Every business owner I know is working harder than ever to figure out how to survive. No matter the type of business, each day brings new challenges. The BBA is working hard to make sure we can be right there with you. We need each other more than ever.
Together we can do more for our economy and businesses. I am asking you to send me three ideas of how we can help. What can we, the city or the state do to help your business survive?
The city passed its budget last night, by a 9 to 3 vote, likely only the second time the budget did not pass unanimously: a reflection of the division on the council. Budget wins the BBA worked for:
- 50% cut in both marketplace and DID fees
- ~ $750,000 savings to downtown businesses
- Phase 1 of asset tax reduction: $45,000 exemption across the board and a lower rate
- ~ $450,000 estimated savings to business
- Free employee parking program downtown: valued at about $75,000
- Delay in removal of 2HRs FREE in Marketplace Garage: valued at about $300,000
- Will be replaced by a validation program
- 2hrs free will remain at Lakeside and Cherry St garages
We will be sending out some information soon in partnership with the Vermont Chamber of Commerce about help available from the state programs. There are small business grants for those that can show a 50% reduction in business, so stay tuned.
The BBA runs on membership dues – that and events are our income. We are asking that you pay your dues if you can, and we will work with you if you can’t. Just let us know. You’ll hear from me if you haven’t already. Let me know how you are and what works for you.
“In a time of a pandemic, to be able to pass a budget that has no layoffs, no furloughs of permanent employees and no tax increase, and largely keeps intact most of the city services is actually pretty remarkable,” Councilor Brian Pine (P-Ward 3) said. “I think it’s really important for us to … put aside our own personal issues or grievances we may have and look at what in totality is being accomplished here.”