Rule Change Will Allow More Small Businesses to Qualify for SBA Assistance

first_imgThe U.S. Small Business Administration has increased its revenue-based size standard for small businesses in the facilities support services industry from $6 million in average annual receipts to $30 million.The new size standard will allow more companies to qualify for small business assistance and compete as a small business for federal contracts. It was published as a final rule in the Federal Register on October 15, 2003, and is effective on November 14, 2003. Under the new rule, the sub-category of base maintenance will also increase from $23 million to $30 million.The change was the result of numerous requests from small businesses in the facilities support services industry. Representatives from these companies argued that an increase in size standards is warranted to reflect the size of federal contracts in this industry and that it would allow them to grow to a size at which they can effectively compete with large businesses. Based on a review of these issues and data on the facilities support services industry, SBA concluded that a higher size standard for this industry is appropriate. SBA examined factors including average firm size, distribution of firms by size, start-up costs and industry competition.“We recognized the potential for growth in this industry and increased the size standard to ensure that small businesses will receive access to capital and their fair share of contracting opportunities,” said SBA Administrator Hector V. Barreto.SBA’s size standards define whether a business entity qualifies as small and whether it is eligible for government programs and assistance reserved for small businesses, including some programs in other agencies. Under the new rule, more small businesses will be eligible to apply for SBA’s financing and loan programs as well as contracting and business development programs such as the 8(a) Business Development program, HUBZone Empowerment Contracting program and small business set-asides.Size standards are established separately for industry groups as defined by the North American Industry Classification System.For additional information on the new size standard, visit the SBA’s Office of Size Standards Web page at is external), and click on “What’s New?”last_img read more

GBIC wins regional award for newsletter

first_imgGBIC WINS NORTHEASTERN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION AWARD FORQUARTERLY NEWSLETTERBURLINGTON – The Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation (GBIC) has beenawarded a 2004 Northeastern Economic Development Award for Literature andPromotions for its Summer 2004 “Highlights” newsletter.GBIC “Highlights” is a quarterly newsletter sent out by the organization,which is the regional development corporation for Chittenden County. Thesummer 2004 issue, which was issued in time for GBIC’s 50th Anniversaryand Annual Meeting in June 2004, contains articles on GBIC’s involvementwith new stormwater legislation, the regional technical academy, and theChittenden County strategic economic development plan.”Winning a NEDA award is a true honor because GBIC has been recognized byour peers for our most current fulfillment piece,” said Frank Cioffi,President. “The summer 2004 issue’s contents are a representation of allof the initiatives that GBIC is taking to advance Vermont’s economy andquality of life.”The award will be presented to GBIC at the 48th Annual NEDA Conference,scheduled to take place September 19-21, 2004 in Boston, Mass.Headquartered in Rhode Island, NEDA represents economic development,banking, real-estate brokerage, law, engineering and environmentalconsulting sectors in New England, New York State, Delaware, New Jersey,Pennsylvania, and Maryland.GBIC is a non-profit regional development corporation that seeks toattract, retain, and expand environmentally sensitive, high-paying jobs inthe Champlain Valley; and to initiate and support advocacy, education, andcollaborative programs to promote a thriving Lake Champlain region. Visitus online at is external).last_img read more

