40th Anniversary Impact Report

BBA Membership Has Impact. And we want to tell you about it.

To celebrate the Burlington Business Association’s 40th anniversary we’ve captured the impact that together BBA members have made on Burlington. We also take a look at what lies ahead.

We work hard every day on behalf of the business community. Our team of four is passionate about making sure Burlington is the best place to live, work, and do business. We advocate for you at City Council and in the Mayor’s office. We manage projects that promote Burlington’s economic vitality. And we bring the community together to foster a brighter future for our city.

40th Anniversary Impact Report

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Executive Director Kelly Devine, a member of staff, or a member of the BBA’s Board of Directors to find more about getting engaged. We are passionately focused on Burlington’s economic vitality, we need your help. We couldn’t do it without our members, your membership dues, your time, your donations and your support. All help make our work possible and help make Burlington better.

There is more work to do, but in 40 years, we’ve come a long way together.

Registration Open for Waterfront FAM Tour

Get your sunglasses out! Summer is on the way and to celebrate the annual Waterfront FAM(iliarization) Tour is back on June 6th! This is one of our most popular annual events and is free for BBA members. Kick off the season with the BBA and learn what our waterfront members have planned for summer 2019, all while enjoying an afternoon cruise aboard the Spirit of Ethan Allen III on Lake Champlain.

More information and registration


Burlington Business Association FAM TourTake some time to network with fellow members of our local business community. Delicious complimentary appetizers will be provided by the Spirit of Ethan Allen and drinks will be available at a cash bar.

This event is free for BBA members and $10 for non-members. Space is limited so register ahead of time to reserve your spot. The boat leaves the dock promptly at 4pm so be sure to arrive on time so you don’t miss it!

Event Date: Thursday, June 6th, 2019

Event Time: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Location: Aboard the Spirit of Ethan Allen III, 1 College Street, Burlington VT 05401

Waterfront members are invited to speak at our “Minute at the Mic” and provide updates about their business as well as event information for the coming season. If you would like showcase your business this year sign up by following the link below. If you have any questions, please contact Administrative Coordinator Jack Commo

Sign Up for “Minute at the Mic”


Thank You to Our Event Host and Catering Sponsor:

Get Your Tickets for the BBA Dinner Raffle

The Burlington Business Association (BBA) is pleased to announce the return of the BBA Dinner Raffle to support Howard Center Street Outreach Team. Thanks to a generous donation from Perrywinkle’s Fine Jewelry, we will be raffling off a gorgeous necklace and earrings set at our 41st Annual Dinner on April 4th at the Hilton.

The winning raffle ticket will receive a necklace and studs from the Starlight Collection. Each piece was crafted here in Vermont and Montreal, Quebec. They feature 14k rose gold and responsibly sourced black diamonds. The screw back studs include 58 black diamonds. The total value of the package is over $1000.

The BBA Annual Dinner and Awards will take place at the Hilton Burlington on Thursday, April 4th from 5-9 pm. Tickets for the raffle are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased for $25 each or two for $40. Follow the link below to purchase them now.


Last year’s Rolex Raffle raised $4000 for the Howard Center Street Outreach Team, which assists those with mental health, substance abuse, homelessness, and unmet social service needs and coordinates services for those individuals. The primary goal of the team is to increase access to services for all individuals. The secondary goal is to address concerning behaviors that necessitate immediate intervention but do not rise to the level of an emergency response.

This raffle is made possible by Perrywinkle’s Fine Jewelry. The Burlington Business Association, founded in 1978, is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization with over 250 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.

Purchase Tickets for the 2019 Dinner and Raffle

Fill out the form below to reserve your spot and purchase tickets for the Perrywinkle’s Diamond Raffle. If you have any questions or would like to purchase your tickets over the phone, call Jack Commo at 802-863-1175.

Please include your entree choice in the comments section. Your options are a beef filet or a vegetarian ratatouille.

If you are buying multiple tickets please write the names of our attendees in the comment section along with their entree choice.

BBA Announces 2019 Award Winners

The Burlington Business Association is pleased to announce the 2019 BBA Award Winners.  These awards honor innovative business practices, individual contributions, and architectural achievements. Award winners will be honored 41st BBA Annual Dinner on April 4, 2019, at the Hilton Burlington.

Citizen Cider is the 2019 Business of the Year. The company has continued to thrive in the South End since its founding in 2010 – a fact illustrated by their consistent recognition by Seven Days as the best hard cidery for the past six years and as one of the top craft cider producers in the country recognized by Cidercraft Magazine in 2017. That same year Citizen Cider reaffirmed their commitment to Burlington, opening their new fruit processing and storage facility on Flynn Avenue to supplement their production space on Pine Street. 

The 2019 Tim Halvorson Award for Business Person of the Year will honor Larry Williams, Principal at Redstone. Since co-founding the Redstone Commercial Group in 1992, Larry has played a vital role in many notable development projects in Chittenden County. Williams serves on the board for the UVM Medical Center Foundation, UVM College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences Advisory Council, and the Vermont Business Roundtable. He is also a longtime supporter of the United Way and a founding member of the board of directors of Mobius, the Mentoring Movement. Recently he has worked to invigorate Vermont by becoming an investor and advisor to local beverage and restaurant start ups.

