Newsletter Vol. 4 No. 7 – July 2024

Photo of the Old North End courtesy of Shane Lavalette via Curbed.

NAVIGATION
Fighting for the Visibility of the Old North End

by Maya R. Raj, MS

As a native Californian and someone who is a proud product of a unique blend of multiple cultures, my transition to Vermont was predictably harsh. However, moving to the Old North End was the best environment to ease the pressures of moving from an exceptionally diverse state to an ethnically homogeneous one. Many would overwhelmingly agree that the diversity of the Old North End makes those with a cultural background feel just a little more at home. Streets lined with ethnic grocery stores and passing cars playing familiar West Indies, Reggaeton and South Asian music is that necessary link to culture, making one feel grounded and less alone. Although it represents a small portion of Vermont, the Old North End serves as a microcosm of beautifully diverse communities across America.

While consistently noted for the unique culture that ethnic communities bring to America, the country has recently had to come to terms with the ways in which medicine has consistently failed these communities. Terms like “health disparities” and “preventable diseases” simply serve as scientific ways of describing life experiences that many ethnic communities have faced for generations, and the Old North End is no exception. However, Vermont is unique in that it seems to be exceptionally unaccustomed to understanding what is required of eliminating health disparities that exist within its borders.

While health centers do love to acknowledge the populations they serve and bring spotlight to the strategically placed healthcare clinics in neighborhoods like the Old North End, there is little to no awareness of the health conditions that each ethnic population faces. Ethnic communities are not homogenous; each culture has its own unique needs and barriers to care. Although healthcare access appears to be the primary concern of many healthcare facilities in Vermont, there is no evidence of a complete understanding of what healthcare access means beyond placing a convenient clinic location in a diverse neighborhood. For non-English speakers, the burden of healthcare access is evenly distributed between the individual seeking healthcare and the English speakers in their life who will ultimately become responsible for assisting the patient in each doctor’s visit. This means scheduling doctor’s appointments around family members’ work schedules, feeling anxiety at the start of check-in, and navigating constant miscommunication. This pattern of care is unfortunately common for understaffed Federally Qualified Health Centers, however, the steps to combat these gaps in care are nearly non-existent among Vermont health clinics. They are simply accepted as the reality.

A major commitment to increasing health access for diverse communities is to hire staff that reflect the community they are serving. There is a lack of effort to recruit employees from diverse backgrounds and even less commitment to retaining BIPOC employees. Community clinics in the Old North End are plagued with constant microaggressions, macroaggressions and high turnover rates among BIPOC employees. Multilingual employees do not receive any kind of pay differential, even when they speak languages that are exceptionally representative of the Old North End community. Among the employees that do not identify as BIPOC, there is a lack of appropriate DEI training, which should be notably intensive for a state that is exceptionally unfamiliar with dealing with unique patient populations. There seems to be no requirement of employees hired for specific diverse locations to have any kind of lived experience working with diverse populations, and the boundary of what is considered inappropriate when caring for the health of these patients is even more blurred.

Health equity can only be achieved through collaboration among various sectors of the community. However, it starts with acknowledging the barriers specific to the patient population being treated and a thorough plan of action to eliminate the barriers. There should be a greater spotlight on initiatives that elevate health careers for the youth of the Old North End and on pathway programs that give students early exposure to assisting their own community members while learning more about medicine and healthcare. Rather than expecting community members to work around the rigid environment of healthcare, it is only when we build healing according to the needs of the Old North End that we can truly promote health equity and bring true visibility to a community whose medical needs deserve to be addressed.

About the Author

Maya R. Raj, M.S. is a recent graduate of UVM’s Master’s of Medical Science Program and currently a postgraduate fellow with the CDC. Growing up in the Central Valley of California combined with her ethnic background of being a Fijian, Indian, Peruvian, and Mexican woman drives her passion for pursuing medicine and eliminating health disparities in local and global settings. She hopes to continue to amplify the voices of ethnic communities in not only health spaces but in artistic spaces as well. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maya-r-raj-m-s-425368141/

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT

Our member spotlight is on Spotlight on Taronté Venable (he/him), a Chiropractic Neurologist currently based in Bellows Falls. After deciding that city life was no longer for him, Taronté relocated to Vermont in August 2023. He is eager to collaborate with other professionals of color to establish a referral network that connects people of color with providers of color.

news FROM THE NETWORK

VT PoC’s The Things in Between: Holistic Financial Planning

Missed out on our past Financial Literacy Series webinars? No worries! We’re bringing the knowledge straight to your screens with our video format!

