VBSR Launches ClimateReadyVT, Free Program Supporting Small Business Climate Resilience
Burlington, Vt. (October 3, 2023) – Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR), the statewide, nonprofit business association advancing a just, thriving, and transformative economy that works for all people and the planet, has launched ClimateReadyVT, a new, free program designed to help small businesses in Vermont adapt to our changing climate and build resilience to climate-related business interruptions. Registration is open and the cohort will convene starting in early November.
With nearly three decades of experience developing public policy and educational programming addressing climate mitigation, as well as a history of bringing businesses together for peer learning and collective action, VBSR brings a depth and breadth of experience to a central challenge of this moment: expeditiously and effectively responding to the impacts of climate change on Vermont’s small businesses and the broader economy in which they are a part.
“The role small businesses serve in Vermont’s economy cannot be underestimated. Recent natural disasters, climate-related public health threats, and severe weather have had a disproportionate impact on small businesses, and especially those in our rural towns,” said VBSR’s Executive Director, Roxanne Vought. “VBSR is pleased to be able to offer ClimateReadyVT free-of-charge to the small businesses in Vermont who provide critical goods, services and local jobs while bolstering the vitality of our communities. We do this to advance climate justice, support our membership – the majority of which have fewer than 50 employees – and deliver on our commitment to sustainable economic development in Vermont.”
ClimateReadyVT is open to any business located in Vermont with 50 employees or fewer who seek to adapt their business to the changing climate and prepare for the next climate-related business disruption with the support of expert facilitators, a community of peer business owners/managers, leading-edge resources, and a network of business support organizations.
20 businesses will participate in the inaugural cohort, with priority given to businesses that are BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and woman owned/managed, as well as those located in rural Vermont.
Over eight virtual sessions and one in-person session, small businesses will complete a climate risk assessment, identify hazard mitigation strategies, become familiar with government resources and professional services, understand how best to support their teams during businesses disruptions, learn about tools and methods for sustaining mental health and wellness, and develop a customized “Road Map to Resilience” for their business.
VBSR has engaged Reframe Lab to co-create and facilitate ClimateReadyVT’s programming in partnership with state and national strategists and practitioners of climate adaptation and resilience. Reframe’s human-centered approach helps organizations large and small manage the complexity of change, make space for innovation, and thrive through transformation.
ClimateReadyVT is generously supported by Mascoma Bank, a certified B Corporation and community-focused bank committed to being a force for positive change. The program is also supported by corporate and individual contributors to VBSR’s Expanding Our Movement Fund.
VBSR is a statewide, non-profit business association with a mission to leverage the power of business for positive social and environmental impact. VBSR’s 700 member businesses and organizations strive toward a just, thriving, and transformative economy that works for all people and the planet through shared learning, building connections, and collective action. Learn more or join the cause at www.vbsr.org.
Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) is an official partner of ClimateReadyVT.