by: James Gustave Speth
brought to you by:
is to foster a business ethic in Vermont that recognizes the opportunity and responsibility of the business community to set a high standard for protecting the natural, human, and economic environments of our citizens. We are committed to a multiple bottom line approach to business that values people, planet and profit.
Seasons Greetings Members and Friends,
We truly wish you a peaceful and restful holiday season. The recent tragedy in Newtown, CT reminds us that these are troubled times for many and we all need to support our community and colleagues. While we are all demanding that "meaningful action" be taken, we also know that this will be interpreted differently by people. As a representative of 1100 Vermont businesses and their employees, I am in a unique position to hear from a very diverse cross section of Vermonters. There is indeed consensus on some things: there is not sufficient access to quality mental health services in Vermont, families are stressed and in need of more support, and dangerous weapons must not be used to harm innocent people. The social safety net is eroding and VBSR remains committed to supporting bold political action to ensure that people get the supports they need. Our number one legislative priority continues to be universal access to quality medical care, including mental health support. We ask you as members, neighbors, and friends to put aside political differences so we can indeed ensure meaningful action.
Workplace safety is something every business needs to put on their New Year's list; our employees need to be assured of a safe working environment. Here are some links to that can serve as a planning starting point: Domestic Violence in the Workplace
andPrevention of Workplace Violence
We are excited about our plans for 2013 and we continue to be inspired and energized by our fantastic members. VBSR continues to serve a valuable educational, networking, and advocacy role and we have some great things in the works. Keep a look out for a bunch of exciting networking events and conferences in the year ahead, starting with our January Get-Together
hosted by Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery.
Also in the New Year, VBSR will be hanging a shingle in our state capital! Office space in Montpelier will help us to increase our legislative presence and to meet and network more with members south of Route 2. More details soon on this satellite office and our legislative agenda for 2013.
Finally, we want to say "thank you" to our community of businesses. You are a shining light -- keep up all the good work you do!
A safe and happy holiday season to all,
Andrea Cohen, VBSR Executive Director
This Issue of E-News Sponsored By:
|VBSR Marketplace Evolving |Over the past several months, the VBSR Marketplace has continued to evolve and advance. As you may remember from last month, the Marketplace recently upgraded to an open-source backbone and is now ready to expand and improve the Marketplace experience. The Marketplace, and its 'brain-child' Amy Kirschner, have also been getting significant attention and acknowledgement for advancing a viable "complimentary currency model." Congrats to Amy and the Marketplace! Check out the latest Marketplace newsletter, ripe with the new offerings, tips and other information; click here!
| Local Matters This Holiday Season!
Tune in here for current news about Local First Vermont and other local economy features...
2012/2013 Buy Local Book
Value-added agricultural products make great gifts and/or additions to your holiday festivities, so keep them in mind as you tackle last minute gift giving and menu planning! As dairy farming has come under pressure from industrial size competition outside our state, Vermont farmer-entrepreneurs have been busy developing and bringing to market new value-added offerings, many of which are fully or partially sourced from VT farms and producers. Purchasing such products supports local farms, helps to preserve the working landscape, and keeps more of your money here in Vermont. For a bit more background read a recent VPR article here.
What is the most wonderful and extravagant gift you can possibly give for $15? The buy local book is worth hundreds... even thousands to some! Give a gift that grows... The Buy Local Book. Get your gift today at one of these fine retailers
Updates from the VBSR Vermont Intern Program!!! |
First, we would like to give a very special "Thank You!" to Vermont Department of Labor for funding another year of the VBSR Vermont Intern Program! This is our 5th year of funding for the intern program and we are thrilled to continue to provide internship experiences for students and businesses throughout Vermont.
Internships are a great way to help young people gain valuable work experience so that they can go on to be a part of a thriving Vermont workforce. If you have never hosted an intern before, make it your 2013 New Year's resolution! Help young Vermont college students and recent graduates gain experience and bring a fresh perspective to your business, start the year off right with an intern! Contact Becky for more info!
Policy Forums and Update
Thank you to everyone who came out to one of the VBSR Public Policy Forums held around the state this fall. Your legislative team met with over 125 members, starting in September with a statewide candidate's forum in Burlington, and ending last week with a lively forum at our Central Vermont Circle Meeting in Montpelier.
Events like this help us to learn so much from all of you about priorities for state economic development policy and we look forward to bringing your ideas and solutions to the statehouse in January. We also use VBSR public policy survey results as we set our priorities. Did you know that 79% of survey respondents support GMO labeling, 89% believe that renewable energy is good for Vermont's economy, or that 83% believe Vermont is a good place to do business? We want to keep hearing from you so please drop Dan an email
with your policy thoughts and concerns. More soon from the statehouse!
|UPCOMING 2013 EVENTS |
| Member News!|
Congratulations to the Brattleboro Food Co-op, one of four winners of the 2012 Smart Growth Achievement Awards. The EPA recognized the Co-op, along with project partners the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust and Housing Vermont, on December 5th for their work on the new Co-op building which includes 24 apartments and has helped restore the historic development pattern of the city. The building, designed by gossens.bachman.Architects, incorporates many energy initiatives.
Green Mountain College recently announced plans to meet all of its energy needs with 100% renewable energy by the year 2020. The announcement comes as a part of the college's new eight-year master plan, Sustainability 2020, which focuses on their commitment towards more adaptable and enduring models of social, ecological and economic practices. Check out all the details.
The Snelling Center announces a new leadership development program for women: Women's Leadership Circles. They are looking for ten to twelve women in, or aspiring to be in, leadership roles and who live or work in Washington County, to participate in the next six-month-long program, beginning January 17th. Applications are being accepted now; visit the website
, contact Linda Wheatley
at the Snelling Center or call Kerry Secrest at Watershed Coaching LLC (802) 451-0842 for more info.
Seven Days, Vermont's free, independent weekly, and Route 802 LLC, an innovative mobile marketing company, are pleased to announce the launch of the publication's first mobile application, BurlApp. This comprehensive mobile app is designed to educate tourists, students and others new to the area about the best Burlington has to offer. Read the full story...
Champlain College's gift from the Stiller Family Foundation was recently covered in both Axiom News (where they so kindly gave VBSR a shout-out) and the Burlington Free Press. The gift of $10 million will be used for the creation of a new business school, which will have an added focus on the strengths-based, Appreciative Inquiry (AI) approach.