Q: Can donations be directed toward a particular grant category?

A: Yes, donors have the option of directing their support into one or more of the following categories: Downtown Vitality, Green Economy, Health & Wellness,Local Food System, and Social Change. The donor will be prohibited from claiming their funds are directly supporting any of the individual businesses awarded grants.

Q: How many grants will VBSR be giving out?

A: VBSR hopes to award a minimum of five grants of $10,000 plus technical assistance.

Q: Will the grants be awarded statewide?

A: Yes, statewide representation will be prioritized alongside eligibility and criteria.

Q: Who is eligible for VBSR Small Business Resiliency Fund grants? 

A: For-profit (business) members of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) meeting the following:

  • Applicant’s VBSR membership must be in good standing, and they must have joined VBSR prior to 12/31/19
  • Business must be in good standing with the State of Vermont
  • Business  must employ 30 or fewer employees (FTE)
  • Annual revenues of the business must be greater than $50,000 and less than $5 million
  • Business must operate in Vermont and have a majority of its shareholders in Vermont
  • Businesses who can demonstrate excellence in one or more of the following categories:
    • Downtown Vitality
    • Green Economy
    • Health & Wellness
    • Local Food System
    •  Social Change
  • Businesses who can demonstrate financial stress or disrupted operations related to COVID-19, such as:
    • Inability to make loan payments due to reduced sales or suspended operation
    • Increased cost related to COVID-19 prevention measure
    • Disrupted supply network leading to shortage of critical inventory or materials
    • Required cease of operations due to government mandate
    • Other circumstances subject to review on a case by case basis
  • Businesses led by People of Color, New Americans, women, veterans, individuals with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community and individuals from historically underrepresented populations will be given priority.

Non-profit organizations are not eligible. Businesses with full or partial ownership by VBSR staff, VBSR Board members, or their families are not eligible.

Q: How will the Selection Committee evaluate applications?

A: A Selection Committee comprised of VBSR partners will evaluate applications based upon financial viability, need, and triple-bottom-line excellence as defined in the Application Instructions.

Q: Why are non profits not eligible for grants?

A: The intent of the VBSR Small Resiliency Fund is to provide assistance to for-profit enterprises who have been negatively impacted by mandatory closures and other affects on business operations by COVID-19.

Q: When will payments and technical assistance be made available?

A: Grantees will receive notice of their application being selected the week of December 14th. Payments will be mailed mid-late December. Technical assistance will be available to grantees starting in mid-December.