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 small house in the foreground casts a shadow of a much larger house in the background, suggesting downsizing and transitioning.
Charlie AJA / iStock

Seniors downsizing a home often face a difficult and emotional transition from a larger house — one that may have been "home" for years — to a smaller apartment or into some form of a senior community. We're talking about what such a move entails and how to plan for it. And what's involved in sorting through a lifetime of possessions and choosing what to donate, sell, recycle or keep.

woman shops at vegetable stand at a Rutland farmers market
Nina Keck / vpr

According to the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, about 65 farmers markets operate in the state – down from a high of more than 80 a few years ago. Farmers say fewer markets is not necessarily a bad thing, but they say remaining markets need to do more to compete and grow.

Listeners ask a lot of questions. And VPR's Brave Little State is there to find answers. 

With record low unemployment and positive business indicators, we'll look at how Vermonters are doing in today's economic environment.
bgblue / iStock

Economic indicators paint a pretty rosy picture for the country and for Vermont. Take record low unemployment for instance. So how does that translate for the average Vermonter to buy a home or pay rent? To pay for food and clothing? Or send kids to school or child care? We'll hear how Vermonters are faring while the economy appears to be robust.

A registered grower plants hemp in a Charlotte field on July 3, 2019. The number of registered hemp growers in Vermont has more than doubled since last year.
Elodie Reed / VPR

The acres of hemp being grown in Vermont, as well as the number of people registered to grow or process the crop in the state, have all more than doubled in the last year. But a late growing season and potential bottlenecks to harvesting and processing the plant pose looming challenges. We're talking with growers and state regulators about Vermont's booming — if fledgling — hemp industry.

Map of a ski mountain.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR File

Late last month, Vail Resorts — which owns the Stowe Mountain and Okemo Mountain resorts — announced plans to buy Peak Resorts, another industry giant, which owns Mount Snow.

A hospital.
Stina Booth Photography, Courtesy

Six of Vermont’s 14 hospitals will end this year with a deficit, according to reports submitted recently to the Green Mountain Care Board.  And as the losses mount, some hospitals are seeking steep rate increases this year.

A July 3, 1928 photograph of reconstruction of the Winooski Bridge after the 1927 flood, looking toward Winooski with the Champlain Mill in the background.
L. L. McAllister / UVM Howe Library Special Collections via Vermont Green Mountain Digital Archive

It's an issue the Green Mountain State has grappled with for generations: how can Vermont develop its economy and attract new workers without losing the qualities that make Vermont, well, Vermont? We're talking about this "paradox of development," how Vermont has attempted to answer these questions in the past, and what that history can teach communities in Vermont today.

Photo of Killington ski resorts current K-1 base lodge behind mounds of dirt and large construction machinery.
Nina Keck / VPR

Killington ski resort has begun construction on a new $29 million base lodge. It's the latest in a series of big investments the ski area has made in recent years and one of many upgrades happening at ski areas statewide.

An apartment building under construction.
Elodie Reed / VPR

Public officials and developers say restrictions and local opposition to development has created a housing crunch in Vermont's biggest city.

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

“Did It work?” It’s a question rarely asked after publicly-funded programs launch. But long after the headlines fade and promises are made, how do we know if those public dollars actually made a difference? Vermont Edition features five stories from VPR's investigative series "Did It Work?" asking the question about electric vehicle incentives, efforts to bring Vermont products to Japan and more.

 

Three musicians - one with a cello, one at a piano and one vocalist - inside of a barn.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The Yellow Barn music festival in Putney is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Map of a ski mountain.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR File

Vail Resorts, Inc. announced Monday that it has entered into a merger agreement with the company that owns Mount Snow and 16 other ski areas in the Northeast and Midwest.

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

The CityPlace Burlington project is facing more delays as developers appear to be scaling back the proposed redevelopment in the city's downtown core.

Interior of the Vermont Salt Cave in Montgomery Center
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

The rural Franklin County town of Montgomery is earning a reputation as a destination for people seeking alternative wellness options. It all started nearly three years ago with the opening of the Vermont Salt Cave.

Housing Vermont

Trying to rent an apartment in Vermont can be frustrating, given the shortage of apartments and the high monthly rents. And once people discover how expensive housing in Vermont has become, some potential employees turn down otherwise attractive, job offers. Representative Peter Welch has joined with a number of Democratic and Republican colleagues to co-sponsor a bill that aims to increase the Low Income Housing Tax Credit or LIHTC by 50%.

The NeighborWorks sign outside of a brick building
Nina Keck / VPR

Vermont is known for its historic village architecture and quaint rural farmhouses, but the charm often wears off when you're trying to buy one of those old houses and realize how much it'll cost to fix up.

A pilot effort in Arlington is trying to make home renovations more affordable for working families, and proponents believe it will also help area employers.

Cement barries and signs covering a fence with the word "shop."
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

The Burlington CityPlace project — a proposed redevelopment of the downtown mall — has had a tumultuous history. We've laid out a timeline of notable milestones in the still-uncompleted project's lifespan.

Moats: Growing Vermont

Jul 17, 2019
William Moats Sr.

Most Vermonters know by now that ours is the second oldest population of all the states — after Maine's — and the need to keep young people here and attract new ones is widely understood and accepted. We're also a small state where growth is relatively slow, opportunity not boundless and housing hard to come by. In addition, our rural character makes a lot of people wary of unchecked sprawl, and so people here often view economic growth as a mixed blessing.

The empty site of the proposed mall redevelopment in downtown Burlington.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

After years of delays and broken promises, the Burlington city council apparently learned of more problems with the $200 million CityPlace redevelopment project Monday night. So far, however, no details have been shared with the public.

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