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August 10, 2017

Next Start Your Own Business Workshop on 9/1 in Springfield

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 2:06 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 Friday September 1st at Springfield Regional Development Corporation office on Clinton Street in Springfield 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.

June 30, 2017

Harnessing Civil Society

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 3:23 pm

(This piece by SRDC Executive Director Bob Flint appears in SRDC’s Summer Newsletter)

I was at an EDA event in Burlington, Mass last month about “resiliency”. Frankly, I was dreading having to go, but figured I should make an appearance. It turned out to be a really interesting event with useful information that we’ll try to incorporate into our work at SRDC.

But what has really stayed with me was a comment that was made by the keynote speaker, a gentleman, Dr. Stephen Flynn, who was discussing the challenges of getting logistics and systems functional again in New York City after 9/11. It was a moving talk and he talked about how people pulled together, in an ad hoc way, because they cared and how powerful that was. In his words, it showed:

“The importance of harnessing the capabilities of civil society”.

That phrase has lingered with me over the past several weeks. Maybe it’s because of the turmoil going on with the national political scene (which has hit Federal agencies that SRDC deals with). Maybe it’s because another example of this that was discussed was the way Vermont responded to the challenge of Irene a few years ago.

But it was a timely reminder, as we are celebrating our nation’s 241st birthday, of the power of what we can accomplish together.

In that spirit, SRDC has a lot going on, from redevelopment work at the former Bryant Grinder property to assisting Windsor Improvement Corporation on considering the acquisition of the former Goodyear property. There’s a potential tech accelerator that’s gaining momentum, but there’s also the logistical challenges presented by the recent (temporary) closure of County Road, the main access to Precision Park.

There are also visible examples of collaboration, from the Better Connections-granted funded programs in the region. Springfield’s just crossed the finish line, Chester’s close behind and Windsor’s getting in the starting gates.

And, speaking of “Collaboration”, there is the “Collaboratory”, the “Makers Space” that SRDC has partnered with the River Valley Tech Center on, which is located at RVTC. This has turned into a wonderful success for students in the region and the Space has opened to the public this spring (and will be open again this August).

We hope your summer is going well and, as always, we are grateful for the continued support of our communities and our members!

June 15, 2017

SRDC Receives VEDA Financing for Bryants Redevelopment Project

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 11:16 am

Springfield Regional Development Corporation announced that it has received financing of $625,000 from the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) to assist with the redevelopment of roughly 35,000 square feet of the former Bryant Grinder facility in Springfield.

SRDC will utilize the VEDA funds to continue repairs to the southern portion of the building to prepare it for future occupancy. Bob Flint, SRDC Executive Director, said that the support from VEDA comes at a critical time. “The north and south ends of the building are in the best condition and can be put back into use. The VEDA financing will allow us to have usable space to market for commercial use for Springfield,” Flint said.

Flint said that SRDC has been working with environmental and historic preservation consultants on a variety of issues with the building since it was acquired in 2010. He said that the property on Clinton Street is in a New Market Tax Credit-eligible census tract and that the eventual site redevelopment would likely utilize this resource.

VEDA Chief Executive Officer Jo Bradley said that the loan was an example of VEDA’s continued support for economic development in Vermont. “VEDA has worked closely with SRDC on a number of projects over the years, and we are pleased to support their efforts to bring this important building in Springfield back to life,” Bradley said.

Flint added that work on the redevelopment project is expected to begin by the end of the summer.

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.

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