By: Ben Hewitt
(June publication date, pre-order now!)
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.
A message from Scott Buckingham, VBSR Development and Communications Manager:
Spring is in the air, rejuvenating us and making it nearly impossible not to notice how a bit of extra energy (thank you, sun!) rejuvenates and stimulates abundant new life. VBSR, it seems, is no exception to the laws of nature!
With more than 325 attendees at our 23rd Annual Spring Conference, we worked together to fortify the soil and plant new seeds of sustainable, socially responsible business practices and thinking here in VT. It was a terrific day of inspiration, learning, and networking with forward thinking professionals from across the state (check out conference photos here!). We were also honored to have Governor Shumlin sign H.99 (Equal Pay & Flex Time legislation) into law at the conference.
With the positive energy of our 23rd Annual Spring Conference behind us, we are thrilled to announce two important new partnerships and programs that will provide technical assistance to you, our members! VBSR has partnered with B Lab to provide VBSR members free and confidential access to their industry leading B Impact Assessment tool, an on-line resource for identifying, tracking, and monitoring your business's SR and sustainability practices. More information below (and here).
We are also thrilled to announce VBSR has received a Navigator grant, which will allow us to work pro-actively with small businesses across the state as we transition to the health care exchange later this year that were established by the Affordable Care Act. This is hot off the presses... stay tuned for more info!
While we're excited about the new offerings, existing VBSR programs and benefits are buzzing with life as well. Looking for a summer intern? Check out our Intern Program Page.
Are you a locally-owned business that might benefit from a story or coupon placement in the Buy Local Coupon Book? Act before June 1 (more info below and here.)
VBSR Development & Communications Manager
350 people join VBSR in Burlington
VBSR held its 23rd Annual Spring Conference on May 14th at the UVM Davis Center in Burlington. Nearly 350 people attended the conference, Local Innovation, Global Inspiration: Leveraging Grass Roots and Global Action to Advance Social Responsibility, for a day of inspiration, education, and networking.
Highlights of the event included keynote speeches by Judy Wicks and Bart Houlahan, a surprise guest appearance by Ben Cohen, a Localvore menu made up of the food of many VBSR members, 14 workshops, 40+ exhibitors. The Honorable Governor Peter Shumlin stopped by at lunch to sign H.99 Equal Pay Act into law (he also gave VBSR E.D. Andrea Cohen one of the signature pens to honor VBSR's hard work towards getting the bill passed!)
Over 80 people participated in live-tweeting the conference with the hashtag #vbsrspring
and the conference was covered on WCAX, ABC22/Fox44
and WPTZ, as well as mentioned on VPR, Vermont Digger and Vermont Business Magazine
Finally, thank you to everyone who came out for a day of connecting with like-minded individuals, and thank you again to our sponsors and Keynote Underwriter Vermont Community Loan Fund
. Check out the photos
from the day and be sure to take our brief conference survey
to let us know how we did.
See you in the fall at Mount Snow!
This Issue of Enews Sponsored By:
Buy Local Book Deadline Approaching
Coupon and advertising deadline June 1
Locally owned Vermont businesses are encouraged to participate in The Buy Local Book, a resource guide and coupon book that supports and promotes the importance of "buying local" here in Vermont. The guide also highlights the many high quality products and services offered by locally owned merchants along with stories and resources for living and promoting "localism."
To see how the 2013/2014 Buy Local Book can benefit your business, take a few minutes to check out the virtual tour of the book on the LFVT website, where you will also find everything you need to sign up and submit your information.
And don't forget: the deadline to sign up is June 1st. Contact Calen
to find out more.
And don't forget to Buy Local First!
|Streamlined Internship Posting Process
Could a segment of your business use some R&D? Have a special project that needs focused attention? Hire an intern! The extra set of hands could help your employees move forward with key projects, and free them up to focus on tasks requiring higher-level, strategic thinking or expertise.
Post your internship with a one-step form
For many students and recent grads, summer has officially begun, and they're eager to get to work. We've also streamlined the submission process to a one-step online form, so posting a position has never been easier. (Check it out!)
Contact Roxanne Vought at firstname.lastname@example.org or (802) 862-8347 for more information.
Public Policy Update
Legislature adjourned May 14
Thank you to all the VBSR members who directly supported our important advocacy work this legislative session.
VBSR continues to bring an important business perspective into the statehouse and we couldn't get it done without you. A comprehensive legislative wrap-up is in the works where we will report on many of the important developments this session including passage of the Equal Pay and Flex Time Legislation, Patent Troll Legislation, Energy Conservation, GMO labeling, Marijuana Decriminalization, and more. We were honored that the Governor choose to hold the Equal Pay Act bill-signing
at VBSR's Spring Conference. See more on that here
|Navigating the Health Care Exchange
VBSR helping your small business transition to the Health Care Exchange
VBSR is proud to announce that we have been selected by Vermont Health Connect to be a Navigator Organization which will allow us to assist businesses and their employees as we transition to the Health Care Exchange. We are in the process of finalizing what services we can offer your business and will keep you posted when more internal information becomes available.