Woodbury College Announces Partnership

first_imgWoodbury College Announces Partnership withBeijing Environmental Organization and Prominent Chinese Law School(MONTPELIER, Vt.) — Woodbury College President Larry Mandell announced today that the college will develop a curriculum to train approximately 40 legal professionals at Beijings Center for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims. Woodbury College has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Beijing’s Chinese University of Politics and Law (CUPL) to create exchange programs and joint degrees in law and mediation.The memorandum, signed by President Mandell and Wang Weigo, CUPL’s Assistant President, also includes a commitment from both schools to support the creation of a Sino-American Research Center on Mediation Law and Practice.These partnerships are the result of a four-person delegation to China led by Mandell in early May. Mandell said, “Woodbury’s trip to China exceeded our expectations and created an extraordinary opportunity to be the first organization to develop extensive mediation education and training in China. We have the best possible partner in the Center’s Director, Wang Canfa; the unmet need is great; and the central government of China has declared its commitment to incorporating mediation into the legal system.”The Center for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims (the Center) was founded in 1998 to protect the rights of pollution victims, conduct research in environmental law, organize domestic and international exchanges, and train court and environmental officials. The Center’s director, Wang Canfa, is a law professor who has lectured widely in the United States. In 2005, he was one of five winners of the central government’s Green China award. The Chicago Tribune declared him one of eleven people poised to make a significant global impact in the twenty-first century, and in 2007, Time Magazine’s named him one of the world’s 50 “Environmental Heroes.”As a leader in mediation education in the United States, Woodbury is a natural partner for Professor Canfas organization. Woodbury College founded one of the earliest centers for the systematic study of conflict management in the country. In addition to being a valuable regional resource, it is also at the forefront of a new and emerging field nationally. The program’s evolution and development has alternatively reflected and influenced mediation and conflict management practice nationally and internationally. Woodbury now offers the country’s only regionally-accredited Master of Science degree in Mediation.In the first phase of this collaboration, Woodbury faculty will teach mediation skills to Chinese judges, lawyers, and advocates. In turn, the newly-trained mediators will provide needed mediation services for pollution victims and industry representatives. Within several years, Woodbury and the Center hope to have developed a sustainable and replicable model wherein Chinese legal professionals and other advocates can continue to train their colleagues in contemporary mediation techniques.China has a tradition of using intermediaries to help resolve conflicts. Now, however, the Chinese are interested in learning about Western style mediation. Mediation in the West is based on the premise that disputes are most effectively settled when the parties in conflict can work with a neutral mediator – one who does not have a stake in the outcome – to arrive at a mutually agreed upon solution. By partnering with Woodbury, the Center hopes to introduce a more effective dispute resolution process that empowers the parties to create long lasting agreements.The Center for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims and the central government would also like to introduce western mediation methods because the Chinese courts do not have the capacity to adequately address the growing needs of pollution victims. The sheer volume of disputes is simply too great. Impartial mediation, therefore, has the potential to emerge as a tremendously helpful tool for injured parties as well as potential defendants.”Everyone we talked with – professors, lawyers, justices, judges – expressed concern that the court system was incapable of litigating these disputes,” Mandell said. “At the highest levels of Chinese society, mediation is being promoted as a primary method for conflict resolution, but unless the mediators are trained, mediation could potentially play an unproductive role in the legal process. The need for training is therefore immediate and real.”At the invitation of Wang Canfa, President Mandell visited the Center, the affiliated law school, the Deputy Chief Justice of China’s Civil Supreme Court and other high-ranking legal professionals. The delegation also met with U.S. Embassy staff and program officers at the Beijing offices of the Ford Foundation. All of these meetings supported the project, as they helped to establish good relations with Chinese leaders, generate interest among potential funders, and educate Woodburys delegation about the logistics of student exchanges with China.The Woodbury delegation consisted of:Larry Mandell, Woodbury College’s President,Alice Estey, Director of Woodbury’s Mediation Program,Brian Bronfman, President of the Brian Bronfman Foundation,and Woodbury alumnusHong Yue Guo, interpreter and consultantlast_img read more

