State of Vermont Agency of Transportation
DBE Connections:
Building Bridges and Paving the Road to Opportunities
May, 2009 - Vol 1, Issue 4
In This Issue
Message from Tom Daniel, Director of Finance & Administration
DBE Spotlight - Bonnie Batchelder
Deadline Extended for 2009 BGS Self Certification Directory!
DBEs Attend Matchmaker Conference
Vermont Business Development Program
Websites We Love
Program Partners - US Small Business Administration (SBA)
Free Seminar on Special SBA Loan Guarantee Program
Contracting Opportunities Through the ANR/DEC
Welcome New DBEs
Computer Training Opportunities for DBEs
Calendar of Events
ACECVT Quarterly Meeting and Networking Opportunities
Vermont Business & Industry Expo
Join Our Mailing List!

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Contracting Opportunities
Technical Assistance Service Providers
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Previous Issues

A Message from Tom Daniel, Director of Finance & Administration
First & foremost, we are all very pleased that the Office of Civil Rights and Labor Compliance is now part of the Finance & Administration Division at VTrans. 
This Division is the primary support service center for the Agency so our mission is focused on facilitating the best use of resources to get the job done.  We cover a wide array of services but they all revolve around people working together, obtaining and accounting for the money needed to complete our work, and establishing good internal controls that enable us to be held accountable for what we do. 
The inclusion of Civil Rights & Labor Compliance in our Division is a natural fit in that it is also focused on working with people to become a part of Vermont's transportation program and holding them accountable for the job that they do.  As an integral part of this Division, the Office of Civil Rights & Labor Compliance will have the day to day support of experts in the fields of budget, accounting, information technology, personnel, contract administration, auditing, and administrative support. 
VTrans has nearly 1,300 employees and an annual budget of $475 million.  This level of resources allows us to accomplish great things, but only with the cooperation and support of contractors, consultants, and the general public.  We do nothing alone - we do everything in mutual support with others.  Our DBE program is among our finest examples of finding the right people to work with us in getting our transportation projects constructed. 
Lori Valburn, Colleen Montague, Sue Hackney, and Sonya Boisvert of our staff will continue to reach out and communicate with our partners and we want you to know that your comments are always welcome in our Office of Civil Rights and Labor Compliance.  With a large annual program and over $100 million in new economic stimulus funding, we have much to accomplish together to improve our transportation system in Vermont
 Bonnie Batchelder
Tom Daniel, Director of Finance & Administration
Colleen Montague, DBEProgram Manager 
DBE Spotlight - Bonnie Batchelder
Bonnie Batchelder
Bonnie Batchelder,
Batchelder Associates, P.C.
Barre, Vermont
Bonnie Batchelder knew she wanted to be an accountant in junior high school and resolutely pursued her dream to the University of Vermont. After college, she worked at a medium-sized accounting firm outside of Boston and learned everything she could about the field. She returned to Vermont in 1991 and started her own business, Bacthelder Associates, PC. She now employs ten full-time staff and reports being very busy. In addition to tax and financial services, she offers an outsourced accounting department and software training. The firm has been certified as a DBE since 1994. Thanks to Bonnie for taking time out to talk with us - especially in the middle of a federal audit.

Q: What are the benefits of being a small business owner?

A: I find it incredibly rewarding to own my own business. The work is challenging, which pushes me to learn and work harder. I have a great staff and work in a great community.

Q: What types of services are you currently performing on VTrans-funded projects?

A: We currently have a contract with VTrans to complete external audits for construction contracts. When VTrans is closing a construction contract, they send out an external auditor to review the contractor's books. We are one of three firms on retainer to the Agency. This work represents about 10 percent of our business.

Q: Do you have other government contracts?

A: Yes. We also do work for the Public Service Board and in the past the Department of Corrections. 

Q: Do you have any advice for DBEs who would like to become more active on government- funded projects?