Dive into The Things in Between! ✨ Our hopes for The Things in Between is to provide an accessible way to share information, while also discussing topics beyond financial literacy.

We spoke with Anastasia Surmava from Commonwealth Financial Group to answer questions about holistic financial planning. Check out the playlist at the link below and stay tuned for a playlist on business entity basics with Nicole Killoran from the Vermont Small Business Law Center!

VT PoC’s 2023 Annual Report

2023 was an incredible year of growth and community for VT PoC, and we’re excited to share the work that we did with you. Find the full report at the link below.

Document cover for VT PoC 2023 annual report pdf

Apply now: VTDigger’s Advertising for Racial Equity program is accepting new businesses

The program supports BIPOC-owned Vermont businesses, entrepreneurs, and solopreneurs by offering up to $2,000 worth of free digital advertising on VTDigger’s website!

Closing July 15: Paid Residency Opportunity for Vermont Choreographers

Vermont Dance Alliance is offering a new residency program for Vermont choreographers that provides:

  • A $5,000 stipend to create a new work
  • 6 months of free studio space for choreography & rehearsals
  • Photography and videography documentation
  • A fully produced statewide tour of the new work 
  • Advertising and promotions of the artist and their work

Healthcare Community Meetings

Vermonters are struggling as healthcare costs increase commercial insurance premiums and property taxes. You are invited to a Healthcare Community Meeting in which Dr. Bruce Hamory, a health systems transformation expert, will present the results of over 100 community and stakeholder meetings and lead a discussion in which you will have the opportunity to join your hospital leaders, neighbors, community leaders, legislators, and state and local officials in shaping the future of healthcare in Vermont.

Apply before August 1: FreeHer VT’s Internship Program

FreeHer VT’s Internship Program aims to support the growth of the next generation of leaders through education, training, and collective collaboration. Students will build skills around volunteer and event management, grassroots organizing, canvassing, phone banking, data entry, campaign strategy, and more.

This internship will begin September 3rd, 2024, and end November 22nd, 2024. Interns will be paid $17 per hour and expected to work 15 hours weekly. Internship is open to students.

Khyree Davis, an Assistant Professor of Black Studies at Middlebury College is currently working on a project exploring “Black space-making” in Vermont. He is paying particular attention to Black people’s living, working, and socializing throughout Vermont counters popular narratives/assumptions that Vermont is too white for any meaningfully Black spaces to emerge.

As a Black gay man and a Black queer feminist studies scholar, Professor Davis is particularly interested in the influence of Black queer/trans and Black feminist perspectives on the cultural, social, and political landscape of Blackness in Vermont.

He is seeking participants for oral history interviews that will focus on personal experiences and relationships to space and place within Vermont. These conversations are expected to last 1-2 hours, with a $100 payment (likely in the form of a Visa gift card) provided for participation.

EVENTS

July 9, 18, 23, 30 (Every Tuesday) – Richard Kemp Center: Got Chess? (5:00 PM – 7:00 PM)
The Youth Chess Club is a dynamic and inclusive program designed to empower young individuals from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities through the timeless game of chess. Our program offers a safe and welcoming space where youth can explore the world of chess, cultivate essential life skills, and experience a range of valuable benefits.

July 9 – Intervale Cooking Series: Filipino BBQ (5:30 PM – 7:30 PM)
Head down to the Intervale Center for the next installment of our outdoor cooking class series. Join Chef Maria to explore barbecue Filipino-style! We’ll cook up some grilled chicken and pork belly using the flavors of the Philippines to add to your summer culinary repertoire. Cost: $10 – $25.

