Adopt Your Sidewalk

The Burlington Business Association is asking downtown businesses and property owners to Sign Up and Pledge to adopt the sidewalk in front of their businesses. The BBA first launched the Adopt Your Sidewalk program in 2016 which saw dozens of downtown businesses come together at seasonal clean-up events. We know that by joining together, businesses downtown can each do a small part to make a big impact on the cleanliness of Burlington, create an atmosphere of positive energy, and communicate to residents and visitors that this is a welcoming, tight-knit community that works together to care for our downtown. We’re asking members and all downtown businesses to join us in renewing the pledge. By adopting your sidewalk, businesses are committing to cleaning, maintaining, and beautifying their own small strip of Downtown Burlington. 

We are hoping to kick off this event in the next few weeks! Please fill out the Sign-Up form to let us know what days work best for you.

PLEDGE NOW

 

If you have any questions about this project, please email Colin.

BBA’s Fall 2022 Public Safety Plan

Throughout the summer, we have heard increased public safety concerns in downtown Burlington from our members. As we transition into the fall, the BBA has developed a public safety plan to address the immediate needs of the downtown. We know we do not have years to reverse current trends. 

 

The purpose of these projects is to increase both the perceived and real safety of all who work, visit, and live downtown. We heard in a recent Town Hall with the Mayor attended by over a hundred downtown stakeholder how businesses have a desire to assist with public safety efforts at many levels. BBA members and the downtown business community have alwasy been willing to come together on solutions. These projects aim to be just a few more ways for the downtown communtiy to come together and support each other. 

The BBA, together with support from our Downtown Action Group members and through consultation with the Mayor and Church Street Marketplace, have identified seven key projects we hope to implement this fall and through the holiday season.

Our Fall 2022 Safety Plan includes: Sidewalk/Parks Clean up Events, Distribution of Graffiti removal products, Increased lighting downtown, relaunching our Downtown Ambassadors escort program, creating a downtown business phone tree, offering training for downtown employees, and introducing the CSL/CSO’s. 

Fall-2022-Public-Safety-Projects-1-1

The BBA is entering the initial stages of project planning with more updates to follow. If you are a business experiencing public safety challenges, please don’t hesitate to contact us: at [email protected]. Or attend our next Downtown Action Group Meeting Tuesday, September 27th, from 9:30-10:30 at Courtyard by Marriott’s Harbor Room. 

BBA Supports Fundraising of Stab-Resistant Vests for the Street Outreach Team

At the beginning of July, the BBA began fundraising to support the Howard Center Street Outreach Team to buy stab-resistant vests. Funds to acquire the vest were not in the team’s budget and required outside support. Recent interactions precipitated the need for increased protection to ensure that the Street Outreach Team could continue to provide services in downtown Burlington safely. 

With the support of the Burlington business community, BBA raised $5000 to supply the Street Outreach Team with six stab-resistant vests, which have been fitted and ordered. The vests were purchased from Parro’s, a Vermont business located in Waterbury. Additional funds remaining will be utilized to buy additional vest for Howard Center Street Outreach Team’s future hires in the event the team is able to reach full staffing. Vests are expected to arrive towards the end of September. 

The BBA remains focused on improving public safety throughout the downtown Burlington community. There is no easy fix for the complexity of the downtown safety challenges, but the we plan to continue developing public safety initiatives going into the Fall. 

If you are a business experiencing public safety challenges please don’t hesitate to reach out to us: [email protected] Or attend a Downtown Action Group Meeting. 

In the News:

NBC5: “Burlington business community to provide stab resistant vests for Howard Center Workers”

WCAX: Howard Center receives stab proof vests

Thank you to the following organizations for their donations:

The Farmhouse Group, Leunig’s Bistro and Cafe, Penny Cluse Cafe, Little & Cicchetti, Homeport, Whim Boutique, Garcia’s Tobacco Shop, MK Clothing, Donahue & Associates, Skirack, Burlington City Arts, Chocolate Thunder Security

READY FOR TAKE–OFF? BBA + SBBA SUMMER SOCIAL

COME SOAR INTO THE FUTURE OF AIRCRAFT

Join the BBA on September 15th for our 2022 Summer Social co-hosted with the South Burlington Business Association!

