Celebrate the Holiday Season with the BBA!


Registration is now closed and registration at the door is NOT available for this event. 

Due to the rain forecast, we’re moving this event indoors to Halvorson’s on Church ST for a smaller, scaled back setting. Registered attendees should have received an email with further details.

We understand this may be a disappointment to those of you who were specifically looking for an outdoor event. If you would like a refund please let us know. We hope to revisit the possibility of a fire-side outdoor event in the new year.

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BBA Offers De-escalation Training for Downtown Employees

As a part of our downtown safety initiatives, the BBA is providing two De-escalation Training opportunities for downtown employees. We are partnering with The Howard Center’s team of expert clinicians to discuss ideas and strategies around de-escalation and engaging with individuals exhibiting disruptive behavior.

These training sessions will provide

  • A presentation by expert clinicians on how to identify and engage with someone who is being disruptive, harassing, or exhibiting symptoms of mental illness
  • Opportunity to learn about resources available to both employees and those in crisis
  • Breakout session to share and discuss strategies, experiences, and best practices
  • A constructive space to flush out ideas with other downtown staff

Training sessions are open to all BBA members and their employees, as well as any downtown retail, restaurant, and hospitality staff. There is no cost to attend, simply register via the links below as space is limited.

This is an opportunity for folks to specifically learn more about strategies around de-escalation. We know many downtown businesses are experiencing a number of issues related to downtown safety and security. If you have questions or concerns about any other safety issues such as loss prevention, BPD response, or our Safety Ambassador Program, please reach out to the BBA team. We’re here to help.

Morning Session #1

Monday, 11/8

9:30 – 11am

Courtyard by Marriott Burlington Harbor

Harbor Room

25 Cherry ST

Coffee & Pastries Provided Courtesy of:

Free. Space is limited.
Masks Strongly Recommended.



Evening Session #2

  Wednesday, 11/10

  6:30 – 8:00pm


  Lorraine B. Goode Room

  BCA 2nd Floor

  135 Church Street

Free. Space is limited.
Masks Strongly Recommended.



A service of the BBA, thanks to the support of our members and donors

In partnership with:

Sail Away with the BBA : 2021 Summer Social


The BBA is back with in-person events programming! 

Celebrate the reopening of Burlington as you enjoy a beautiful summer evening on the Spirit of Ethan Allen III.

Join the BBA aboard the Spirit of Ethan Allen III for snacks, drinks and networking with BBA Members and friends, all while soaking in beautiful views of Lake Champlain. We can’t wait to see you! It’s been too long. 

Sail Away with the BBA!

2021 Summer Social

Thursday, July 29th

Ticket Prices for Members $25, Non-Members $35

Aboard The Spirit of Ethan Allen III


Boarding will begin at 3:45. The boat will leave at 4pm sharp!

Limited tickets will be available at the door. Register ahead for 2x the chance at door prizes.


Cash Bar. Light Appetizers Provided. Door Prizes.



Special Thanks to Our Host & Sponsor

Please note: accessibility is limited, please contact boat staff directly at (802) 862-8300 to learn more. 

For more information or registration assistance contact Event Coordinator Kate Healy – [email protected]


Don’t Miss Out: Quick Tips to Make the Most of the Summer of Reopening

As COVID restrictions continue to ease and visitors return to the region it is increasingly important to keep an up to date digital presence and leverage unique opportunities available to businesses. Check out the links below to help ensure you’re ready for “Hot Vax Summer”.


Google My Business

Google My Business is the most critical digital space to have your business operations up to date. If you haven’t claimed your business in Google or haven’t updated the hours it’s the digital equivalent of having a closed sign up in your window. Check out the BBA’s Guide to Google My Business and reach out to [email protected] with questions.  


VermontVacation.com Calendar and Directory

Add your event to the event submission form and make sure your business is listed on the trip planning directory by signing up. Events and business listings must be tourism-related and appropriate for out of state visitors.


