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Success Stories

By Danny Monahan
Small Business Administration Vermont District Office

Comedy, circus and music are hallmarks of a vaudeville show and for 12 years a Greensboro Vermont troupe’s act has stayed true to those entertainment roots.

Vermont Vaudeville is a variety show made up of several unrelated acts featuring everything from jugglers and magicians to dancers and singers.

“It’s for all ages and we have built quite an audience over the years. All demographics show up. It’s a really fun show,” said Maya McCoy, managing director and founder of Vermont Vaudeville.

Established in 2009 the troupe has a cast of seven members and has worked with more than 80 guest acts in more than 20 different theaters, although Vermont Vaudeville primarily performs at the Hardwick Town House, a theater built in 1860 that hosted various acts during Vaudeville’s heyday.

“We were inspired by Circus Smirkus, Bread & Puppet Theater, and other rural New England theater... Read More

By Danny Monahan
Small Business Administration Vermont District Office

A recipient of one of the largest Shuttered Venue Operator Grants awarded in Vermont is scheduled to host its grand re-opening Thursday evening in Burlington.

The Vermont Comedy Club, founded and owned by Nathan Hartswick and Natalie Miller in 2015, was awarded a $408,319.65 SVOG.

The SVOG Program is overseen by the Small Business Administration and its purpose is to provide emergency grants to eligible live venues affected by COVID-19. More than $16.2 billion was appropriated for grants via the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act and the American Rescue Plan Act. Eligible applicants could qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue up to a maximum amount of $10 million for a single grant. 

Miller said she had a range of emotions when she was notified in July that the Vermont Comedy club was awarded a grant.

“Relief,... Read More

By Danny Monahan
SBA Vermont District Office

Established in 1749, Vermont’s first chartered town exudes history and charm. It’s the former home and burial site of one of America’s most celebrated poets, Robert Frost. The tallest manmade structure in the state was erected in town to commemorate a major turning point in the Revolutionary War, The Bennington Battle Monument.

In the spring, Bennington updated a historical downtown block when it renovated three buildings constructed in 1870s to restore the area and revitalize its downtown economy. The first phase of the Putnam Block Redevelopment, a $31 million project, is for offices, retail and residential. It’s fitting one of the historic Putnam Block’s first tenants is Vermont’s oldest independent bookstore.

“We wanted to be part of this exciting new development and all that it promises for Bennington. We also wanted to demonstrate our commitment to the town by investing in the new space. We have been... Read More

When Covid-19 started to become a full-blown pandemic in the United States in mid-March, one of the darkest outlooks was how America’s small business sector would fare.

Main Street staples such as movie theaters, bars, restaurants, bookstores and clothing shops shuddered their doors nearly overnight.

“Our initial reaction first and foremost was the health and safety of our employees,” said Minty Conant, Caledonia Spirits owner and special projects manager. Caledonia Spirits is a distillery and bar in Montpelier. “How do we keep everyone safe? Secondly, do we shut down all of our retail and bar operations. Bars and restaurants around the country were shut down as well– we were concerned for our survival as a business.  The uncertainty was extremely stressful.”

By March 27 the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, a $2.2 trillion economic relief bill, was signed into law and one of its primary provisions was the Paycheck Protection Program. PPP... Read More

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