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April 6, 2017

Next Start Your Business Workshop on 4/20 in Springfield

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 2:33 pm

The Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) would like to announce an upcoming workshop for those thinking about starting their own business. This workshop, titled ‘Starting Your Own Business,’ is aimed at helping future entrepreneurs turn their passions into a full-fledged business venture. The workshop will be held Thursday April 20th at Springfield Regional Development Corporation from 9am to 1 pm.

Starting a business can be challenging. The workshop, conducted by an experienced business advisor, is designed as a guide for the first-time business owner. Participants receive a comprehensive start-up workbook, handouts and resources in marketing, financing, management and operations. By the end the workshop they will be well-informed about the tools and resources available to them and the ‘next steps involved in launching a successful business. The price of the workshop is $129 to attend and you can register online at www.vtsbdc.org under the training tab.

A few workshop highlights include how to:
• Use the “Business Model Canvas” to evaluate whether there is a viable business in their good idea
• Identify target customers and “unique selling proposition(s)”
• Register their business and apply for tax numbers
• Consider start-up costs, sales, expenses and financing options
• Pitch their idea and develop a business plan
• Plus much more!
Vermont Small Business Development Center is a non-profit partnership of government, education and business, organized to help Vermont small businesses succeed. No-cost, confidential advice is provided to existing business owners and new entrepreneurs throughout the state. The local VTSBDC office is located at Springfield Regional Development Corporation. For more information visit www.vtsbdc.org or contact Debra Boudrieau at (802) 885-2071 or dboudrieau@vtsbdc.org.

March 29, 2017

SRDC Announces Staff Promotions

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 1:16 pm

Springfield Regional Development Corporation (SRDC) Executive Director Bob Flint announced that two long-time SRDC employees have been promoted to new positions. Heather Hartford now serves as SRDC’s Assistant Director and Paul Kowalski has been named the Senior Project Manager.

Hartford is a native of Springfield and has been with SRDC since 2014. In her role as a Project Manager, she has overseen the construction of the new Blake Hill Preserves facility in Windsor, the recent renovations to the Robert S. Jones Industrial Center in Springfield and is coordinating the redevelopment of the former Bryant Grinder property.

Kowalski has been a Project Manager for SRDC since 2013. He administered the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Relief program that provided assistance to businesses that were impacted by Tropical Storm Irene. Currently, Paul is working with Windsor Improvement Corporation on a variety of projects in that community.

Flint indicated that these promotions illustrate the importance of Hartford and Kowalski to SRDC. “Heather and Paul are key members of the SRDC team. We are grateful for their talents and passion for the region”, Flint said.

March 9, 2017

Seminar on Business Ownership Succession on 5/2 in Springfield

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 4:24 pm

An introduction to business ownership succession planning will be offered on Tuesday, May 2 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at The Hartness House Inn, 30 Orchard Street in Springfield, Vermont.  Attendees will receive a copy of “An Owner’s Guide to Business Succession Planning.” There is no cost for this event, but registration is required.

In this seminar, you will learn the basics of how to choose a path for ownership succession in your business. We will take a close look at four different ways of selling a business: to an outsider, to family members, to managers or to the larger group of employees. While we will get into some technical details, including an overview of the business valuation process, the focus will be on stories about each path, told via video by owners who have been involved in the sale of Vermont businesses. Our lead presenter will be accountant Jeffrey Graham of Graham & Graham, P.C. <http://www.grahamcpa.com/meet-our-firm.html>,with Don Jamison of the Vermont Employee Ownership Center <http://www.veoc.org/>.

Our special guest at this event will be Steve Birge, co-founder of Black River Produce, who recently completed the succession process.

Attendance is limited to business owners and key managers.

Sponsors of the event are the Regional Development Corporations of Vermont/Springfield Regional Development Corporation, the Vermont Small Business Development Center, Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center and the Vermont Employee Ownership Center, with funding provided by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development.

To register, please click here <https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-search-for-a-good-exit-introduction-to-ownership-succession-planning-springfield-2017-registration-32471616479>.