The winner of the Hertzel N. Pasackow Architectural Excellence Award is the University of Vermont Alumni House. Located at 61 Summit Street, the Alumni House is a beautiful example of Burlington’s historic architecture. Originally completed in 1892 for owner Edward Wells, the house was placed on the Register of Historic Places in 1979. From 1924-2003 it was home to UVM’s Delta Psi fraternity. Following an extensive rehabilitation headed up by Breadloaf Construction of Middlebury, the Alumni House re-opened in 2016. The building now serves as a gateway for UVM alumni to foster an enriching lifetime connection to not only the university, but to the Burlington community.

Last year the BBA honored Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman Realty for Business of the Year, Thomas Leavitt as the winner of the Tim Halvorson Award for Business Person of the Year, and City Market for the Architectural Excellence Award. Each of these winners stands as an example of the businesses and organizations that drive Burlington’s economic vitality. We also recognized a lifetime of contributions from the late Tony Pomerleau.

RELATED: 2018 BBA Dinner & Awards Facebook Album

All award winners will be recognized at the BBA Annual Dinner on April 4, 2019, 5– 9 p.m. at the Hilton Burlington. Tickets for the dinner are on sale now and sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more information contact Executive Director Kelly Devine.

The Burlington Business Association, founded in 1978, is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization with over 250 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.

Congratulations to this year’s award winners:

Larry Williams, Principal, Redstone

Business of the Year: Citizen Cider










University of Vermont Alumni House

City Council Candidate Forum on Livability

We are excited to announce that we are co-hosting a City Council Candidate Forum on Livability on Wednesday, February, 20 from 6-7:30pm at the Flynnspace at 153 Main Street. We hope our membership will take advantage of this opportunity to hear from City Council candidates as Town Meeting Day 2019 gets closer.

This event is being held in collaboration with AARP Vermont and will feature Council candidates in all four Burlington districts up for reelection this Town Meeting Day:

•         Central District / Old North End (Wards 2 & 3)
•         North District (Wards 7 & 4)
•         East District (Wards 1 & 8)
•         South District (Wards 5 & 6)

The goal of this event is to provide you with the opportunity to hear directly from the candidates on issues that are important to our shared goal of advocating for a livable and vital Burlington. Topics of discussion will include the future of transportation, housing, job growth and mobility. To learn more about your voting district and find your local polling place head to the City of Burlington’s website.

While this event is free to attend, online registration is required. Please follow the link below to register.


We also encourage you to spread the word about this important event by sharing our Facebook event with your friends and neighbors.

AARP and BBA are non-profits, non-partisan organizations. We do not endorse or oppose candidates for any public office. Our goal is to help our members understand where the candidates stand on issues that are important to our collective constituencies here in Burlington.  No campaigning is allowed on site at the event.

Register Now For the 2019 BBA Dinner

Our biggest party of the year is back and this year we’re taking it ‘Out Of This World’! The 2019 BBA Dinner and Awards is set for Thursday, April 4th at the Hilton. Registration is open now!

We can promise another festive evening of food, drinks and fun with fellow Burlington business people. The dinner is all about coming together to celebrate the great people that make up our local business community, while raising money to support the vital advocacy efforts of the BBA.

This year’s unique theme will see the ballroom transformed in to another planet, as we take you ‘Out Of This World’. As always guests are encouraged to dress up!

Registration is now open for individual tickets and table of ten. Admission includes access to our cocktail hour, dinner, awards and the live auction. Tickets can be purchased online by following the link below. We encourage you to register soon because we expect the dinner to sell out ahead of April 4th.

Attendees can enjoy a delicious taste of Vermont at this year’s cocktail hour. Thanks to a generous sponsorship from Farrell Distributing, the cocktail hour will feature tastings from 2019 Business of the Year Citizen Cider as well as Stowe based von Trapp Brewery.

As always the dinner will be an opportunity to recognize the best of our local business community, including the presentation of our annual awards. Stay tuned, as we will soon be announcing the winners of the Tim Halvorson Business Person of the Year, Business of the Year and the Hertzel Pasackow Award for Architectural Excellence.

Last year the BBA honored Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman Realty for Business of the Year, Thomas Leavitt as the winner of the Tim Halvorson Award for Business Person of the Year, and City Market for our Architectural Excellence Award.

RELATED: 2018 BBA Dinner & Awards Facebook Album

We are still offering sponsorship opportunities for the annual dinner. For more information about sponsorship levels and how you can showcase your business at this high profile event, contact our Executive Director Kelly Devine.

2019 will mark the 41st edition of the BBA Dinner and we look forward to celebrating the achievements of our local business community with everyone on April 4th at the Hilton.

Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor

Thank You to our Dinner Sponsors




Thank You to our Cocktail Reception Sponsor

Thank You to our Program Sponsors

Alex Bunten Named Special Projects Manager

The Burlington Business Association (BBA) is pleased to announce the hiring of Alex Bunten as special projects manager. Taking over from Derik Wrightson, Bunten will work closely with key stakeholders and the City of Burlington to improve the parking and transportation dynamics in the Queen City.

