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January 6, 2016

SRDC Sponsoring Employee Ownership Seminar in Windsor on 1/29/16

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 10:22 pm

The Vermont Employee Ownership Center (VEOC) is offering two free seminars in January. The first is aimed at business owners and key managers, and will focus on Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) as a way to transition some or all ownership of a business.  The second is a technical intro to employee ownership for business advisors that will give attendees the tools necessary to advise their clients about employee ownership as an option for their business succession plan.  Lead presenters for both seminars will be Tabitha Croscut, a nationally-known ESOP attorney who is Managing Shareholder at Steiker, Greenapple & Croscut, P.C., and Chuck Coyne of Empire Valuation Consultants, a business valuator with over 25 years of professional experience providing financial consulting, business appraisals, ESOP feasibility and transaction consulting.

While attendance is free, advance registration is required.

The ESOP seminar for business owners and key managers will be offered in Windsor on Friday, January 29 from 10 AM to noon at the Windsor location of Harpoon Brewery (registration & details here).

Please note that ESOPs are generally only feasible in companies with at least 20 employees and an enterprise value of at least $2.5 million.  In the near future, the VEOC will be presenting a seminar on an alternative for smaller companies: selling to employees using the worker cooperative structure.  For more information: info@veoc.org

The seminar for business advisors will also be offered twice: in Burlington on Thursday, January 28 from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM in the administrative offices of Gardener’s Supply Company (registration & details here), and in White River Junction on January 29 from 3:00 to 5:00 PM in the offices of Resource Systems Group (registration & details here).

Seminar co-sponsors are the Vermont Small Business Development Center, the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center and the Regional Development Corporations of Vermont (of which SRDC is a member), with funding provided by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development.

December 22, 2015

Start Your Own Business Workshop Coming Up on 1/8 in Springfield!

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 9:25 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, January 8th from 9 am – 1 pm 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 office is part of Springfield Regional Development Corporation on Clinton Street in Springfield Vermont. For more information visit www.vtsbdc.org or contact Debra Boudrieau at (802) 885-2071 or dboudrieau@vtsbdc.org.

December 21, 2015

SRDC Receives VEDA Financing for New Facility for Blake Hill Preserves in Windsor

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 9:36 pm

Springfield Regional Development Corporation has announced that it has received financing of $877,504 from the Vermont Economic Development Authority to construct a 6,000 square-foot building in Windsor’s Artisans Park.  The new facility will be the home of Blake Hill Farm Products, Inc. as the production facility for Blake Hill Preserves’ marmalades, conserves, preserves and chutneys. There also will be a small retail store in the completed space.

Blake Hill Preserves was formed in 2009 by Vicky Allard and Joe Hanglin and has operated in Grafton Vermont since that time.  The company produces a variety of products utilizing sustainably grown fruits and vegetables with no artificial ingredients. Blake Hill’s jars can be found in stores through the United States and, most recently, are now also available in Canada. The new facility will provide significant production capacity, to allow the company to continue its rapid growth.

Vicky Allard, of Blake Hill Preserves, said that this new building would help the company continue to evolve. “The new facility will enable us to continue to expand production to meet customer demand, and our new retail store will provide visitors to Artisans Park with the opportunity to enjoy Blake Hill’s entire range of products, sample new varieties including seasonal fresh batch, farm-to-jar, preserves, and provide hard-to-find specialty preserve making equipment for the homemade jam maker”, Allard said.  She added that, within three years, the company expects to increase employment to 12 positions.

SRDC Executive Director Bob Flint said that Blake Hill was a natural addition to Artisans Park.  “It has been exciting to see the business and visitor growth in the Park and Blake Hill will certainly add to this.” Flint said. This will be the 2nd building that SRDC has built in the Park in recent years. The Vermont Farmstead Cheese facility is also owned by SRDC, through financing provided by VEDA.   Flint said that the partnership between SRDC, VEDA and Great Bear Realty is what has allowed these projects to move forward.

Ground has been broken on the construction project and the intent is that the facility will be in operation by early summer.

December 14, 2015

Businesses Create Jobs

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 5:27 pm

(the following is a column from SRDC Executive Director Bob Flint, from the Winter 2015-2016 SRDC Newsletter)

The headline seems obvious, but as we head into the next Legislative Session (in the midst of a Presidential campaign, with a Gubernatorial one also revving up here in Vermont), it’s worth spending a few minutes explaining.

Recently, I’ve had two different projects that involved projecting the economic impact of various activities.  To keep it simple, these would be things that would hopefully strengthen the business environment and provide support for the retention and attraction of the workforce. It’s all worthwhile and, if all of these occurred, the region would be a better place.

The tricky part comes when one is trying to demonstrate that any of this would directly lead to job creation.  It’s reminder that I/we continually need to remind people of a simple premise – “we” don’t create any jobs; businesses create jobs.

Hopefully, “we” (SRDC, state economic development, whomever) are doing things to assist companies on a variety of levels to help them be in a position to retain and add jobs.  But, it’s critical to remember that “we” are in service to the business.  That gets lost sometimes, unfortunately.

Sometimes, no matter what we try to do, there’s nothing we can do to help, which is incredibly frustrating.  The situation with Seldon Technologies in Windsor this past year is a classic example of that.

But, thankfully, there are far more situations where we have hopefully helped a company out in their efforts to move forward and grow. As 2015 ends, there are some very promising prospects for business growth and we look forward to being of service on those projects.

The Legislative session, and political campaigns, represents an opportunity to share your story, whether it’s good or bad, and talk about the challenges and constraints your business faces.  And, yes, it’s always important to remind people that they don’t create jobs, businesses do.

From all of us at SRDC, – the very Happiest of Holidays to you and your families.  Thank you for another great year and we are very excited about what 2016 will bring!

October 15, 2015

Equipment/Materials Sale 10/24/15 at Jones Center

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 9:57 pm

On Saturday, October 24, 2015 Springfield Regional Development Corporation (SDRC) will hold a public sale of various equipment and materials at the former M. E. Baker location, Robert S. Jones Center, 260 Clinton Street, Springfield, VT. The sale will begin at 8:00 AM and run through 12:00 noon.

The sale will include capital assets, materials, tools and fixtures.  All sales are final and buyers are responsible for removal of the items.

To view some of the items available for sale, click this link -  Baker Flyer – 9.16.15 rev1

October 8, 2015

Start Your Own Business Workshop on 10/22 in Springfield

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 10:18 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, October 22nd from 9:00 am. to 1:00 p.m. at the Springfield Regional Development Corporation, 14 Clinton Street, 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 office is part of Springfield Regional Development Corporation on Clinton Street in Springfield Vermont. For more information visit www.vtsbdc.org or contact Debra Boudrieau at (802) 885-2071 or dboudrieau@vtsbdc.org.

August 24, 2015

Start Your Own Business Workshop in Springfield on 9/10/15

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 9:54 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 10th 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 VTSBDC office is part of Springfield Regional Development Corporation’s office at 14 Clinton Street, in Springfield, Vermont. For more information visit www.vtsbdc.org or contact Debra Boudrieau at (802) 885-2071 or dboudrieau@vtsbdc.org.

August 7, 2015

Vermont Receives over $2 million EPA Brownfields Funding and Announces State BERA Program winners

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 10:08 pm

SRDC officially received a $200,000 grant award from EPA for the former Bryant Grinder site and was also announced as one of three entrants into the State of Vermont’s “BERA” program for the J & L Plant 1 property, at an event in Brattleboro Vermont this week.  Here’s the official press release:

EPA is awarding a total of $2 million in Brownfield Assessment and Cleanup Grant dollars to municipalities and organizations across the state of Vermont.  Additionally, three communities have been selected by the State of Vermont for inclusion in the Brownfield Economic Revitalization Alliance (BERA) program.

The EPA Brownfields grants, funded by EPA’s Brownfields Assessment, and Cleanup grant program, provide communities with funding necessary to assess, clean up and ultimately redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and leverage jobs while protecting public health and the environment.

“EPA is proud to further assist Vermont and its citizens with this Brownfield funding. Cleaning and revitalizing contaminated sites helps create jobs, and can be the catalyst to create new businesses or village centers, all while making our environment cleaner and the community healthier,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA New England’s office. “This is just one way EPA works to make a difference in communities all across New England.”

Vermont’s BERA initiative is a collaboration of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, Agency of Natural Resources, and Agency of Transportation to get brownfield redevelopment projects completed faster, cheaper and easier and to enable communities that host these properties to take full advantage of the benefits of a revitalized downtown center. This is achieved by facilitating better communication between federal, state, regional and local officials, providing priority funding from state programs, and access to coordinated and timely permitting.

“I congratulate the communities of Bellows Falls, Springfield and Richmond for submitting successful applications to participate in the Brownfield Economic Revitalization Alliance program,” noted Governor Peter Shumlin. “Given Vermont’s deep and commonly held understanding of the close relationship between our economic vitality and our environmental health, the BERA program is a model of the collaboration necessary to tackle the complex work of redeveloping contaminated sites. Each of these projects represent an exciting opportunity to improve the lives of Vermont residents and the resilience and livability of our communities. “

EPA Brownfields Grants

Town of Brattleboro:  $400,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant
Lamoille County Planning Commission:  $400,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant
Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission:  $400,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant
Northwest Regional Planning Commission:  $200,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant
Springfield Regional Development Corporation:  $200,000 Brownfields Cleanup Grant
Two-Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission:  $400,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant

In New England, since the beginning of the Brownfields program, EPA has awarded 334 assessment grants totaling $97 million, 68 revolving loan fund grants and supplemental funding totaling $85.2 million and 241 cleanup grants totaling $64.5 million. These grant funds have paved the way for more than $2.5 billion in public and private cleanup and redevelopment investment and for nearly 14,458 jobs in assessment, cleanup, construction and redevelopment. These investments and jobs target local, under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods – places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.