July 10 – Fletcher Free Library Presents: International Book Club (3:30 PM – 4:30 PM)
Travel around the world with our international book club! Select any book by an author outside the United States, a book that takes place in another country, or both, and share your thoughts with fellow world travelers. Snacks and drinks will be provided. Hosted the second Wednesday of every month. No required registration. For ages 11-18. For more details, please email us at FFLteens@burlingtonvt.gov or call us at 802.540.2546.

July 10 – Unlikely Riders Mountain Bike Group Ride at Saxon Hill (5:30 PM)
Unlikely Riders mountain bike meetups are BIPOC group rides without formal instruction. We’ll be hosting group rides at select VMBA Days and monthly at Saxon Hill. These rides are for people who have experience mountain biking and are interested in going on a group ride with other BIPOC mountain bikers. If you have previously attended an Intro to Mountain Biking event with Unlikely Riders, we recommend attending these Meet-ups!

July 10, 15, 19 – Working Communities Challenge – Healing Community Events
For the one-year flooding anniversary of the floods, we invite you all to join us in joint healing community dinner events across Lamoille County. Include kiddo activities, flood recovery resources, mental health personnel, and free dinners! 7/10: United Church of Johnson from 6-7:30pm, 7/15: Cambridge Elementary School from 5:30-7pm, 7/19: Wolcott Town Offices from 5-6:30pm

July 10, 17, 24, 31– ELL Classes: English for Beginners and Intermediate Students (6:30 PM – 8:00 PM)
Beginning English-language learners can practice written and spoken English with a certified TOEFL instructor. FREE. Please register for classes by emailing Barbara Shatara at bshatara@burlingtonvt.gov.

July 12, 19, 26 – Dorothy Ailing Memorial Library Presents: Adult Meditation Online (12:00 PM – 12:30 PM)
Fridays, 12:00-12:30pm. Take a break from your day to reconnect to your peaceful body and breath. Join us for a short guided meditation session via Zoom. If you would like to join us, please email daml@damlvt.org and we will send you an invitation to the Zoom meeting.

July 12, 19 – Dorothy Ailing Memorial Library Presents: Mah-Jongg (1:00 PM – 3:00 PM)
First 3 Fridays of each month, 1-3pm. Come alone or bring a friend and play with members of the community. All experience levels are welcome. No registration required.

July 12, 26 (Every 2nd and 4th Friday) – Richard Kemp Center: Youth Movie Night (6:00 PM – 8:00 PM)
Youth Movie Night is a community-centered initiative aimed at promoting awareness, understanding, and dialogue on racial justice issues through the medium of film. This program creates a safe and inclusive space where youth from 8 to 18 can come together to watch thought-provoking movies with cultural themes, engage in meaningful discussions, and share food in a welcoming and collaborative environment.

July 13, 20, 27 – Burlington City Arts Presents: The BTV Market (11:00 AM – 3:00 PM)
Co-presented by Burlington City Arts and Love Burlington, come cross paths with an eclectic group of local artists and makers representing all corners of Burlington’s creative community. Live music, games, and kids activities make for festive fun while you shop and stroll among vendors and neighbors. Running from 11 am-3 pm every Saturday, the BTV Market hosts over 100 local vendors over 18 weeks, with 40 vendors present each week.

July 13 – Fletcher Free Library Presents: The Poetry Experience with Rajnii Eddins (1:00 PM – 3:00 PM)
Looking for a fun space to be creative and share poetry? Check out this local writing/sharing circle (held every 2nd and 4th Saturday). The Poetry Experience is hosted by Rajnii Eddins! Please spread the word and feel free to invite poets, writers, teachers, emcees, creative people and arts enthusiasts of all ages.

July 13 – Fletcher Free Library Presents: Black is Beautiful Film Series – Summer of Soul (3:00 PM – 5:00 PM)
The Black Is Beautiful Film Series is curated and hosted by poet Rajnii Eddins. The series features monthly films by Black film directors. The films range from the well-known Hollywood blockbusters to award-winning independent films. Please join us for an afternoon of entertaining and engaging movies!