UVM Staycation Campaign

UVM wants to partner with you to stimulate local economic activity by offering incentives for UVM employees to explore and enjoy the very best that Vermont-based businesses have to offer. See the details and benefits for partners HERE and Register to be a Partner.


Love Burlington

Make sure you are listed on loveburlington.org and the information is up to date. Check out this How-To Guide. You can also submit an event to the Love Burlington Calendar.  


Marketing Vaccination Incentives

Is your business offering incentives or discounts to those who are fully vaccinated? Submit any incentives you may be offering and the State will promote those offers through the ThinkVermont website.


Vaccine Clinics at Your Business

Did you know you can request the Department of Health to come to your businesses for a pop-up vaccine clinic? A pop-up clinic could create a unique marketing opportunity for your business. Businesses and organizations interested in creating pop-up clinics for their employees or customers or in having a vaccination booth at an upcoming event can submit information through the Vaccine Clinic Request form. 


Economic Recovery Bridge Program

The Economic Recovery Bridge Program application portal is now open. The program is expected to deliver $30 million in financial relief to businesses who have not received state and federal funding due to eligibility constraints.


Understanding Burlington’s Citywide Reappraisal: What it means for you and your business

Burlington sees 52% increase in total commercial appraisal values


*This page will be updated as more data becomes available and we releases further analysis on the impacts of the reappraisal to businesses.

On April 8th the City of Burlington published property reappraisal data to conclude the two year long citywide reevaluation with consultant Tyler Technologies. The city’s stated goal of reappraisal is to value all properties at 100% of their current fair market value This is the first city-wide reappraisal since 2005 and some parcels will see a significant increase in appraised value. 

# of ParcelsBeforeAfterChange
Grand List Total10399$3,735,263,626$5,927,947,364 58.70%
Commercial Only Total 585$691,543,651$1,050,521,33451.91%

The City’s Charter mandates that reappraisal will be revenue neutral, meaning some property owners will owe more and some will owe less. This is achieved through a decrease in the municipal rate. The tax rate for FY22 has not yet been determined. 

Reappraisal Links

*4/26/21 UPDATE: Reappraisal FAQs and Impact Tool:

The city has published a Reappraisal FAQs page and an Impact Tool that will help property owners estimate the impact on your tax bill. The city estimates the new municipal rate will be 0.6383. In June the final tax rates will be set by the state (education tax) and city (municipal tax) for FY22.

Read more about the Reappraisal here:  https://www.burlingtonvt.gov/assessor/reappraisal

Look up your property value here:  https://property.burlingtonvt.gov/

View the Grand List of all parcels for FY22 here:  https://www.burlingtonvt.gov/Assessor/Grand-List


Property Valuation Appeal

Property owners may appeal the new valuation but only have until April 30, 2021 by 4:00 PM to do so. You can file an appeal or find more information about the appeal process here:


  • Start an Appeal Online Here
  • After submitting your information, you must call Tyler Technologies at 1-877-895-9675 to schedule a Board of Assessor (BOA) property valuation hearing date and time. Hearings will be held virtually via Zoom. The hearings take about 10 minutes; please be prepared to highlight the reasons for your appeal, such as a recent appraisal, and be prepared to provide helpful information relating to the valuation of your property. 
  • You may experience hold times of ~10 minutes. If your hold time is significantly beyond that or you are unable to schedule your hearing please let us know: [email protected]


Impact on DID Fees

*On 4/21/21 the Church Street Marketplace Commission voted to set the rate of the DID at $.01 for FY22. Next, the City Council will vote to approve this rate. 

The reappraisal will have an impact on DID Fees for non-residential properties within the Downtown Improvement District. The DID fee is calculated off of appraised value. It appears as a separate line item on your tax bill or is passed on to you as a tenant via triple net. With appraised values mostly increasing the DID rate would need to be decreased to be level-funded with last year. A vote on this will take place at the Church Street Marketplace Commission on April 21. 