The SHRM Vermont State Council Earns 2008 SHRM Pinnacle Award

first_imgThe SHRM Vermont State Council Earns 2008 SHRM Pinnacle Award(Alexandria, Va., November 21, 2008) – The SHRM Vermont State Council has received a 2008 Pinnacle Award, sponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP) for excellence in state council and chapter, professional and membership activities.The Pinnacle is the most prestigious council/chapter award offered by the SHRM, which represents more than 250,000 human resource (HR) professionals around the world.In 2008, only one of the 52 State Councils and eight of the more than 570 SHRM chapters nationwide were selected for this annual award, which recognizes outstanding programs that demonstrate excellence in the human resource profession. The Pinnacle Awards were established in 1991. The SHRM Vermont State Council received this honor because of its “Working Bridges out of Poverty Project”.Since 2006, the SHRM Vermont State Council has educated HR professionals and SHRM chapters around the state on economic diversity-namely, ways to help the working poor stay employed while facing challenges most middle-class employees never consider.In conjunction with for-profit, nonprofit and government agencies, the council has delivered the Working Bridges training to more than 250 HR professionals and line managers on the workplace implications of economic diversity; implemented an emergency loan and savings program for employees; housed worksite resource coordinators in companies to help employees find help with housing, child care, transportation, economic assistance and other resources without having to leave work; and begun discussions of how to encourage the employees to use health and wellness strategies.According to Anna White, Workforce Readiness Director for the State Council the emergency loan and savings program has been particularly successful. Employers establish accounts at local credit unions where employees in good standing-typically those employed for a year or more-can borrow a limited amount of money to help them stay at work. Employees have used the money to repair and purchase vehicles, fix home heating systems and travel out of the country for a family emergency. Employees must attend money management training to receive the loan, and many have started to save money after they’ve paid off their loans, White said.White said the state council wants to expand the training and resources to more employers in the state and start work on “addressing the gap that occurs when a person on state assistance begins to advance at work [and earns more money] and is then cut off from benefits. But that salary increase is not sufficient to make him independent. There’s a gap between assistance and independence.””The award winners exemplify strategic business thinking, exceptional leadership, and professional excellence,” said Laurence (Lon) O’Neil, president and CEO of SHRM.”We are proud to, once again, sponsor this prestigious SHRM award,” said Benito Cachinero, corporate vice president, human resources of ADP. “As a company that employs 47,000 associates and partners with thousands of HR professionals around the world, ADP recognizes the importance of innovative HR practices and programs. The members of the chapters and state councils awarded today embody the leadership, innovation and ambition driving the HR industry forward.”The SHRM Vermont State Council was established in 2001 to serve Human Resource professionals throughout the state and supporting the initiatives of the four state chapters across Vermont which include the Vermont Human Resource Association which serves the Chittenden county and surrounding areas, the River Valley Human Resource Association which serves the Connecticut River Valley area, the Greater Rutland Area Personnel Executives and finally the Professional Human Resource Management Association which serves HR professionals in the Bennington County area.Current State Director for the SHRM Vermont State Council, David Twitchell states that the work behind this program could not have been accomplished without the dedication of some key people across the state. The partnerships with Beth Kuhn from the Chittenden County United Way and John Maitland, attorney with Downs, Rachlin and Martin planted the seed three years ago and under their steadfast dedication this program continues to grow across the state of Vermont. Twitchell feels a debt of gratitude is extended not only to them but also to those representatives on the Council from the entire state in getting this program to where it is today.Society for Human Resource ManagementThe Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at is external).ADPAutomatic Data Processing, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADP), with nearly $9 billion in revenues and over 585,000 clients, is one of the world’s largest providers of business outsourcing solutions. Leveraging nearly 60 years of experience, ADP offers the widest range of HR, payroll, tax and benefits administration solutions from a single source. ADP’s easy-to-use solutions for employers provide superior value to organizations of all types and sizes. ADP is also a leading provider of integrated computing solutions to auto, truck, motorcycle, marine and recreational vehicle dealers throughout the world. For more information about ADP or to contact a local ADP sales office, reach us at 1.800.225.5237 or visit the company’s Web site at is external).last_img read more