July 14 – Burlington City Arts Presents: Summer Concert Series – Jenni Johnson and the Jazz Junketeers (12:30 PM – 1:30 PM)
Born and raised in NYC/Harlem, bandleader Jenni Johnson is a longtime and beloved Vermont musical staple. She has performed around the world, including in Burlington’s Russian Sister City, Yaroslavl, as well as in Paris and Montreal. She has also sharpened her musical prowess by working with national jazz and blues musicians from New Orleans. With the Junketeers, she performs indelible jazz, soul, and swing. Her band includes Nick Warner on bass, brass instrumentalist Glendon Ingalls, Ian Koeller on drums, and keyboardist Bruce Cohen.

July 14 – Fletcher Free Library Presents: Dad Guild (3:30 PM – 5:00 PM)
Fathers (and parents of all genders) and their kids ages 5 and under drop in for playtime and connection. Ages 0-5. dadguild.weebly.com

July 14 – Black on Earth at Salon Black Walnut (4:00 PM)
Private Supper & Performance Workshop w movement on the Land and artist’s discussion $35 – 85 Sliding Scale & By Donation, Youth under 12 FREE! All Ages as always BIPOC led & Q/T POC welcoming from Elders to Youth RSVP: DM Farmer Ama Namafarm@gmail.com

July 15 – Move Forward Together Vermont: Community Engagement Session in Manchester (5:30 PM – 7:00 PM)
Move Forward Together Vermont is seeking input on our Draft Vision and Priority Actions! Starting in early July, people across Vermont will be able to read and share feedback on the Draft Vision – To Foster Vibrant and Healthy Communities Through Outdoor Recreation – and Priority Actions that Vermont will take to strengthen outdoor recreation spaces and communities. The vision and priority actions were created based on extensive data collection and information gathering including public surveys, recreation provider surveys and focus groups. Community engagement sessions will be happening online and in-person throughout July. Please join us at one of the following public events. This session will take place at Southern Vermont Open House, Manchester Community Library (138 Cemetery Ave, Manchester Center, VT).

July 16 – Mandarin Conversation Circle with the Vermont Chinese School (11:00 AM – 12:00 PM)
Please join volunteers from the Vermont Chinese School to learn and improve your Mandarin and make new friends. Registration is not required. All are welcome! Please email vtchineseschool@gmail.com with any questions. Thank you!

July 16 – Intervale Cooking Series: Ethiopian & Eritrean Grilled Chicken (5:30 PM – 7:30 PM)
Join us for a night of international grilling as we prepare grilled chicken with Ethiopian & Eritrean seasoning and a fresh vegetable salad. Come hungry and ready to share a meal that’s both filling and refreshing! Mulu Tewelde came to Vermont from Eritrea in 2006 and enjoys sharing her knowledge and love of Eritrean and Ethiopian cooking. Note: there is currently a waitlist available for Intervale members only.

July 17 – Move Forward Together Vermont: Community Engagement Session in Johnson (7:00 PM – 8:30 PM)
Move Forward Together Vermont is seeking input on our Draft Vision and Priority Actions! Starting in early July, people across Vermont will be able to read and share feedback on the Draft Vision – To Foster Vibrant and Healthy Communities Through Outdoor Recreation – and Priority Actions that Vermont will take to strengthen outdoor recreation spaces and communities. The vision and priority actions were created based on extensive data collection and information gathering including public surveys, recreation provider surveys and focus groups. Community engagement sessions will be happening online and in-person throughout July. Please join us at one of the following public events. This session will take place at Northern Vermont Open House, Johnson Elementary School (57 College Hill Rd, Johnson, VT).

July 18 – VT Law School: Office Hours (11:00 AM – 1:00 PM)
Join us for 15 minutes or for the whole 2 hours! A panel of faculty and students from Vermont Law and Graduate School’s Small Business Law Clinic will be hosting virtual drop-in office hours, where we invite you to stop by and ask any questions you might have about the law and your business. As a reminder, the VLGS team are unable to give legal advice; however, they may provide information and resources to help address your specific legal questions.

