Together For Progress Looks to Build on Success in 2017

Founded last fall, Together For Progress (T4P) is a collaborative effort between the Burlington Business Association,

Local Motion, AARP, LCRCC and CCRPC. The goal of this core group was to champion projects that would ensure Burlington’s future as one of America’s most livable small cities.

Together For Progress debuted by vigorously supporting ballot items #3 & #4 on the local election ballot. These two items were essential to the advancement of the Burlington Town Center redevelopment. In the face of vocal opposition, T4P undoubtably effectuated a positive outcome through public outreach, event coordination and strategic communication.

Beyond its work on the Burlington Town Center redevelopment, T4P advocates for projects and initiatives with the potential to create:

  • More Housing
  • Compact Downtown Development
  • Community members gather at T4P Pop-Up Beer Hall Event

    Community members gather at T4P Pop-Up Beer Hall Event

    Job Growth

  • Solid Infrastructure
  • Transportation Choices
  • Walkable/Bikeable Networks
  • Provide Education Outcomes
  • Healthy Community
  • Clean Lake Champlain

In 2017, Burlington will continue to see opportunities for sustainable urban growth. Together For Progress will remain active to ensure that these vital projects, which share the goals of strengthening our downtown vitality, adding much needed housing and effectively growing our city through dense downtown development, can move forward. Learn More

Registration for the BBA Annual Dinner is now Open!

Join us for the BBA’s popular annual celebration of the business community! Event includes a cocktail hour, dinner, a live auction, annual meeting and award ceremony to honor Burlington’s best!


Register Here

for the


on Thursday, April 6th from 5-9 pm at the Hilton Burlington

for a very special evening with the Burlington Business Association.

Mayor Miro Weinberger Releases New Principles and Initiatives to Address Opioid Crisis

Mayor Miro Weinberger today released new principles and announced the pursuit of new initiatives to address the deepening opioid crisis in the region that has resulted in a significant 38 percent increase in opioid-related deaths in Vermont. In Chittenden County, indicators such as retail theft and opioid-related arrests also show a growing crisis. The City is moving on numerous fronts to organize a sustained local effort to turn the crisis around, and announced today new partnerships with the University of Vermont Medical Center, the Chittenden County State’s Attorney, and metro area police departments.

Not only do the byproducts of opioid addiction such as retail crime, and safety and security issues negatively impact the business community directly, but concern among business owners for the health of our community at large is growing due to the increased prevalence of opioid abuse and addiction.

Continue reading

Waterfront Action Group Committee Report

BBA Committee Report from Afi Ahmadi, BBA Board Member and Chair of the Waterfront Action Group:

The Waterfront Action Group (WAG) of the BBA returned from its summer hiatus in October and immediately identified a number of initiatives and areas of focus.  First, the group has had ongoing discussions regarding the apparent lack of organized promotion and tourism of the waterfront and its offerings.  The group had an informative meeting with Steve Cook, the Deputy Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing, about the State’s efforts and available resources in connection with this topic.  As a result, WAG has created a tourism subcommittee, with the hopes of developing both a strategy and content which the State can then use to improve promotional efforts.

The group continues to monitor the progress of many of the high-profile projects taking place on the waterfront, including the Burlington Harbor Marina, the Moran Plant, the Sailing Center, and the parking lot at ECHO.  Noelle McKay, Director of the Burlington Community and Economic Development Office, joined the group to discuss the status of these important projects, as well her office’s role with regards to each.  The group also had it’s annual visit from Jesse Bridges, Director of the Burlington Parks and Recreation Department, who provided an update and answered questions on projects such as the bike path development, the Perkins Pier Marina, and the Waterfront North Site improvements.

Finally, the group is taking a close look at how it can become more involved in addressing lake quality issues.  WAG has recognized that the water quality of the lake will have a profound impact on all of the businesses on the waterfront, and is considering undertaking  an advocacy initiative.  At its March meeting, the group will focus on this topic, and has reached out to local experts to join the discussion and to further educate WAG on this critical issue.

Interested in getting involved in WAG? E-mail BBA’s Administrative Coordinator, Jack 

BBA Summit Video Now Online

Thanks to our Media Partner, Channel 17, the BBA’s 2017 Business Summit event can now be viewed online at

The BBA’s 2017 Business Summit is an educational and interactive event, designed to inform stakeholders about the challenges and opportunities Burlington will face moving forward as a 21st century city.

Tom Murphy, former Mayor of Pittsburgh, PA and now Senior Fellow at the Urban Land Institute will be joining us as our Keynote speaker. The event will also include a presentation by Jeffrey Lewis of the Vermont Futures Project, providing a state level outlook on data trends that impact the Vermont and Burlington economies. Fran Stoddard, a communications consultant who has done community development work through the Orton Family Foundation since 2012 will join us to facilitate break out group discussions about the future of Burlington to give attendees the opportunity to voice their vision for the future of Burlington.

