BBA Organizes 2nd Annual Adopt Your Sidewalk Downtown Cleanup

Thursday morning, BBA Members along with Mayor Miro Weinberger and Public Works Director Chapin Spencer, took part in the BBA’s second annual Adopt Your Sidewalk Downtown Cleanup.

The group went to work on Cherry Street, sweeping up dirt and litter that had built up on one of downtown Burlington’s busy streets.

This is the second year in a row that the BBA has organized this event as part of its Adopt Your Sidewalk program, a grassroots effort where local businesses pledge to clean and maintain the sidewalk in around them. The mission is to create a downtown that is as welcoming to residents and visitors as possible.

“The success of our downtown is a result of the hard work of many individuals and organizations working together, and the BBA’s Adopt Your Sidewalk is another great example of this type of collaboration.” Said Mayor Weinberger. “It is exciting to see business owners come out and work together to improve the look and feel of our sidewalks for everyone to enjoy.”


Downtown Transit Center Opens

Decades of planning finally came to fruition Thursday, as BBA member Green Mountain Transit opened their new Downtown Transit Center in Burlington.

The facility will provide riders with indoor seating, bathrooms, wifi as well as a roof covered outdoor waiting area.

The transit center’s central location on St. Paul Street will provide an ideal transportation hub for commuters who work in Burlington’s downtown core. The future development of the Burlington Town Center, located directly across the street could potentially provide a steady stream of new riders.

Green Mountain Transit officials were proud to announce the projects completion “on budget, on schedule”.

BBA Members took a lead in the development of the $7.7 million dollar project, with Truex Cullins and PC Construction designing and building the facility.


Dollar Store Boom Worrisome for Local Communities

A sharp rise in the number of dollar stores has residents in communities across Vermont wondering about the future of local businesses. Vermont has the largest number of Dollar Stores in New England and the same number as Colorado, a state with eight times as many people. So far, Burlington’s downtown has avoided having a dollar store open, but there has been interest.
Recent articles in both VT Digger and Seven Days have highlighted this recent trend, which has seen the number of dollar stores in Green Mountain state rise to 45.
Dollar store chains like Dollar General and Family Dollar have the ability to undercut prices of community owned shops, threatening local businesses while failing to keep money in Vermont.
“These things come into the community and basically don’t do anything for the community,” said Shawn Cunningham in Mark Davis’ July Seven Days article, “They don’t participate in the local economy except to take money out.”
The growth of these growth of these stores throughout Vermont is indicative of the larger trend of economic stagnation that in many parts of the State.
Without outside economic investment and development, jobs and wages stagnate, creating a strong market for discount chains to move in.

2016 Vermont Web Marketing Summit

Started in 2010 with only 80 attendees and a goal to instill a digital mindset to marketing professionals in Vermont & New Hampshire, the VT Web Marketing Summit has grown to be recognized as one of the leading annual conference that delivers some of the boldest, brightest and immersive digital marketing trends, strategies, challenges and success stories.

This year it’s on TUESDAY, OCT 25, at HILTON, BURLINGTON.
Speakers from leading local and national marketing environments will share insights and practical tips on the ever-evolving world of digital marketing.

Register Now!**

**BBA Members are eligible for the PARTNER MEMBERS SPECIAL. Select this option when registering.


SEAG Committee Report

A Committee Report on the South End Action Group from committee chair, Russ Scully:
The South End Action Group met each month over the last quarter discussing a variety of topics related to the south end and downtown Burlington.
We shared the details of the Mayor’s long term capital plan for the City and how those improvements would benefit and/or impact the south end. We also received updates from City Market on the status of their expansion project on Flynn Avenue. Consultants working on the City’s permitting process gave us an update on the interviews and feedback they collected from local developers as part of their process to streamline the development projects in the south end. We reached out to south end members asking them to attend DRB meetings for two different south end development projects – City Market’s expansion on Flynn Avenue and Red Stone’s apartment complex on the corner of Flynn and Pine.

Continue reading


BBA Proudly Supports District Energy in Burlington

A long held energy goal of city officials could be back on the table as a result of the proposed redevelopment of the Burlington Town Center.

