The Fourth Annual Southern Vermont Economy Summit will be held virtually May 12th-14th, 2021. Like many organizations we had to cancel our biggest annual event, the 2020 Summit, due to COVID19. We did not want to go another year without bringing our community together around issues of economic and community development, especially given the post-pandemic recovery which lies ahead. The 2021 Southern Vermont Economy Summit will be offered on a virtual platform over three days and provide education and networking opportunities for our Southern Vermont communities and partners.
The Summit will also feature keynote speakers to inform our economic recovery from the pandemic by looking at business trends, the critical role of demographics and diversity in economic health, and models for communities to revitalize themselves. There will be workshop sessions focused on small business development, community development, and a New-to-Vermont lunch series. As a special feature, the Summit will be anchored by “In Conversation With: invited guests Governor Scott and Lt. Governor Gray on Envisioning Vermont’s Future”. This event will feature questions straight from our communities. If you have a question for the Governor or Lt. Governor on Vermont’s future, please submit them here: Question Submission Form
The Summit is always a time for this region to think big, learn something new, and ask questions and connect. The second week of May is also the International Economic Development Council’s (IEDC) Economic Development Week. Not only are we rethinking this event, but we’re also rethinking economic development because it is front and center at home and nationally. The economic impacts of COVID-19 have been devastating, but the crisis has helped more people understand the importance of economic development as the struggles of unemployment and small businesses have played out before our eyes.
The Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation and Bennington County Regional Commission co-sponsor the event on behalf of the Southern Vermont Economic Development Zone, and as part of the Southern Vermont Economy Project which helps build capacity, expertise, and resources within the Zone. The 2019 Summit had nearly 250 attendees and fifty expert speakers and presenters. Seeing the Mount Snow Ballroom filled to the back wall brought on such an overwhelming feeling of dedication and commitment to the Southern Vermont economy by our partners and communities. Our keynote speaker, Joe Minicozzi of Urban3, blew our minds and reshaped the way we think of municipal finance, the tax base, and infrastructure costs. Although it’s tough to create that kind of energy in a virtual space, we will provide a terrific Summit with something for everyone. We plan to be back in person for 2022.
The 2021 Summit program will be hosted at www.SoVermontZone.com with registration opening in March. Register your email to receive updates here or contact Sarah Lang at email@example.com.
The Summit is an annual event that grew out of the establishment of the Southern Vermont Economic Development Zone, a special region encompassing Windham and Bennington Counties (plus the Town of Weston), authorized by the Vermont Legislature in May 2015. A Study commissioned at that same time called for the creation of a Southern Vermont Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) which was completed this year and can also be found at SovermontZone.Com.
About the Southern Vermont Economy Summit
The Southern Vermont Economy Summit is an initiative of Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation’s Southern Vermont Economy Project (SVEP) works to stabilize, improve and expand the rural economic and workforce development network in Southern Vermont. Its goal is to increase capacity and collaboration among partnering organizations and communities. SVEP is funded by the USDA Rural Community Development Initiative, as a program of BDCC & SeVEDS. For more information on the summit, please visit: www.SoVermontZone.com/summit
About the Southern Vermont Economy Project
The Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation’s Southern Vermont Economy Project provides training and technical assistance to increase local capacity, skills, and resources in order to advance local projects critical to Southern Vermont achieving community, economic, and workforce development goals. In its second round of funding by the USDA Rural Community Development Initiative, SVEP 2.0 partners include; the Towns of Rockingham, Brattleboro and Bennington; the Windham Regional Commission; Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies; Bennington County Regional Commission; Bennington County Industrial Corporation; Readsboro Hometown Redevelopment Inc.; and Bellows Falls Area Development Corporation. For more information please visit: www.brattleborodevelopment.com/svep/
About the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation
The Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation is a private, nonprofit economic development organization that serves as a catalyst for industrial and commercial growth throughout Southeastern Vermont, including Windham County and the towns of Readsboro, Searsburg, Winhall and Weston. BDCC serves as the State of Vermont’s certified Regional Development Corporation (RDC) for the greater Windham County area. BDCC is one of 12 RDCs throughout Vermont. This BDCC activity was made possible in part by a grant from the State of Vermont through the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. For more information visit: https://brattleborodevelopment.com/
About Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies
Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies (SeVEDS) is an affiliate of BDCC that grew from a 2008 grassroots effort, initiated by BDCC, to reverse the economic decline of the Windham Region and plan for the economic impacts from the closure of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. In 2014, after multiple years of regional input, education and data gathering, SeVEDS submitted the Windham Region’s federally recognized S.M.A.R.T. Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for federal approval. For more information visit: www.seveds.com
About the Bennington County Industrial Corporation
Bennington County Industrial Corporation (BCIC) is a non-profit economic development corporation. It is overseen by a board of business people and professionals from throughout Bennington County, Vermont. Its office is in Downtown Bennington. BCIC’s mission is to promote quality jobs in Bennington County. It provides services and information to businesses, runs an industrial incubator, does development projects, and advocates policies that support its mission. For more information visit: www.bcic.org
About the Bennington County Regional Commission
The Bennington County Regional Commission created the Regional Economic Development Group (RED Group) in early 2017, in response to a directive from the Vermont General Assembly to establish a steering committee “to serve as the foundation for economic development work in the Bennington County region.” The RED Group meets monthly to review and discuss internal and external economic development issues that affect southwestern Vermont, consider the regional implications of local economic development issues, and pursue options for future initiatives across Southern Vermont.
About Bennington County’s Regional Economic Development Group (RED Group)
Bennington County’s Regional Economic Development Group (RED Group) is a volunteer body committed to increasing the shared prosperity and quality of life for the seventeen municipalities in southwestern Vermont. The group has a diverse membership that reflects the varied community, business, workforce, and demographic characteristics of the region. The RED Group focuses on the internal and external economic development issues that affect the region as a whole, as well as regional implications of local initiatives and issues. For more information visit: www.bcrcvt.org/red-group-regional-economic-development.html
About the Southern Vermont Economic Development Zone
The Southern Vermont Economic Development Zone was established by an act of the 2015 Vermont Legislature. The Zone convened a Committee which called on Bennington County and Windham County to develop a region-wide CEDS. For more information please visit: www.SoVermontZone.com
About the Southern Vermont Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy
A Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, or CEDS, is a strategy-driven plan for regional economic development. The CEDS development process is designed to bring together public and private sectors in the creation of an economic roadmap to diversify and strengthen the regional economy. The CEDS development process analyzes the regional economy and serves as a guide for establishing regional goals and objectives, developing and implementing a regional plan of action, and identifying investment priorities and funding sources. The Windham Region’s federally approved CEDS was completed in 2015 by SeVEDS and is being implemented by BDCC. The 5-year update will include Bennington County and all Towns within the Southern Vermont Economic Development Zone. For more information please visit: www.SoVermontZone.com/CEDS