The end of the year was busy for BDCC and the Regional Development Corporations of Vermont (RDCs) of Vermont. By December 20, all CARES Act funds had to be released before they were recalled by the U.S. Treasury. To make sure small businesses received direct support in the state, the RDCs of Vermont created the Restart Vermont Technical Assistance Program (ReVTA). The program launched in September and deployed over $1.1 Million on the ground to small businesses in the form of qualified technical assistance.
BDCC managed this program and grant for all the RDCs, while also implementing the program within the Windham County area.
Within our region, BDCC was able to deploy $157,062 in technical assistance funds to 54 businesses. Our region received the second largest amount of technical assistance dollars, exceeded only by the Greater Burlington area which is nearly triple the population of our southeastern corner. One of the advantages of the ReVTA program was the degree of support it could give to sole proprietors, businesses that could not often apply for support from other CARES Act funding opportunities.
The ReVTA program staffed a recovery navigator in each RDC region who was responsible for connecting businesses in need with registered technical assistance vendors. The program built a network of 361 technical assistance providers, 229 of which were hired. At the end of the program, 512 businesses were accepted into the program to receive technical assistance support, and 401 of those businesses completed a scope of work with a qualified vendor. Businesses were able to build new websites, rework their accounting, improve their digital marketing, and even plan space expansions to accommodate health considerations.
In two months, the RDCs were able to coordinate an average of $2,554 in technical assistance for each business that registered for support through the program. For many businesses, this program was a lifeline to continue sales and operations through a period when storefronts were shuttered, and restaurants could only manage take-out only.
To learn more about the success of the program and which kinds of businesses were able to receive support, please visit http://vermonteconomicdevelopment.com