Thousands of Vermonters have lost homes and businesses, and the ultimate property and financial costs could equal Tropical Storm Irene.
UPDATE: Governor Phil Scott offered additional details about the new Business Emergency Grant Assistance Program (BEGAP). The $20 million program will assist businesses and not-for-profit entities that sustained physical damage in the flood reopen and bring their employees back to work. “My team and I are committed to doing whatever we can to support businesses who were impacted by historic flooding,” said Gov. Scott. “We know this $20 million won’t be enough, but I believe the State has a responsibility to step up and do what it can while we work to secure additional support for the small businesses that fuel our economy and make our communities strong.” Said Department of Economic Development Commissioner Joan Goldstein, “The need is great in our business community and though gaps will remain even after these grants are dispersed, this program is a start of the recovery process.” Additional details about the grant program were to be released late the first week of August when the application portal was expected to open.
UPDATE: The Department of Economic Development (DED) announced additional details and guidelines for the Business Emergency Gap Assistance Program (BEGAP). This $20 million grant program is intended to help businesses and nonprofits restore, reopen, and bring their employees back to work after suffering physical damages to their property beginning on July 7, 2023, when severe storms swept into Vermont.
Physical losses and damage can include physical space and/or replacements of inventory, machinery, equipment, and supplies. Business should collect photographs, insurance adjuster damage assessments, estimates for repairs to physical structures, tax returns, equipment, inventory, or supply purchases, actual paid expenses and other documents as requested.
DED is administering the program and has been working to create grant guidance and parameters, build out the grant application portal, and put staff in place to run that program and help answer questions businesses may have. When the program opens, businesses will be eligible for a grant of 20% of the net documented uncovered damage to their physical property up to a maximum of $20,000. For properties that sustained more than a million dollars of damage, grant amounts may exceed the $20,000 cap. Those grants will be 20% of net documented uncovered physical damage up to $500,000 based on the number of employees and total damage they sustained. Of the $20 million, $1 million will be administered by the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets and dedicated specifically to agricultural businesses.
DED held a webinar about the program, and a recording can be viewed HERE. Additional FAQs about program specifics are also available.
UPDATE: THE STATE’S BEGAP PORTAL PAGE IS NOW LIVE >>> Business Emergency Gap Assistance Program | Agency of Commerce and Community Development (vermont.gov)
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JULY 17th: Individuals, communities, and businesses continue recovery efforts from the historic flood of July 7-12, 2023. In addition to declaring a State of Emergency and harnessing all available state aid and resources, Governor Phil Scott swiftly requested a major disaster declaration for Vermont from the federal government, which was given approval in less than 24 hours on July 14th.
Governor Scott: “Vermonters are hurting. My team is committed to working with federal and local partners to make sure Vermonters get all resources available to them to recover from these catastrophic floods.”
Below are three key internet resources for recovery and relief efforts.
Individuals and businesses who have suffered losses in the storm should continue clean up and repairs, taking photos and documenting expenses. You should also report that damage to the Vermont 211 site mentioned above, either by dialing 2-1-1 or by visiting vermont211.org.
Members should consider using a GPS and time stamp camera app, such as Solocator – GPS Field Camera, which costs $0.99, while other similar apps are free. Such tools may prove useful with claims submitted to FEMA and state relief services and programs.