Regional Planning &
Economic Development 
in the Northeast Kingdom
 David Snedeker, Executive Director   

e-Newsletter - June 2024   

Community Announcements

Vermont Walk/Bike Summit

NVDA, in partnership with VT Agency of Transportation, will host the statewide Walk/Bike Summit on the campus of St. Johnsbury Academy, June 20th. The all-day event will include interactive demo workshops, peer exchanges, and a variety of presentations on topics that include advocacy, education, and economic development that promotes safe and healthy communities. The keynote speaker is Mirna Valerio, a highly acclaimed teacher, author and motivator who inspires others to Live LARGE! Register Today!

North Country Hospital Wins Bicycle Friendly Business Award

The League of American Bicyclists has recognized North Country Hospital with a Silver Bicycle Friendly Business award - earning a place alongside 1,300+ businesses across the U.S. that are contributing to the movement to make bicycling safer and easier as a means of transportation and recreation. Through collaboration with Newport Downtown Development, Newport Parks & Recreation, and the VT Land Trust, NCH has utilized biking resources to make the City a bicycle-friendly place to work, live, and play. Learn more Congratulations all!

Legislative Roundup, June 25th, 10:00-11:30 | Virtual

Decisions made in the Statehouse have impacts on and create opportunities for our communities. From flood recovery, infrastructure, housing, zoning, energy, recreation, funding and more - it can be difficult to follow the decisions and what they might mean for your work and your community. This workshop will bring together a broad group of representatives who will share key highlights from the 2024 session. Tune in! Register

Attention: Selectmen and Road Foremen

The VT Department of Environmental Conservation is opening another application round for incentive funding through the VT Diesel Emissions Reduction Financial Assistance Program. The competitive awards will be for projects that reduce emissions from diesel-powered vehicles, engines, and nonroad equipment. Eligibility requirements apply.

A Fond Farewell to Senators Starr and Kitchel

The NVDA Board of Directors and Staff would like to thank retiring Senators Bobby Starr and Jane Kitchel for their many years of legislative service to Vermont and the Northeast Kingdom region. Senator Starr (46 yrs. in the Legislature, 20 yrs. in the Senate) and Senator Kitchel (35 yrs. in state government, 20 yrs. in the Senate) have long provided the confident leadership and tireless effort that makes Vermont the great state that it is. Their dedication and support of the NVDA organization over many years have helped to make the Northeast Kingdom a truly special place. We sincerely thank them for their service and wholeheartedly wish Bobby and Jane the best in all of their future endeavors.

Emergency Planning & Recovery Opportunities

Climate Action Plan, Kick-Off Events: June 18, 5:30-7:00 pm & June 20, 12:30-2:00 pm

These two virtual discussions aim to support Vermonters in learning about the Initial Climate Action Plan, encouraging them to voice their priorities for its revision, and helping them to stay connected for future engagement opportunities concerning climate action in our region and across the state. The events are presented by the Climate Action Office of the Vermont ANR.

Climate Action Plan Select a date: Register from Calendar

Enhanced Flood Recovery Rebates for Businesses

Efficiency Vermont has increased its offer for businesses to replace equipment damaged by the 2023 summer flooding. If your business was impacted, you can get a rebate of 100% of costs up to $16,000 - for up to four qualifying products. Get money back when you replace damaged equipment. The deadline to apply has been extended to June 30th. Learn more

FREE Regional Flood Recovery Symposiums for Municipalities, Businesses & Non-Profits, June 4-6, 8:00 am-5:00 pm., Stratton, Johnson, Montpelier

The Vermont Flood Recovery and FEMA are presenting a series of symposiums featuring in-person workshops and opportunities to engage federal agencies, state programs, and other supporting organizations. For complete information and to register, visit the website Here

