Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility
Vermont Businesses...Vermont Values. 

Have you heard? New Opportunity in Vermont to Raise Local Capital!

The State of Vermont Department of Financial Regulation just announced changes that will make raising capital easier for Vermont businesses. Businesses can use a new simplified regulatory structure to raise up to $2 million in capital by selling shares in their company to in-state investors. Individual investors can purchase up to $10,000 in stock equity in a business, and qualified high-net individuals can purchase an unlimited amount of equity. Learn more about how your business might be able to utilize a Vermont Small Business Offering Exemption (VSBOE) by reviewing DFR's guidelines and information here. What an exciting opportunity for local dollars to support local businesses here in Vermont- we encourage you to learn more about this program and Local First Vermont!

I also would like to remind you to use the VBSR health care financing calculator and submit your health care financing preferences by the end of July. (See more about this below). We need to get your ideas and feedback so we can most effectively advocate for your interests as we proceed with our health care financing recommendations. Also, please consider signing the health care reform petition, it is an easy way to participate in moving reform forward.

Also, please remember that your support is critical to our continued success. Please make sure to keep your membership current and help bring new members into our community of businesses that actively support clean energy, livable jobs, a clean environment, and supports for the most vulnerable. Click here to learn more about legislation influenced by VBSR advocacy and click here to learn more about VBSR membership.

Andrea Cohen, Executive Director
VBSR Welcomes and Thanks our Newest Members!

Rebecca Carlson, Burlington
Astrid Carter, South Burlington
Izzy Cummings, Burlington
Austin Davis, St. Albans
Ann Hoogenboom, Waitsfield 
Casey Moore, Colchester
Francesca Parnham, Burlington
Spencer Putnam, Weybridge
Claire Shapiro, Burlington
Todd Taylor, Colchester

*Also joined Local First Vermont! 
Marketplace Welcomes New Users
3 New Accounts; Questions Answered  


If you're not using the VBSR Marketplace, you could be missing out on new customers, wasting additional resources, and throwing money away.

Your fellow VBSR members are actively trading without you... check out the VBSR Marketplace today! Still not sure? Check out these frequently asked questions (and their no-nonsense answers!)

Q: What types of businesses are a good fit for the Marketplace? 
A: The Marketplace works well for businesses that have excess time or inventory on a predictable basis due to their business cycle. If your business is booming in the summer, we'd like you to sell to Marketplace members in the winter. If you're busy every Saturday, we'd like to bring you customers on Monday. By targeting new customers to the times and product lines where you want additional business, you're not losing cash-paying customers.

Q: Can I donate my Trade Dollars to a Non-Profit? 
A: Yes. Many Non-Profits are able to use Trade Dollars to help defray their cash expenses. They may purchase things like: event venues, catering, marketing help, stationary and printed materials, etc. You can donate your Trade Dollars to a non-profit. If you require a tax receipt, it is up to you to ensure that the non-profit is a 501c3 
organization and you get your receipt.

Q: How do Marketplace members determine price? 
A: Members sell to each other at their regular cash prices. This ranges between wholesale and list depending on your type of business and the good/service offered.
You do not have to discount in the Marketplace.


Please join us in welcoming 3 new Marketplace users! 

Creative Habitat

The Gold Trout

Vermont Energy Education Program


Want to take advantage of one of these offers or place your own? Click here.

Don't have a VBSR Marketplace account? Get started today; use what you have to buy what you need!


VBSR Public Policy Updates
Members Encouraged to Sign Petition, Submit Financing Suggestions

Health Care Reform will be a big topic at the Statehouse in 2015. Lawmakers are expected to keep Vermont on the path to a universal health care system, including the important consideration of how to replace today's existing premiums-based model with public financing.

VBSR needs your help - and your input - on two important health care actions today:

First, consider signing our new petition in support of health care reform. We're partnering with several other Vermont organizations that support health care reform in this effort that recommits Vermont to making real reforms in our health care system that support our economy and expand access. Read the petition here.

Second, take a few minutes and look at our health care financing calculator. This tool allows Vermont businesses to play with different financing options to replace the $2 billion in private premiums that employers and employees are now paying. Don't forget to hit the submit button and send your suggested plan to VBSR - this information will help guide our Statehouse advocacy next year. Check out the calculator here.