Mayor Miro Weinberger will speak, and Kelly Devine, Executive Director of the BBA will make final remarks.

Three With BBA Ties Named to Scott Administration

Last week Phil Scott was sworn in as the 82nd Governor of the State of Vermont. He’ll have several people with Burlington Business Association ties working on his staff.

Current Board Member Michael Schirling will take over as head of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. Schirling has been the Executive Director of BTV Ignite since September of 2015. Previously he had served as an office in the Burlington Police Department for 26 years, including Chief of Police from 2008-2015.

Former Chair of the Board of Directors, Al Gobielle was named head of the Agency of Human Services. Gobielle has been a member of the Green Mountain Care Board and is, along with his wife Kim, owner of Gobielle Hospitality. The Burlington based company operatesShanty on the Shore, Burlington Bay Market and Café, Breakwater Café and Grill, and Northern Lights Cruises. He served as Chair of the BBA’s Board of Directors from 2011-2013.

Also joining the staff of Governor Scott is Martha Maksym, who is the Executive Director of BBA Member, United Way of Northwest Vermont. Maksym will serve as Deputy Secretary of the Agency of Human Services

Trespass Forms Available at BBA Office

Recent changes to the Burlington trespass law mean that the Burlington Police Department can no longer issue a trespass on behalf of a businesses or private property. In light of these changes, the BBA in partnership with the Church Street Marketplace have created a universal trespass form that can be used by any business owner, manager or authorized personnel. These booklets are available at the BBA offices, located at 29 Church Street, Suite 305. A free booklet of forms can be picked up M-F, 9-5pm. Please email Sarah if you’re planning to stop by and pick one up.

Businesses can fill out the form and issue a copy to the individual being trespassed and keep a copy for their records.

Burlington Police ONLY issue a trespass notice on your behalf for these two reasons:

1) Retail Theft in your store;

2) Disorderly Conduct in your store (defined as fighting, or engaging in threatening or violent behavior; making excessive noise; using abusive or offensive language in public; disturbing a lawful meeting or gathering.)

BBA Announces Tom Murphy as Keynote Speaker for January Business Summit

The BBA is pleased to announce that Tom Murphy, former Mayor of Pittsburgh, PA and now Senior Fellow at the Urban Land Institute will be joining us as our Keynote speaker for the 2017 BBA Business Summit, to be held on January 26th from 7:30-11 am at the Hilton in Burlington. More information can be found on the event page here: BBA Summit

The BBA Summit event is an educational and interactive event, where you can learn from national and local speakers what Burlington is facing based on current data trends. Hear a range of perspectives and share your ideas for how we can confront the challenges and seize the opportunities that will shape our city for future generations. Continue reading

BBA Announces Pilot Project to Add Holiday Lighting Downtown

Burlington, VT – The Burlington Business Association (BBA) is excited to announce that a pilot project of a new initiative to install holiday lighting along Burlington’s side streets downtown is underway. In its first year, lights will be installed on street lamps that line College Street, from South Winooski to St. Paul Street. The white holiday lights will be installed by the Burlington Electric Department, who helped to facilitate the initiative.

This project was made possible by generous donations from Northfield Savings Bank, Burton and Burlington Telecom Business Services. Each of these companies came on board with enthusiastic support when the project was proposed.

The idea to add holiday lights to the side streets came from the BBA’s Downtown Action Group committee, whose members proposed it as a way to extend the festive feeling of Church Street along Burlington’s side streets. A grass roots effort was quickly underway, championed by Kara Alnasrawi, DAG Committee Chair and owner of Liebling women’s boutique on College street. Alnasrawi was enthusiastically joined by Zandy Wheeler, BBA Board Member and owner of SKIRACK and Patagonia to assist with outreach and fundraising.

Winter lights create a warm, welcoming environment on the street to coincide with the festive winter season, provide additional safety through well lit streets, and are an effective way to help drive holiday traffic to College street and further extend the holiday vibrancy through the downtown. Since it was proposed, the project has garnered interest from other side street businesses, and the BBA will aim to work with businesses throughout the downtown to expand the scope of the lighting to include side streets like Bank Street and Cherry Street for upcoming holiday seasons.

The Burlington Business Association, founded in 1978, is a non-profit, non-political membership organization with over 240 business and non-profit members. Our mission is to enhance and promote the economic vitality of Burlington, Vermont, and to assure that the City of Burlington continues as the cultural, social, political, educational and economic center of northwestern Vermont.

See NBC5’s coverage of this story here: