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The VT COVID-19 Response Fund Recovery Initiatives: A Q+A on Welcoming, Equitable, Anti-Racist Communities

Between the COVID-19 pandemic’s disproportionate impacts on BIPOC communities, public visibility to senseless police killings, and the brutal treatment of American citizens expressing their free speech, 2020 was a perfect recipe for the United States—and Vermont—to reawaken to the deeply embedded systemic racism that exists in our country. This renewed attention to the circumstances that BIPOC individuals face every day presents an opportunity to put Vermont in a better place post-pandemic that is welcoming and inclusive to everyone.

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The VT COVID-19 Response Fund Recovery Initiatives: A Q+A on Food System Resilience

Farming and farm-based products are embedded in the cultural fabric of Vermont. Agriculture may not look like it did fifty years ago but it is still critical to Vermont’s economy, health, and working landscape. This has proven to be fundamental to our resilience during the pandemic. Vermont’s food system—growers, processors, distributors, restaurants, grocery stores, farmers’ markets, etc.—continue to meet the demand from local consumers uncertain of national supply chains and they are stretching in new ways to ensure no Vermonters go hungry.

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The VT COVID-19 Response Fund Recovery Initiatives: A Q+A on Learning in Transition

A June 2020 research study found that Vermont ranked second in the nation for jobs lost due to the coronavirus pandemic. Even with more Vermonters back to work, COVID-19 continues to take a toll: 22,000 fewer Vermonters are working now as compared to last year and jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector are still down 35 percent.

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The VT COVID-19 Response Fund Recovery Initiatives: A Q+A on Rural Connectivity

Before the coronavirus pandemic, a reliable connection to the internet was essential for many of us. Flash forward to now, a reliable connection to the internet means access to healthcare, education, employment, customers, grocery delivery—essential for basic needs and income. Still, in Vermont, about 70,000 households and businesses either do not have internet connection or inconsistent, dated dial-up access.

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The VT COVID-19 Response Fund Recovery Initiatives: A Q+A on Rural Entrepreneurship

So how will improving the connections between creative people, innovative ideas, and the tools they need to start a business help our state recover from the pandemic? We connected with Chelsea Bardot Lewis, senior philanthropic advisor on our Grants & Community Investments team, to learn more. In her work with our Vermont Investment Pool, Chelsea is in consistent communication with small business owners and capital providers, giving her strong insights into challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurship.

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Harpoon’s For the Frontline Ale Raises $15,670 for the VT COVID-19 Response Fund

Harpoon Brewery was founded in 1986 with the goal of serving its community a fresh, locally-made beer created among friends with a shared love for the craft. The “original” Harpoon Ale, first produced in June 1987, was delivered to just two accounts. Flash forward more than 30 years, and the Harpoon brewers once again released its Harpoon Ale under very different circumstances, but with the same spirit in mind.

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Pulling back the curtain on Vermont’s Economic Mitigation & Recovery Task Force: A Q+A with VP for Grants & Community Investments Sarah Waring

Provide us with a bit of background on the Economic Mitigation & Recovery Task Force—who is involved and what are you trying to accomplish? Governor Phil Scott created the Economic Mitigation...

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