do it,” he said. “The cost to build is relatively high here, relative to incomes etc.”

He added the Upper Valley has a higher percentage of households that are single-income households which makes it more difficult to live than a two-income household.

On the economy, Bittinger said he’s been encouraged by a number of economic development activities in the area. “I think it bodes well,” he said.

Bittinger said plans by Dartmouth to increase the size of the engineering school is one example of the college creating a critical mass geared toward what he calls “the new tech economy.” 

Employers

The county’s employers represent a diversified economy. There’s King Arthur Flour, Okemo Mountain Resort, Vermont Castings, Newsbank, Harpoon Brewery and Black River Produce. 

But the three largest employers in the Upper Valley are in health care and education: Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and the VA Medical Center in White River Junction.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock alone has 9,000 employees throughout its system in New Hampshire and Vermont, including 1,300 doctors, residents and fellows, and associate providers; 1,800 nurses; and 1,200 allied health professionals.

According to the hospital’s website, 75 percent of its workers live in New Hampshire with the remaining 25 percent living in Vermont.
Dartmouth College has 4,234 employees, including 952 faculty.

The VA hospital in White River has a staff of 1,216, which includes several satellite clinics around the state. 

Dr Brett Rusch, the hospital’s acting director, said the hospital today is doing better than a couple of years ago when it was running a budget deficit.

As a result, Rusch said the hospital’s workforce is 5 percent less than it was 18 months ago. He said the reduction in staff was accomplished through normal attrition. He also said to increase efficiency steps were taken to reallocate certain jobs. 

The hospital’s current budget of $219 million, is an 8 percent increase over the previous year. Of that $219 million, payroll accounts for $133 million.

“Certainly the budget climate within VA is dynamic,” Rusch said. “That’s going to be changing even more with some of the new legislation that’s been passed.”

He said some of those changes like purchased care in the community will have less impact on the White River Junction hospital than at other VA facilities.

Overall, Rusch said the hospital’s finances from a budget perspective are “in a very secure place.” 

The hospital serves 26,000 veterans a year, including vets served by the seven outpatient clinics of which two are in New Hampshire.

The hospital has a major project in the works: a $9.9 million renovation of the 43-bed medical/surgical ward in the next year or two.

“We mostly have single and double rooms so when that’s done our bed capacity will be somewhere in the range of 32 to 37 (beds),” Rusch said.

The hospital also has a mental health unit with 12 beds and a residential rehab program with 14 beds. 

He said the biggest challenge the hospital faces is managing sustainable growth while providing necessary services for veterans.
Another challenge faced by other employers is hiring. He said while the VA offers “pretty” competitive pay, doctors can make more money elsewhere.

The upside of that is that doctors who work at the hospital are given “the ability to spend the time that they need with their patients delivering good care and the salary is not connected to productivity.”

While education and health care are major drivers of the Windsor and Upper Valley economy, there is no shortage of companies that make things.

One of the county’s legacy manufacturers is GW Plastics. The 63-year-old Vermont company is on track for another solid year, said GW Plastics President and CEO Brenan Riehl.

“We’ve had nine record revenue years out of the last 10,” Riehl said. “We hope to have another record revenue year in 2018.”

The company specializes in injection molded thermoplastics and silicone parts and devices for the healthcare/medical, automotive, and consumer and industrial markets. 

The bulk of the business, 75 percent, is in the medical device field with 25 percent automotive.

“Right now healthcare is growing faster than the automotive business,” Riehl said, adding that the company’s Bethel and Royalton operations are focused solely on the health care market.

With corporate headquarters and facilities in Bethel and Royalton, GW Plastics employs 450 people in Vermont.

The company also has locations in Arizona, Texas, Mexico, China and Ireland.

Springfield

Springfield, once the hub of the machine tool industry, continues to transform itself, diversifying its economic base that goes beyond traditional manufacturing.

Bob Flint, executive director of the Springfield Regional Development Corp, said there are several economic irons in the fire.

“I think this is one of these things, particularly with Springfield, where we’ll talk a year from now and some of the seeds that are beginning to be planted will have germinated and things are starting to be very interesting,” Flint said.

Those “seeds,” as Flint put it include the former Park Street School project, the Woolson Block project in the downtown, and the former J&L machine tool plant.

“There’s a lot of things in motion and we’ll be seeing the fruits of that in the coming weeks and months,” he said.
Springfield Regional Development Corp. (SRDC) has an option to purchase the 90,000-square-foot Park Street School. The idea is to turn the former school into co-workspace for entrepreneurs and startup businesses and “activities related to technology and connectivity,” Flint said. He said VTel’s incredibly high-speed internet gives the area a significant advantage over other communities across the country in attracting businesses that require a super-fast broadband connection.