Vermont Health Connect Updates
Important Note about the Vermont Health Connect Marketplace 
Last week the State of Vermont announced that In order to provide the greatest certainty possible and expedite improvements to the Vermont Health Connect system, Vermont small businesses and their employees will continue to enroll in Vermont Health Connect Qualified Health Plans directly through Vermont's insurance carriers for the 2014/2015 open enrollment period. When open enrollment begins in November, the private insurance carriers will offer a full range of plan choices to small businesses and their employees.

VBSR's Health Care Navigator, Anissa Lewis is available to offer assistance to you and your employees even with direct carrier enrollment. In fact, the State has decided to continue to support VBSR's business assistance program through June 2015. Please contact Anissa today to schedule an appointment or get your questions answered.   
Green Mountain College Offers Scholarships to VBSR Affiliates
First Come, First Serve Scholarships Offer up to $16,500 to Finish a B.S.

In case you haven't heard, our friends at Green Mountain College (GMC) recently announced the launch of a new undergraduate business degree completion program, the Online Advanced Start Program.

As a part of the launch, the fine folks of GMC have reached out to VBSR and would like to offer two scholarships to VBSR members, employees of VBSR member companies, and to family members of VBSR members and of VBSR member company employees.

Vermont's most affordable bachelor's completion program, the new Online Advanced Start Program is a 100% online business program designed to help busy adults who have some college credit finish their undergraduate degree. Available only to students starting in the August 19, 2014 cohort, scholarship recipients are entitled to a $75 per credit scholarship tuition rate (the standard rate is $350; the VBSR member rate is $315), meaning the value of each scholarship can be worth up to $16,500!


Scholarship Conditions:

  • Subject to admission to the program
  • One-time scholarships available only to students starting classes in the August 19, 2014 cohort
  • May not be combined with special tuition rates or other discounts (for example, the VBSR reduced tuition rate, mentioned above)
  • The $75 Scholarship tuition rate is available for a maximum of 60 credits per scholarship recipient
  • Scholarship recipients must meet all Online Advanced Start Bachelor's in Business Administration Program requirements
  • The application deadline is August 1, 2014, but these two scholarships will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis, so don't delay! 

For more information this scholarship opportunity, please email Ken LaBate or call him at (802) 287-8358 or (800) 776-6675. Click here for more info on the Scholarships and the new program. 




Radical Business on The VT Convo
Wednesdays, 1 PM -- AM550 FM96.1

Can giving away money HELP your bottom line? How do we do business in a radically changing world? Can health care really be cheaper?  


David Goodman, host of VBSR's weekly radio show "The Vermont Conversation," tackled all these challenging and fun topics in the past month. Additonally, Goodman spent time chatting with Democracy Now, and exploring the importance of the "buy local" movement and what VBSR is doing to further that practice.


Click here to tune into past shows. If you have and idea for a show or want to be on "The Vermont Conversation," email us today. 


Member Benefits Corner 
New Member to Member Offers! 

Since VBSR re-launched the Member-to-Member offering benefit in April, new offers with big cost-saving potential have continued to be submitted!

Check out two of the latest offerings below, or click here to see a listing of the 70+ offers on our website! If you're interested in offering fellow VBSR members a discount on your services, or learning more about the process, click here to contact us today.

Newest Member-to-Member Offers-

Green Mountian College
: 10% tuition discount for members, members' family and employees on either Sustainable MBA or Online Advanced Start Bachelor's completion programs.
Contact: Ken Labate Web:  www.greenmtn.edu


Root Consulting: Free initial consultation, $10 off hourly rate.

Contact: Elizabeth Cullen Web:  www.rootconsultingvt.com  

Upcoming VBSR Events
We look forward to seeing you soon... Click on the title to learn more and get registration info! 


June 26: VBSR Networking Get-Together Hosted by Aqua Vitea 


Join VBSR members and forward thinking business professionals for an evening of networking in Bristol, Vermont! Taste Aqua Vitea's amazing product line, learn what SR means to the team and see how Aqua Vitea is bringing Kombucha to the masses in a sustainable way. 



