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Take two minutes to learn about alcohol to-go in Vermont & how it helps our restaurants and businesses.
You can connect with our Vice President of Tourism Amy Spear at email@example.com.
The Legislature passed the most significant liquor law modernization bill in recent years. H.313 is awaiting Governor Scott’s signature and includes the Vermont Chamber and Vermont Independent Restaurants priority to extend the current pandemic-allowed alcohol to-go provisions until July 2023. While not a cure-all, the off-premises provision as passed will help the industry recoup some lost revenue and provide a service that customers have come to expect. According to a National Restaurant Association survey in 2019, 56% of all adults said they would order drinks with their to-go order from a restaurant, if permitted. Without a doubt, the pandemic has accelerated this trend. By January 2023, a report examining economic and public safety impacts will be submitted to the Legislature.
Other provisions impacting Vermont’s tourism and hospitality industry that made it over the finish line include reduced third-class license fees (from $1,095 to $230) for holders of a manufacturer or rectifier’s license, updates to festival permits which were made in collaboration with the industry, and the elimination of the requirement for 48-hours written notice to be given to the Division of Liquor Control for promotional tastings for licensees and for staff participating in the promotional tasting to be off duty for the rest of the day. Contact Vermont Chamber Vice President of Tourism Amy Spear with questions.
Vermont Chamber Director of Communications
Nate Formalarie, Communications Director
Agency of Commerce and Community Development
(802) 522-7323; firstname.lastname@example.org
Vaccine Clinics to be Held Across Vermont for Tourism and Hospitality Workers
“Ensuring Vermont’s hospitality industry is safe and healthy is crucial to our state’s recovery”
Montpelier, VT (May 13, 2021) – In partnership with the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing, the Vermont Department of Health will begin hosting walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinics for restaurant, hospitality, and tourism workers over the next week.
The initial wave of clinics will take place at seven locations, with each site offering Johnson & Johnson vaccines for tourism and hospitality workers on a walk-in basis. Clinics will be staged at restaurants, lodging properties, ski resorts, and other tourism attractions to bring the vaccine directly to the workers in this sector.
Vermont was recently ranked first in the nation for its COVID-19 vaccination rate, and more than 628,000 doses have been administered throughout the state. Governor Phil Scott’s Vermont Forward Plan for reopening is dependent upon Vermonters doing their part and getting vaccinated as soon as they can. These upcoming sector-specific vaccine clinics will make accessing the vaccine easier for hospitality workers and help Vermont continue on the path to fully reopen by July 4th.
“The hospitality sector is eager to welcome guests back to our businesses,” said Jed Davis, owner of the Farmhouse Group of restaurants. “Providing ease of access to our industry workers and employees recognizes the important role our teams play in the social and economic recovery of Vermont.”
“Ensuring Vermont’s hospitality industry is safe and healthy is crucial to our state’s recovery,” said Amy Spear, Vermont Chamber Vice President of Tourism. “Employees in the industry maintain a high level of contact with the public and often work hours not conducive to traditional vaccine appointment times. These clinics will make vaccines more accessible to the tourism and hospitality workers who provide welcoming, world-class experiences for Vermonters and visitors alike.”
“As the state looks forward to the next phases of reopening, making sure vaccines are easily available will be key,” said VDTM Commissioner Heather Pelham. “We are all eager to enjoy gathering together at events and meeting up with friends and family at our local restaurants. With this extra support for the tourism industry, we can help make sure everyone stays safe, as we welcome back visitors to the state and work to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19.”
The first wave of clinics will be in Waterbury, Woodstock, Waitsfield, Windsor, South Burlington, Middlebury, and Warren. To see all dates, times, and locations for these tourism and hospitality worker vaccine clinics, please visit the ACCD Recovery Resource Center.
More than a dozen additional clinics, including in Rutland, Killington, Stowe, and Vergennes, are being planned now and will be added as details are confirmed. If a tourism or hospitality business would like to host a clinic for industry employees in their area, please contact Amy Spear at email@example.com
About the Vermont Chamber of Commerce
As the largest statewide, private, not-for-profit business organization, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce represents every sector of the state’s business community. Its mission is to create an economic climate conducive to business growth and the preservation of the Vermont quality of life.
About the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing
The Department of Tourism and Marketing promotes Vermont’s travel, recreation, cultural and historic attractions, as well as the state’s goods and services, in coordination with public and private sector partners. The department also works to market to a global audience in a manner consistent with the values and traditions of the state for the economic benefit of all Vermonters. VermontVacation.com
Vermont and the nation are experiencing an unprecedented public health emergency, coupled with an abrupt economic downturn.