February 13, 2017

Start Your Own Business Workshop in Springfield on March 3rd

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 12:13 pm

The Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) is holding their next workshop, “Starting Your Own Business”, on Friday March 3rd from 9 am – 1 pm at the SRDC office on Clinton Street in Springfield. The session is aimed at helping future entrepreneurs turn their passions into a full-fledged business venture.

Starting a business can be challenging. The workshop, conducted by an experienced business advisor, is designed as a guide for the first-time business owner. Participants receive a comprehensive start-up workbook, handouts and resources in marketing, financing, management and operations. By the end the workshop they will be well-informed about the tools and resources available to them and the ‘next steps involved in launching a successful business. The price of the workshop is $129 to attend and you can register online at www.vtsbdc.org under the training tab.

A few workshop highlights include how to:

  • Use the “Business Model Canvas” to evaluate whether there is a viable business in their good idea
  • Identify target customers and “unique selling proposition(s)”
  • Register their business and apply for tax numbers
  • Consider start-up costs, sales, expenses and financing options
  • Pitch their idea and develop a business plan
  • Plus much more!

Vermont Small Business Development Center is a non-profit partnership of government, education and business, organized to help Vermont small businesses succeed. No-cost, confidential advice is provided to existing business owners and new entrepreneurs throughout the state. The local VTSBDC office is located at Springfield Regional Development Corporation.  For more information visit www.vtsbdc.org or contact Debra Boudrieau at (802) 885-2071 or dboudrieau@vtsbdc.org.

February 6, 2017

Website & Online Marketing Workshop Coming Up March 9th in Chester

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 12:58 pm

“Online Business Done Right The First Time” is the title for an upcoming workshop geared towards small businesses in the region.  It will be held on Thursday, March 9th, from 10 am – 1 pm at the Newsbank Conference Center in Chester Vermont. The session is co-sponsored by the Vermont Small Business Development Center and Springfield Regional Development Corporation.

Establishing a robust online presence is essential to a company’s successful future. Today’s customers expect to find your business quickly and easily when they look online. If they don’t, there are plenty of other options available to take your place. But with various website building tools and options, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more, it can be a challenge to determine where to focus your energy. That, coupled with time and budgeting constraints, make it easy to make a wrong turn when it comes to decisions regarding your overall online business strategy.

This workshop will help you learn the options, costs and risks associated with various digital platforms and website building strategies, as well as what online marketing tools to consider once your online presence has been established. The session will cover website building, social media, paid online marketing, analytics and more.

The cost of the event is $49/person and you can register online at https://vtsbdc.centerdynamics.com/reg.aspx?mode=event&event=30370011 .  For more information, please contact Springfield Regional Development Corporation at 802-885-3061.

December 21, 2016

Taking Stock of 2016

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 10:02 am

(This appears in SRDC’s Winter Newsletter)

The year has flown by and, while we didn’t check everything off of the “to do” list (e.g. J & L Plant 1), we have made a lot of progress around the region.  Here are a few items to celebrate and update as we turn the calendar to 2017:

-       Trout River Brewery – Trevor, Gabe and Kelen finished their build out and, by December, had introduced six (if I’m counting right!) different varieties of beer to the market.  The company also received a Vermont downtown historic tax credit for their project.  As we spoke about at the SRDC Annual Meeting, Trout River and Konrad Prefab are two examples of projects that we’ve been involved with all of the way, from concept to business planning and financing, to site selection and build out, to operation and production. And, in both cases, we’re grateful to have such great partners as our Small Business Development Center and Debra Boudrieau!

-       Konrad Prefab – Later in this newsletter are pictures from the recent Ribbon Cutting event with Congressman Peter Welch. It’s been exciting to see David Jaacks’ vision come to life and the partnership he has with Mamava is going to be a win-win on lots of levels.  All of the businesses in the Jones Center have had great years and it’s always exciting to see the building humming with activity.

-       Blake Hill Preserves – Governor Shumlin was on hand for this Ribbon Cutting event this fall, to celebrate the completion of the new 6,000 sf facility that SRDC built for this new business in Windsor’s Artisans Park.  We are so happy for our friends Vicky Allard and Joe Hanglin, who have built this business from their kitchen into national distribution.  We also appreciate our continued partnership with Terry McDonnell.

-       J & L/Bryants – Patience is a virtue. And, I need to stop making predictions when it comes to these properties.  These are among the lessons I have to finally learn in 2017!  Having said that, both of these projects have taken significant steps forward this year.  In the case of Bryants, SRDC has invested roughly $300,000 in the south end of the building and is anticipating spending around that amount in the near future.  This will result in a 35,000 sf space that is clean, environmentally, secure and watertight. It now has electricity again and we will continue to restore functionality as we prepare the area for occupancy.

As for J & L, there is a lot of activity to prepare for the “main event” (demolition and redevelopment).  Doug and I signed off on the demo specs this week and asbestos cleanup plans are in their final stages.  EPA was in town last week (for the 3rd time since spring) to gather information as we continue to work with them for additional assistance.  The Town of Springfield also received funding for extending the Toonerville Trail to run behind the Jones Center and J & L, which hopefully will coincide with the site activity.

-       Windsor/WIC – SRDC has continued to increase its partnership with Windsor Improvement Corporation (WIC) and the Town of Windsor. We now provide administrative and project assistance to WIC and we appreciate the increased level of financial support!  Paul Kowalski is working with WIC on its recent purchase of properties in the Jarvis Street/Riverfront area and is developing plans for the repair/renovation of those houses.

And there’s much more, as we covered at the Annual Meeting!

2017 is shaping up to be a busy year with work on new downtown plans in Springfield and Chester, a new property to manage in Windsor, as well as establishing our first SRDC-owned revolving loan fund and other expansion/development projects I can’t comment on yet.

Thank you to our Board and all of SRDC’s members as well as our area communities and residents for the continued support.  I also want to add a personal thanks to our staff – Sandy, Heather, Cynthia and Paul as well as our in-house partners – Debra, Ed and Robin.

On behalf of all of us at SRDC, best wishes for a joyous and peaceful holiday season and a wondrous 2017.

December 12, 2016

Congressman Welch Cuts Ribbon for New Springfield VT Manufacturer

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 4:14 pm

Congressman Peter Welch did the honors on Monday at the official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Konrad Prefab’s new manufacturing facility in the Robert S. Jones Industrial Center in Springfield Vermont.

Konrad Prefab specializes in the design and production of modular and display units. Their initial product line are lactation suites, which will be distributed by Burlington Vermont-based Mamava.  The suites will be installed in public facilities around the country to support nursing mothers.

Congressman Welch lauded the new business in Springfield. “It’s heartening to see a new, vibrant manufacturer in a community that’s synonymous with manufacturing globally.”

Konrad Prefab President David Jaacks thanked everyone that had assisted with the project. “I appreciate the support that Springfield Regional Development Corporation, VEDA, Mascoma Bank and the Town of Springfield has provided in getting our business up and running. We’re pleased to bring new manufacturing jobs to Springfield.”

Mamava CEO and Co-Founder Sascha Mayer thanked Congressman Welch for his continued support of Mamava and was pleased that the company is now able to have its products manufactured in Vermont.  “We’re grateful for the opportunity to not just support our nursing mamas, but our local economy and community here in Vermont. It is this amazing community that made Mamava possible and we couldn’t be happier to reciprocate that support today”, Mayer said.

Konrad Prefab’s new operation is in 20,000 square feet in the Robert S. Jones Industrial Center in Springfield, which is owned by Springfield Regional Development Corporation.  The business is one of four that are located in the facility, and is expected to employ 10 – 15 people within the next year.

December 8, 2016

Community Visioning Workshop in Chester on 12/14

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 8:33 am

On December 14th from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM at the Town Hall Auditorium, representatives from the Town of Chester along with consultants from SE Group will be facilitating a Community Vision Workshop.  As an element of public involvement for developing a Master Plan for Chester Village Center, this community workshop is intended to offer residents and the public-at-large an opportunity to provide input, suggestions, comments and ideas on how to strengthen and improve the long-term vibrancy within the Village.  The Workshop is organized around two parts:

The first part will include a presentation of the “baseline” conditions assessment. This will highlight what has been learned to date and how it might inform the long-term vision for the master plan. Participants will have the ability to provide comments and offer suggestions.  It is expected that the presentation portion of the meeting will last approximately 30-45 minutes, plus time for questions.

The second part of the meeting will focus on exploring a vision.  Using large maps of the Village and facilitated small-group discussions, participants will help brainstorm on ways to help improve the long-term vibrancy of the Village.  After about one hour, each of the small groups will provide a “report” back to the overall meeting on the key opportunities they explored.

The schedule for the meeting is as follows:

5:00PM – 5:30 PM                  Welcome and Informal Conversations

5:30PM – 6:30 PM                  Part 1 – Baseline Conditions – Things to Consider

-        Overview of the Study Area – Key Highlights

-        Focus Group Workshop – Key Highlights

-        Community Visitor Survey – Key Highlights

-        Market and Economic Conditions-  Key Highlights

6:30PM – 6:45PM                  Break – Getting into Small Groups

6:45 PM – 8:00 PM                  Part 2 – Small Group Exercise – Exploring the Vision

-        Opportunities for Access and Circulation

-        Opportunities for Recreation

-        Opportunities for Economic Development

-        Opportunities for Land Use

-        Opportunities for Gathering

8:00 PM – 8:30 PM                  Small Group Reports and Summary

If you are not able to attend the event, information from the meeting will be made available online and you are welcome to provide comments at any time through the Town’s website at www.chestervt.gov\rediscover.  Kids are welcome to attend!  Legos and coloring books/crayons and paper will be available!   Light refreshments will be available.

About the Project: The Town of Chester, working through a Strong Communities / Better Communities grant from the Vermont Agency of Transportation and Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, has recently begun this “Rediscovering Chester” effort.  The purpose of the project is to identify areas (physical improvements, community organization, branding) that the Town might pursue to assure the continued vitality of its Village Center.

Previously the Project conducted a community Focus Group discussion (October 22nd) and Visitor Survey (that recently closed out at the end of October).  Also on Saturday, September 17th, members of the Town and the consulting team were present at the Chester-on-the-Green event to listen and learn from residents and visitors on what makes Chester a special place.  This Community Vision Workshop is planned to provide the community with an update of these inputs and seek additional guidance on the long-term vision for the Village Center.

November 28, 2016

HUBZone Workshop in Springfield on 12/12

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 9:36 am

The Vermont Procurement Technical Assistance Center and U.S. Small Business Administration are holding a series of workshops around the state to help local companies understand what the new HUBZone Program expansion could mean for their business.  One of those workshops will be held in Springfield on December 12th from 10 am- Noon at the Howard Dean Education Center at 307 South Street.

The HUBZone Program helps small businesses gain preferential access to Federal contracts due to limited development in areas with rural communities.  Several counties in Vermont, including Addison, Bennington, Orange, Rutland, Windsor and Windham, have recently been designated as such areas.  Companies located in these areas (as well as Essex and Orleans county, which have had this designation) can qualify for the benefits of this program.

The workshops will explain the HUBZone Program, including the necessary information for businesses to qualify, as well as the process for certification and eligibility requirements.

Admission to the workshops is free of charge.  You can register online at http://vtptac.ecenterdirect.com/events?reset=1 or call Springfield Regional Development Corporation for more information at 802-885-3061.

October 27, 2016

SRDC’s Bob Flint on Puggy’s Corner – 10/16

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 9:49 am

SRDC’s Executive Director Bob Flint appeared recently on SAPA-TV’s “Puggy’s Corner” program to provide an update on economic development activities in the Springfield Vermont region.  Click on the link below to stream/view!

http://bit.ly/2dXFSwC

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