 We are partnering with the South Burlington Business Association to bring you this year’s summer social with our sponsor and host BETA technologies. Come see behind the scenes of the future of air travel with tours of BETA technologies state-of-the-art facilities. Network with BBA and SBBA members and friends while enjoying refreshments supplied by our bar sponsor, Farrell Distributing and light appetizers. The event will start at 5pm. Be sure to register for this event early as we expect tickets to sell out. Tickets are $25 for Members and $35 for Non-Members. BBA’s Platinum and Silver Members enjoy complimentary registration.  Upon arrival, park for free courtesy of Burlington international Airport

BBA x SBBA 2022 Summer Social

Burlington Business Association

BETA Technologies

1150 Airport Dr, South Burlington 

September 15th, 5pm

Tickets: $25 for Members, $35 for Non-Members

 

Registration includes 2 Free Drink Tickets and Light Appetizers. 

BETA will be offering tours of their facilities plus opportunities to try the flight simulator! Stay tuned for more info. 

Please be sure to rsvp, we look forward to seeing you there!

REGISTER TODAY

Platinum + Silver Member Registration

SBBA Member Registration

 

Special Thanks to Our Host and Sponsors! 

They are leading the way at this event and in business in Burlington.

First Class Sponsor 

YOUR BUSINESS HERE!

Business Class SponsorsEconomy Class Sponsors

YOUR BUSINESS HERE!

Catering Sponsor

Bar Sponsor

Parking Sponsor

AMTRAK TO BURLINGTON– A NEW TRANSPORTATION HUB

Last Friday morning, the Ethan Allen Express (EAX) train departed from Burlington’s new Union Station, connecting Burlington to New York City for the first time in 70 years. Service began July 29th, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony before the train’s departure. With historic stations in Middlebury and Ferrisburgh-Vergennes restored, passenger rail travel is more accessible to Vermonters than ever. For the summer, Amtrak is offering promotional fares on the EAX, as well as an $18 maximum fare for traveling within Vermont to promote Vermont ridership. Tickets can be purchased via Amtrak.com, the Amtrak app, Amtrak ticket desks and kiosks, and through 1-800-USA-RAIL. 

The EAX will depart from Burlington every morning at 10:10 am and reach New York’s Penn Station (NYP) by 5:45 pm. The Northbound train will depart NYP at 2:21 pm and arrive in Burlington at 9:55 pm. The full Ethan Allen Express schedule can be viewed here.  There is currently limited parking at Pease Lot & Perkins Pier, which offers the closest spots to Burlington’s Union Station. The BBA is leading an effort to expand parking options. Currently, nearby city-run garages offer the least-cost option for overnight parking. Visit ParkBurlington.com for more information. 

Ethan Allen Express passengers can enjoy the standard Amtrak amenities onboard– including cafe service and free wifi. With an added reservation and a $20 fee, EAX riders can bring their bike along too.

How the BBA is working for you

While the new Burlington Union station provides a vital regional transportation link between New York City and Burlington, local transportation pathways must be able to support an influx of travelers. The BBA, alongside the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC), is conducting a transportation study to assess the connectivity between Burlington’s new Union Station and downtown Burlington. The new Amtrak train service has the potential to bring a new cohort of tourists to Burlington and serve as a significant transportation corridor for Northwestern Vermont.