A District Energy System (DES) would capture waste heat from the McNeil Energy Plant and transport it through pipes to other facilities around Burlington. Previous attempts to create such a system had been deemed financially unfeasible, but the prospect of a large residential and commercial center has planners re-thinking the plan.

The BBA is proud to support a district energy system in Burlington. Once again this City has shown its commitment to the type of forward thinking policy ideas that have made it an award winning community. This partnership between the City of Burlington and local organizations provides a clear example of how future development needs can be blended with the values of an environmentally conscious community. The collaborative effort undertaken by the organizations involved will lead to real savings for Burlington businesses and that comes, in part, by seeing the potential for an underutilized property in the heart of our downtown to become a vibrant community center, that also happens to be more energy sustainable.

Burlington needs to create more housing for all, more downtown office space, and more opportunities for locally owned business in all areas of the City. The Burlington Town Center project is a critical next step. The fact that it strengthens the viability of district energy in Burlington is an added benefit. The Burlington Town Center project furthers Burlington’s climate action and clean lake goals. Taking the next step on district energy will help ensure a bright future for Burlington. We are and we will continue to be an amazing place to call home.


Downtown Action Group Committee Report

Committee Report from Kara Alnasrawi, Committee Chair of the Downtown Action Group:

The Downtown Action Group (DAG) meets monthly to share ideas and discuss issues relating to the vitality of the downtown core. In the spring of this year the group launched an “Adopt Your Sidewalk” campaign to encourage business owners to keep the streets of downtown Burlington beautiful and inviting to both tourists and residents alike. DAG has also taken initiatives to address street level safety and security issues that members felt were effecting their businesses.

Moving forward DAG has set out an ambitious agenda which includes addressing the soon to be vacant bus station area on Cherry Street, the beautification and decoration of the side streets, and the street level use of alcohol in and around member businesses.

If you’d like to get involved with this committee, please email our Member Services & Events Manager, Sarah O Donnell.


Waterfront Action Group Committee Report

An update from Afi Ahmadi, Committee Chair of the BBA’s Waterfront Action Group:

The Waterfront Action Group (WAG) of the BBA meets regularly from the early fall until late spring, and concludes it’s work with the highly anticipated “FAM” tour on Lake Champlain each June.  The group regularly discusses and educates itself on the many projects taking place at or near the Burlington waterfront, and other issues which could help establish the area as a four-season attraction.  WAG has also had ongoing discussions on some of the underlying issues and obstacles impeding development.  As a result, the WAG is engaged in active discussions regarding some of the concrete actions its members can take to support not only these efforts, but also the Build a Better Burlington and Together 4 Progress initiatives being undertaken by the BBA.   At its initial 2016-17 meeting in October, the group will identify the action items that it would like to pursue from an advocacy standpoint for the upcoming year.


WAG’s first fall meeting will be held on October 13, 2017. Interested in getting involved with this committee? Email our administrative coordinator, Jack Commo.

BBA logo

BBA’s 2016 “Best of Burlington” Online Auction


It’s that time of year again! The BBA ‘s 2016 “Best of Burlington” online auction runs September 19th – October 6th.


This year’s auction  features many great items from BBA members and other local businesses to promote “The Best of Burlington” including donations from:

  • Hotel Vermont
  • Jess Boutique
  • The Hilton Burlington
  • Pizzeria Verita
  • Homeport
  • Flynn Theater
  • Lyric Theater Company
  • Common Deer
  • The Skinny Pancake
  • David Eaton Photography
  • Burlington Paint & Sip
  • Lake Champlain Chocolates
  • Burton Snowboards
  • Local Motion
  • Green Mountain Suites Hotel
  • Burlington Discover Jazz Festival
  • Burlington Chamber Orchestra
  • Marketplace Fitness
  • Stephen and Burns
  • Vermont Stage Company

Looking to donate? It’s not too late! We’ll continue to add new items throughout the auction. If you would like to donate to this year’s auction please contact Sarah for more information or head to our website.




unnamed-2          Free Press Media logo_0  wcax