A BBA analysis estimated that the average DID paying parcel’s appraised value went up 53%. Even if the commission were to vote to level fund the DID it is important to note that most businesses would still pay more in DID fees because there are expected to be fewer fee paying parcels. in FY22 and a few very large fee payers saw decreases in their reappraisal. 

The BBA will be reaching out to DID fee payers and impacted businesses in the coming days to ensure you are aware of the opportunity to weigh in on the question of whether or not the tax delivers value and at what level it should be funded this year. 


DID Quick Facts:

  • Only downtown & waterfront area businesses pay this tax – DID MAP
  • It is written in the City Charter that it must be used for a 2 hr Free parking Program.
    • This year 2hr Free Parking ended in one downtown garage
  • It is capped at $0.12 and calculated based on your properties assessed value (appraisal + 20%)
    • The BBA successfully advocated to have this rate reduced by 50% in 2020 in response to the pandemic.
  • The tax, once collected, is sent to the Department of Public Works Parking & Traffic Department.
  • For the past 5 years the BBA has worked in collaboration with DPW to deliver special programs and services with a portion of these funds. That program ends on June 30, 2020. You can learn more about this partnership at parkburlington.com.

Impact on Business Personal Property (Asset) Tax

Because the BPP Tax is taxed at the municipal rate, it is expected the municipal rate decrease will lead to savings for BPP taxpayers. A 2018 study by the city found that this will result in an estimated savings of $172 per $100k assets or $268,000 total to taxpayers. 

In 2019 the BBA successfully advocated for a charter change that created a true exemption for businesses with less than $45k in assets and a mandated phase-out of the tax by 2026. 

More info on the BPPT can be found at the links below:

BBA Fact Sheet: Asset Tax


Have questions about DID fees or Business Personal Property Tax? Drop us a line: [email protected]


BBA Welcomes Two New Members to the Board of Directors

The Burlington Businesses Association (BBA) is pleased to announce the addition of two members to the Board of Directors: Michele Asch and Christian Kuzia. 

RELEASE: BBA Welcomes Two New Board Members

Michele Asch is the VP of Leadership & Organizational Development within her family business, Twincraft Skincare. Twincraft Skincare is a custom contract manufacturer of specialty bar soap and skincare products for over 150 brands throughout North America. Michele has a diverse background which includes 14 years at the University of Vermont. The first 10 years she was responsible for leadership development and service learning programs for students. She then moved on to the UVM School of Business and, as the Director of the UVM Family Business Program, she assisted Vermont family businesses with their succession planning. Thriving on the creativity found in entrepreneurship, she founded and sold two small businesses, a sea kayak adventure travel business and a men’s salon.  Michele is committed to serving our community. She currently serves on the Let’s Grow Kids Board of Directors and the ECHO Science Center Board of Directors. She recently ended a 3 year appointment as Chairperson of the Burlington Police Commission. Michele also served as Chair of Vermont Children’s Trust Foundation where she was a board member for 7 years. Michele graduated from the UVM School of Business in 1988. 


Christian Kuzia works for Westport Hospitality, and is the general manager of the Courtyard Burlington Harbor Hotel. Born and raised in Vermont, Christian has held multiple positions within the hospitality and restaurant industry over the past 20 years. He is a graduate of the food and beverage management program from the New England Culinary Institute, and began his career with Westport overseeing the food and beverage operation at the Courtyard Burlington Harbor. He has also managed Westport’s extended stay property, the TownePlace Suites by Marriott, in Williston. Christian has previously served on the board of directors for the Vermont Convention Bureau, The Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce, and is currently a board member of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Vermont. Christian resides in Colchester with his wife Jodi and their two sons, Caleb and Camden. 

“We are so excited to have Michele and Christian join the Board of Directors,” said Kelly Devine, Executive Director of the BBA. “The insight and perspective they bring from two industries critical to Burlington’s economy will be especially valuable as we come out of the pandemic.”