There are other pieces of the project that are coming together that could involve other properties beyond the school, Flint said.
A major downtown project is the Woolson Block. 

The Springfield Housing Authority and Housing Vermont have partnered on a more than $7 million project to breathe new life into the dormant Woolson Block.

Flint said the project, which is scheduled to break ground in the fall, includes affordable housing on the upper floors and four retail storefronts on the ground floor.

“From Springfield’s point of view, it’s been a building in rough shape for many, many years, it’s been empty the last few years,” he said. “The renovation of this building is really kind of really like the centerpiece of the downtown area.”

On Clinton Street, the former J&L machine tool plant is owned by the SRDC. Plant No. 1 is a 270,000-square-foot building which sits on a brownfield site. “We are methodically working our way through the process of hopefully getting to tear down much of that building, probably next spring,” Flint said.

Remediation work continues at the site. He said 990 tons of contaminated soil were removed last fall.

“Across the street we have VEDA (Vermont Economic Development Authority) financing of just over $600,000 where we’re doing renovation work on the former Bryant (Grinder) building,” Flint said.
He said once the work is completed there will be 35,000-square- feet available for occupancy.

Springfield also has the opportunity to take advantage of newly created federal opportunity zones that were included in last year’s tax bill. Flint said the tax credits could attract investors to develop some of the town’s more distressed properties like the Bryant Grinder property.

Beyond Springfield, Flint said other towns in the county are undertaking various projects, including downtown master planning.

“The town of West Windsor just got the village center status and they’re continuing to do activities related to the redevelopment of the former Ascutney Mountain Resort as a destination bike area,” he said.
In Windsor, Artisan’s Park with its variety of food and craft businesses continues to be a major tourist draw, attracting more than125,000 visitors a year, Flint said.

The park is home to several businesses: Harpoon Brewery, Vermont Farmstead Cheese Co., Blake Hill Preserves, Great River Outfitters, Artisan Eats, Silo Distillery, Simon Pearce and Path of Life Garden.
Flint also said he’s working with Windsor Improvement Corp. in hopes of redeveloping the former Goodyear property.

Downtown

The optimism expressed by Flint on Springfield’s future is shared by the head of the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“I would say we’re seeing a turn in a good direction,” said Caitlin Christiana, the chamber’s executive director. “We’ve seen several small businesses popping up in the recent months which is encouraging.”

Christiana said one new business is the Copper Fox, a farm-to-table restaurant on Main Street. She said another new entry downtown is the soon-to-open Flying Crow Coffee Co. She said the owner of the coffee roasting company has future plans to open a 15-seat, micro-cafe.

Other recent downtown openings include: 

Shannon's Upscale Resale, Alaura's New Nails, Clever Cow Designs, and Dark Mountain Games.

Christiana singled out the success of Trout River Brewery on River Street, which opened a tasting room. 

“They’ve been having food trucks and live music on Saturdays, and it's a fantastic and fun addition to our community,” she said.

Like other downtowns, Christiana said it continues to be a challenging time for bricks and mortar retailers. Online shopping has hurt the retail industry nationwide but she said Springfield’s proximity to sales tax-free New Hampshire has always been a problem. 

She said the chamber is working with its members on a collaborative effort to encourage consumers to support their local businesses and keep dollars local. “So we’re putting together a year-long collaborative effort where the businesses will sort of cross promote each other and share information and news so we kind of have more of a collective impact,” Christiana said.

She said direct communication is critical in building relationships. Christiana said the same point was made at a recent roundtable discussion hosted by Rep. Peter Welch.

“Human connections and person-to-person interactions are so critical to people’s sense of place and that sort of vibrancy of a community,” she said. “So when we approach it from that angle it seems much more achievable then it does when you kind of look at it the reverse way, like how do we improve the economy.” 

Christiana said there are several projects in the pipeline including the Comtu Cascade Park project along the river front. She said the Main Street Steering Committee is fundraising for the $450,000 project, which is considered a critical piece for the redevelopment of the downtown.

Christiana said the idea is to create a walkable public green space with seating. She said the venue would include art as well as a place for live music.

White River Jct

There’s no lack of economic development in the area covered by the Green Mountain Economic Development Corp., including an expansion in Randolph by LEDdynamics, a commercial lighting company.

GMEDC Executive Director Bob Haynes said the company has outgrown its leased space in Randolph where it employs 65 workers. The new 27,600-square-foot facility will be built off Beanville Road on a piece of property acquired by GMEDC, Haynes said. He said GMEDC will lease the building to LED dynamics.

