Helping our member businesses get the information and support they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Vermont Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to supporting businesses impacted by the coronavirus. Vermont and federal recommendations are evolving, and public officials are working to communicate guidance for businesses and assistance available. The Vermont Chamber is tracking important updates related to the pandemic that impact businesses and employers.
Vermont Chamber Membership
Now, more than ever, many Vermont business owners are benefiting from the resources provided by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. To help member businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19, the Vermont Chamber developed the Building Bridges Fund to help businesses continue to participate in the Chamber’s advocacy, education, and marketing programs. Click the button below to learn more.
Get the Resources You Need
Click the sections below for information and resources. This page is regularly updated. Please also follow the Vermont Department of Health, the Vermont Department of Mental Health, Vermont Governor Phil Scott, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for updates on COVID-19 and for public health guidelines and resources.
- Vaccine information
The Vermont Health Department is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other partners to distribute vaccines. Learn about vaccination, the health department’s weekly email updates, and other information about COVID-19 in Vermont. Find vaccine information in multiple languages here. In partnership with the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing, the Vermont Department of Health hosted walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinics for restaurant, hospitality, and tourism workers.
- Safely operating
In June of 2021, Governor Scott lifted remaining pandemic-related restrictions, after Vermont reached its 80 percent vaccination benchmark. The Vermont Department of Health has resources to help businesses operate safely, including steps for employers if someone tests positive for COVID-19.
- Vermont Chamber supporting recovery
Vermont Chamber advocacy influenced a substantial business relief package. The Chamber then worked with the Legislature to advance $176 million in state relief for emergency business grants and economic recovery assistance. The Chamber continues to advocate for timely and targeted business relief and recently launched the Building Bridges Fund to help impacted businesses continue to participate in our advocacy, education, and promotion programs. In November, the Vermont Chamber helped secure an additional $75 million for business relief. In December, the Chamber helped secure $11.5 million more for recovery grants. Chamber President Betsy Bishop published an op-ed on the path forward for Vermont businesses, including policy recommendations. Chamber Vice President of Business Development Chris Carrigan is serving on a sub-taskforce for Vermont’s manufacturing sector and Chamber Vice President of Tourism Amy Spear is supporting the restaurant and lodging leaders planning economic recovery in the state. Several Chamber members are directing recovery efforts as part of Gov. Scott’s Economic Mitigation and Recovery Task Force action teams. Additionally, the Vermont Chamber launched a Solutions Hub to collect policy suggestions to help businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic and afterward, and a Passport to Recovery portal where timely economic, sales and marketing, health, and workforce webinars were shared with our statewide membership and beyond. In partnership with the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing, the Vermont Department of Health hosted walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinics for restaurant, hospitality, and tourism workers in May and June.
- Latest guidance
In June of 2021, Governor Scott lifted remaining pandemic-related restrictions, after Vermont reached its 80 percent vaccination benchmark. The Vermont Department of Health has resources to help businesses operate safely, including steps for employers if someone tests positive for COVID-19. Visit the Vermont Forward Plan for information on traveling to Vermont and for guidance for Vermonters traveling out of state.
- Navigating a remote or hybrid workplace
Below are resources to help with remote work planning.
- With guidance from member Paul Frank and Collins, the Vermont Chamber published a questions and answers sheet highlighting newly permitted or mandated employer practices
- Interim guidance for businesses and employers responding to COVID-19 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Telework guidelines and basics for all employers and employees (State of Vermont)
- Securing relief
On behalf of Vermont businesses, the Chamber is on the ground advocating for financial assistance and regulatory relief from COVID-19 impact. Vermont Chamber advocacy secured more than $300 million in economic relief for Vermont businesses, including through a substantial business relief package and subsequent $176 million in state relief for emergency grants and economic recovery assistance. In November and December, the Vermont Chamber helped secure an additional $75 million for business relief and $11.5 million more for recovery grants. The Chamber also pushed for Department of Taxes action that relieved businesses from meals and rooms tax filing and penalty deadlines for March and April payments, and worked with the Legislature to ensure employer unemployment experience ratings are not impacted by furloughs resulting from COVID-19. Congressman Peter Welch joined the Vermont Chamber for a remote Tourism Town Hall where he heard from over 150 businesses in the industry and took their issues and ideas back to Congress with him. After the Chamber urged the Governor to allow future reservations, lodging businesses were allowed to re-engage their online systems to book guests. Since January 2020, the Vermont Chamber has held more than 25 interactive, educational events with Vermont leaders, and welcomed more than 1,600 attendees, including at a virtual policy series and virtual Economic Conference.
- Tracking legislation
Vermont Chamber Government Affairs Director Charles Martin is tracking legislative proposals and new policy related to the novel coronavirus. Contact Charles at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to receive our weekly State to Main newsletter during legislative sessions.
- Serving as expert contacts
Whether you have questions about tax policy, liquor regulation, unemployment for your workforce, or other issues you’re facing as an employer, the Vermont Chamber is available to help you. Please contact email@example.com to be connected with staff.
- Help for impacted businesses
- Vermont Economic Recovery Bridge Program
- Expanded Vermont Emergency Economic Recovery Grants
- Vermont’s CDBG Sole Proprietor stabilization grant program
- Guide to Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) assistance
- Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) resources for small businesses
- COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide
- Save Small Business Fund – initiative offering short-term relief for small employers
- Vermont Department of Labor virtual Town Hall series
- US Small Business Administration guidance and loan resources
- IRS COVID-19 tax relief guidance
- SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans
- Resources by industry
The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development has sector-specific guidance collected here. The Vermont Department of Public Health created a guide for food and lodging businesses. ServSafe created reopening guidance and free training to help restaurants reopen. The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) released Safe Stay guidelines for industry-wide hotel cleaning standards. Sysco created a page with tools to help food service businesses be successful and safe. The National Association of Manufacturers is offering industry-specific resources here.
- Help for impacted businesses