State House

MONTPELIER — A new state program aims to provide financial relief to businesses that hadn't received state or federal pandemic relief funding up to this point due to ineligibility.

Gov. Phil Scott, the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) and the Department of Economic Development (DED) on Thursday announced the launch of the Economic Recovery Bridge Program. Opening on Monday, June 7, 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 and to businesses who can show a continued loss of revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"As we move out of the pandemic emergency and into our long-term recovery, it’s so important that we support Vermont’s small businesses and employers, who are the backbone of our economy,” said Scott.

H.315 (Act 9) appropriated $10 million and H.439 appropriates $20 million of the state’s share of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. 

“We know that businesses continue to suffer losses due to the pandemic and that some businesses have not had the ability to access existing funding to help them recover from these sustained losses,” said Joan Goldstein, commissioner of the Department of Economic Development. “As we move past the pandemic, these funds are intended to bridge those final gaps, so that businesses can recover and thrive in the months and years ahead.”

Eligible businesses must be domiciled and have their primary place of business in Vermont and demonstrate that the business experienced a net tax loss in 2020, greater than any net loss reported in 2019 via submitted federal tax returns.

Grants will be issued on a first come, first served basis.

Businesses can find the full program guidelines in several languages and frequently asked questions about this new program at the ACCD COVID-19 Recovery Resource Center. The application portal is targeted to open on Monday, June 7. There will be a support line available once the portal opens by calling 802-828-1200.

The Department of Economic Development will hold an informational webinar on the program and application process Friday, June 4 from 12 to 1 p.m. For those who cannot attend, a recording will be posted to the ACCD website.

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