A: Don't be discouraged! Perseverance definitely pays off. We submitted a lot of proposals that were not awarded and we were very discouraged at one point. But, we kept at it, and once one contract was awarded, we were able to provide high quality service and establish a very good reputation with the State. 
Deadline Extended for 2009 BGS Self Certification Directory!
The Vermont Department of Buildings & General Services (BGS) offers self-certification to Women and Minority-Owned Businesses. The one page form is quick and easy to complete, and allows businesses to check off all applicable good and services in 50 business categories.
The deadline for the 2009 Directory has been extended to May 20, 2009. All state contractors are encouraged to use the Directory to recruit suppliers and subs. You can learn more about the program, view the directory, and download the form in Word or PDF format online.  Submit forms by Wednesday, May 20, 2009 to:
Lani Deliduka
Buildings & General Services
5 Perry Street, Suite 300
Barre, VT 05641-4272
Phone: (802) 479-4467
Fax: (802) 479-4469
DBEs Attend Matchmaker Conference

On May 1, 2009, seven VTrans certified DBEs attended the Vermont Matchmaker Conference at the Sheraton Burlington. The VTrans Office of Civil Rights is one of the coordinators of this annual event, which featured more than 40 exhibitors offering government contracting opportunities, including state and federal agencies, municipalities and prime contractors.

Demica Durr, Project Coordinator for the Small Business Transportation Research Center for the Northeast Region met with the DBEs to discuss the Short Term Lending Program and bidder registration lists.

Reports from attendees were very positive, and we look forward to sharing their success stories in future issues.

VT DBEs at Matchmaker 5-1-09

 (L-R) Top Row: Lori Valburn (VTrans), Lori Buxton (Buxton Drafting), Deb Gaynor (Phoenix Chemistry Services), Diane Meyerhoff (Third Sector Associates), Bill Kules (Little River Survey)
Bottom Row: Elizabeth McLoughlin (E McLoughlin LLC), Demica Durr (Small Business Transportation Research Center), Colleen Montague (VTrans)
Vermont Business Development Program (VBDP) - Update
We're pleased to report great progress by all participants in the VBDP, which launched in February. The goal of the program is to help DBEs develop and implement business plans to become more successful and to increase participation on VTrans federally funded projects. We've met with and completed needs assessments with ten of the fifteen DBEs that have signed up with the program, and participants are following through with next steps and action plans, designed to help them work smarter. For more information, email Colleen Montague or phone (802) 828-2715.
Websites We Love
For this Business & Financial Issue of the DBE Enewsletter, we've compiled some websites to help you better plan your business future.

Program Partners - US Small Business Administration (SBA)
    Vallerie Morse US SBA
At the recent Matchmaker Conference, we caught up with Vallerie Morse, the Assistant District Director for the US Small Business Administration (SBA) in Montpelier. Vallerie has been closely following the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and its impact on Vermont businesses.

Q: Tell us how ARRA has changed SBA's 7(a) Loan Guarantee Program.

A: 7(a) loans are the most basic and most used type loan of SBA's business loan programs. Its name comes from section 7(a) of the Small Business Act, which authorizes the Agency to provide business loans to American small businesses.

ARRA has provided two major enhancements to the SBA's loan program.  We can now guarantee up to 90 percent (formerly 75 percent) of loans made by financial institutions. This is a big motivator for financial institutions to increase business lending. Secondly, the fee to apply for these loans has been waived. Since the fee waiver has been in place, Vermont businesses have saved $250,000 in fees.

Q: What financial institutions participate in the Guarantee Program?

A. Most institutions participate. (List of participants)

Q: Are there new loan programs available?

A: Yes. The America's Recovery Capital (ARC) loan program will offer deferred-payment loans backed 100 percent by SBA of up to $35,000 to viable small businesses that need help making payments on an existing, qualifying loan for up to six months.
This program is intended to give small businesses some temporary financial relief to keep their doors open and get their cash flow back on track. Details of this program are not yet available, but interested businesses should continue to check the SBA VT web site.

Q: How has your office been effected by the economic downturn?

A: We have been very busy fielding phone calls from business owners who are having cash flow and other financial difficulties. Even established businesses have been feeling the squeeze.

Q: Do you have any advice for business owners?