In the meantime, at our 23rd Annual Spring Conference, we presented "Health Insurance Evolution: Understanding and Preparing for Changes to our Healthcare System" workshop. An expert panel provided the most current information available, identified resources available to businesses, and answered questions about transitioning to the Vermont Health Benefit Exchange marketplace.
Here are some of the documents they provided:
Don't forget to attend the next VT Health Connect Small Business Forum in Randolph.
"The Vermont Conversation" Tackles Tough Topics
Wednesdays, 1-2 PM
VBSR's weekly radio show has handled a number of difficult yet important issues on air in the last month. Host David Goodman chatted with the Institute for Global Labor and Human Rights, Migrant Justice, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and a number of other people on topics such as sweatshops, sustainable supply chains and workers rights.
Coming up, VBSR will feature the ACLU, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund and Liz Lovely as guests on shows about farming, civil liberties and alternative financing options. In the meantime, click on a show below to live stream "The Vermont Conversation," and don't forget to tune in Wednesday's at 1.
May 15: The High Price of Cheap Clothes & A Life in Vermont Journalism
May 8: The Coffee Show
May 1: Vermont's Hidden Workers
April 17: Socially Responsible Business & GMO Labeling Campaigns
VBSR Benefit Corner: VBSR Partners with B Lab
Free Access and Use of B Lab's B Impact Assessment Tool
VBSR has teamed up with B Lab to offer VBSR members free access to the B Impact Assessment tool. This free and confidential tool will help you measure your company's socially responsible business practices and compare them against thousands of other businesses.
Measuring and recording socially responsible business practices will support a business's ongoing journey towards social responsibility and sustainability. Join VBSR
We want your news and press releases!! Submit or post a story on our Facebook page or send Russ an email...
News items will be posted in the "Member News" section of our website and will be considered for inclusion in VBSR's monthly E-News.
Congratulations to Ben & Jerry's, Energy Co-op of Vermont, Green Mountain College and Fairpoint Communications on each receiving a Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence, presented at our 23rd Annual Spring Conference! Give them a round of applause and watch the ceremony here.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR), a leader in specialty coffee and coffee makers, announced last month that its Keurig® Vue® brewing system has been recognized as a 2013 gold Edison Award™ winner in the consumer packaged goods beverage preparation category. The distinguished Edison Awards symbolize the persistence and excellence personified by Thomas Alva Edison, inspiring creative minds to remain in the forefront of innovation, creativity and ingenuity in the global economy. Check out the full story.
SunCommon recently celebrated their first trip around the sun as a company. In their first year, SunCommon helped 248 Vermont families go solar, moving our state toward clean, safe, local energy, and they plan to work with another 500 over the next year. Check out their birthday card to see a list of the year's accomplishments.
Community Capital of Vermont has been selected to be a U.S. Small Business Administration microloan intermediary and has received a commitment for a $300,000 SBA loan to invest in small businesses in Vermont.
Community Capital of Vermont is only the second microloan intermediary to serve the entire state of Vermont, which provides direct loans up to $50,000 to small businesses. Read the full story here.
Less than one month after its first membership meeting, the Keep BT Local Coop elected a seven-member board of directors that represents a strong mix of legal, financial, technical, strategic, and operational talents. The group, which formed in an effort to acquire Burlington Telecom as a member-owned cooperative, established by-laws on April 6, and on April 13 launched its first-ever election. View the Board of Directors here.
Small Dog Electronics, New England's leading certified Apple Specialist, celebrated the grand opening of its new showroom, located at 116 West Street in Rutland, on May 4th. "The Rutland region is undergoing a lot of positive change," says CEO Don Mayer. "We are delighted to join the Green Mountain Power Energy Innovation Center as part of a technology revitalization of downtown Rutland."
Vermont-based utility Green Mountain Power (GMP) says the state's Public Service Board has approved the service-territory-wide expansion of the GMP Cow Power Program, which allows customers to purchase electricity generated from cow manure. According to the utility, Cow Power was first offered to certain customers in 2004 as a way to offer new, local renewable energy choices. Now, all of GMP's customers can opt in to the program. Find out how here.
Seven Days, Vermont's free, independent weekly newspaper, has launched a new arts blog called Live Culture. Live Culture features art reviews, openings, interviews, music, theater, film, fashion, books and more. Bloggers include Seven Days staffers Margot Harrison, Dan Bolles, Megan James and Pamela Polston, as well as occasional freelance contributors. For ongoing, up-to-date arts news, visit sevendaysvt.com/liveculture.
LCI's launched a new program on May 6 where families borrow fishing equipment, families can go fishing with no upfront equipment costs. Families will receive a complementary "intro to angling" pocket guide, fishing tips from the knowledgeable LCI staff, and suggestions on where to go fishing when they borrow equipment from LCI. Learn more here.