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September 11, 2014

Public officials, business leaders and cybersecurity experts gather at Norwich on 9/22 with FTC Commissioner Julie Brill as the featured speaker

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 9:17 am

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), a non-profit public-private partnership focused on helping all digital citizens stay safer and more secure online, is coming to Vermont with its STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Two Steps Ahead: Protect Your Digital Life Tour to educate consumers and businesses about adding layers of security to their everyday online activities.

The event being held on September 22nd from 9-11am at Norwich University’s Milano Ballroom is part of a ten-city tour to spread the word about activating security features available on many of the web’s most popular sites. Commissioner Brill will open the event with remarks, and the morning will feature a hands-on demonstration showing attendees how to step up their security on sites like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, LinkedIn. The event also includes a panel discussion with representatives from the Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern MA, ME, RI & VT, FBI and Norwich University.  Concluding the event will be a live demonstration by students in the Center for Advanced Computing and Digital Forensics at Norwich University.

Recent publicized data breaches in the retail and other sectors and the Heartbleed open SSL vulnerability have shed the light once again on account security when passwords and other account credentials are lost.

Lack of consumer adoption of good password practices continues to create problems as well, as evidenced by the fact that “123456” and “password” have long been the top passwords in use. A Pew Research Center study indicated that last year 21% of Internet users (18 years and older) have had an online account compromised, such as a social networking account or an email account, and only 23% think their accounts are very secure.

The good news is more and more Internet sites are implementing additional security features that can help computer users add another layer of security to their accounts. These features go by many names – such as two-step verification, login approvals, and multi-factor authentication – and use a variety of methods, including SMS texts to a mobile device, or random one-time use password generators, but the goal is the same, allowing only authorized people to access an account.

Consumers still need to be vigilant about using strong passwords, because they are not going away anytime soon.  Users should follow the basic security advice to have long, strong and unique passwords.

“Making use of available security precautions like the emerging account security tools, where available, should be a starting point for staying safe online,” said Michael Kaiser executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance. “Utilizing all available security measures and understanding the consequences of actions and behaviors online is the key message underlying the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign.”

“The recent string of security breaches, which involve the release of sensitive information on a massive scale, illustrates why data security is a consumer protection priority for the FTC.  Our enforcement actions hold companies accountable for providing reasonable security.  We also work hard to educate companies and consumers about how they can protect consumer data. I am looking forward to discussing these efforts on September 22,” said FTC Commissioner Julie Brill.

The event will run from 9-11am and registration is open to the public free, but space is limited.

“We want to thank all our partners who are helping to make the event at Norwich a success,” Kaiser said.  The RDC’s of Vermont are one of the organizations that are sponsoring this event.

To register visit: https://twostepsvermont.eventbrite.com

To learn more about staying safe online and to find links to websites that offer additional account security visit: www.stopthinkconnect.org/twostepsahead.

August 29, 2014

Start Your Own Business Workshop on 9/18 in Springfield

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 4:17 pm

Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) is offering a four-hour workshop on how to start your own business and write a business plan.  The course will be offered on Thursday, September 18th from 9:00 am. to 1:00 p.m. at the Springfield Regional Development Corporation, 14 Clinton Square, in the 1st floor conference room

Starting Your Own Business is conducted by experienced business advisors and designed as a step-by-step guide for starting a business in Vermont for the first-time business owner:

  • Evaluate whether there is a viable business in your good idea
  • Identify your target customers and explore how to conduct market research
  • Learn how to register your company, apply for tax numbers and protect your brand
  • Prepare to write an effective business plan
  • Find out about financing options and learn what a credible loan package looks like
  • Receive access to the online workshops to increase your knowledge in money, marketing and management (at your convenience) valued at over $150.00

By the end of this workshop you will be well-informed about the resources available to you and the steps involved in launching a successful business.