A: Businesses need to come to terms with the idea that the downturn isn't a crisis - rather we're in a new economic condition that may require us to change the way we do things for the long haul. Many businesses are reaching out to new customers, shifting their line of work, and downsizing. Seek business advice if needed and communicate with your lender early on.  These actions will be critical to long term business survival and success. 
FreeSeminarFree Seminar on Special SBA Loan Guarantee Program
Free Seminar on Special SBA Loan Guarantee Program
Vermont Technical College, Williston
June 2, 2009, 8AM-9:30AM

Davis & Hodgdon Associates will be partnering with the US Small Business Administration to present a free seminar for businesses interested in learning more about the $35,000 in guaranteed loans from SBA.

This loan program is a provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) that helps businesses who may be experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the poor economic conditions.

To reserve a seat, contact Davis & Hodgdon Associates at 878-1963.  
Contracting Opportunities Through the Agency of Natural Resources/Department of Environmental Conservation

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation has finalized a list of ARRA funded priority projects. Although these projects are managed at the local level, the DEC Water Supply Division webpage provides a wealth of information including Final Construction Project Priority Lists, ARRA Q & A's, and USEPA guidance on State Revolving Fund Capitalization Grants.   
Welcome New DBEs
Elizabeth S. McLoughlin, LLC
Elizabeth McLoughlin 
154 Wantastiquet Drive 
Brattleboro, VT 05301
Phone Number: (802) 254-9370
Fax Number: (802) 254-9370
Scope Environmental Assessment and Use Planning
JM Business Coaching LLC
June Plankey
PO Box 535
Winooski, VT  05404
Tel & Fax 802-655-3735
Web site:

Scope:Business Consulting and Executive Coaching
Computer Training Opportunities for DBEs
DBE firms can now take advantage of computer training opportunities.  As part of our continued Supportive Services we are now able to offer free training in Adobe Professional and MS Office products; Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint Levels I, II, and III.  Please contact Colleen Montague for further information.
Calendar of Events
Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center, South Burlington
June 2, 2009
SBA Free Loan Clinic
US Small Business Administration (SBA)
9AM-10AM OR Noon - 1PM
June 2, 2009
Free Seminar on Special SBA Loan Guarantee Program
Vermont Technical College, Williston
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Agency of Transportation, Montpelier, VT
On Going Calendars:

ACECVT Quarterly Meeting and Networking Opportunities
The next quarterly meeting of the American Council of Engineering Companies, Vermont Chapter (ACECVT) with VTrans will be held on June 10th, from 10 a.m. - 12 noon, in the 5th floor Boardroom of the National Life North Lobby Building, in Montpelier, VT. For agenda topics or other meeting information, please contact committee chair, Greg Edwards (802-864-6255) or visit the ACECVT website: Any VTrans consultant DBEs attending the ACECVT meeting who would like to set up networking meetings with VTrans staff and/or VTrans program partners while in Montpelier, please contact the VTrans DBE Program Manager, Colleen Montague, or phone 802-828-2715, as early as possible for scheduling assistance.
Vermont Business & Industry Expo
The Vermont Business & Industry EXPO is the region's largest business-to-business trade show and is organized by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. This annual event hosts nearly 200 exhibitors, showcasing the latest in cutting edge products and services for the 3,000 business people who visit the two-day show.
Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center, South Burlington
Wednesday, May 20, 2009, 10am - 5pm
Thursday, May 21, 2009, 9am - 4pm

EXPO also features a wide variety of special events and seminars, providing EXPO attendees with valuable networking and educational opportunities. Featured events include:

Business Breakfast
Annual Networking Luncheon
Building Blocks for Business Success Seminar Series a
EXPO Networking Reception
Advance registration by May 15th is FREE Same day registration is $10. Free coupon.
Hard to believe but this is our 4th issue of DBE Connections!  The newsletter has proved to be a great hit with our readers and we thank you for your feedback.

The focus of our June issue will be on Safety. Please email me with suggestions, ideas and any questions for future issues.
VT EXPO 2009 
"Even if you are on the right track you will get run over if you just sit there"  Will Rogers
Colleen Montague ●DBE Program Manager ● Vermont Agency of Transportation
Email: ● Tel: (802) 828-2715
VT EXPO 2009
This coupon is valid for a complimentary tradeshow pass for the Vermont Business & Industry EXPO 2009 at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center on May 20 & 21.

Present this coupon code at the registration table, or use it to receive free registration online at

Coupon provided by:

Vermont Agency of Transportation
Coupon Code: EXPO2009