There is interest among waterfront stakeholders, businesses, and the City of Burlington in planning how various transportation connections would support the Hub created by the Amtrak service coming to Burlington. Key elements of the project will include an analysis of public and private parking available for Amtrak passengers, a multi-modal connectivity and wayfinding assessment, and an ADA assessment of the Main Street Landing and Union Station. The Amtrak Connectivity Project launches in early August and is expected to be complete by December 2022. The BBA will prepare and widely distribute a report on the planned improvements and recommendations and advocate for advancing them. The extension of the EAX presents a renewed opportunity for Burlington; however, the long-term success of the EAX depends on the accessibility between Burlington’s Union Station and the City of Burlington.

WATCH & ANALYSIS: Chittenden Co. State’s Attorney Candidate Forum

On Wednesday, July 6th, the BBA co-hosted a candidate forum on the Chittenden County State’s Attorney’s race. During this forum, we heard from Sarah George (I) and her opponent Ted Kenney, both Democrats vying for the party’s nomination in the August, 9th Primary. There are no Republicans in this race. MyNBC5’s Stewart Ledbetter moderated the forum.

Watch the full forum

Analysis

Thank you to the South Burlington Business Association, the Vermont Retail and Grocers Association, and the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce for their partnership on this event. Together we have co-authored the below in-depth analysis of the forum. 

Read the in-depth analysis here: Groups React to Jointly Hosted Chittenden County State’s Attorney Forum

Here are our key takeaways:

  • A lack of concrete solutions to downtown safety
    • George defended her policies and did not feel there was a connection between those policies and issues that our members see daily. She blamed the court backlog in response to questions about repeat offenders.She offered few ideas or actions to address issues with the state judicial system.
    • Kenney stated that he believes the problem with increased crime is multifaceted. He states he’s committed to sharpening the existing policies, but did not provide specifics.
  • Agreement on Retail Theft
    • Both candidates expressed interest in restitution, or repayment, for victims of retail theft, however, neither put forth any substantive structure for that process.
  • Differences on Conditions of Release
    • Kenney disagreed with George’s approach. He saw a problem with a judge imposing conditions that aren’t asked for by a prosecutor, implying the state’s attorney could and should try asking for stricter conditions.
    • George noted that conditions of release are complicated and handled case-by-case. She stated that judges often set conditions of release not requested by prosecutors. She also stated that for some their mental health or substance use needs severely influence their decision-making.
  • Commitment to Advancing Criminal Justice Reform
    • George believes that criminal justice reform is best served by changing how we prosecute cases. For example, she defended her policy on non-public safety traffic stops. George’s primary approach to prosecution is to keep offenders out of jail and instead tries to help the accused deal with issues of mental health and substance use disorder.
    • Kenney pointed to increased and perpetual implicit bias training for law enforcement and other officials within the justice system as a critical step in addressing racial disparities. Kenney does not see public safety and compassion as mutually exclusive in the judicial system. 

 

Remember to VOTE: Primary Day is Tuesday, August 9th. 

Find your polling location here. Request an Absentee Ballot here.

In the News

About the Candidates

Sarah George 

Sarah is the Chittenden County State’s Attorney in Burlington, Vermont. She has been a prosecutor in Chittenden County since January 2011 and sworn in as the elected State’s Attorney on January 20th, 2017.  Chittenden County houses over a quarter of Vermont’s total population, is the most diverse county in the State, and stands out for their progressive approach to public health and public safety.

Sarah is the second woman in Vermont history to serve in this role and since being Chittenden County State’s Attorney has focused her efforts on overhauling the criminal legal system.  She uses her incredible prosecutorial discretion to implement evidence based practices and policies that work to keep her community safe.  Sarah is dedicated to providing opportunity, intervention and holistic support to survivors, families and offenders; holding individuals accountable and implementing smart-on-crime policies that promote safe, healthy, and strong communities.

Ted Kenney

Ted Kenney was born in Burlington and raised in Richmond. He attended local schools and graduated from St. Michael’s College. He then moved to Washington, D.C. where he worked full-time and went to night school at The American University to earn his law degree. Moving back to his hometown two weeks after graduating, Ted opened his own solo law practice.  His practice grew into a successful small town law practice, concentrating on criminal defense and civil litigation. 

