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 photo of tall buildings in downtown brattleboro from behind, with steeples visible against a green hillside and blue sky in the backdrop.
Denis Tangney Jr. / iStock

A refugee resettlement group hopes Brattleboro will be home to a new pilot  program that aims to resettle  refugees in smaller, more rural communities across the United States.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Vermont’s housing market, which was tight before the pandemic, has gotten even worse. The number of homes available in Vermont dropped by almost 70% over the past year, according to the Vermont Association of Realtors.

A view of baseball being played at Centennial Field in Burlington, Vermont.
Paul Stanfield / Vermont Lake Monsters

Baseball is coming back to Burlington this weekend. For the first time since 2019, the Vermont Lake Monsters will take the field. And since then, much has changed for the organization off the field.

Two men, one wearing a gray long-sleeved shirt, the other a moss-green puffy down jacket, stand outside of a red building with white trim.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

A lot of people grew hemp in 2019, thinking there would be easy money to be made in the CBD industry. However, the market crashed that year due to oversupply, and the number of growers in Vermont has plummeted since then.

School consolidation forces longer bus rides. Plus, a debate over how to spend federal COVID relief, and bird migration.

Starting a doughnut business during the pandemic. Plus, Scott signs the LGBTQ+ ‘panic defense’ bill, a call for more aid for BIPOC-owned restaurants, and deer teeth.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

All over Vermont small, family-owned sugarhouses lie tucked into hillsides. Some haven’t been used in decades and at others, families are still producing maple syrup like they have for generations.

Paper house model cover by a mask isolated on blue background stock photo.
fongfong2 / iStock

If you've been trying to buy a home in Vermont recently, you may have already learned this the hard way: it’s not an easy process during the pandemic.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Romaine Tenney killed himself in 1964, when the federal government was seizing his farm to build Interstate 91. A single maple tree was left on the land to remember Tenney, but the tree was removed last week because it was dying.

The GameStop stock, as seen on the popular Robinhood app, fluctuates in price Tuesday morning after soaring in value last week. Vermonters are among the traders taking part in this Reddit-fueled rally for the popular video game retailer.
Robinhood, courtesy

A band of day-trading internet users on the popular website Reddit have pummeled Wall Street by gobbling up the stock of GameStop, a brick-and-mortar video game retail chain. Many Redditors grabbed the stock for just a few dollars before it skyrocketed in value to more than $300 a share. Their gain was nothing but pain for some hedge funds and others on Wall Street. But what’s motivating these rebel investors?

A woman and two kids stand next to a black minivan with a painted message about saving small schools, parked in a pole barn.
Abagael Giles / VPR

When lawmakers passed Act 46 they knew it would probably lead to some small schools closing. They also knew that the law, which encouraged school districts to merge, would kick up some tough discussions about education equity and property taxes.

The U.S. hotel industry suffered its worst year on record in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic severely crimped business travel and Americans gave up on vacations to stay at home.

Hotels hit all-time lows in occupancy and in revenue per available room last year, according to data provider STR.

A woman and her son in face masks, leaning together and looking at the camera, with a door behind them.
Elodie Reed / VPR

The pandemic has upended our daily lives and pushed people into tenuous financial situations. Many are making enough for the essentials but extra expenses, reduced income and isolation from loved ones has created anxiety about the future.

An empty stage and auditoirium with wood floors
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The COVID relief package that President Trump signed this weekend includes $15 billion for live music and theater venues. The news means some of the people who run bars, theaters and music halls across Vermont have a new source of hope that they will eventually be able to reopen.

People in winter gear waiting in line
Abagael Giles / VPR

The recent winter storm brought a deluge of snow to southern parts of Vermont, and with it lots of skiers. Pictures circulating on social media showed crowded lift areas and resort parking lots full of cars with out-of-state license plates.

A multi-colored sign reads Lets Grow Kids against a brick building wall
Elodie Reed / VPR

A new poll commissioned by one of the state’s leading child care advocacy organizations shows broad public support for increased state funding for Vermont’s child care system.

A conversation with the incoming Essex-Caledonia state representative. Plus, restaurants worry as winter sets in, money for broadband expansion, and a call for more stimulus money.

Bluebird Barbecue, a white building with string lights on its eaves, in the snow
Abagael Giles / VPR

Restaurants that rely on dine-in customers have had a rough year, to say the least. Indoor dining is still allowed in Vermont, but some establishments have chosen to offer only takeout and delivery or they've closed altogether – some for the foreseeable future and some permanently.

A sign reading north 139 and Canada Border 2 miles with a holiday wreath hung up next to it
Elodie Reed / VPR

In the heart of this strange, sad holiday season, businesses and families continue to navigate the ongoing border closure between Vermont and Canada. So how are they doing?

A red brick building at the corner of an intersection with murals on the sides of it
Elodie Reed / VPR

If you've ever driven through the Old North End of Burlington, you've no doubt seen it, the market that sits at the corner of North Street and North Winooski Avenue, a brick building boasting brightly painted murals, one featuring boxing champ Muhammad Ali.