COVID Blog Updates

COVID-19 Resiliency Update 4/20/20

This is a communication related to the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation’s regional
COVID-19 Business Resiliency Program

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.

Adam Grinold

Adam Grinold
Executive Director 
Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation 
Connect on LinkedIn — call me: 802 257-7731 ext 224  —  email me

Thank you to Windham Regional Commission and the United Way for developing this Windham Resource Guide For Individuals 

A negative pressure machine has been set up at the Brattleboro Retreat for the hospital’s COVID-19 unit. The hospital was already experiencing financial difficulties, which have since been exacerbated by the crisis.

Brattleboro Retreat Will Receive $7.3 Million Bailout To Weather COVID-19 Crisis By Howard Weiss-Tisman

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Hotline Established for Self-Employed
In an effort to provide dedicated updates for those individuals that are self-employed, independent contractors, sole proprietors, as well as others, the Vermont Department of Labor has established the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Hotline.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Line:  (877) 660-7782

The Hotline, which went live on Thursday, April 16, will provide daily updates as to the status of the PUA program, the timeline for going live, and the process and next steps for filing.

Currently, the Department of Labor is in the final stages of development for Phase 1 of the application process. This is expected to be available for individuals to submit their information in the coming days.

In addition to the Hotline, individuals seeking information on PUA may also register for the Department’s newsletter, and visit

How to catch up on UI Claims

Claimants can catch up on missed weekly filings by using the link below or by calling 800-983-2300. One claim per day can be filed until claimant is caught up. When a claim has been successfully filed for the first weekly claim, a confirmation page will be displayed. That confirmation will let claimant know when they can log-in and file next claim. Please file before 4pm each day to avoid further errors.  When claimant is caught up on weekly claims, they will need to file each week for which they were unemployed. Failing to do so will result in another error.

The Vermont Department of Labor has announced it will continue its Virtual Town Hall events for the week of April 19, 2020. The Department announced the events in response to the impact of COVID-19.

Dates and employer-focused conversation topics for the week of April 19, 2020 include:


  • Self Employed Update – PUA Program
    • Time: 2:00pm
    • Overview: Update on the application process and implementation of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), providing unemployment benefits for those previously not eligible. This includes Self Employed, Independent Contractors and Sole Proprietors, among others.
    • Speakers: Michael Harrington (Interim Commissioner) and Cameron Wood (Director, Unemployment Insurance)
    • Online Link


  • Unemployment Insurance – Claimant 101
    • Time: 8:30am
    • Overview: Department of Labor staff will provide an overview of top questions the Unemployment Insurance Division has received, as well as general instruction, tips and updates to attendees.
    • Online Link


  • Self Employed Update – PUA Program
    • Time: 2:00pm
    • Overview: Update on the application process and implementation of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), providing unemployment benefits for those previously not eligible. This includes Self Employed, Independent Contractors and Sole Proprietors, among others.
    • Speakers: Cameron Wood (Director, Unemployment Insurance)
    • Online Link


  • Unemployment Insurance – Claimant 101
    • Time: 8:30am
    • Overview: Department of Labor staff will provide an overview of top questions the Unemployment Insurance Division has received, as well as general instruction, tips, and updates to attendees.
    • Online Link

Previous events are uploaded to the Department’s YouTube Channel, and may be viewed here:

The Department of Labor will continue to hold these events as needed and will provide topics that are timely and of current community benefit. For further information and updates on the Vermont Department of Labor, please visit

Economic Mitigation and Recovery Task Force

The State of Vermont Economic Mitigation & Recovery Task Force, established by Governor Scott, is charged with providing technical assistance and expertise to mitigate the devastating short-term economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with developing strategies designed to speed long-term business and community recovery. The task force is comprised of job creators, community leaders and business representatives from each region. read more

Please take BDCC’s new 2-minute survey to help us understand who is accessing relief programs and who is not.

If you haven’t already, please let BDCC know how your business is impacted:
We use this information to understand what is happening for you, and advocate for disaster relief to businesses and employers in this region. You may resubmit an update at any time.

Stress Test your business:
Find information on BDCC’s web site on using the Resiliency Assessment “Stress Test”, including a new webinar. This worksheet helps create a plan of action for your business to weather these uncertain times. This tool helps you look at different scenarios and options for liquidity.

Participate in Weekly Business Webinars
Join us every Friday at 2:15 pm for a Zoom webinar – we try to bring you answers to questions and point you to resources as they become available. This week, we will  engage with state and regional partners to explore some industry specific considerations. What are the resources for restaurants, hospitality, or manufacturing to help businesses understand their path forward? This will evolve as the week progresses.

