Last September, we announced five recovery initiatives that address key challenges magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic and set the state on a pathway to more equity and greater community and economic resilience in the face of future disruption: Rural Entrepreneurship, Food System Resilience, Rural Connectivity, Learning in Transition, and Welcoming, Equitable, Anti-Racist Communities. Over the past few months, we have interviewed the team leaders for each recovery initiative to understand why the Community Foundation chose to focus on each as part of its pandemic recovery strategy.Read more about "What We're Learning from the VT COVID-19 Response Fund Recovery Initiatives"
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The Vermont Community Foundation Announces $1 Million Main Street Business Relief Fund for Arlington, Dorset, and Manchester
Today, the Vermont Community Foundation, in partnership with area philanthropists and private foundations led by a local anonymous donor, announced the creation of a Main Street Business Relief Fund for Arlington, Dorset, and Manchester that will direct at least $1 million in support to small businesses that provide core services to the local community, animate the area’s vibrant hospitality industry, and contribute to the region’s economic vitality. Foundation staff worked closely with the lead donor to design the grant program, coordinate and manage key partnerships, and set up the logistics for the application, review, and grant award process.
“Our family has been enjoying this community for nearly 50 years, and Vermont has had a huge influence on our children and grandchildren,” says the anonymous lead donor. “We love Vermont and want to see it remain the special place that it is. We have gotten involved not only because our community needs help, but because others do too, and hopefully this fund to assist small businesses will become a template for other communities across the state.”
To maximize support to “main street” businesses, and comply with government rules on grants to businesses impacted by a disaster, priority will be given to businesses with gross revenues under $1 million in the following sectors: food; lodging; retail; personal care and wellness; fine crafts and art galleries; landscaping and home care; and pet care.
“In every Vermont community, small businesses, shops, and restaurants set the tone, create vibrance, and offer us ways of coming together—they are critical to our social fabric,” says Dan Smith, President & CEO of the Community Foundation. “The Manchester region has an incredible history in that regard, attracting visitors from across New England and beyond. This partnership is an innovative, replicable vision for sustaining that fabric in a challenging time.”