Vermont grant program focuses on economic revitalization

By Brent Addleman | The Center Square

With an eye trained on economic recovery and revitalization across Vermont, a new grant program is now accepting applications for projects focused on an array of economic activities.

The Community Recovery & Revitalization Program, Gov. Phil Scott announced at his weekly Tuesday press conference, is now accepting applications that will be reviewed on a rolling basis that are funded with $40 million of the state’s American Rescue Plan Act allocation.

“We’re here this afternoon and talk about the importance of investing in Vermont communities in all 14 counties,” Scott said. “Two years ago, after receiving word of over $1 billion in federal aid coming our way, we immediately went to work to plan how we would spend that funding. Not just spend the money, actually, but how we would invest it.”

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Economic Development Commissioner Joan Goldstein

The program, which is administered by the Department of Economic Development, according to the release, is available to for-profit, nonprofit, and municipalities for projects focused on arts, entertainment, hospitality, agriculture, education, housing and child care.

“There was widespread agreement amongst many here today, many of the legislators here today, that we need to focus on housing, broadband, water, sewer, stormwater, infrastructure, and climate change mitigation,” Scott said. “But my team has also pushed hard for economic development investments in all 14 communities and 14 counties. And communities throughout the state, especially those who have struggled for far too long because there is too much disparity from region to region.”

Economic Development Commissioner Joan Goldstein said that applications for BIPOC businesses will be given priority. BIPOC is an acronym for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.

“We are so excited about these types of projects both the programs are funding and believe they’re going to make a difference and continuing to grow the state’s economy, while addressing some of the largest issues we face, such as housing and childcare,” Goldstein said. “The funding is intended for projects that will make capital improvements or capital expansion that spur economic recovery in and revitalization in communities across the state.”

The Agency of Commerce and Community Development, according to the release, will review applications from Addison, Bennington, Caledonia, Essex, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans, Rutland, Washington, Windham and Windsor counties in the first 30 days of the application period.

“We need good jobs, housing, and thriving downtowns, but they also need access to basic needs, services, and health care,” Scott said. “And to improve quality of life, they need outdoor recreation, arts, and entertainment. All things that help keep and attract the working families we desperately need. The $40 million economic program we’re launching today will help you just that. This is something that my team work incredibly hard with the legislature to get accomplished to support capital investments that will help grow the economy.”

Images courtesy of Flickr/401kcalculator.org and Linkedin
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6 thoughts on “Vermont grant program focuses on economic revitalization

  1. Grant money, for all the ideas that are passed by sane money money management, projects that no community or organization would spend their own money on and couldn’t fool enogh people out of their money too!

    Free money they say!

    It is also the life line for corrupt non profits and crony capitalism, the first cousin to socialism.

  2. So in reality they don’t want economic stimulation the just want more reverse raciest money funneling. As with all leftist plans this will also be just a waste of money with near zero improvement of the economy..

  3. I am sorry but why are BIPOC people given priority over these taxpayer funds? Why aren’t all applications evaluated on equal terms? This amounts to race socialism. Knock everyone down intentionally, while lifting other preferred segments of the population. So according to my tally, BIPOC people get first access to critical health care as seen during COVID-19, BIPOC people qualify for their own interest free loans through the Vermont Housing Trust and last but not least, they qualify first for this benefit program. Disgusting and racist all at the same time! This state has created two classes of people in this state.

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