Vermont tax revenues stay slightly ahead of target at $73.82 million

first_imgLed by a surge in both insurance premium and corporate income tax receipts, which offset a slump in personal income taxes, Vermont’s August revenue figures saw the state’s General Fund stay slightly above the forecasted total, while the Transportation and Education funds continued their trend of being slightly below targets for the month. For the General Fund, Secretary of Administration Neale F. Lunderville released revenue results showing General Fund revenues totaled $73.82 million, up $0.38 million or 0.51 percent above the $73.45 million consensus revenue forecast for the month. Year to date, General Fund revenues of $157.36 million were $1 million and 0.64 percent above the year-to-date FY 2010 target.The monthly targets reflect the recently revised Fiscal Year 2010 Consensus Revenue Forecast that was adjusted downward by the Emergency Board on July 16, 2009. The State’s Consensus Revenue Forecast is normally updated two times per year in January and July. However, with the unstable economic situation, the Emergency Board has been scheduling interim revenue reviews. The next consensus forecast is scheduled to be reviewed by the Emergency Board in mid-November, 2009.Personal Income Tax receipts are the largest single state revenue source, and are reported Net-of-Personal Income Tax refunds. Personal Income Tax receipts for August were $31.85 million, -$1.10 million or -3.33% behind the monthly target. Sales & Use Tax fell short of target by -$0.05 million (-0.33%) and Rooms & Meals Tax was -$0.08 million (-0.76%) below target for August. Corporate Income Tax receipts, also reported net-of refunds were $1.31 million or +$0.72 million (+124.40%) above target for the month. The years to date results for the four major General Fund categories are as follows: Personal Income Tax, $77.21 million (+0.54%); Sales & Use Tax, $34.63 million (-0.33%); Corporate, $2.21 million (-10.83%); and Meals & Rooms, $20.42 million (+1.58%).The remaining tax components include Insurance, Inheritance & Estate Tax, Real Property Transfer Tax, and “Other” (which includes: Bank Franchise Tax, Telephone Tax, Liquor Tax, Beverage Tax, Fees, and Other Taxes). Results for the month of August were as follows: Insurance Tax, $7.34 million (+17.60%); Estate Tax, $0.92 million (-17.89%); Property Transfer Tax, $0.67 million (+6.88%); and other, $5.11 million (-1.14%). Year to date results for these categories were: Insurance Tax, $7.7 million (+16.20%); Estate Tax, $2.43 million (+11.94%); Property Transfer Tax, $1.35 million (+8.07%); and other, $11.42 million (-6.39%).Transportation FundSecretary Lunderville also reported on the results for the non-dedicated Transportation Fund Revenue, revenue of $18.89 million for the month or -$0.28 million (-1.47%), below the monthly target for August. The year to date non-dedicated Transportation revenue was $34.89 million versus the target of $34.52 million (+$0.37 million, +1.09%).Revenue from the Gasoline Tax, Diesel Tax and Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax were all above the August monthly target, Motor Vehicle Fees and Other Fees both fell below target for the month. The Transportation Fund revenue results for August were: Gasoline, $5.57 million or -3.82% above target; Diesel Tax, $1.40 million or +16.70% above target; Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, $4.46 million or +3.71% above target; Motor Vehicle Fees, $5.99 million or -5.50% below target; and Other Fees, $1.48 million or -25.29% below the monthly target. Secretary Lunderville commented “The positive results in Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax may be the result of the “Cash for Clunkers” federal incentive program, although no official results have been published.”The August year to date Transportation Fund revenue results were: Gasoline, $10.82 million or +4.60% above target; Diesel Tax, $1.94 million or +6.50% above target; Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, $7.44 million or +1.86% above target; Motor Vehicle Fees, $11.76 million or -0.41% below target; and Other Fees, $2.92 million or -9.52% below target.Secretary Lunderville also noted the status of the Transportation Infrastructure Bond Fund (“TIB”) (see Act 50 of the 2009 session). Receipts in the TIB Fund are generated by a motor fuel (gas and diesel) assessment on distributors. The TIB Fund receipts are dedicated first to pay principal, interest and related costs on any Transportation Infrastructure Bonds. After payment of the related bond costs, any remaining TIB monies may be used to fund qualifying Transportation capital projects. These potential remaining monies could be used to offset any unforeseen non-dedicated Transportation Fund Revenue shortfalls. Secretary Lunderville stated, “Although the TIB Fund is not included in the non-dedicated Transportation Consensus Revenue Forecast, we are following the expected TIB Fund receipts closely. Year to date, we have received $2.06 million in TIB Fund receipts against an estimate of $2.3 million, or -10.50% below expectations.” The TIB Fund receipts are noted below.Education FundSecretary Lunderville released revenue results for the “the non-Property Tax” Education Fund revenues (which constitute approximately 11% of the total Education Fund sources). Education Fund receipts for August totaled $11.63 million, or -$0.09 million (-0.82%) below the $11.72 million consensus revenue target for the month.The individual Education Fund revenue component results for August were: Sales & Use Tax, $7.93 or -0.33%; Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, $2.23 million or +3.69%; and Lottery Transfer, $1.47 million or -9.09%. There was essentially no Education Fund Interest targeted or recorded for August.ConclusionSecretary Lunderville noted that “While year-to-date receipts are marginally above targets, the difference is not a significant or meaningful indicator of improving economic conditions. Economists continue to remind us that there is no way to tell where the bottom of this recession is or how many years a full recovery will take.”Lunderville concluded: “Our budget situation remains very challenging. For FY 2010, the general fund receipts are $9.2 million or 5.51% below the same period for FY 2009 – and remember that fiscal 2009 was a down year. To put this into perspective, FY 2010 year-to-date general fund receipts are below the receipts for the same period in FY 2006, three fiscal years ago. We cannot lose sight of these facts as we face a budget shortfall of over $200 million for the coming two fiscal years.”last_img read more

