Business Recovery Grants, Proposed Mandates, and more.
The 2022 legislative session got underway on January 5. Since that time, Governor Scott has presented his State of the State Address. Vermont’s workforce tops the list for the Governor who said, “… whether it is training and recruitment, childcare, tax policy, housing, healthcare, infrastructure, or climate change, we must reverse our workforce trends.”
Vermont has received billions in COVID-19 financial relief from the federal government, of which $600 million was distributed to transform communities across the state and will set us on a course that many never anticipated. The Governor has asked the legislature to approve $180 million for new affordable housing initiatives hoping to affect our workforce shortfall.
Business Recovery Grants
Vermont allocated $350 million of federal dollars received for business relief. The Scott Administration proposed $26 million in direct business grants last year, but it never came to fruition. However, this week the Senate Economic Development Committee is poised to make changes so that small businesses can access these funds quickly. Details will still need to be worked out, but we do know that applicants will have the opportunity to apply for forgiveness at the same time they apply for a loan. Click here for greater detail.
The legislature is once again looking at increasing the minimum wage, expanding paid leave, and increasing unemployment insurance benefits. All three pieces of legislation are scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Economic Development Committee on February 18.
There are also a dozen or so other pieces of legislation that would further regulate the employer/employee relationship. For instance, there are proposed mandates for reliable work schedules, reimbursement of employee expenses, equitable pay ratios, disclosure of pay scales, paid vacations, and employer-funded electric vehicle charging stations. NFIB is watching these issues and will keep you apprised of legislative activity and opportunities to take action!
Legislation intended to curb the rise of retail theft has stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee because members have decided that existing laws are sufficient if enforced at the local level. Businesses currently have the right to detain shoplifters.
Employer Resources from the Vermont Department of Labor
- The Vermont Department Of Labor communications and marketing team wants to highlight your open jobs, hiring events, and more through its official social media platforms. Learn more.
- Vermont JobLink: Posting your jobs on the State of Vermont’s official job board lets the Department of Labor and job-seeking Vermonters know that you are actively hiring. JobLink is a free resource for employers. Learn more.
- Weekly Jobs Newsletter: Get additional information on weekly jobs, hiring events, and more. Connect with the Business Services team to get your positions included in the weekly newsletter for jobseekers. Register here.
- VT Labor Updates Newsletter: Get updates on Department of Labor topics, including unemployment insurance, workforce development, workplace safety, and more. Register here.