The old saying goes, April showers bring May blossoms, you couldn’t wait any longer than now during a spike in area covidus cases. Everyone I speak to expresses their desire for a return to the movement and the pre-pandemic energy that fueled the creativity, economy and quality of life in our region. While the pandemic has led to an increase in micro-businesses, existing small physical businesses have been hit by the lack of regular foot traffic and capacity limits. April Showers Bring May Blossoms is a lesson in patience and a lesson that is relevant today because with the most unpleasant things that too will pass.
The North East Kingdom Chamber of Commerce is moving to a new location this weekend and will hold official office hours Monday at Mathewson House on the Lyndon Institute campus. NEK Chamber Executive Director Darcie McCann said: “The Chamber made the decision to relocate this summer but has held firm during the pandemic. The new location offers more benefits for engaging with the community, for partnering with educational institutions on the workforce, and for providing observation services with local professionals. We can be a bigger business advocate. The NEK Chamber is an efficient tourism resource, as well as a business resource active in eliminating bureaucracy. Darcie added: “Members have told me, ‘You know we will need you more than ever when the pandemic is over.’ The House has never been more necessary than it is today. We take this responsibility very seriously. The Mathewson House office offers a welcoming business space with conference space and a full kitchen. Darcie is hoping to be able to bake her famous cookies from her desk for the first time rather than coming home between meetings and events. From the office of Darcie, which was the former office of Gordon Mills, co-founder of EHV Industries, now known as WEIDMANN Electrical Technology Inc., she is thrilled to be able to have genuine conversations in the new framework that offers privacy and accessibility with general and disabled parking. The NEK Room Office in the Mathewson House is on the first floor, suite to the right, conveniently located behind the Lyndon Center Post Office. Darcie and the NEK Chamber Board of Directors are grateful to Green Mountain Mall owner Mark Healy for his support and friendship. Darcie shared a motivational quote that has guided her through this past year: You don’t bounce, you bounce forward. The North East Kingdom Chamber of Commerce has rebounded to a new office location at 78 Matty House Circle in Lyndon Center. Contact General Manager Darcie McCann at (802) 748-3678 and visit the website for more information www.nekchamber.com.
Open for business! True North Salon and Day Spa is now open at 347 Main Street in Franconia. Owners Katelyn Mosher and Cait Bouchard have extensive experience in the salon and spa industry and are delighted to offer a range of services including hair styling, coloring, straightening treatments, facial hair removal, shades and eyelash lifts, manicures and pedicures. Katelyn shared, “We are delighted to welcome guests to the True North Day Spa & Salon! Masks are mandatory and we strictly follow all Covid safety guidelines. Cait and Katelyn credit Presby Construction of Franconia for the renovations. Contact True North Salon and Day Spa at (603) 823-2029 and [email protected].
The Northeastern Vermont Development Association (NVDA) recently announced opportunities for the NEK community, including grants and loan programs. The SBA Restaurant Revitalization Fund will be available soon. An eligible restaurant business may receive a non-taxable federal grant equal to the amount of its pandemic-related revenue loss, calculated by subtracting 2020 gross revenue from 2019 gross revenue. For more information, visit www.restaurantsact.com. In addition, the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) was established by the Affected Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Sites Economic Assistance Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. Administered by the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Bureau, it includes $ 16 billion in grants for closed sites. Eligible applicants may be eligible for a grant equal to 45% of their gross earned income, with a maximum amount available for a single grant of $ 10 million. The program is expected to open at the beginning of April; further information is available on the SBA website under SVO Grant. The Northern VT Recovery Loan Fund (NVRLF) is a revolving loan program designed to support business owners with a fund offering flexible terms and low or no cost debt financing, as well as business coaching services. Loans are available for businesses in a variety of sectors, including manufacturing, tourism, forestry and wood products, agriculture, education, nonprofits, and other drivers of rural economic development. Additional information is available on the Vermont Community Loan Fund website at www.investinvermont.com
If you have any business news and / or a new business discovery that you would like to share, please send an email to [email protected]. I am always happy to highlight your business and our shared region.