Vermont Business Roundtable Co-Signs on Letter Appealing for Liability Protection and Local Funding

MEDIA ADVISORY 

Multi-State Business Coalitions Pen COVID-19 Recovery Letter to Congressional Leadership 

JUNE 15, 2020 

Today, the nation’s largest private sector business leadership organizations from 14 states released a public letter to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives calling for the COVID-19 fourth federal stimulus package to include substantial aid for state and local governments, as well as liability protection for employers. . Full letter below or download Here. Continue reading “Vermont Business Roundtable Co-Signs on Letter Appealing for Liability Protection and Local Funding”

Roundtable Releases Statement of Support to Address Racism [6.5.20]

Vermonters and Americans enjoy more freedoms, protections, and economic opportunities than almost anyone else in the world, yet these benefits are sadly not equally available to all of us because of pervasive racism in our country. There has never been and never will be any moral justification for racial injustice, yet it exists; a fundamental contradiction to our nation’s foundational value of equality for all.  Continue reading “Roundtable Releases Statement of Support to Address Racism [6.5.20]”

A Letter to Vermonters in Response to COVID-19 Outbreak [3.23.20]

Dear Vermonters,

As members of the Vermont Business Roundtable, we recognize the opportunity and obligation we have, to do our share to alleviate the severity of disruption to our economic and social fabric.

 We believe that limiting the impact of the COVID-19 health crisis is the most important step we should take at this time. Doing so will reduce the public health threat that must be addressed before our economy will be restored – at the state and national levels – to a new normal. Our extremely talented health care professionals and institutions are working in a coordinated fashion to serve the public. Their request of us is straightforward: 1) prepare for the long term, this won’t disappear in two weeks; 2) stay home; and, 3) for those who can’t stay home, to maximize healthy and sterile protocols. We urge all Vermonters to honor their requests. We can flatten the severity and duration of this outbreak to the benefit for everyone, if we respect the social distancing guidance of health care professionals.

We believe that our economic crisis will have a disproportionate impact on lower income wage earners.  This will result in significant and disproportionate impacts on their health and vitality, in turn. A struggling economy also means that other systems are weakened as a result, including education, health care, and workforce pipelines. We respond by asking employers who are laying off workers to engage with the Roundtable’s Vermont Talent Pipeline. Through this project, we can help match that talent with employers seeking to increase their seasonal workforces or respond to spikes in demand for products and services. In addition, Roundtable members are acting quickly and decisively to protect vulnerable Vermonters through efforts such as suspension of debt collection for consumers, ceasing utility disconnections, and deferring payments on agricultural loans. And, we will be holding member-wide calls on a regular basis to find more ways, within and outside our membership, to help those most impacted.

We believe that sharing our corporate and community successes will benefit the entire state. We will communicate through a variety of platforms the successful adjustments being made by our member companies, so that others might benefit as well. During our last state emergency – Tropical Storm Irene – Vermonters learned that we are stronger when we act together, Vermont Strong, in fact. We now find ourselves in a much more urgent situation, and our survival demands that we dig deep within ourselves again.

We believe that we can do this. We are Vermont Strong.

Sincerely,
The CEO Members and Staff of the Vermont Business Roundtable

** Visit our COVID-19 Response Page for Related Resources **

Contacts: Lisa Ventriss, President, Vermont Business Roundtable
Mary Anne Sheahan, Executive Director, Vermont Talent Pipeline

David Coates Op-Ed: State Retirement Plans Need a Robust Stress Test……Now! [3.10.20]

by David Coates, Managing Parter, KPMG (Retired)

Vermont’s $4.6 billion liability for the state workers and teachers pensions and retiree health care benefits (OPEB) increased by $171 million for this past year ended June 30, 2019, and over 110 percent since 2008. This increase was despite continued assurances by policymakers that they had a plan to pay off these obligations over the next 20 years.

Certainly, there is no evidence to date to corroborate the state’s claim, without some combination of increasing taxes, reducing benefits or cutting existing programs, which the state has been reluctant to do. At this point in time, policymakers need an independent analysis of these benefit plans. Continue reading “David Coates Op-Ed: State Retirement Plans Need a Robust Stress Test……Now! [3.10.20]”

Mark Crow Op-Ed: A Major Issue is Lurking

By Mark Crow, President at Tenth Crow Creative and

Chair, Pension and Health Benefits Reform Task Force, Vermont Business Roundtable

 

While Town Meeting Day has evolved over time, its purpose of giving community members a chance to be heard about the issues affecting their lives has not changed. Of course, in order for community members to express their views, they must be aware of the issues impacting them. Unfortunately, there is a major issue lurking that impacts all Vermonters, yet is not well known or understood, not only by Vermont taxpayers, but also by some of our legislative representatives.

I’m referring to the continually increasing taxpayer liability for the State workers’ and teachers’ pension and retiree healthcare plans. This Town Meeting Day, I urge you to ask your state legislators what they are doing to address Vermont’s third largest debt (only behind Medicare and non-Medicare social services), and if they know that: Continue reading “Mark Crow Op-Ed: A Major Issue is Lurking”

New Leadership Elected for 2020 [1.17.20]

At its 33rd Annual Membership Meeting held January 9th at Delta Hotels Marriott, the Vermont Business Roundtable elected new directors to their first three-year term: Renee Bourget Place, KPMG; Jay Fayette, PC Construction; Scott Fewell, Liquid Measurement Systems; and, Tom McHenry, Vermont Law School. Elected to his second three-year term was Tom Dunn, VELCO. Continue reading “New Leadership Elected for 2020 [1.17.20]”

Vermont Business Roundtable Releases New Policy Paper [1.15.20]

Policy Options for Vermont Pension and Health Care Retirement Systems

(South Burlington, Vt.)  Today, Lisa Ventriss, President of Vermont Business Roundtable (Roundtable) and Mark Crow, President of Tenth Crow Creative and Chair of the Pension Reform and Health Benefits Task Force, announced the release of its latest policy paper entitled, “Policy Options for Vermont State Employee and Teacher Pension and Health Care Retirement Systems.” Click here for report. Continue reading “Vermont Business Roundtable Releases New Policy Paper [1.15.20]”

VBR & EPR Release Qtr 3 2019 Business Conditions Survey [9.9.19]

(South Burlington, Vt.)  Today, Lisa Ventriss, President of Vermont Business Roundtable (VBR) and Jeffrey Carr, President, Economic & Policy Resources (EPR), announced the Q3 of 2019 outlook results of their joint initiative, the VBR/EPR Business Conditions Survey and Index.

Overall Findings

The latest survey, which was conducted during July of 2019, achieved a response rate of 63 percent overall.  Survey results show that: Continue reading “VBR & EPR Release Qtr 3 2019 Business Conditions Survey [9.9.19]”

Ventriss Op-Ed: Leading with Courage to Change

by Lisa Ventriss, President

Early in my time at the Vermont Business Roundtable (Roundtable) we authored a report titled Having the Courage to Change; it targeted our state’s looming workforce crisis. That was 2006. Children who were entering kindergarten that year are now graduating from high-school and the workforce crisis is no longer looming. As every employer knows, it’s here. And last week, a second major credit rating agency downgraded Vermont’s bond rating, citing the state’s aging population and shrinking workforce.

The Roundtable has been sounding the alarm for years about the workforce crisis and, frankly, we’ve moved from crisis mode into action. Though the workforce crisis surrounds us, the opportunity to invest in solutions is also within reach. And one of those solutions is high-quality child care. Continue reading “Ventriss Op-Ed: Leading with Courage to Change”