“Altogether it’s a $5 million project and the town of Randolph got a Community Development Block grant for $1 million,” he said.
VEDA, the Vermont Economic Development Authority, is also providing a $3.8 million loan with the remainder of the financing coming from the company, Haynes said. 

The project is expected to break ground shortly. DEW Construction is the construction manager.

When completed, Haynes said the company projects it will add another 35 workers bringing total employment to 100.

Along Sykes Mountain Avenue two car dealerships are building new showrooms. Key Autogroup of Portsmouth, NH is opening a Chevrolet dealership to replace the former Miller dealership in Lebanon, NH, which closed last year, Haynes said.

He said the old Miller property is now a bus transportation hub operated by Dartmouth Coach.

The other dealership is Prime Subaru of Vermont which is relocating its dealership from Norwich to White River Junction.

“We now have a number of car dealerships all congregated on Sykes (Mountain) Avenue,” he said.

Bittinger, the real estate developer, has five tenants in a building along Railroad Row, all tech firms.

“I think that’s a critical piece of our economy for the kind of folks who want to live and work here,” he said.

Bittinger said he’s also encouraged by the emergence of the creative economy of artisans and artists in Pomfret, Barnard and Royalton.
GMEDC is also involved in helping a community group acquire and operate Will’s general store in Chelsea.

“The goal is to purchase it from Will Gilman and operate it as a community-based market with some social space,” Haynes said.
“It’s important to the community that there’s a place to buy daily groceries and luncheons, hot meals, maybe take-home meals,” he said.

Haynes said the only other grocery store in town, Flanders Market, closed (in late 2016). 

Haynes said there are two other pending transactions which he is not at liberty to discuss.

One of the tasks of regional commissions, including Twin Rivers-Ottauquechee, is helping towns analyze and come up with a plan to clean up brownfield sites for redevelopment.

In Windsor County, the commission is involved in the cleanup of two sites in downtown White River Junction.

In Bethel, a cleanup there will allow for an expansion of a hardware store. The commission was also involved in the cleanup of the Jones & Lamson property in Springfield. 

Geiger, one of the commission’s senior planners, said EPA funds are available to undertake an assessment of brownfield sites that otherwise would be paid for by the developer.

He said, however, the actually cost of the cleanup would be the responsibility of the developer.
 
Real estate

Home sales in the county are on a par with last year with 86 homes sold through June compared to 89 for the same period last year, according to the Vermont Association of Realtors.

The median sales price through the first six months was $197,500 compared to $215,000 for the comparable period in 2017.

Inventory is down to seven months from 10 months a year earlier. There are 619 active listings through June compared to 820 for the same period year ago. 

Of the 34,910 housing units in Windsor County, 70.8 percent are owner-occupied, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

Ken Wells, chief retail lending officer at Mascoma Bank, said home mortgage lending remains healthy and on par with last year
“I’d say if there was more inventory we’d be ahead of last year at this time,” Wells said.

Anecdotally, he said the inventory appears just as tight on the New Hampshire side of the border.

“I think it’s particularly acute in Lebanon and Hanover,” he said.

So far, the slow uptick in interest rates has not had any noticeable effect on lending with mortgage rates remaining historically low.
“We don’t get the sense people are being priced out of the market because of interest rates,” he said. “It’s more lack of inventory, which is driving price appreciation faster than otherwise would be.”

Wells said based on his experience it’s easier to obtain a mortgage today than it was 25 years ago.

On the commercial real estate side, the market is holding steady and looks to be improving, according to Kenneth Howe, senior vice president and chief commercial banking officer at Mascoma. 

“There are a number of new construction projects or expansions recently completed or currently underway in the Upper Valley,” Howe said in an email responding to questions.

“These significant levels of investment obviously indicate continued confidence in certain sectors of our market. In addition to new construction activities, we have also seen a number of sales of existing businesses which may, or may not, have included real estate.”

The health of the commercial real estate market is reflected in the bank’s lending with 13 percent growth in the lending portfolio last year compared to 2016.

Howe said growth remains strong through the first six months of this year.

New Hampshire is often seen as a more business friendly state. But in terms of commercial lending he said there isn’t any meaningful difference between Vermont and New Hampshire. 

And while the Fed has raised interest rates, Howe said the bank has not seen any indication that rising rates have caused a slowdown in commercial lending in our markets.



