The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You’re one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you’re two months back in the middle of March.
Two Tramps in Mud Time, by R. Frost
Hope & Resilience
Vermonters have the ability to embrace the reality of living with one foot in winter and the other in “spring”. Well-seasoned locals keep a winter shovel on their porch alongside the lawn rake until that first cut of the grass, or longer. This versatility will serve us well as we navigate the staged reopening of society and the economy. We know living simultaneously in two different modes requires different tools and strategies. We must collectively identify the best ways to adapt how we operate communities and businesses so that we can bridge the gulf between pre-COVID-19 practices and the changes in store for all of us.
This past Friday, Governor Scott announced the first guidance for a staged reopening of some sectors of the economy, with continued reliance on social distancing, use of masks, and attentive hand washing and sanitizing. In the coming weeks BDCC’s COVID-19 Business Resiliency Program will feature business owners demonstrating thought leadership as to how they and their fellow industry leaders will operate under new guidelines, rules, practices and soon-to -be norms. We will celebrate the creative ingenuity of our entrepreneurs who are already finding ways to reinvent their business delivery. BDCC, Downtown Organizations, Chambers of Commerce and other industry associations across the Windham Region will all be key partners in helping businesses collaborate and share best practices. Please join us this Friday at 2:15 to learn how local entrepreneurs are adapting to an uncertain future.
Adaptation is no easy task, but a burden we share. We must continue to embrace the guidance of Governor Scott and his advisors as we longingly look ahead to sunnier days. We are Vermont Strong for a reason; we will continue to find ways to support our families, friends, neighbors and local businesses as we always have, and in ways that go beyond anything that has come before. Our society chose lives over dollars for the greater good of all Vermonters. This shared sacrifice will be woven into the fabric that is Vermont: celebrated by history, shouldered by generations to come.
Even as it becomes clearer how and when to reopen, some business models may not be able to adapt to changes caused by COVID-19: Fixed costs will remain, and revenues available under the “new normal” may not be sufficient to meet the obligations necessary for continued operations. Many businesses are still waiting on federal help and just don’t know what the future holds. We must support these entrepreneurs who have been blindsided by events outside of their control. There are over 5,000 sole proprietors navigating this crisis on their own. Of those who have employees, 90% of the employers in this region have fewer than 20. These are our neighbors, trying to find a way forward in a very difficult time. Let’s be sure to embrace them and celebrate their past and future entrepreneurship. Our recovery depends on them.
Together we are Vermont Strong.
Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation
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