Hazard Mitigation Funding Announcement

FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) is offered through Vermont Emergency Management to support natural hazard mitigation in the state after the July 2023 flooding. Funding is for projects and planning to reduce the future risk of flooding, landslides, or other natural hazards. Pre-applications are due June 21st. To learn more, visit Vermont's Disaster Based Funding

Links to more Flood Disaster Assistance:

Business Announcements

June 8th, Women's Economic Opportunity Conference, VT State University in Randolph

After 25 years of stewardship by former Senator Patrick Leahy and his wife Marcelle, Senator Welch's office is pleased to continue the tradition of bringing Vermonters together to learn, network and discuss issues in the economic sphere. This conference is FREE! For more information and registration, visit the website Here

June 25th, VCDA Spring Conference, 9:00 am-4:00 pm, Hardwick Town House

The VT Community Development Association (VCDA) will hold its 2024 Spring Conference in Hardwick: How Municipalities Can Drive Local Economic Development. VCDA 2024 Spring Conference NVDA's Senior Planner, Alison Low, will be a panelist showcasing the Yellow Barn Project, a public-private collaboration. Don't miss the opportunity to connect with fellow community champions, gain insight, and contribute to the collective work of building a brighter future for Vermont.

Nursing Pathways Collaborative - Licensed Nursing Assistant Training

St. Johnsbury Academy Adult Education is offering an intensive summer LNA training program for individuals interested in becoming Licensed Nursing Assistants. Local health care providers continue to need qualified LNA's to fill positions in the Northeast Kingdom where hourly wages currently average $22.00 per hour. The course begins July 22nd with orientation on July 9th. Learn more & Register

NEK Learning Services in August: Step Up to Child Care Classes

The Step Up to Child Care program is tailored to meet the needs of those who want to enter the field of early childhood education (ECE). The free training is designed to provide extra support to community members who may not feel ready to enroll in college courses. This includes individuals who were previously employed in ECE before new state regulations, as well as those who want to open a home child care center. For more information contact Annie Christoni, (802) 334-2643

Save the Date: August 6th, VCRD 2024 Vermont Community Leadership Summit, at Vermont State University in Randolph

The theme is Forge Forward, Thrive Together! Join community builders from across the state and participate in any individual session of interest, or follow "Participation Pathways" with optional sessions related to Climate Resilience & Long-term Recovery; Youth Leadership & Engagement; or Understanding & Solving Our Persistent Challenges. Learn more

Career Training & Adult Education Courses

Vermont State University - Lyndon, Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

  • June 12-13, Intensive two-day learning experience: Trail Building & Stewardship for Non-Motorized Multi-Use Trail Boot Camp Learn more Ann Nygard,

Vermont Technical College - Vermont State University) 2 campuses: Williston & Randolph Division of Workforce, Community & Economic Development