News
October 26, 2018
$100,000 Hunger Mountain Co-op Investment to support VCLF’s Food, Farms & Forests Fund
October 25, 2018
VRGA: New Association Health Plans Available to Retailers and Grocers
October 22, 2018
Halloween spending could reach $9 billion
October 19, 2018
Mental health professional turns to retail therapy
October 17, 2018
Make the Most of Small Business Saturday – November 24
October 17, 2018
3 out of 4 Small Business Owners Support the Trump Tariffs, BizBuySell Says
October 15, 2018
H&M UMall store opens to eager crowds
October 12, 2018
On the Hunt for Help: Upper Valley Employers Fight for Workers
October 11, 2018
One-stop business portal will simplify government for small businesses
October 10, 2018
Kroger to phase out plastic bags at all its grocery stores over 7 years
October 8, 2018
Minimum Wage Re-Emerges as Debate in Race for Vermont Governor
October 4, 2018
VPR and Vermont PBS team up for debates
October 4, 2018
Patagonia, Walmart, Gap work to get out the vote
October 1, 2018
Hannaford Stores to Charge 5 Cents Per Paper Bag
September 27, 2018
Women in retail among Fortune's 'Most Powerful'
September 27, 2018
Trump’s Tariffs May Hurt, but Quitting China Is Hard to Do
September 25, 2018
Grand opening of ReStore in Milton
September 25, 2018
C&S Wholesale Grocers Announces Hunger Action Month Contributions
September 20, 2018
Scott joins national workforce development initiative
September 20, 2018
Mike DeSanto: Amazon’s market dominance a threat to retailers, workforce
September 19, 2018
The Rural Advantage: Rural Retailers: The Risks, The Rewards
September 13, 2018
Vermont governor: Canada is crucial to our economy
September 13, 2018
NRF FOUNDATION JOINS WITH WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY GRANT ASSOCIATES TO PROVIDE RISE UP TRAINING
September 11, 2018
Commission Discusses a Taxed-and-Regulated Cannabis Market for Vermont
September 10, 2018
Casella acquires two Rochester, NY, businesses
September 10, 2018
New program to help Vermont female entrepreneurs
September 5, 2018
Prepare for Emergencies
September 4, 2018
NATION Why the retail industry isn't struggling as much as you think
September 4, 2018
Price Chopper matching donations for Red Cross disaster relief in September
September 4, 2018
Windsor County Economic Report: Jobs many, workers few across several industries
September 3, 2018
Hard Lessons (Thanks, Amazon) Breathe New Life Into Retail Stores
August 31, 2018
Grocers Get Set for September Family Meals Month
August 29, 2018
How to craft a successful SMB retail customer experience
August 23, 2018
Vt. Allstate agencies aid Foodbank BackPack Program
August 22, 2018
Employees at C&S Wholesale Grocers Corporate Headquarters Pack 100,000+ Meals
August 21, 2018
Health Plan Enrollment Rules
August 21, 2018
Women Grocers of America – Making a Difference for the Future
August 20, 2018
Retail Is Coming On Strong: What's Trending Now
August 20, 2018
Member of the Month: Stowe Mercantile
August 17, 2018
Target hiring 150 people for October opening in South Burlington
August 13, 2018
Sarah Kaeck: Beyond recruitment: What keeps workers in Vermont?
August 8, 2018
Vermont Bans 'No Rehire' Clauses
August 2, 2018
Scott: Vermont's labor force is growing
July 26, 2018
What is This? A Retail Apocalypse 'Near Me': How Local Search Can Revive Your Business
July 25, 2018
EMERGING ISSUE: CORPORATIONS USE THEIR CLOUT TO SHAPE POLICY - SALES TAXES
July 25, 2018
Member of the Month: Keeler's Bay Variety
July 24, 2018
As Amazon Moves to Capture Local Government Spending, Here’s What You Can Do
July 24, 2018
AG: New recreational marijuana law does not legalize selling in any method
July 19, 2018
A Vermont Road Trip: 8 Places to Stop on a Drive Through the Green Mountain State
July 19, 2018
Ten ways to outperform 2017’s Black Friday retail success
July 17, 2018
5 Ways AI is Impacting Retail Marketing
July 17, 2018
Which Federal Employment Laws Apply to My Company?
July 16, 2018
Vt. Economic Rank Depends on the Poll
July 16, 2018
SMALL RETAIL’S BIGGEST CHAMPION
July 13, 2018
Vermont marijuana: How new law compares to Maine, Massachusetts and other states
July 12, 2018
New law curbs abuses by credit card terminal lessors
July 10, 2018
What does the Supreme Court sales tax decision mean for Vermont?
July 10, 2018
Vermont unveils Lake Champlain Tasting Trail
July 6, 2018
Grilling the Chef: Colleen Mahony at the Warren Store
July 5, 2018
Gifford joins Efficiency Vermont partnership
July 2, 2018
Scott sends message to Legislature as budget finally becomes law
June 30, 2018
VRGA brings back Merchant Awards
June 28, 2018
Up to $2,000 available for small businesses
June 28, 2018
Why and how retailers are taking on the role of incubator
June 27, 2018
HOW SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS CAN CHANGE THE FUTURE OF RETAIL
June 27, 2018
KeHE Distributors Announces Hot Products and Seasonal Trends
June 26, 2018
Opinion: Small town Vermont is what summer is all about
June 26, 2018
Vermont Restaurant Week donates more than $23,000 to Vermont Foodbank
June 20, 2018
Member of the Month: Vermont Foodbank
June 20, 2018
Grocers Supply Breaks Ground on 727,600-Square-Foot Distribution Facility in Texas
June 19, 2018
Agriturismo, American style: 8 farm and food experiences in the USA
June 18, 2018
Independent grocers feel competitive pinch
June 15, 2018
R.L. Vallee has plans for Morrisville
June 15, 2018
Hiring Workers Is a Struggle
June 14, 2018
Vermont Foodbank kicks off new gleaning program in Rutland
June 14, 2018
HOW PRICE CAN MAKE OR BREAK YOUR RETAIL BUSINESS
June 13, 2018
New energy efficiency programs will reduce cost of doing business
June 12, 2018
Vermont Retail & Grocers Association Announces 2018 Scholarship Recipients
June 11, 2018
Moore: Don’t Shop Online, Shop Local
June 1, 2018
Need an entry-level job at a store? It can be harder now
May 31, 2018
8 Consumer Trends for 2018
May 29, 2018
Hannaford Commits $500,000 To Child Nutrition
May 29, 2018
Vt. leads nation in local food consumption
May 25, 2018
Craft Brewers And Distributors Both Bitter Over Updated Franchise Bill
May 24, 2018
Legislature Delays Curbside Food Scraps Pick-Up Until 2020
May 23, 2018
Here's What Gov. Phil Scott's Vetoed, So Far
May 16, 2018
Are We Entering The Era Of Social Shopping?
May 16, 2018
Member of the Month: Wallingford Locker
May 16, 2018
Seasonal, Part-year Workers Urged to Check Tax Withholding Amount
May 14, 2018
Baker: From bottom line to value creation and impact
May 14, 2018
Vermont food and fun
May 10, 2018
Economic Survey: Vermont businesses more cautious than rest of US
May 10, 2018
Vermont House approves $15 minimum wage by 2024
May 10, 2018
Citizen Cider Celebrates New Facility in Burlington, Vermont
May 7, 2018
Ways small retailers can thrive in a world of retail giants
May 4, 2018
5 Technologies Reshaping E-Commerce
May 4, 2018
How Target is embracing the human touch to beat the competition
May 3, 2018
Celebrating heritage — and resilience
April 27, 2018
Grocers seek new recipe for success with meal kits, challenging online purveyors
April 26, 2018
PUCF awards more than $134,000 in grants to Vermont nonprofits
April 25, 2018
Mother’s Day Spending to Reach $23.1 Billion
April 25, 2018
House passes bill to simply business creation process
April 24, 2018
RetroMotion Podcast #10 – Joe Fusco, Vice President, Casella Waste Systems
April 24, 2018
Commentary: Revitalizing the workforce in an aging state
April 23, 2018
Paid Memberships Are the New Loyalty in Retail
April 23, 2018
5 Retail Trends to Watch in 2018
April 23, 2018
ServSafe Training Sessions with Training to Excel
April 20, 2018
At J.J. Hapgood, a Dream Dining Spot in the Comfort of a Country Store
April 19, 2018
Member of the Month: Willey's Store
April 19, 2018
Scheuermann: Hotel tax rears its head, again
April 18, 2018
Sigrist: Increasing the minimum wage will hurt the people it’s meant to help
April 18, 2018
Out of order signs pop up at Vermont gas pumps
April 17, 2018
MILK MONEY L3C ANNOUNCES CITY MARKET MEMBER LOAN CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN
April 17, 2018
Hannaford the latest retailer to jump into the meal-kit craze
April 13, 2018
City Market, Onion River Co-op Celebrates Earth Week
April 11, 2018
Vermont lawmakers consider bottle bill amendment
April 10, 2018
Walmart, Target Kill Card Signatures
April 5, 2018
Breathing new life into Northeast Kingdom downtown areas
April 5, 2018
Diverting food from the landfill to hungry people
April 4, 2018
Vermont Town Seeks a Heart, and Soul (Also Milk and Eggs)
April 2, 2018
New City Market among Burlington Business Association annual award winners
April 2, 2018
Contract legislation affects small Vermont breweries
March 29, 2018
Downtown Bennington among those benefiting from $2.9 million in VHCB awards
March 27, 2018
Benson Village Store reopens, Philly-style
March 26, 2018
Vermont job growth for 2017 slower than expected
March 26, 2018
Stay-to-Stay initiative aims to attract working families
March 23, 2018
VRGA's RISE Up Retail Training Program
March 21, 2018
House gives Workforce Development bill unanimous support
March 20, 2018
Member of the Month: Harborside Harvest Market
March 20, 2018
City Market Co-Op grants offer $330,000 to six community organizations
March 20, 2018
Vermont Foodbank welcomes Jeffrey Tieman to board of directors
March 19, 2018
Consumer protection bill clears Senate committee
March 19, 2018
Report looks at child care, the economy and gender equity in Vermont
March 5, 2018
A Small Town Kept Walmart Out. Now It Faces Amazon.
March 5, 2018
Survey: Vermont businesses show mild uptick in economy
March 2, 2018
Tops shoppers help to buy 3 million meals for families in need
March 1, 2018
Stewart's Shops to Invest $50M in New Builds, Rebuilds & Renovations in 2018
March 1, 2018
Vermont Cider Company Launches New Tank Series with Release of Woodchuck Pear Ginger
February 28, 2018
VRGA gets workforce development grant
February 26, 2018
7 retail execs envision the future of stores
February 26, 2018
International fashion retailer H&M to open first Vermont location
February 21, 2018
Vermont Hard Cider and Pabst to End Partnership
February 20, 2018
Red Fox Shop in Wilmington sells local wine, beers, wares Read more: Deerfield Valley News - Red Fox Shop in Wilmington sells local wine beers wares
February 20, 2018
Higher income, healthier groceries
February 20, 2018
How The Home Depot Is Using Tech to Attract Workers
February 19, 2018
Steve Moyer & Patrick Crowl: Minimum wage, a business perspective
February 19, 2018
Commentary: The changing face of retail
February 19, 2018
Sen­ate ad­vances $15 min­i­mum wage bill
February 15, 2018
Commentary: Expanding the labor force is essential
February 15, 2018
WHAT ARE THE KEY FINDINGS OF THE 2018 NATIONAL GROCERY SHOPPERS SURVEY?
February 15, 2018
Member of the Month: The World
February 13, 2018
City Market Recognized with Workplace Awards
February 9, 2018
Retailers, despite store closures, predict higher sales
February 8, 2018
Senate to vote next week on $15 minimum wage hike
February 6, 2018
Richards Group to acquire Centurion Insurance from Mascoma BankRichards Group to acquire Centurion Insurance from Mascoma Bank
February 5, 2018
Governor challenges legislator pooh-poohing Labor Force problem
February 2, 2018
Super Senior: June Waite and Jerrilyn Remillard
February 1, 2018
The changing world of retail: 4 ways to defend against Amazon
January 31, 2018
Lauzon pushes plan to license Barre pot growers
January 31, 2018
Eric Polep to President and Chief Executive Officer J. Polep Distribution Services
January 30, 2018
City Market Signs Sales Agreement with Petra Cliffs
January 29, 2018
Vermont businesses have good reason to hang on to employees
January 29, 2018
Panera Bread on Church St. closing, Outdoor Gear Exchange to expand
January 29, 2018
Neighbors Band Together in Effort to Revive Brownsville Store
January 29, 2018
KeHE Brings On Trend™ Flavors to Winter Fancy Food Show
January 26, 2018
Donovan: Working for Vermont businesses, legislative update
January 25, 2018
Training high on list in Workforce Development Working Group report
January 24, 2018
Governor Scott presents balanced budget, no tax or fee hike
January 23, 2018
Ashe And Scott Spar Over Plan To Raise Minimum Wage To $15 An Hour
January 19, 2018
Natural Foods Co-op Celebrates Expansion
January 19, 2018
28 Retail Marketing Predictions To Watch In 2018
January 18, 2018
50 businesses named as Best Places to Work in Vermont 2018
January 18, 2018
Business growth program open to 20 VT entrepreneurs
January 17, 2018
C-Stores Appeal to Health-Conscious Consumers
January 16, 2018
Member of the Month: Dan & Whit's General Store
January 15, 2018
Walmart raises wages, handing out bonuses
January 11, 2018
Vermont Senate passes, governor expected to sign, bill making pot legal for adults
January 8, 2018
Macy's announces 5,000 job cuts, 7 new store closures
January 5, 2018
Scott wants to attract more workers
January 5, 2018
Progressives renew push for $15 wage as heart of economic agenda
January 4, 2018
Johnson opens session with pitch to pull together on problems
January 2, 2018
Onion River staff not giving up
January 2, 2018
Vt. Lawmakers to talk pot promptly
January 2, 2018
SIAL Canada Launches U.S.-Hosted Buyer Program
January 1, 2018
VRGA Honors Members of 30+ Years
December 28, 2017
2017 business winners and losers
December 28, 2017
Big labor sees growth potential in California pot workers
December 27, 2017
Country Stores Provide Timeless Taste of Vermont
December 26, 2017
Finding new workers crucial to the economy
December 26, 2017
7-Eleven Tries Out Mobile Ordering and Delivery with New App
December 26, 2017
The Evolving Role of Store Associates in an Automated Retail World
December 26, 2017
Retailers Feel Shoppers’ Christmas Cheer
December 20, 2017
Northeast Kingdom Fund provides $63,000 in grants
December 20, 2017
City Market Donates Proceeds from 20th Annual Tree Sale
December 19, 2017
Up to $60,000 available through Local Food Market Development Grant program
December 13, 2017
USA News Group: Vermont likely to legalize pot in 2018
December 13, 2017
Community Bank donates $2,500 to Vermont Foodbank
December 13, 2017
MAKING THE CASE FOR RETAIL AS A CAREER
December 11, 2017
Benson Village Store has new owners
December 8, 2017
How Dollar General Became Rural America’s Store of Choice
December 7, 2017
Independent grocers still challenged after recession
December 4, 2017
Power of One: Brands Building From Focus on Single Ingredient
November 21, 2017
Development Corp. Helps With New Facility for LEDdynamics
November 21, 2017
FINDING PRACTICALITY IN SUSTAINABILITY
November 21, 2017
Vermont’s workforce dilemma
November 20, 2017
MORE THAN 164 MILLION CONSUMERS PLAN TO SHOP OVER THANKSGIVING WEEKEND AND CYBER MONDAY
November 20, 2017
10 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR RECRUITING, HIRING AND RETAINING MILITARY VETERANS
November 17, 2017
5 Ways to Market Your Business for the Holiday Season
November 15, 2017
Real von Trapps competing with modern Vermont hotels
November 15, 2017
Onion River Co-op Past and Present, and a Preview of the New Store
November 14, 2017
Can local businesses compete with Amazon?
November 14, 2017
City Market Opens South End Co-op
November 13, 2017
3SquaresVT Challenge Kicks Off
November 7, 2017
Gifford’s Strode Independent Living receives Efficiency Vermont cash incentive
November 2, 2017
What to expect from the revitalization of the Burlington Town Center
October 31, 2017
$1M to boost local businesses
October 25, 2017
New initiative links education and training to Vermont’s future workforce and economic needs
October 24, 2017
Amazon's Stealth Takeover of Vermont
October 24, 2017
C&S WHOLESALE GROCERS RESPONDS AFTER HURRICANE MARIA AND CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES
October 23, 2017
Governor Scott launches ThinkVermont to grow economy
October 23, 2017
The Place to Live, Work, and Shop
October 20, 2017
Vermont businesses credit 25 percent of sales to Amazon
October 19, 2017
Target comes to University Mall
October 19, 2017
City Market donates $30,000 to support the Vermont food system
October 18, 2017
Shelburne's Village Wine and Coffee to Expand
October 17, 2017
VERMONT AGENCY OF COMMERCE AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT RECEIVES $325,600 GRANT FOR SMALL BUSINESS EXPORTING
October 12, 2017
Governor calls for 'sense of urgency' for expanding Vermont’s workforce
October 11, 2017
Donovan: Protecting Vermonters after Equifax
October 6, 2017
Vermont ranks in top five for energy efficiency
October 6, 2017
What Section 179 Expensing Means for Your Business
October 5, 2017
Scott signs proclamation designating October as Employee Ownership Month
October 2, 2017
2017-2018 Windham Region CEDS Update
October 2, 2017
Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England closes on significant acquisition of new territory in Northeast
September 27, 2017
SNAP Is an Important Public-Private Partnership
September 22, 2017
Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets Announces Over $1M in Available Grant Funds
September 6, 2017
Amid federal uncertainty, state employer regulations on the rise
September 4, 2017
Stormwater permits could be costly for some
September 1, 2017
Chicago-area soda tax may carry political price for backers
August 8, 2017
Governor Announces Formation of Interagency Committee on Chemical Management
August 1, 2017
Washington Post: Sobering news for $15 minimum-wage boosters
August 1, 2017
Vermont Department of Taxes Launches a Listening Tour for Small Businesses
July 26, 2017
NYT: Who Wants to Run the Mom-and-Pop Market? Almost No One
July 25, 2017
Retailers Welcome Move Toward More Balanced Overtime Update
July 19, 2017
America’s Retail Champion of the Year
June 26, 2017
Harpoon releases 2017 PMC Beer
May 3, 2017
J. Polep Announces Their Recent Acquisition
March 13, 2017
11th Annual Vermont Organics Recycling Summit
February 14, 2017
PRESIDENT TRUMP SIGNS 1ST EXECUTIVE ORDER ON ACA
January 18, 2017
Vermont Health Connect Announces Key Dates for Open Enrollment
January 11, 2017
Retailers Say U.S. Supreme Court Should Rule in Favor of Free Speech on Credit Card Fees
December 22, 2016
BUSINESSES NEED TIME TO REGROUP
December 15, 2016
Internet-tax case could change online shopping
December 12, 2016
650 Grocery Bags of Healthy Food to Central Vermonters
December 9, 2016
Hunger Mountain Co-op's Annual Holiday Grocery Pack
December 5, 2016
Predicting Where Retailers Will Focus Their Energy in 2017
November 28, 2016
Retailers Made Black Friday Irresistible for Consumers with Great Deals, Online and In-Store
November 22, 2016
C&S Charities Donates 1.7 million to Pediatric Cancer and Childhood Hunger
November 21, 2016
5 Ways To Convert Holiday Shoppers Into Loyal Customers
November 18, 2016
137.4 Million Consumers Plan to Shop Thanksgiving Weekend
November 14, 2016
Mandatory Bag Reuse Program Huge Success at Vermont Specialty Food Market
November 9, 2016
Top 25 retail industry websites
November 2, 2016
NOVEMBER 2016 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
October 21, 2016
Members Supporting Local Food Sales
October 4, 2016
National Retail Federation Forecasts Holiday Sales to Increase 3.6%
September 27, 2016
ImageTek Labels Expands Digital Printing Capabilities With Jetrion 4900M-330
September 23, 2016
Meat Grinding Record Keeping Requirement
September 22, 2016
Halloween Spending to Reach $8.4 Billion, Highest in Survey History
September 21, 2016
Farrell Distributing along with Leunig’s Bistro & 12 local restaurants to raise money for the UVMMC Breast Care Center
September 19, 2016
Dick Barnes Recognized for Long-term Service to Vermont
August 29, 2016
Survey Finds Seven in 10 Small Retailers ‘Overwhelmed’ By Government Regulations, Mandates
August 23, 2016
Cabot partnership to help Food, Farms & Forests Fund
August 11, 2016
Vermont will not enforce GE Food Labeling Law
August 2, 2016
Woodstock Farmers’ Market Gold Barn Honoree
July 26, 2016
National Retail Federation Upgrades 2016 Economic Forecast
July 21, 2016
Back-to-School and College Spending to Reach $75.8 Billion
July 1, 2016
NRF Welcomes Appeals Court Ruling Against Disputed Credit Card Swipe Fee Settlement
June 30, 2016
Vermont’s earned sick leave law
June 16, 2016
2016 Scholarship Recipients Named
June 15, 2016
City Market considers next phase of expansion
May 26, 2016
Congressman Welch Honored as NRF Legislator of the Year
May 25, 2016
NRF Recognizes Legislators of the Year
May 16, 2016
#ShopNaked at the Woodstock Farmers Market
May 13, 2016
Walmart suing Visa over chip card
May 11, 2016
From Seeds To Sweets, Small Businesses Are A Winning Formula In Lamoille County
May 11, 2016
City Market Job Opening - Director of Operations
May 5, 2016
Sherman and Trombley of Stowe Mercantile are VRGA Persons of the Year
April 27, 2016
Americans to Spoil Mom this Mother's Day
April 11, 2016
The House passes a resolution honoring Bethany Berger
April 4, 2016
A Hannaford Supermarkets program surpasses 2 significant milestones
March 30, 2016
A Vanilla shortage?
March 18, 2016
Vermont Pickle on Local 22 & Local 44
March 10, 2016
Best Bagger 2016
March 7, 2016
Onion River Co-op partners with Mansfield Cooperative to save Underhill Country Store
March 7, 2016
14 Vermont businesses receive $14,000 to attend national trade shows
March 1, 2016
Bethany Berger takes home 2nd place!
February 26, 2016
Only ONE booth left!
December 4, 2015
It's Scholarship Time!
October 6, 2015
Gubernatorial Candidates to Judge Vermont Bagging Championship
July 22, 2015
Three Vermont Businesses named America’s Retail Champions
VRGA
Board of Directors
VRGA Staff
Contact
MEMBERSHIP
Join
Services
Benefits
RISE Up
RESOURCES
Employment Posters
Regulatory
Monthly Newsletter
NAVIGATION
Home
About VRGA
Legislative Affairs
Membership
Events
News
Resources
Site Map
Vermont Retail & Grocers Association
963 Paine Turnpike North
Berlin, VT 05602

Telephone: 802-839-1928
Fax: 802-839-1927
Email: info@vtrga.org