State of Vermont BERA

Robertson Paper Mill:
A former Paper Mill, located in Bellows Falls, that was constructed at the turn of the century and has been underutilized for many years will be redeveloped for new industrial space.  Rockingham Area Development Corporation is the developer of this property that has environmental contamination from past industrial use.  This is a great project to kick-start the Bellows Falls “Island” redevelopment.

Jones and Lamson:
This former tooling facility was one of many that helped create the Pioneer Valley.   The Jones and Lamson building has been vacant for over 30 years and has fallen into disrepair.  On top of the structural building issues the past uses of this property have left behind a mix of environmental contamination that needs to be remediated.  Springfield Regional Development Corporation is the developer of this project and has a planned use for new industrial/commercial space.  This project is part of the northern gateway in Springfield and a key piece of Springfield history.

Richmond Creamery:
The former Saputo creamery in Richmond has been left vacant and abandoned for many years.  The creamery is located in downtown Richmond and is a perfect location for infill.  The project needs are large due to asbestos within the dilapidated building and widespread impacts to surficial soils.  The developer for the project is looking to create mixed space development that will include housing, commercial and a senior center.

More Information:

EPA Brownfields program in New England: http://epa.gov/region1/brownfields/index.html
State of Vermont BERA program: http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/wastediv/SMS/RCPP/BERA.htm

July 9, 2015

The Circle of Prosperity

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 9:41 pm

(the following is a column from SRDC Executive Director Bob Flint, from the Summer 2015 SRDC Newsletter)

Welcome to summer! SRDC is busy on a number of fronts, with remediation work going on as of this writing at J & L (with more behind the scenes efforts underway to set the stage for major demolition and cleanup next summer) and planning for reuse of the north and south ends of the Bryants property.But we’re also spending a lot of time on issues related to creating and maintaining a successful economy.

Elsewhere in this newsletter, you can read about the work of the East Central Vermont Economic Development District. We hope to be undertaking an update of the strategic plan for this region in the next year. The existing regional plan is based on a tenet of the “Circle of Prosperity”, which is simply the interrelationship between good paying jobs, a healthy social infrastructure which attracts and retains the human capital needed to create and fill the good paying jobs (and fund the healthy infrastructure). We know how fragile that “circle” currently is in our area. The common thread from businesses now is how difficult it is to hire people, at all levels. Yet, there is a significant part of the population who is unemployed and, in some circles, “unemployable”.

How do we have the honest conversations about why is it is so challenging to attract people to move to this area, and stay in our communities?   What are the connecting pieces between the realities of substance abuse and social issues with the ability to train and grow a local workforce? How does education fit into this picture, with the perceived disconnect between the local economy and primary/secondary schools?

As we solve the riddles that has been holding back redevelopment of major industrial space, we need to look at the types of businesses those properties will house. But we also need to maintain, and increase, our focus on the workforce that our area economy needs to be able to move forward.  We can’t let the “Circle of Prosperity” become its own Gordian knot for Southern Windsor County or even Vermont

May 28, 2015

SRDC Receives $200K EPA Grant for Bryants Property

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 9:05 pm

Springfield Regional Development Corporation (SRDC) announced today that they have been selected for a $200,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.  The funding will be used for environmental cleanup work at the former Bryant Grinder facility on Clinton Street in Springfield.

SRDC was selected as one of 243 recipients nationwide of funds to assist with the remediation and redevelopment of brownfield properties.   The EPA announced grants totaling $54.3 million for projects in 147 communities across the country.

Bob Flint, Executive Director of SRDC, said that the timing for the grant was very fortuitous.  “We’re already moving forward with the development of a Corrective Action Plan for the north and south ends of the existing building and this will allow us to move directly into cleanup work later this year”, Flint said. He added that SRDC hopes to have those portions of the site available for occupancy within the next 12 – 14 months.

“Slowly, but surely, we’re making progress with these large, complicated, brownfield projects. We are very grateful for this grant and this will be a big part of moving Bryants forward”, Flint added. He also expressed his thanks to Dan Potter of the Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission who assisted in preparing the application to EPA for this grant.

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