VBSR Member News Round Up – 10/25/23

Vermont Community Loan Fund: In the third quarter of 2023, the Vermont Community Loan Fund (VCLF) loaned $3,729,400 to Vermont small businesses, Black & Indigenous Vermonter owned (BIPOC) businesses, family farms, early care & learning programs, community facilities and affordable housing developers. One of those VCLF borrowers was North Star Community Hall, previously known as the Goethe Lodge, an historic community hub – and its restoration, currently underway, has been made possible with financing from VCLF. Learn more here.

Casella: Nearly one year ago, Champion Member Casella reached out to Vermonters in and around Burlington with an invitation to innovate through a new program called TerraCycle Pouch by Casella. TerraCycle Pouch is a convenient curbside recycling service for 20 categories of items that do not belong in your curbside recycling bin. Now, with almost a full year of the program, Casella says early adopters have helped them innovate even more. New elements – including drop-off options outside the pilot area and business services – are being adopted based on key learnings. Learn more here.

Ben & Jerry’s and Green Mountain Power: The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Champion Member Green Mountain Power awarded more than $160,000 in funding and incentive payments to help Champion Member Ben & Jerry’s purchase two new electric vehicles for its factories in St. Albans and Waterbury, Vermont. These electric vehicles, called yard trucks, will help improve air quality and reduce Vermont’s carbon footprint. Learn more here.

Lawson’s Finest Liquids: Champion Member Lawson’s Finest Liquids recently announced that they have achieved their goal of 100% solar powered beer and brewery operations. This landmark is the culmination of years of thoughtful planning and investment in sustainable energy, which includes the largest solar canopy in Vermont. These solar efforts will help the state achieve its goal of reaching 90% renewable energy by 2050. Learn more here.

Vermont Brewers Association: The Vermont Brewers Association is holding its first annual craft brewers conference in Burlington on November 9th & 10th. Expect keynote speakers, panel discussions, sensory trainings, an exhibition hall with 50 booths, and plenty of time for networking. This event will feature a Green Brewery Practices panel that includes Pat Haller of Champion Member VEIC and Sean Lawson of Champion Member Lawson’s Finest Liquids. Learn more here.

St. Michael’s College: Brian Collier, a professor of art and design at St. Michael’s College, wants to “unlawn” America, beginning in Vermont. Unlawning involves allowing at least a portion of your mowed and manicured lawn to return to its natural state of wild plants and flowers, a welcoming and supportive habitat for Vermont’s threatened pollinators, mostly bees, which have been losing habitat at an alarming rate. What can you (and your lawn) do about it? Learn more here.

Green Mountain Power (GMP): Under the leadership of Mari McClure, CEO and president, Champion Member Green Mountain Power is transitioning from a traditional utility into a technology company. A recent profile piece in VermontBiz details how McClure and GMP are thriving at the revolutionary edge of our energy future. Learn more here.

Flexible Capital Fund: Janice St. Onge, president of the Flexible Capital Fund, recently had a conversation with the Just Economy Institute (JEI), an organization that connects, supports and educates leaders who are working to shift the flow of capital and power to solve pressing social and environmental problems. A former JEI fellow, St. Onge discusses strategies for building community wealth and more. Learn more here.