Ted has helped lead a number of charities and professional organizations. He has been vice-chair of the Chittenden County Bar Association, the president of the Vermont Dismas House (helping former inmates re-adjust to society), and the president of the Vermont Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He is currently serving on the board of the Joint Urban Ministry Project, a charity that provides services to the poor and homeless. Ted has handled hundreds of cases and represented hundreds of people, appearing in criminal, civil and family cases in state and federal court. He has argued multiple appeals before the Vermont Supreme Court and the federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City. In 2020, Ted accepted a job as the Human Services Division Chief in the Attorney General’s Office, supervising 30 attorneys and support staff. He left the position in 2022 and is now running for Chittenden County State’s Attorney.

Burlington Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Passes City Council Unanimously

On June 27, 2022, the City Council unanimously approved Mayor Weinberger’s $96 million City Budget for fiscal year 2023. This budget included a 3 year plan for building a more robust police department, increasing public safety, adjusting property tax rates, and critical public infrastructure. 

Here are the key details:

  • 3 Year Plan to Rebuild Police Department
    • $1.2 million in funding to retain current police force and incentivize new recruits
      • Competitive contracts, signing bonuses, and stipends to live in Burlington, furthering education, and childcare
    • Number of BPD Community Service officers will increase from 10 to 12
    • Number of Community Service Liaisons will increase from 3 to 6
    • Reserves $400,000 for a Crisis Response Team Program that is inspired by the CAHOOTs program in Eugene, Oregon
  • Plan to Rebuild Infrastructure
    • $1.5 million in bike and pedestrian improvements
    • $1.6 million for rebuilding 3 miles of sidewalks and to complete a citywide sidewalk condition assessment for DPW to update targets moving forward
    • $1.1 million to develop a shared use path on Intervale Road
  • Changes in Property Tax Rates
    • Municipal taxes will increase from $0.6700 (FY22) to $0.7082 (FY23)
    • Estimated Homestead Education Tax will decrease from $1.4553 (FY22) to $1.3891 (FY23)
    • Estimated Commercial Education Tax will decrease from $1.5306 (FY22) to $1.4660 (FY23)
  • Net Zero Plan and Climate Initiatives
    • Continuation of administration’s commitment to invest toward their Net Zero Energy City goals and to fight the climate emergency
    • Largely funded by Burlington Electric Department revenues, federal grants, and Net Zero Energy Revenue Bond; this funding includes:
      • $2 million for customer strategic electrification incentives and programs (rebates for heat pumps e-bikes, e-mowers, and home charging stations)
      • $1.5 million for energy efficiency incentives and programs, adding EV charging infrastructure and continuing to replace city fleet with electric and hybrid vehicles

The Mayor’s Press Release on the passing of the budget can be found here. The full FY23 City Budget can be found here.

Chittenden County State’s Attorney Candidate Forum

This election cycle, the contest for the elected office of Chittenden County State’s Attorney has taken on more attention as residents of the region debate issues of public safety and crime. During this virtual candidate forum on Wednesday, July 6th at noon, voters can hear from the incumbent, Sarah George, and the challenger in the upcoming primary election, Ted Kenney. The Burlington Business Association is co-hosting this event in partnership with the South Burlington Business Association, the Vermont Retail and Grocers Association, and the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce.

More information can be found at: https://lccvermont.org/event/sa-forum/

REGISTER HERE

If you have questions for the candidates, please use the field in the registration form or send them to [email protected] with the subject line “SA Forum Question.” 

 

Sarah George 

Sarah is the Chittenden County State’s Attorney in Burlington, Vermont. She has been a prosecutor in Chittenden County since January 2011 and sworn in as the elected State’s Attorney on January 20th, 2017.  Chittenden County houses over a quarter of Vermont’s total population, is the most diverse county in the State, and stands out for their progressive approach to public health and public safety.