July 18 – Flood Legal Assistance Clinic in Londonderry (12:30 PM – 3:30 PM)
This event will provide legal information, advice, and limited assistance. Representatives from Vermont Legal Aid, Legal Services Vermont, and the Vermont Small Business Law Center at Vermont Law & Graduate School will be present. No registration needed; walk-in. Location: The Meeting Place at Neighborhood Connections located in Mountain Marketplace

July 19 – Richard Kemp Center: Game Night (6:00 PM – 8:00 PM)
The Game Night is a unique and inclusive community event designed to foster unity, understanding, and celebration of diverse cultures while promoting racial equity and social justice. This is a welcoming space for people from all racial backgrounds to come together, have fun, and engage in meaningful conversations. You can expect Inclusive Games, Cultural Exchange, Racial Justice Discussions, Networking and Building, Community, Food and Refreshments and a Family-Friendly Environment.

July 21 – Harvesting Berries & Herbs with Maple Mountain Homestead (10:00 AM – 2:00 PM)
Join us for a hands-on workshop harvesting berries and dehydrating medicinal herbs for processing. Entry fee: $45.

July 21 – BIPOC Outdoor Festival (12:00 PM – 4:30 PM)
The BOF is an event created for members of the BIPOC community to gather together and experience outdoor recreation options in a welcoming and affirming space. The event is hosted at the Outdoor Center in collaboration with Unlikely Riders and is a no-cost opportunity to try new outdoor activities or improve one’s skill.

July 21 – English Conversation Circle (12:00 PM – 1:00 PM)
Practice your English and make new friends. Join library staff and volunteers for a fun and friendly conversation with other adult English learners. Our English Conversation Circle meets the second and fourth Monday of each month, in the Digital Lab of the South Burlington Public Library. Registration is not required for this program. All are welcome! Email sbplprograms@southburlingtonvt.gov with any questions.

July 21 – Fletcher Free Library Presents: Pokémon GO Walk (2:00 PM – 3:00 PM)
Walk around downtown Burlington and catch ’em all! Patrons will meet at the library and walk for about an hour as they look for pokémon. In the event of inclement weather, patrons will play Pokémon GO in the Teen Space. For ages 11-18. No required registration. For more details, please email us at FFLteens@burlingtonvt.gov or call us at 802.540.2546.

July 22 – Move Forward Together Vermont: Community Engagement Sessions Webinar (7:00 PM – 8:30 PM)
Move Forward Together Vermont is seeking input on our Draft Vision and Priority Actions! Starting in early July, people across Vermont will be able to read and share feedback on the Draft Vision – To Foster Vibrant and Healthy Communities Through Outdoor Recreation – and Priority Actions that Vermont will take to strengthen outdoor recreation spaces and communities. The vision and priority actions were created based on extensive data collection and information gathering including public surveys, recreation provider surveys and focus groups. Community engagement sessions will be happening online and in-person throughout July. Please join us at one of the following public events. This session is an open house webinar.

July 25 – Richard Kemp Center: Outreach and Education; Equal Protection and Reparations – Hybrid (6:00 PM – 8:00 PM)
Join us at the Richard Kemp Center for outreach and education on systemic racism root causes, impact and discussions on solutions. This is an opportunity to learn and get acquainted with folks who are interested and engaged in doing the work of eradicating systemic racism. These sessions are intended to equip our community and provide space to do the work.

July 25 – Save the Date: The Ladies Safe Space Networking Event
Keep your calendars open for the next exciting nights in the Ladies Safe Space Summer Series at 126 on Thursday July 25th and Thursday August 22nd! I’m beyond delighted to have the Ladies Safe Space Summer Series this year and I’m so excited to meet the community of beautiful women out in VT I’m bound to meet. So make sure you tell your girlfriends, neighbors, co-workers, any lovely femme person that you think would enjoy sharing space with us!

July 26 – Richard Kemp Center: Virtual Youth Black Space (6:00 PM – 8:00 PM)
In recognition of the unique experiences, challenges, and strengths of Black individuals, our organization is proud to introduce “Black Space”, an affinity space initiative. This initiative is designed to provide a safe, supportive, and empowering environment where Black individuals can come together to share common experiences, build relationships, foster community, and promote healing.

July 27 – Fletcher Free Library Presents: Queer Reads Book Club Series (11:00 AM – 12:00 PM)
Interested in reading and discussing LGBTQIA+ books? Join us for five hand-picked queer reads across genre and identity! Meetings will be in the Local History Room from 11am-12pm on the final Saturday of the month from May – September. Register here. Got questions? Email Miriasha at mborsykowsky@burlingtonvt.gov.

