Dear Network Friends,

Fall is in the air! Maybe it’s the back to school feeling that September brings, but there’s a frenzy of activity happening across the state, and my email inbox has been overflowing. Specifically, I’ve seen several emails about various COVID-recovery grants available to businesses in Vermont. I know it can seem overwhelming, but if you are forest or wood products business in Vermont that is facing COVID-related challenges (and who isn’t?!), please take a moment to learn about the grants your business may qualify for – several have deadlines looming, so now is the time to act!

  • The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation Forest Economy Stabilization Grant Program deadline has been extended to Sept. 8! Learn about the program here.

  • The Agency of Commerce and Community Development’s Vermont Economic Recovery Grant Program has increased the amount it will award eligible businesses. Learn more here.

  • The Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets Agriculture and Working Lands Assistance Program also has grant funding available to forest and wood products businesses. Application deadline is Oct. 1. Learn more here.

I know it's a lot to take in. But these programs could potentially help fill a cash flow gap your business may have suffered due to COVID-related shutdowns or disruptions. If you have questions, or want help figuring out whether one of these programs is right for you, please send me an email and I’ll help get you the guidance you need.

Speaking of business guidance, we’re launching a special Vermont Wood Products COVID-Recovery Project to help woodworking businesses that were shut down this spring and/or have had to quickly pivot to online sales. For a limited time (September - December 2020), business and technical assistance will be offered free of charge to a limited number of Vermont wood products businesses. Details below!

While we all continue to navigate the world during a pandemic, it’s good to be reminded of the people in our industry who have stood the test of time. Brian Lafoe and Stan Parker, named last year’s Northeast Region Outstanding Loggers (and 2018 VFPA Loggers of the Year), exemplify professionalism and offer inspiration to the next generation of industry leaders. Read more about them in this month’s feature story.

Life goes on, folks, so let’s make the best of it. I hope you’re finding time to enjoy the woods.

Stay safe out there,