The BBA was formed in 1978 to help advance the formation of the Church Street Marketplace pedestrian mall – an early example of a downtown improvement district. The group focussed on enhancing the economic vitality of Burlington and today focuses on issues such as transportation and parking, public safety, infrastructure maintenance and improvement, cleanliness, signage, taxes and zoning.

“Alex is a strategic thinker, has excellent organizational skills and brings a lot of valuable experience to the organization,” said Kelly Devine, executive director of the BBA. “It’s been a time of rapid change but Alex has jumped right in and we’re happy to have him on board.”

Born and raised in Charlotte, Vermont, Bunten finished his undergraduate degree at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and later completed a masters degree in international relations at Uppsala University, Sweden, and the University of Deusto, Spain.

After spending more than a decade living and working abroad in communications, management and education, Bunten returned to Vermont in 2015. Most recently he worked at Pale Morning Media in Waitsfield, Vt., where he managed public relations portfolios for national and international outdoor brands.

“Burlington is a special place and I’m thrilled to be working for an organization whose mission is to make sure it stays that way,” said Bunten. “I look forward to connecting with the local business leaders and community stakeholders to understand how we can make living, working and doing business here a positive experience for all.”

Alex Bunten can be reached at [email protected] or 802-863-1175, ext. 3.

Street Ambassadors Support Welcoming Environment Downtown

This holiday season the Burlington Business Association, in close collaboration with the Church Street Marketplace has created the street ambassador team. Recognized by their bright yellow jackets from Chocolate Thunder Security, the ambassadors will be present downtown this holiday season, working to ensure visitors have an inviting, informed and safe visit to Burlington

“It’s a simple but effective concept that’s been used in Portland, Boulder and other vibrant cities. We are thrilled to have it here on the streets of Burlington,” said Kelly Devine, Executive Director of the Burlington Business Association. “This program is an important and necessary service for downtown. So far the feedback has been very positive.”

The street ambassador team debut on Wednesday and will continue until December 24th, serving as a welcoming presence for visitors, providing information, directions and recommendations as needed. Ambassadors are available to provide information about local events, important phone numbers if visitors have issues, as well as information about recent parking promotions – 4-hours free parking at the municipal garages next to Hotel Vermont and the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, $3 free at all meters with the Park Mobile app and a promo code, and free parking on evenings and weekends at 52 Elmwood Ave.

“There’s always so much going on in Burlington and having a welcoming, informed presence on the street to help orient our many holiday visitors just makes a lot of sense,” said Ron Redmond, Executive Director of the Church Street Marketplace.

The ambassadors will be available within an area between Maple Street and Pearl Street (south to north) and from Battery Street to South Winooski Avenue (west to east) during the following times up until December 24: Wednesday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Thursday & Friday 2 – 8 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

“Sometimes just a welcoming smile is all it takes to make someone feel comfortable in a foreign environment,” said Mickey Van Gulden, owner of Chocolate Thunder Security, a local firm responsible for hiring the ambassadors.  “I’ve stopped into pretty much every business within our area to tell them who we are and what we’re doing. All the businesses so far have been very appreciative and encouraging.”

College Street Holiday Stroll, December 7th

College Street Holiday Stroll Debuts December 7th

College Street businesses have teamed up to create a festive afternoon of music, food, drinks, and prizes to celebrate downtown Burlington’s fantastic local businesses this Friday, December 7th from 4pm-8pm.

Adding to holiday cheer will be the return of winters lights on downtown sidestreets. The 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, Bank, Cherry, and Center Streets. The initiative is a collaboration between the BBA, Burlington Telecom, Burton Snowboards, and the businesses of the College Street Collective.

The College Street Collective is a group of locally owned businesses who banded together to create an event series and a printed local guide. All events and programs are funded entirely by the businesses involved, with lead sponsorship from Northfield Savings Bank, Common Deer, Liebling Boutique, and Burton. The Local Guide, which doubles as a parking map will be available year-round at participating businesses and around town.

Other participating businesses in this year’s event include: Bennington Potters North, Hydrangea Too Accessories for the Body & Home, Tailfeather, Michael Kehoe Ltd., Patagonia Burlington, Chop Shop Hair Design, Shop Tangerine, The Archives, Bistro de Margot, Ceres Natural Remedies, Battery Street Jeans, Computers For Change, Deli/126, Esc4pe, Finnigan’s Pub, Fletcher Free Library, my little cupcake, Onyx Tonics Specialty Coffee, Tight Squeeze Coffee Shop.

Details of each participant’s sale, food and drink offerings, special menu, live music, or other exciting programming can be found on the Facebook event and by following #collegestreetbtv on social media.

Attendees should also take advantage of 4-hour free parking at both College Street Garage (60 College St., entrances on College St. and Battery St.) and Lakeview Garage (41 Cherry St., entrance on Cherry St.). More information on downtown Burlington’s holiday parking promotions and an interactive parking map can be found at parkburlington.com.