BDCC’s Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program is a USDA program that provides a $400,000 loan to the BDCC.  In response to the economic impacts our small businesses are experiencing, USDA approved BDCC’s request to lower the interest rate BDCC must charge for this program to a 3% fixed rate.  The loans can range in size from $2,500 to $50,0000 for any business with 10 employees or less. There is no pre-payment penalty for businesses that look to use this funding source as gap financing until other program funds are made available. Contact R.T. Brown

Providing Systems and Solutions to help Vermont Manufacturers Innovate, Plan, Perform and Grow
Manufacturing Exchange – Vermont ( is now live with a primary mission of “connecting people and supply chains to deliver solutions.” It also allows manufacturers and suppliers to post their needs and find business opportunities. MXVT uses familiar social media tools in a virtual collaboration space that empowers innovative thinking, helps solve problems, and can create new supply chains. Powered by VMEC, has launched during the COVID-19 Coronavirus crisis with an initial focus on enabling and accelerating connections between urgent health-related equipment needs & personal protective equipment (PPE), potential Vermont manufacturers first, and product and solution providers. MXVT site content will continuously become richer as we connect and all move forward together.
VMEC is working in partnership with the Vermont Agency of Commerce & Community Development (ACCD), the Vermont Procurement Technical Assistance Center (VT PTAC), Associated Industries of Vermont (AIV), Vermont’s Regional Development Corporations (RDCs), and additional partners.  Register in TODAY!
Can we make this in Vermont?
Helmet-Based Ventilation

VMEC is seeking VT manufacturers interested in the development and possible production of Helmet Based Ventilation.  If you can help to develop a solution, please contact Chris Paulk, VMEC Business Advisor, at or (480) 201-7982.  Please join the conversation and see more information about what is needed and what is happening related to this device and other healthcare PPE on the Manufacturing Exchange – Vermont.
This page includes valuable information such as VMEC Crisis Response Services, which in part include:
1) Support and Problem Solving
2) Supply Chain
3) Re-deployment of Resources and/or Re-Tooling
4) Manufacturer Connections
VMEC is only a phone call or video chat away!  Please let us know how we might help you.  No issue is too big or too small!
Contact us at (802) 728-1432 (this number’s Voice Mail is being checked multiple times each day), or connect with your VMEC Business Advisor at this link.
Identifying Current and Potentially Convertible Suppliers of Critical Products and Services

AIV, VMEC, VT PTAC, RDCs and other partners are working together and with the the state to identify Vermont manufacturers and other businesses who can currently supply, or could convert operations to supply, products and services needed by Vermont authorities and other response leaders in the COVID-19 crisis.  Donations and referrals to suppliers are also encouraged.  We are also working to identify the same for federal efforts as opportunities evolve.
The current priority list for the state is:
• N95 Respirators
• Surgical Masks
• Full Face Shields
• Goggles
• Surgical Hoods
• Gloves
• Boot Covers
• Booties
• Tyvek Coveralls
• Impermeable Aprons
• Coveralls
• Gowns
• Fluid Resistant Gowns
• Surgical Gowns
NOTE:  The state is also asking for non-medical masks that Vermonters can use in accordance with CDC and Department of Health guidance.
You can also respond with other products or services you believe would be needed.  The list above might evolve over time, and identifying other items in advance could be helpful. see more info here

Business Assistance – What to Consider Now?

Review BDCC’s Business Resiliency Program’s pages and recent webinars for up-to-date information.

BDCC’s Micro-entrepreneur Loan Program is also available for businesses suffering economic injury. Use this from to learn more.

Comprehensive Health Information on the Vermont Department of Health Website

UPDATE: Vermont Governor Phil Scott Executive Orders

Number 01-20 declaring a State of Emergency in Vermont & National Guard Call Out
ADDENDUM 1 to 01-20 prohibits all non-essential mass gatherings to the lesser of fifty (50) people or fifty percent (50%) of the occupancy of a facility
ADDENDUM 2 to 01-20 Prohibits on-premises consumption of food or drink
ADDENDUM 3 to 01-20 Suspension of all Non-Essential Adult Elective Surgery and Medical and Surgical Procedures
ADDENDUM 4 to 01-20 Closure of Close-Contact Businesses and Further Restrictions of the Size of Mass Gatherings
ADDENDUM 5 to 01-20 Work from Home Order
ADDENDUM 6 to 01-20 Stay Home to Stay Safe Order
ADDENDUM 7 to 01-20 Requirement to quarantine
ADDENDUM 8 to 01-20 Non-Congregate Sheltering in Vermont; Extension of Certain Deadlines Relating to Closures of DMV and Bars and Restaurants
ADDENDUM 9 to 01-20 Extension of State of Emergency Declared March 13, 2020; Other COVID-19 Related Directives and Clarifications

ADDENDUM 10 to 01-20 Work Smart & Stay Safe – Restart VT: Phase I

Directive 1 – Continuity of Education Planning.pdf
Directive 2 – Childcare For Essential Service Providers.pdf
Directive 3 – Department of Motor Vehicles Suspension of In-Person Transactions.pdf
Directive 4 – Department of Liquor and Lottery – Delivery and Take-Out of Beverage Alcohol – Amended March 20, 2020.pdf