Vermont Emergency Economic Recovery Grants Available Now!

The Vermont legislature passed two major pieces of legislation that will deliver financial resources to Vermont businesses and nonprofits hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that both bills have been signed into law, Vermonters have access to a suite of economic recovery grants to help them adapt and endure these challenging times.

  • Act 115: Creates a $70 million grant program for employers that experienced a 75% loss in revenue or more for any one month between March 1 and August 31, 2020, as compared to sales in the same month last year. Businesses that collect rooms and meals taxes, such as restaurants, bars, and lodging establishments, are set to receive $50 million in grants while other businesses will receive the remaining $20 million.
  • H. 966:  Includes an additional $96 million in economic recovery grants including set asides for…
    • Women-and Minority-Owned Businesses
    • Non-Profit Arts and Cultural Organizations
    • Outdoor Recreation Businesses
    • Restaurants, bars, and lodging establishments
    • Other Businesses

The application process for these grants is now open. Given the limited funding available and high anticipated demand, we are strongly encouraging businesses to apply as soon as possible. Every business or nonprofit org can apply using the same portal and process housed at the Agency of Commerce and Community Development’s website.

*VBSR will continue to update this page as more resources become available.

Important Notes

  • Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • The maximum grant amount is $50,000. Grant awards will be calculated based on 10% of annual sales or annual total revenue, depending on the grant.
  • Applicants must demonstrate of a 50% or greater revenue loss in any one-month period from March 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020, when compared with the same month in 2019.
  • With the exception of Women-and-Minority-Owned businesses, applicants will need to have one or more W-2 employees. 
  • Businesses can only receive one Vermont Economic Recovery grant. 
  • For the full list of eligibility criteria, application information, and grant terms check out ACCD’s website here.

Women/Minority Owned Business Grants 

H. 966 set aside $2.5 million in grant funding for minority-owned businesses and $2.5 million for women-owned businesses with zero to five employees (including sole proprietorships.) Below are a number of key resources specific to this Program to help you apply:

Grants for Restaurants, Bars, Lodging Establishments, and Other Businesses

Restaurants, Bars, or Lodging Properties that collect Rooms and Meals Tax, or Retail, Entertainment or Recreation Operations that collect Sales and Use Tax and report to the Vermont Department of Taxes on a monthly or quarterly basis, should apply for a grant with the Department of Taxes.

EXAMPLES: restaurant, bar, hotel, inn, retail store, online retail, golf course, movie theater

All Other Businesses that do not collect the Rooms and Meals Tax and/or Sales and Use Tax, OR those who report to the Department of Taxes on these taxes for a small portion of your overall revenues, should apply for a grant with ACCD.

EXAMPLES: manufacturer, property management, construction, realtor

Grants for Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Organizations 

H. 966 allocated $5 million to the Vermont Arts Council for nonprofit arts and cultural organizations including but not limited to art/craft guilds and councils, artist collectives, community arts centers, cultural attractions, dance companies, film and literary festivals, galleries, historic sites, museums, theaters and performing arts venues, and more.

Outdoor Recreation Business Grants 

H. 966 dedicated $1.5 million in grant funding for outdoor recreation businesses and nonprofit organizations which can  be used for “…costs or expenses necessary to comply with or implement COVID-19 public health precautions, including [but not limited to]:

(A) cleaning, disinfection, and personal protection services and equipment;
(B) symptom monitoring or diagnosis for customers or participants;
(C) signage or informational material concerning public health precautions;
(D) temporary staff housing necessary to maintain public health precautions; and
(E) maintenance or repair of trails where damage is caused by increased usage during the declared COVID-19 public health emergency.”

Vermont’s outdoor recreation businesses, such as trail areas, climbing centers, bike tours can apply for grants with ACCD. Additional resources for this specific program include:

ACCD and Department of Taxes Resources 

  • ACCD and Department of Taxes Grant Webinars: Last week, ACCD and the Department of Taxes hosted a series of webinars to explain program eligibility requirements, grant award calculations, applications, and what documents businesses should have prepared when applying. Recordings and slides are available here. 
  • ACCD’s Application Guide 
  • FAQ Document 
  • If you have additional questions on eligibility, the grant application process or where you should apply for a grant, contact the Economic Recovery Grant Support Center at 802-828-1200 from 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday and from 9:00am to 2:00pm on Saturday.