Sarah is the second woman in Vermont history to serve in this role and since being Chittenden County State’s Attorney has focused her efforts on overhauling the criminal legal system.  She uses her incredible prosecutorial discretion to implement evidence based practices and policies that work to keep her community safe.  Sarah is dedicated to providing opportunity, intervention and holistic support to survivors, families and offenders; holding individuals accountable and implementing smart-on-crime policies that promote safe, healthy, and strong communities.

 

Ted Kenney

Ted Kenney was born in Burlington and raised in Richmond. He attended local schools and graduated from St. Michael’s College. He then moved to Washington, D.C. where he worked full-time and went to night school at The American University to earn his law degree. Moving back to his hometown two weeks after graduating, Ted opened his own solo law practice.  His practice grew into a successful small town law practice, concentrating on criminal defense and civil litigation. 

Ted has helped lead a number of charities and professional organizations. He has been vice-chair of the Chittenden County Bar Association, the president of the Vermont Dismas House (helping former inmates re-adjust to society), and the president of the Vermont Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He is currently serving on the board of the Joint Urban Ministry Project, a charity that provides services to the poor and homeless. Ted has handled hundreds of cases and represented hundreds of people, appearing in criminal, civil and family cases in state and federal court. He has argued multiple appeals before the Vermont Supreme Court and the federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City. In 2020, Ted accepted a job as the Human Services Division Chief in the Attorney General’s Office, supervising 30 attorneys and support staff. He left the position in 2022 and is now running for Chittenden County State’s Attorney.

Bill Truex – A Tribute

Bill Truex passed away recently, leaving behind an amazing legacy. His mark on Burlington, VT will forever be intertwined with our history. Bill had a vision for Burlington, but lots of folks have a vision. What Bill did was work for two decades to realize that vision: the Church Street Marketplace. It took three votes from the citizens of Burlington to win approval of the plan to pedestrianize Church Street. The work began in 1980 and wasn’t complete until 2005.

 

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As a part of his work to create the Marketplace, Bill was part of a group of local leaders who created the Downtown Burlington Development Association (DBDA). The organization’s mission was closely tied to Bill’s work on the Marketplace. He was a founder and founding board member of the DBDA which would later rebrand as the Burlington Business Association (BBA) in the 2000s. The BBA honored Bill with its prestigious Nate Harris Award in 1991.

Those are amongst Bill’s most noteworthy accomplishments, but for those of us who knew him, it was Bill as a mentor and friend that we will miss the most. As the leader of the BBA, I turned to Bill on many occasions for advice, information, support, or help. Bill never said no. And he stayed engaged in Burlington; always willing to work to help improve the city and Lake Champlain; two things he loved.

We can honor Bill’s legacy by taking care of the place he loved.

Bill had spent the past three years planning for the International Classic and Antique Boat Show to come to Burlington, VT. It happens this September 5th to 10th. I’ll be there, I hope you will too.

International Classic and Antique Boat Show – 9/5 to 9/10 

VBM Announces 50 Best Places to Work in Vermont 2022

Vermont Business Magazine and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce recently announced the top 50 Best Places to Work in Vermont 2022. The annual survey and awards program recognizes and honors the best places of employment in Vermont by focusing on workplace policies, practices, demographics, and employee experience. 

Unsurprisingly, many BBA members were recognized. Check out who made the list! 

 

Comcast Business

Stone Environmental

DEW Construction

DEW Construction | LinkedIn

Gallagher, Flynn & Company, LLPHickock & Boardman Insurance Group

Mascoma Bank

 

Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer PC

Spectrum Youth and Family

 

Champlain Housing Trust

VHB

Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman Realty

United Way of Northwest Vermont

Congratulations to all BBA members recognized! The final rankings for each category will be announced at a special awards presentation in April.