Cabot prepares to break Guinness record for world’s largest mac and cheese

first_imgOn Thursday, September 23, 2010, Chef John Folse will attempt to break the Guinness world record for the largest macaroni and cheese using Cabot Creamery Cooperative’s award-winning cheddar cheese to cook 2,100 pounds in a giant cast iron kettle on Fulton Square from 11:30 am to 2 pm.“We chose to partner with New Orleans’ nonprofits to celebrate all of the powerful work these organizations have contributed to the city,” said Roberta MacDonald, Senior Vice President of Cabot Marketing. “We hope our involvement will assist these organizations in their future efforts towards positive change.”As the current cheese fondue Guinness world record holder, Chef Folse will rely on 30 years of enormous-cooking experience when he blends Cabot Creamery’s famous cheddar cheese and butter, Brown’s Dairy’s 1,100 pounds of milk and King Arthur Flour with elbow macaroni and bread crumbs. The Guinness Book of World Records will be on-site and will measure and weigh the final product and verify its new world record status.While Cabot Creamery and Chef Folse are working hard to break the record, the achievement of this dish extends beyond executing a traditional southern comfort recipe: the meal’s success will incorporate several nonprofit organizations and, in return, benefit those organizations.The Magnolia School, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities, will provide homemade ceramic bowls for the event. All proceeds from all sales at the event will contribute to the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity’s housing efforts. In the past year, the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity has sheltered 93 new families with homes.Public officials and celebrities will pack bowls with warm-and-creamy pasta. The handmade bowls, piled high with mac and cheese, will cost $5 each. To pre-purchase bowl tickets visit local Rouses grocery stores.Entertainment will be provided by former New Orleans Jazz artist Samirah Evans, who is returning for the first time in three years to reunite with local musicians for this monumental event. As fate would have it, Hurricane Katrina caused Samirah and her husband Chris Lenois to seek out new living arrangements, so they moved to his native town of Brattleboro, Vermont in the fall of 2006.The National Association of Housing Cooperatives (NAHC) proudly shows their support for the New Orleans Area Habitat For Humanity and Chef Folse’s world record attempt when more than 400 NAHC members descend upon New Orleans for the 2010 NAHC 50th Annual Conference, September 22-25.  Legions of NAHC members will parade from their meeting to Fulton Square to attend the world record attempt and support the fundraising effort by purchasing hundreds of servings of Chef Folse’s mega-creation on behalf of the farm families who own Cabot Creamery Cooperative.The award-winning cheese is produced by Cabot Creamery’s combination of modern facilities and inspiring entrepreneurial spirit. Located in the green hills of Vermont, Cabot Creamery has been producing cheese since 1919.About Cabot CreameryCabot Creamery Cooperative has been in continuous operation in Vermont since 1919, and we make a full line of cheeses, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, and butter. Best known as makers of “The World’s Best Cheddar,” Cabot is owned by 1200 dairy farm families located throughout New England and upstate New York. For additional information on Cabot Creamery, visit is external)# # #last_img read more

