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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!