The Vermont Economy

The home for VPR's coverage of economic issues affecting the state of Vermont as well as business and industry developments across the region.

VPR reporter Bob Kinzel covers economic issues from the Statehouse Bureau in Montpelier. In addition, All Things Considered Host/Reporter Henry Epp covers business from Colchester.

Follow Bob Kinzel and Henry Epp on Twitter for the latest Vermont Economy news. 

Explore our coverage by topic or chronologically by scrolling through the list below

Aging Well | Homelessness & Housing | Dairy Industry | EB-5

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Have an economy-related news tip that requires investigation?

Reach out to VPR's Investigations Desk.

A hay bale sits in an open field near a tree, before a wall of green trees and low mist in the background.
Ambar Culhane / Unsplash

A wet, cold spring has made it difficult for farmers to get out in their fields and repair damage from this past winter. It's also meant that getting a good first cutting for hay has been delayed — or simply impossible — for many who rely on the forage to feed their herd through the winter. 

Bex Taylor / Flickr

I'll never forget a piece of graffiti that was prominent in downtown Brattleboro when I first moved here. It must have been considered art and not an eye sore, because no town or state official ever took it down. It said 'ROOT FOR THE UNDERDOG' - in letters six feet tall.

State Treasurer Beth Pearce
Angela Evancie / VPR file

In her eight years in office, State Treasurer Beth Pearce has pushed Vermont to tackle its critical financial issues head-on, like confronting the real costs of clean water programs and the state's multi-billion dollar retirement and pension obligations. We're talking with Treasurer Pearce about the state's fiscal outlook and why her office has gotten involved in some major environmental issues.

St. Albans City Manager Dominic Cloud
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Leaders in St. Albans have been sparring with Vermont's state auditor about the city's implementation of a downtown revitalization program. Doug Hoffer says the city isn't playing by the rules, while local officials say Hoffer is trying to change the rules partway through the game.

The Trow & Holden Company pictured in the 1920s (left), in the 1980s with fifth-generation president Norm Akley at the anvil (center), and a more recent photo showing Norm (left of the anvil) and current president Gina Akley (below and right of the anvil)
Trow & Holden Company, courtesy

What does it take to run a business not only successfully, but across generations? Is it any easier when your work family is also your actual family? We're talking about Vermont's family-run businesses and the trade-offs and challenges that come from keeping a company within the family.

Will Lambek, José Luis Cordova Herrera, and woman who identified herself as Olga, from left, testified in the Legislature in January. They say migrant farmworkers fear that local police will out them to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / The Times Argus

Research by a UVM anthropologist suggests that a majority of migrant farmworkers in Vermont face serious barriers to accessing nutritious food – in addition to other enormous challenges. We're talking to Teresa Mares about her new book Life On the Other Border: Farmworkers and Food Justice in Vermont.

The exterior of the Community College of Vermont, a brick building with CCV sign above door.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Time was that first year college students arrived on campus with their milk crates and graduated four years later. My parents were mortified that I took longer and bounced around between two institutions.

Howard Prussack, pictured holding a numerous hemp plants, owns High Meadows Farm, in Westminster West.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

There’s still some uncertainty around the federal and the state rules that regulate hemp — but as the market for CBD oil grows, there’s a lot of anticipation around what a good hemp crop could mean for Vermont’s economy.

Two F-35A jets flying over California.
Ben Margot / Associated Press

By 2023 the number of residents exposed to high levels of noise from Burlington International Airport will increase significantly, according to a new report published by the airport this week.

The study takes into account the arrival of new F-35 fighter jets, which are slated to be based at the airport starting later this year.

Gene Krebs / iStock

When I first reported that the rural cell phone service, CoverageCo, was about to go dark last year, most Vermonters probably weren’t that familiar with it. But folks in places like Whitingham, Readsboro and Townshend knew about it, because it was their only mobile service.

Sam Koslowsky carries a mattress at Landmark College.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

College graduates with a condition like autism or ADHD have often faced limited options when looking for work, but now there's a movement for businesses to recognize the benefits of neurodiversity and appreciate people who think differently.

Denise Stubbs of the Vermont Hemp Nursery stands among some plants at the Cannabis and Hemp Convention.
Emily Corwin / VPR

The Vermont Cannabis and Hemp Convention opened at the Champlain Valley Expo this weekend. The recreational use of marijuana has been legal in the state for almost a year. And this year's convention doubled in size from 63 vendors last year, to 130 this weekend.  Many at the convention said that growth mimics the growth of the industry at large. 

The Did It Work? logo in white text on a blue background with the VPR logo in the corner
Meg Malone / VPR

This week on All Things Considered, VPR host and reporter Henry Epp has been exploring a singular question about publicly-funded programs in Vermont, both big and small: "Did it work?"

The weeklong series follows up on a handful of initiatives over the past few years and looks how much bang — if any — Vermonters got for their buck.

Shacksbury Cider with Japanese labels.
Henry Epp / VPR

In 2015, Vermont's Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets secured $25,000 from a federal grant to help fund a trade mission to Japan. Leaders of eight small food producers, along with a few government employees, headed to Tokyo for four days in October 2016.

The goal was to drum up new business in an international market. So, a few years later, have those companies made sales to Japan?

A tractor rakes a field of asparagus
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

In 2015, the Agency of Agriculture teamed up with the Department of Tourism and Marketing to open a Vermont produce stand at the brand-new Boston Public Market. The two agencies saw the market stall as a way to promote Vermont tourism through the sales of Vermont food products — so what happened with this $25,000 state project?

Vermont's Gravel Roads Draw International Cyclists

May 13, 2019
Bike riders
Will Freihofer

Vermont has expanded its mountain biking trails over the last couple of decades, as a way to boost tourism. Now, a growing trend in cycling is bringing people to the state to ride its already-existing infrastructure: gravel roads.

A sign for the Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport sign
Nina Keck / VPR File

Two regional airlines are competing to provide passenger service for Rutland Southern Vermont Airport — and both companies promise state-of-the-art planes.

Sims

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time in the basement bathroom of a Greensboro church - for the fast internet. And I’m thankful for Spark, the new co-working space close to my house, where I know I can participate in video conferences.

The site of where a new mall is set to be built in downtown Burlington.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

The developers of Burlington’s downtown mall won’t say when construction on the much-delayed project will begin, but sought to reassure city councilors Monday night that they are making progress.

As baby boomers age and the workforce shrinks, there may not be enough people or money to care for all our elders, especially those with medical needs. In many ways, that reality has already arrived in Vermont.

A small but growing number of Vermont families are easing the burden by opening their homes to elderly strangers who need a lot of care.

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