North Country Career Center, Newport

Contact Chris Damato (802) 334-5469 x3305

St. Johnsbury Academy Adult Education

Contact Sandra Mings Lamar (802) 748-7738

Lyndon Institute Career & Technical Education Center

Contact or Michelle Parson, Work-based Learning Coordinator,

Canaan School CTE Program

Chuck Patterson, Coordinator of Curriculum, or call (802) 266-8910

Sterling College School of the New American Farmstead Contact

Funding Opportunities for Communities & Businesses

  • Rails to Trails - 2024 Trail Grants Program Grants between $5,000 and $25,000 will be awarded to organizations and local agencies that are working to develop and connect equitable trail networks. This funding is available for new/different projects or events that bring overnight visitation and to support a wide variety of projects and programs that reflect elements of the TrailNation Playbook. Application deadline is June 9th. Learn more & Apply
  • Transformational Tourism, Events & Regional Marketing Grant Program (T-TERM) This new grant program is part of the VT Department of Tourism & Marketing's strategic implementation of a federal ARPA allocation. The grant awards are for new/different projects or events promoting travel, tourism and outdoor recreation, designed to bring overnight visitation and new out-of-state visitors to the region. Applications are due June 17th. Find more information Here
  • Municipal Technical Assistance Program (MTAP) Often, small rural towns in need of investment lack in-house capacity to develop local projects and access grant funds. The Vermont Council on Rural Development is offering free technical support services through MTAP. Need help to review assets and needs and prioritize projects, or help with grant-writing, permit applications, or regulatory compliance? Learn more by contacting Jessica Savage, VCRD's Director of Community Collaboration
  • Rural Fire Protection Grant Program The installation of new dry hydrants and other types of rural water supplies is still the program priority, but eligible projects may include repair/upgrade, replacement, or relocation of existing rural water supplies (whether previously grant funded or not), and drafting site development. visit to download the application packet or contact Troy Dare (802) 828-4582 to have an application mailed.
  • State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) The VT International Trade Division will manage STEP, a grant program for small businesses to compete globally by offsetting the cost of export-related activities like foreign trade missions, export trade shows, training workshops, or designing international marketing campaigns. 2024 STEP grants are awarded on a rolling basis. Visit
  • Newport Small Business Technical Assistance Program Newport Downtown Development is offering funding for technical assistance services for small businesses located in the Designated Newport City Downtown. Reimbursable grant funds can cover up to 100% of the project. NCIC is assisting in the management of these funds. For more information, questions or application, contact Aimee Quimby, 802) 748-5101 x2019.
  • Town of Lyndon Fund The Lyndon Small Business Fund was established to support both the development of new businesses in Lyndon and the growth of existing small businesses. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis over a two-year period. NVDA will manage the program. Half the funding will be dispersed in 2024 and half in 2025. Click here to fill out a short application or contact Annie McLean for more information
  • Funding Cycle Open: FFY2024 Clean Water Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water Revolving Fund (DWSRF) The VT Agency of Natural Resources is soliciting a project priority list. Planning and design funds are available at any time, however, any project that requires construction funding must be on the priority list. For more information and applications visit Priority Lists - CWSRF & DWSRF
  • Better Places Grants If your town is thinking of more parks and green spaces, a vibrant main street, public art, and community gardens, Better Places grants can help. The statewide program is supported by VT Department of Housing & Community Development, VT Department of Health, and VT Community Foundation. Projects are accepted on a rolling basis. Visit the website: Better Places
  • Community Heart & Soul The Community Heart & Soul Seed Grant Program is uniquely designed for small cities and towns (population 2,500-30,000). Successful applicants will receive $10,000 grants to match funding from a participating municipality or a partnering organization. Apply Here. Awards are made on a rolling basis.

Funding for VT Farm, Food & Forestry Sectors

  • Agriculture Funding Opportunities: The VT Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets maintains a website of grants, loans and financial assistance that targets specific agricultural needs Here. View the VAAFM Grants Calendar

Grant Writing Assistance

  • REDI Offers Funding for Grant Writing Assistance The Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI), a program of the VT Housing and Conservation Board, helps rural communities and working land businesses to access funding for development projects. For more information visit Questions? Mariah Noth (802) 828-1098.


Loan Programs

  • NEK Prosperity Fund The NEK Prosperity Fund is a project of NEK Prosper, NEK Community Action (NEKCA), and Community Capital of VT. The fund was created to organize and focus investment on equity and population health. Loan recipients will receive business support services from NEKCA's financial and business counselors. NEK Prosper
  • USDA RD Home Repair Loan Program Federal regulations have made it easier for low-income rural residents to rehab and modernize their homes through USDA 504 Home Repair Loans & Grants. The program provides funding for single family housing to remove health and safety hazards.
  • Vermont Community Loan Fund The VCLF is a community-focused alternative lender that provides loans and other resources to local businesses, organizations, early care & learning providers, and developers of affordable housing who don't qualify for a loan from a traditional lender. For more information visit the website Here
  • Northeast Kingdom Special Loan Program The VT Economic Development Authority (VEDA) is offering low interest loans under its Small Business Program to growing qualified businesses in Essex, Caledonia and Orleans Counties. The NEK Program can make loans of up to $150,000 for fixed asset acquisition or for working capital purposes. Contact Sandy Croft at (802) 828-5472
  • NVDA Revolving Loan Program The Northeastern Vermont Development Association has a limited amount of loan funds available for businesses in Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans Counties. Funds may be used for the purchase of real property and equipment, working capital, and feasibility studies. For more information contact Tina Gonyaw (802) 748-1220 The NVDA EPA Revolving Loan Fund is available to businesses and municipalities for brownfield cleanup projects! Contact
  • Efficiency Vermont Energy Loan  The loan program offers affordable financing options to help residents and business customers move forward with energy efficiency projects designed to deliver savings and spur the economy. Energy Loan 

