The Weekly Deep Dive

November 24th, 2021                                                                     Issue #91

As businesses gear up for the Holiday season this year looks to be different from the norm. As many businesses and consumers alike have already discovered, supply chains and shipping times have been deeply disrupted as bottlenecks in shipping ports and shortages of freight haulers has meant that shipping times for a variety of goods have increased. Here are two tips for your small business to navigate the coming holiday season.

  1. Prepare.

With the foresight of shipping delays it is more important than ever for businesses to prepare for the holiday season early and try and secure inventory before it is too late. This year may be as good a case as any that the early bird gets the worm.


  1. Inventory you have already is a major asset

With shipping delays expected online shopping may not get you the order in time for the holidays so as a business with inventory on hand use that to your advantage. "Shop here and have your gifts on Christmas" should be the calling card for all brick and mortar businesses as the return of in person shopping coupled with uncertainty about online shopping play right into your hand.

Grants and Opportunities

How It Works

  1. Program staff helps you develop a plan to save up to $1,000 over a two-year period.
  2. The program matches every dollar you save (up to $1,000) with an additional dollar.

    This means that if you:
    Save the allowed maximum of $1,000    +
    The program gives you a match of $1,000 =
    You'll have $2,000 saved to help you achieve your goal.

  3. You attend classes to help you learn how to better manage your finances.
  4. You can access your matched funds after you've successfully saved for at least 12 months and have a written plan showing how you'll spend the money to reach your goal.


How To Apply

Contact your local Community Action Agency.

Vermont Emergency Rental Assistance Program

The Vermont Emergency Rental Assistance Program (VERAP) was created to help renters dealing with financial challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. For eligible households, the program offers rental and utility assistance to help Vermonters avoid eviction or loss of utility service. ERAP was established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021.

Who is eligible for VERAP?

  • Must be obligated to pay rent on a residential dwelling in Vermont. 
  • One or more individuals within the household has qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • You’re able to demonstrate risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability. 
  • The household has an income at or below 80% of area median income (AMI) Vermont Income Limits.

What are the benefits?

  • Rent  
  • Back rent (arrears) to April 1, 2020 
  • Utility bills, this includes electric and gas, fuel oil, wood and pellets  

What documentation is needed?

  • 2020 W-2s or Income Tax Form (e.g. 1040).
  • Current pay stubs (last 2 months)
  • Lease or rental agreement or letter of attestation from landlord
  • Eviction notice (If applicable)
  • Unemployment Compensation Benefits letter (if applicable)
  • Documentation for other income sources (Social Security or Disability, Child Support, Alimony, Pension as applicable)
  • Legal Name of your landlord
For more information please click here :
Mileage Smart Program
Capstone's MileageSmart program helps you pay for your next car, which means you'll cut your transportation costs and stretch your monthly budget. Not only can you get up to $5,000 towards the purchase price, but you'll also be investing in a high-efficiency vehicle that will save you money for years to come. Click the link below to learn more about this fantastic opportunity. 

 "Without MileageSmart, we would not have been able to afford a newer car with better gas mileage which will help us cut down our costs. My husband has been driving for Lyft, so this is exactly what we needed right now!"  --Rachel Lohia of Richmond, new owner of a 2017 Kia Niro.

My Future VT

Need training or looking to start a new career? My Future VT is a free, statewide resource to find career advice, training, and support. Anyone thinking about next career steps should start here. 
Micro Business Spotlight
Want to Be Featured in The Micro Business Spotlight?

All Micro Business Development Program businesses are eligible for this free advertising opportunity, as long as you have an open and operating business with photos and a working web link.

Please Email Adam Annunziata: for more information.

The Final Word

"I have not failed. I've just found ten thousand ways that won't work."

– Thomas Edison
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