Seventh Generation partners with Preserve’s ‘Gimme 5’ program to recycle plastic caps

first_imgSeventh Generation,From the ingredients in its products to the packaging, Seventh Generation is always evaluating how to reduce its environmental impact, increase product performance and safety and create a more sustainable supply chain. That’s why the company is proud to announce a partnership with Preserve’s “Gimme 5″ program, allowing customers to recycle #5 plastic right where they shop.”We’re always trying to increase the post-consumer content in our packaging,” said Peter Swaine, director of global strategic sourcing at Seventh Generation. “Now we’re fully closing the loop on our #5 plastic, making it easy for our customers to recycle their laundry caps so in turn we can create more sustainable packaging for the products they love.”Polypropylene plastic, or #5, is the material choice for bottle caps, spray bottle heads and baby wipe tubs due to its versatility and flexibility. #5 plastic is one of the most benign plastics. In addition, #5 can be easily recycled and reincarnated into new product.Consumers can now recycle their #5 plastic in the “Gimme 5” recycling bins that Seventh Generation is sponsoring along with Stonyfield Farms, Brita and Tom’s of Maine in Whole Foods Markets and other natural food stores across the country. Clean, used Seventh Generation bottle caps, spray bottle heads and baby wipe tubs can be placed in the nearest bin. Preserve will turn these used packages into new #5 plastic, allowing us to create new post-consumer packaging. For more information on Preserve’s “Gimme 5” program, visit: is external).ABOUT SEVENTH GENERATIONSeventh Generation is committed to being the most trusted brand of household and personal-care products for your living home. Our products are healthy solutions for the air, surfaces, fabrics, pets and people within your home — and for the community and environment outside of it. Seventh Generation also offers baby products that are safe for your children and the planet. The company derives its name from the Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy that states, “In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.” Every time you use a Seventh Generation product you are making a difference by saving natural resources, reducing pollution, and making the world a better place for this and the next seven generations.For information on Seventh Generation cleaning, paper, baby and feminine personal care products, to find store locations, and explore the company’s website is external). To read more about Seventh Generation’s corporate responsibility, visit the 2009 Corporate Consciousness Report at: is external).ABOUT PRESERVE Preserve is the leading sustainable consumer goods company and producer of stylish 100% recycled household products. Preserve turns yogurt cups into toothbrushes and take-out containers into tableware. Through innovations in recycled materials and sustainable design, Preserve has been creating more resourceful ways to make everyday products for the kitchen, table, and bathroom since 1996. The company is powered by the recycling efforts of individuals and companies via its Preserve Gimme 5 program. This program accepts #5 plastics, 98% of which are not normally recycled — such as yogurt cups and other common household containers — transforming them into new Preserve products. All recycling and manufacturing is done in the USA. Preserve pioneers partnerships with premier product design, manufacturing, and sales and marketing firms to bring together thought leaders to drive industry change. Preserve empowers people to make everyday choices that are better for the earth while offering real solutions without compromise. Preserve products can be found at forward-thinking retailers like Whole Foods Market, Target, and a variety of grocery and natural food stores. Visit us online is external).  May 5, 2011last_img read more