Business & Entrepreneurship

Contact Vermont Commission on Women (VCW) for our Starting or Expanding a Small Business Resource List (PDF)

Got questions about your legal rights? The Vermont Commission on Women's handbook, The Legal Rights of Women in Vermont might provide answers. Chapters include: Adoption, Guardianship and Emancipated Minors; Consumer Protection and Fair Credit; Domestic Relations; Education; Employment Rights; Housing and Property Rights; Immigration; Insurance; Name Changes; Public Accommodations; Public Assistance and Government Benefits; Reproductive Rights; Violence Against Women and Children; and Wills, Probate Court, and Advanced Directives.

 

Agency of Commerce and Community Development of the Vermont Department of Economic Development

1 National Life Drive
Davis Building, 6th Floor
Montpelier, VT 05620-0501
(802) 828-3211
accd.vermont.gov/business

The website of the Department of Economic Development is a wealth of business information including startup costs and other financial resources along with links to other valuable business oriented sites. This department hosts a variety of resources and information for entrepreneurs and business-owners all across the state.
 

Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program, United States Department of Agriculture

(802) 828-6044
rd.usda.gov/programs-services/business-industry-loan-guarantees/vt

The purpose of the B&I Guaranteed Loan Program is to improve, develop, or finance business, industry, and employment and improve the economic and environmental climate in rural communities.
 

Business and Professional Women

vermontbpw.org

Business and Professional Women (BPW) promotes full participation, equity and economic self-sufficiency for working women through advocacy, education and information. Objectives of BPW include: (1) To elevate the standards for women in business and in the professions, (2) to promote the interest of business and professional women, (3) to bring about a spirit of cooperation among business and professional women of the United States, and (4) to extend opportunities to business and professional women through education along the lines of industrial, scientific and vocational activities. BPW has four active factions in Burlington, Champlain Valley, Franklin County, and St. Johnsbury.
 

Center for Women & Enterprise 

106 Main Street
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 391-4870
info.Vermont@CWEonline.org
cweonline.org

The Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE) provides opportunities for women entrepreneurs and women in business to increase professional success, personal growth, and financial independence.  CWE specializes in education, training, technical assistance and women’s business enterprise certification.
 

Community Business Connections

128 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05633-1104
(802) 828-2386 / (888) 647-4582
startabusinessinvermont.net/

Community Business Connections is a joint project of the Vermont Secretary of State's Office, the U.S. Small Business Administration (Vermont District), and the Vermont Small Business Development Center. The goal is to consolidate all the resources needed to start or expand a business in one easy-to-access location. CBC also provides a handy business checklist to help navigate the start-up process.
 

Community Capital

P.O. Box 342
105 No. