Posts Tagged ‘Vermont’

Small Businesses for Vermont

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Hurricane Irene caused the worst flooding to strike Vermont in 83 years, leaving the state under 15 inches of rain in a single weekend. National Weather Service hydrologist Greg Hanson described it as “one of the top weather-related disasters in Vermont’s history.” A little over two months later, residents and businesses are struggling to recover. USA Today reports that Vermont residents are learning that while FEMA, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, provides assistance to individuals, the only alternative for small businesses is to apply for federal disaster loans. And, predictably, most businesses didn’t have flood insurance for not being located in a flood plain and for the fact that the insurance premiums are very expensive. Predictably, Vermont’s representatives, notably Senator Sanders, are protesting that disaster relief is caught up in Washington politics. Senator Sanders also protested the slow pace of approval of SBA disaster loans, particularly in comparison with local assistance from the Vermont Economic Development Authority. Vermont’s economy is dependent of its small business sector and local businesses are doing what they can to help one another. Independent Vermont Clothing, an online retailer, raised $26,005 for the disaster relief fund of Vermont’s Red Cross by selling T-Shirts with a “Support Vermont” theme. I already bought mine, shown here on a dress form, because there is no one around today to snap a photo of me wearing it! Whether it is donating to the relief efforts, volunteering to help or patronizing Vermont businesses, either in person or online, we should all show our support.

Fire Destroys Vermont Landmark

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
Traditional New England

Traditional New England

The New York Times reported the moving story of how life in a small town in Vermont was upended when arson destroyed the general store that was the center of community life. The Putney General Store, built over 200 years ago, was likely the oldest general store in Vermont. A landmark building, tourists would pose for photographs in front of the store even as residents relied on it as a hub of information. The town has raised $200,000 to repair the building, but the story is a reminder of how small businesses define the character of local communities, unlike the anonymous national chain franchises or big box institutions. The tragedy also reminds us that everyday disasters, such as fires, are more likely to strike that major disasters.