Space is limited. To register for the workshop sign up online at www.vtsbdc.org (click on the training tab). For registration questions, please email Heather Gonyaw at hgonyaw@vtsbdc.org.  The registration fee is $99.00.  Your payment includes a start-up workbook in hardcopy and pdf format.

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 SBDC office is part of Springfield Regional Development Corporation. For more information visit www.vtsbdc.org or contact Debra Boudrieau at (802) 885-2071 or dboudrieau@vtsbdc.org.

Vermont Small Business Development Center is a partnership program with the U.S. Small Business Administration.  The support given by the U.S. Small Business Administration through its funding does not constitute an expressed or implied endorsement of any of the co-sponsors’ or participants’ opinions, products or services.

July 21, 2014

Hartness State Airport Hosts Successful ACE Camp!

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 3:30 pm

Hartness State Airport in North Springfield, VT, the State’s oldest airport, established in 1920, was host to another successful Aviation Careers Education Camp (“ACE Camp”) last week, sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration, Vermont Agency of Transportation, and the Vermont Aviation Advisory Council.

Fourteen girls and boys, ages twelve to fifteen, participated in a week long camp devoted to aviation careers and education.

On arrival at Hartness Airport, the campers toured half dozen aerobatic airplanes that had competed in the prior weekend’s Green Mountain Aerobatic Contest. Charles Schumacher, a member of the New England Aerobatic Club, displayed his Extra 300 aircraft and explained to the campers how aerobatic pilots maintain ground reference while flying vertically and inverted. Heather Posey, a Reading resident, spoke about her career as an Air Force C-130 pilot. Now retired from the military, Heather spoke about her current job flying Airbus 319’s for US Airways.

Over the five day camp, participants flew in gliders, helicopters, single-engine aircraft, plus a New York Air National Guard C-130 “Hercules” transport from the Lebanon, NH airport, to Cape Cod, Kennebunkport, ME, and back to Lebanon. The campers built and flew rockets, cut and assembled aircraft wing spars, and learned the basics of aerodynamics.

The next to last day of the camp gave every participant a flight in the 1947 P-51D Mustang fighter “Old Crow,” a Nanching “YAK” fighter-trainer, and Cessna CJ-3 executive jet transport airplanes. The P-51 and CJ-3 jet flights were generously provided by Jim Hagedorn, President and CEO of Scotts/Miracle-Gro. Mr. Hagedorn’s Spring Brook Farm Foundation has, for more than 20 years, hosted the Farms for City Kids program.

If you have a youngster that may be interested in next summer’s ACE Camp at Hartness Airport, please call Larry Perry or Shayne Wilcox at Hartness Airport, 802-886-7500.

July 1, 2014

Reminder – New Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery 2 Funds Available

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 10:52 am

Springfield Regional Development Corporation (SRDC) and the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) are now accepting new applications for businesses, non-profits and farms that are still recovering from the effects of Tropical Storm Irene.  Potential applicants must attend one of the upcoming workshops in either Brattleboro or Springfield.

The organizations have recently been awarded $1.5 million dollars in grant funds from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the VT Agency of Commerce and Community Development to disburse over the next year. BDCC and SRDC have already assisted 43 businesses and allocated approximately $1.25 million in grants ranging from $1,300 to $75,000 in the first round of funding.

These grants can be used for remaining unmet needs as well as assistance with flood mitigation efforts and rehabilitation of flood affected buildings. The deadline for the first round of applications will be in August. Please check the BDCC or SRDC websites for workshop dates and registration links, or contact April Harkness, Grant Administrator at BDCC at 802-257-7731 ext. 220 or aharkness@brattleborodevelopment.org in Windham County or Heather Hartford at SRDC, 802-885-3061 – hhartford@springfielddevelopment.org in Southern Windsor County for more information.

June 18, 2014

Do You Have Something for the Time Capsule?

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 1:32 pm

The new Precision Park sign will be put into place next Tuesday morning (6/24/14). The base of the sign is a large piece of Vermont granite, with the logos of over 40 area businesses that made this project possible. Now, you can be a part of this as well!

Within the base of the sign is a Time Capsule that will be opened in 100 years.  Suggested items for the time capsule include company information, cultural and historical documents, newspaper clippings, photos and any other small items that will not degrade. If you have materials, please provide them to the SRDC office, in a container no larger than a shoebox, by this Friday, June 20th. There will be a public ceremony to dedicate the sign in July.

Precision Park is also known locally as the North Springfield Industrial Park in North Springfield, VT.

May 9, 2014

Start Your Own Business Workshop Coming Up Next Thursday in Springfield

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 9:18 am

Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) is offering a four-hour workshop on how to start your own business, and write a business plan. The course will be offered on Thursday, May 15th, from 9 am – 1 pm at the Springfield Regional Development Corporation office on 14 Clinton Street, in Springfield VT.

Starting Your Own Business is conducted by experienced business advisors and designed as a step-by-step guide for starting a business in Vermont for the first-time business owner:

  • Evaluate whether there is a viable business in your good idea
  • Identify your target customers and explore how to conduct market research
  • Learn how to register your company, apply for tax numbers and protect your brand
  • Prepare to write an effective business plan
  • Find out about financing options and learn what a credible loan package looks like
  • Receive access to the online workshops to increase your knowledge in money, marketing and management (at your convenience) valued at over $150.00

By the end of this workshop you will be well-informed about the resources available to you and the steps involved in launching a successful business.

Space is limited. To register for the workshop sign up online at www.vtsbdc.org (click on the training tab). For registration questions, please email Heather Gonyaw at hgonyaw@vtsbdc.org.  The registration fee is $99.00.  Your payment includes a start-up workbook in hardcopy and pdf format.

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 SBDC office is located at Springfield Regional Development Corporation. For more information visit www.vtsbdc.org or contact Debra Boudrieau at (802) 885-2071, dboudrieau@vtsbdc.org.

May 7, 2014

Job Descriptions: A Job Worth Doing Right Workshop

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 10:54 am

Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) and the Springfield Regional Development Center (SRDC) are offering a three-hour workshop on utilizing  a correctly written job description as the foundation of nearly every HR function. The course will be offered on Thursday, May 22nd from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the Howard Dean Education Center at 307 South Street in Springfield, Vermont.

In the seminar participants will learn:

  • Why many experts feel that the job description is the cornerstone of the HR process.
  • Why job descriptions are more than a list of qualifications and duties.
  • How to use up-to-date job descriptions for recruiting, performance, management, and compensation.
  • As a bonus…participants will be guided through an overview of the legal issues of interviewing, hiring, and key employment laws to consider in the employment process.

Space is limited. To register sign up online at www.vtsbdc.org (click on the training tab). The fee is $49.00 per person.  For registration questions, please call Heather Gonyaw at hgonyaw@vtsbdc.org.

May 6, 2014

The Hale Street Gang: Portraits in Writing Opens at The Great Hall on May 20th – “Meet the Artists” on May 24th from 2- 4 pm

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 9:59 am

Memory and longevity are illuminated in The Hale Street Gang: Portraits in Writing, a multimedia exhibit opening at The Great Hall in Springfield, Vermont on May 20th . The exhibit highlights the work of a dozen 80 and 90 year-olds who have been meeting regularly since 2008 to write down their life stories. Photographer Jack Rowell’s 12 larger-than-life black-and-white portraits are the focal point of the exhibit.

Rowell’s portraits capture the vitality of these amateur storytellers, whose reminiscences span the twentieth century. The photographer became interested in the memoir-writing project when he attended a reading in Randolph in the fall of 2009. “These folks were telling stories about people and places I remembered from my own childhood,” says Rowell, who lives in neighboring Braintree, “places like the Randolph playground and Tunbridge, Vermont, where my grandmother lived.”

“This project began with the writers’ stories,” says project leader Sara Tucker, who  researches stories and writes for Condé Nast Traveler, facilitates the weekly writers circle  in Randolph, Vermont. “They wanted to preserve a few cherished memories for children and grandchildren.” The exchange of stories within the group proved stimulating, bringing long-buried memories to the fore. “The role of memory in aging is seldom discussed except in terms of loss. In writing about our lives, we focus on those memories that are sharp and clear and vivid. Our project presents age as the creative and cultural ally of memory—the older the memory, the more valuable it is.”

Also on display:  Cartoon Imagery and Interactive Sculpture as social and political commentary by Phil Godenschwager

Phillip Godenschwager grew up in a military family, moving often and traveling around the world for the first quarter of his life. Art, particularly drawing, was the one constant in his life. He graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Graphic Design and later received an MFA as a member of the inaugural class at Vermont College of Fine Arts. After settling in Vermont in the mid 70’s Phil has spent the last 35 years working in illustration, packaging architectural drawing, sculpting and stained glass fabrication. While his eclectic and broad creative base informs his current art-making, his work has always been centered on social and political commentary. He lives in Randolph, Vermont.

The Hale Street Gang: Portraits in Writing will be at The Great Hall from May 20th through October 10th. There will be an artist talk on Saturday, May 24 from 2 to 4 p.m. The Great Hall is at One Hundred River Street, Springfield Vermont. For the May 24th event, access will be only available through the Pearl Street entrance.

January 28, 2014

The Search for a Good Exit: An Introduction to Ownership Succession Planning

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 11:19 am

An introduction to business ownership succession planning will be offered on Wednesday, February 12 from Noon to 3:00 at the Howard Dean Education Center, 307 South Street in Springfield.  There is no cost for this event.  Attendees will receive a copy of “An Owner’s Guide to Business Succession Planning,” and lunch will be served.

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 and to the larger group of employees. While we will get into some technical details, the focus will be on stories about each path, told by owners who have been involved in the sale of businesses. John P. Murphy, President of Atlantic Management Company, will give an overview of the mechanics of the most common ownership transition models. Owners and former owners of Vermont businesses will tell their stories of ownership succession, live and via video.

Attendance is limited to business owners and key managers.

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

To register, please click here or call 802-338-7448.

January 14, 2014

Start Your Own Business Workshop Coming on 2/7 in Windsor

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 2:20 pm

Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) is offering a four-hour workshop on how to start your own business and write a business plan.  The course will be offered on Friday, February 7th from 9:00 am. to 1:00 p.m. at the Windsor Welcome Center at 3 Railroad Avenue in Windsor, Vermont.

Starting Your Own Business is conducted by experienced business advisors and designed as a step-by-step guide for starting a business in Vermont for the first-time business owner:

  • Evaluate whether there is a viable business in your good idea
  • Identify your target customers and explore how to conduct market research
  • Learn how to register your company, apply for tax numbers and protect your brand
  • Prepare to write an effective business plan
  • Find out about financing options and learn what a credible loan package looks like
  • Receive access to the online workshops to increase your knowledge in money, marketing and management (at your convenience) valued at over $150.00

By the end of this workshop you will be well-informed about the resources available to you and the steps involved in launching a successful business.

Space is limited. To register for the workshop sign up online at www.vtsbdc.org (click on the training tab). For registration questions, please email Heather Gonyaw at hgonyaw@vtsbdc.org.  The registration fee is $99.00.  Your payment includes a start-up workbook in hardcopy and pdf format.

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.  For more information visit www.vtsbdc.org or contact Debra Boudrieau at the local SBDC office, located at Springfield Regional Development Corporation at (802) 885-2071 or dboudrieau@vtsbdc.org.

Vermont Small Business Development Center is a partnership program with the U.S. Small Business Administration.  The support given by the U.S. Small Business Administration through its funding does not constitute an expressed or implied endorsement of any of the co-sponsors’ or participants’ opinions, products or services.

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