July 30 – Intervale Cooking Series: Korean BBQ (5:30 PM – 7:30 PM)
Join us for the start of our next series of cooking classes at the Intervale Center. Chef Jason will lead you through preparing beef bulgogi and pork ribs, plus sides and sauces! Note: there is currently a waitlist available for Intervale members only.

July 31 – Vermont Outdoor Industry Retreat at the Grafton Inn (9:00 AM – 2:00 PM)
Join outdoor economy colleagues for networking, planning, and outdoor time at VOBA’s summer industry retreat. Speakers will share trends and insights for strengthening the future sector. Discussions will refine statewide priorities and identify investments based on opportunities for business and workforce development and approaches to equity, climate resilience, innovation and sustainability, and career pathways.

August 2, 3, 4 – Burlington City Arts Presents: Festival of Fools
The 17th annual Festival of Fools is coming! Presented by Community Bank, this year’s weekend-long event takes place on Church Street and throughout downtown Burlington on August 2-4. BTV’s annual gala of goofs, rite of ridiculousness, and preposterous pageant of busking, music, and merrymaking brings over 100 free performances to Burlington, Vermont’s historic Church Street, with acrobatics, dancers, sketch comedy, and unbelievable music. More lineup announcements coming soon. Stay tuned!

August 3 – Community Discussions on Community Health and Wellness (4:00 PM – 6:00 PM)
Public safety conversations focusing on racial justice is crucial, given the historical challenges faced by Black communities in the United States. We are adopting a comprehensive and collaborative approach that combines policy advocacy, community engagement, and education to contribute to a meaningful change in the conversation around public safety, particularly as it pertains to the safety and health and wellness of Black people. This open and ongoing communication with community members, organizations, and stakeholders is crucial in building a comprehensive and effective response. It will enable us to formulate and execute the community-based approach required to ensure our safety, health and wellness.

August 6 – Vermont Community Leadership Summit 2024
Join hundreds of community builders from across the state to build skills, capacity, and connections – and forge forward towards a thriving and resilient future for all. This year’s event offers a range of topics tailored to support and connect people in all aspects of local vitality and resilience and will be an opportunity to dig into what it takes for a community to thrive – capacity, economic vitality, emergency preparedness, youth engagement, inclusion, and more. Attendees can participate in any sessions of interest to them, or follow the optional “Participation Pathways” of Climate Resilience and Long-term Recovery; Youth Leadership and Engagement; or Understanding and Solving Our Persistent Challenges. All who are interested in supporting their community and the future of the state are welcome and encouraged to attend!

October 8 – Get Tickets Now: Stacey Abrams at the Vermont Women’s Fund (5:00 PM – 7:30 PM)
We are thrilled to announce that Stacey Abrams will join us to mark the 30th Anniversary for the Vermont Women’s Fund at our 2024 Annual Celebration. The evening will emceed by Jane Lindholm, Vermont Public Host & Executive Producer and feature live music from Myra Flynn. We invite you to save the date for Tuesday, October 8th, 5 – 7:30 pm at The University of Vermont’s Davis Center.

FUNDING & GRANTS

Laurance & Mary Rockefeller Fund
The Laurance & Mary Rockefeller Fund will accept applications from organizations working to preserve and enhance the physical, cultural, spiritual, and wellness environment of the communities of Barnard, Bridgewater, Hartland, Killington, Plymouth, Pomfret, Reading, and Woodstock. The Fund will consider requests for both general operating or project/program support. Applications will be accepted between September 17 and October 8, 2024.

Community Action Team
The Vermont Community Action Teams (CATs) are groups of employees at each of Ben & Jerry’s three Vermont manufacturing and office facilities. They offer general or project support within the broad guidelines and funding provided by the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation. Applications are reviewed monthly.