Incentive Programs for Vermont Businesses      

  • VT Employment Growth Incentive Program (VEGI) Vermont offers an economic incentive for business recruitment, growth and expansion. The VEGI program provides financial incentives to qualified businesses that meet performance requirements. Authorization occurs through an application to the VT Economic Progress Council. For more information, visit or contact Jessica Hartleben     
  • VT Training Program (VTP) The Vermont Training Program can be used to train new employees or existing employees if the training is needed for new equipment or technology. VTP can pay up to 50% of an employee's wages/salary during the training period - for pre-employment, new hire, and/or incumbent employee training. Are your employees eligible? Contact John Young, Director of Workforce Development Programs (802) 355-2725 VTP
  • Downtown & Village Center Tax Credit Program This program is designed to stimulate private investment, create jobs, restore historic buildings, and jumpstart revitalization efforts in Vermont's Designated Downtowns and Village Centers. Visit the ACCD website for information about eligible projects and the next round of funding. Tax Credit for Downtown & Village Centers. 

Business Resources

  • VT Manufacturing Extension Center Visit the VMEC website and check out current postings for learning opportunities involving professional development, coaching, and hands-on training for manufacturers and their employees at all levels. VMEC
  • Vermont APEX Accelerator (formerly VT PTAC) VT APEX Accelerator provides businesses with free one-on-one counseling services, technical assistance, and market research to understand the requirements of government contracting. Visit the website Here for a list of workshops with sign-up information. Questions? Contact Brenda Plastridge
  • VHCB Farm & Forest Viability Program The program mission is to enhance the economic viability of Vermont farms and forestry enterprises. Business coaching services are offered to eligible farmers, agriculturally-related businesses, forest products enterprises, and forest landowners. VHCB
  • VT Department of Labor For Information about job openings and training opportunities by region and industry visit VDOL provides free services to employers to help recruit, train and retain a high quality workforce.
  • VT Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) Experienced business advisors are available by email, phone or video conferencing. Do you need help constructing financial statements or application forms for recovery relief funding? For free customized service, contact: Heidi Krantz , Heather Gonyaw, or Rick Daniell
  • Micro Business Development (MBDP) An experienced business coach can help with business financials, marketing plans, and access to financing for low-to-moderate-income entrepreneurs form Caledonia, Essex and Orleans County. Contact Dustin Smith, NEK Community Action (802) 323-9010 for free coaching.
  • NEK Collaborative (NEKC) The Collaborative's mission is to improve the quality of life for all residents in the NEK through coordinated economic and community-supported development.

Looking for Commercial Space? (802) 748-8303 (802) 748-1220

Commercial Building Lots for Sale: St. Johnsbury-Lyndon Industrial Park

& Orleans Industrial Park (water & sewer available)  


Northeastern Vermont Development Association   

St. Johnsbury Office: 802.748-5181 Fax: 802.748-1223

 NVDA is the regional planning and development organization serving

Caledonia, Essex and Orleans Counties - An equal opportunity lender, provider and employer.

 This monthly newsletter is made possible in part by a grant

from the State of Vermont through the Agency of Commerce & Community Development