July 23: VBSR Networking Get-Together Hosted by Green Mountain College 

VBSR members and friends are invited to join us for our July Networking Get-Together Hosted by Green Mountain College. Network with forward-thinking business professionals, enjoy the beautiful GMC campus, check out a short presentation on sustainable business trends, and learn how GMC is paving the way for future generations of socially responsible business leaders! Our last event in Rutland County drew more than 80 like-minded guests... you won't want to miss this evening of education and camaraderie.  


Sponsorships for this Get-Together are available! See info below, or contact Russ to sponsor today!

$175 (7 spots available) Includes:

  • 60 seconds to speak at event
  • logo and 75-100 word company description with link to sponsor's website on VBSR event webpage
  • logo with weblink email invitations to VBSR's database of businesses in and around the host county
  • logo on mailed post-card invite to around 700 businesses and on displays at event
  • social media thank you's and promotion

Interested in hosting a Get-Together at your business? Click here for more info.  

Member Events
Upcoming Member Events

August 17:
Mission Possible Urban Scavenger Hunt to Benefit United Way of Chittenden County - (United Way of Chittenden County)

August 23:
Wall to Canvas 5 - (Magic Hat)

Log-on to VBSR's website to post an event. Forgot your password? Send us an email! 

Member Jobs
Recently Posted Member Jobs 
Log-on to VBSR's website to post a job. Forgot your password? Send us an email!

Looking for an internship? Click here for our most recent listings. 
Member News  
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.

Pwnie Express "Hacks" NPR to Help

If someone tapped your Internet connection, what would he find out about you?

It's been just over a year since became a household name, and his disclosures about the reach and extent of the National Security Agency's online monitoring programs led to headlines around the world. But one big, basic question remains more or less unanswered: What exactly does the NSA's surveillance reveal? Pwnie Express helps NPR answer that question here. 

Onion River Sports Celebrates 40th Anniversary
Congratulations to Montpelier-based Onion River Sports on 40 years of business! Beginning Saturday, June 28, Onion River Sports will celebrate its 40th year in business in downtown Montpelier, Vermont. Festivities on June 28 include a bike ride, in-store promotions and raffles, and street party. Other events will continue throughout the year. Click here to read up on the history of the company and get more info on all the celebration events that are being planned!



City Market Offers Grant Opportunities for Local Food System Projects

City Market, a Member-owned cooperative, has created a new grant program to support the local food system: Co-op Patronage Seedling Grants. Between now and July 14, Vermont non-profits may apply for these new grants. The Co-op will fund at least $20,000 in grants this cycle, but the amount could increase based on the total value of uncashed Patronage checks. More information and the grant application can be found on the Co-op's website



Central Vermont Community Action Council collaborates with Sovernet
Sovernet Communications and Central Vermont Community Action Council (CVCAC) announced recently that their multi-year collaboration has grown again. With the move to Sovernet's recently completed 100 gigabit state-of-the-art fiber network in March, CVCAC is ready to carry on its critical work to better serve Vermonters into the future.

GTM Research Ranks Draker Fastest-Growing US Solar Monitoring Provider

GTM Research has named Draker the fastest-growing independent solar monitoring provider in the US for the second year in a row, based on the number of megawatts added in 2013. Additionally, GTM has ranked Draker to be the #1 independent monitoring software provider in the US industrial PV market (defined as plants ranging from 1 megawatt to 5 megawatts). The report, a research partnership between SoliChamba Consulting and GTM, entitled "Global PV Monitoring: Technologies, Markets and Leading Players, 2014-2018," is the solar industry's only comprehensive analysis on global PV monitoring and control markets, technologies and vendors. Nice job!  


Loquitur, Vermont Law Alumni Magazine, Wins CASE Award 

The Vermont Law School alumni magazine, Loquitur, has received a Silver Circle of Excellence Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for its most recent issue, "Good Food." According to CASE, an international nonprofit association of educational institutions, "winning programs epitomize the profession's best practices, raise standards and contribute to a growing body of knowledge." Congrats VLS! Check out the full details here.   


Thank you VBSR Champion Members for your ongoing support!


   Ben and Jerry'sGardener's Supply
as of 12/17/12
Main Street Landing LogoNew Chapter newRenewable NRG 8/2013

Our mission
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.


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Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility
255 South Champlain Street, Suite 11
Burlington, Vermont 05401
(802) 862-8347