Hunger Mountain Cooperative Community Fund Grant
The Hunger Mountain Cooperative Community Fund (HMCCF) provides financial assistance to businesses, organizations, individuals, and initiatives aligned with our mission to build a dynamic community of healthy individuals, sustainable local food systems, and thriving cooperative commerce. This year, we will consider requests for grants of $250 to $2,000 and will only fund projects that are designed to support local food systems, food access, and projects that address inequities in the local food system. Submission deadline: Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2024.

Oppurtunity Fund for Southshire Youth
A growing fund with the goal of ensuring a source of revenue for dynamic and innovative youth programs in Bennington, North Bennington, Pownal, Shaftsbury, and Woodford in perpetuity. Awards grants for creative and effective initiatives that empower and support Bennington-area teenagers, particularly those facing challenges and limited access to opportunities due to economic distress, disengagement from school, mental health issues, racism, gender identity, disability, legal status, or other reasons. Applications will be accepted between September 3, 2024 and October 15, 2024.

Awesome Grant
Have a crazy brilliant idea that needs funding? We award $1,000 grants every month. It couldn’t be simpler! Your idea is yours alone. We don’t want a stake in it. We just want to help you make it happen! Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

Skip Monthly Grants
Have a crazy brilliant idea that needs funding? We award $1,000 grants every month. It couldn’t be simpler! Your idea is yours alone. Looking for grants to fuel your business or passion? Skip’s grants are now bigger and better than ever. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

The BIPOC Artist Exchange and Activation Initiative
The BIPOC Artist Exchange and Activation Initiative is designed to showcase the contributions of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists to the New England art community. This program empowers BIPOC artists in New Hampshire and New England, inspiring local BIPOC artists by introducing them to artists from outside our community. Applications will be accepted until funds are exhausted.

Social Equity: Vermont Cannabis Control Board
Individuals that have been determined to meet social equity status by the Vermont Cannabis Control Board may be eligible to receive a beneficiary payment from this program. Eligible applicants must have completed the intake process with Roads Consulting, the state’s provider of cannabis business technical assistance. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

Flood Recovery Rebates for Residents
Qualifying low- and moderate-income Vermont homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $29,500 per household to replace flood-damaged appliances and equipment. Damage must have occurred between July 10 – July 31, 2023 (or July 10 – August 10 for residents of Addison County). Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

Flood Recovery Rebates for Businesses
Businesses whose heating, cooling, refrigeration, or commercial kitchen equipment was damaged by recent floods can receive a flood recovery rebate of 100% of costs up to $4,000 per product for up to four products, in addition to standard offers. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

Bizee’s Entrepreneur Grant
Are you a student? This grant is for you! You’ve got big ideas, and we want to turn them into a reality. One young scholar with entrepreneurial spirit will receive $2,500 to continue their education. Application date coming soon.

Bizee’s Fresh Start Business Grant
Are you an aspiring entrepreneur looking to start or grow your business? This grant is for you! Whether you’re starting over or starting from scratch, Bizee wants to be there to help your business succeed. One adult entrepreneur will receive $2,500 to put toward business startup costs and will also receive free formation services from Bizee. Application date coming soon.

NEWS

New Childcare Payroll Tax Effective July 1
The 2023 Childcare Bill, Act 76, expands access to and funding for childcare. It also imposes a 0.44% payroll tax that will go into effect on July 1, 2024. Employers may elect to cover the tax in full or split it with employees with 0.33% paid by the employer and 0.11% paid by the employee.

Green Mountain Transit announces five new electric buses for Chittenden County
For the first time since the pandemic, Green Mountain Transit has added five new electric buses to its fleet, bringing the total number to seven, or 10% of buses in operation.

Rutland readies for new refugee arrivals
Over the years, Rutland is among Vermont communities that have hosted refugees, and officials say more are likely on their way this fall.

State health officials: To know cyanobacteria is to avoid it
With summer officially here and temperatures warming up Vermont’s ponds, lakes and streams, the Vermont Department of Health wants the public to be on the lookout for cyanobacteria as people look for safe swimming spots to cool off.

Winooski celebrates Juneteenth
Downtown Winooski is buzzing Wednesday night as part of the community’s celebration of Juneteenth.

New blood cancer treatment saving lives, UVM officials say
University of Vermont Cancer Center officials say a promising treatment for blood cancer launched last year appears to be saving lives.

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