Our thousands of statewide businesses and their employees and families across all industries are facing hardships. Even in the face of significant challenges, Vermont businesses have shown compassion, innovation, and care for their communities.
Below are examples of Vermont businesses and organizations helping during the pandemic:
Retailers and grocers are making extraordinary changes to the way they do business in order to ensure the safety of their staff and customers. The Vermont Retail and Grocers Association is updating this list of what retailers and grocers throughout the state are doing to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Services range from delivery to curbside pickup and designated shopping hours for vulnerable populations.
To support the fight against COVID-19, the Vermont Chamber, partnering with state and federal government agencies, engaged manufacturers to quickly locate urgently needed medical supplies and to identify manufacturers who could retrofit and adapt their operations to manufacture essential personal protective equipment (PPE), medical devices, and life-saving medicines. Many Vermont manufacturers are stepping up to make medical protective gear.
Additionally, businesses looking to donate PPE (personal protective equipment) are advised:
The Vermont Chamber of Commerce is determined to continue ensuring the well-being of Vermont’s business community during these unique and trying times. Please contact us if you have any questions, and access our COVID-19 Resources page for the latest information and resources for businesses.
The Joint Fiscal Committee met this morning and unanimously approved the Scott Administration’s proposal to dedicate $75 million of unallocated remaining Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars to relief grants for the lodging and restaurant industry.
The Vermont Chamber advocated for the release of these funds to help address the overwhelming unmet financial need businesses continue to face because of COVID-19 operating restrictions and the resultant economic downturn. The Vermont Chamber’s efforts were bolstered by the restaurant and lodging sectors that mobilized to express widespread support for the proposal to authorize the funds.
Vermont Chamber Vice President of Tourism Amy Spear said, “Authorizing these funds was essential to the survival of lodging and restaurant entities that continue to grapple with the staggering economic impact of COVID-19. We are very appreciative of the Scott Administration and Joint Fiscal Committee’s work to advance this much needed additional relief for Vermont businesses.”
As the state partner for the National Restaurant Association and the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce has expanded its educational resources for the restaurant and lodging industry. Tourism professionals now have access to more than seven complimentary professional development offerings.
Educational opportunities include:
ServSafe has been the industry standard for food and alcohol safety training and certification for 30 years. Hospitality organizations and schools rely on AHLEI for quality resources to train, educate, and certify hospitality professionals.
Describing the expanded offerings, Vermont Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Tourism Amy Spear said, “Vermont and the nation are in the midst of an unprecedented public health emergency, with significant stress being placed on the tourism industry. The Vermont Chamber is committed to helping the state’s restaurants and lodging properties recover and strengthening the tourism industry.”
The Vermont Chamber will continue to work with hospitality sector associations to provide resources for tourism industry employees and will advocate for measures that help Vermont businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Congressman Peter Welch heard from over 150 businesses in the state’s tourism industry during a remote Vermont Chamber Tourism Town Hall on April 2 about how COVID-19 is affecting Vermont. The Town Hall, recorded here, was an opportunity for tourism businesses to further Congressman Welch’s understanding of COVID-19’s impact, share ideas, and help shape what future assistance will look like.
Congressman Welch thoughtfully responded to questions submitted by registrants and committed to taking the issues and ideas back to Congress with him.
Congressman Welch said, “It’s a hard time in Vermont and around the world as we face the COVID-19 pandemic together. Public health rightly remains the urgent priority of legislators, but it is also our responsibility to help Vermont’s businesses survive. Vermont’s tourism businesses are owned by our neighbors, our friends, and our families. We need to listen carefully to their concerns and be strong advocates during these challenging times.”
The industry asked Congressman Welch to help them with grant funding rather than loans to help them re-open and re-hire once the Stay Home, Stay Safe order is lifted. Other issues were funding tourism promotion during the recovery, addressing the disincentive to return to work in the new unemployment insurance law, and speeding up the access to SBA loans.
Amy Spear said, “Tourism represents one of the largest contributions of out-of-state money into the state’s economy, bringing significant revenue to communities statewide. When our tourism industry is impacted, as it is now by COVID-19, the impact is felt throughout Vermont. The Vermont Chamber is hard at work keeping tourism businesses informed of changes to the way they do business and pushing for financial and regulatory relief to keep the industry on solid ground.”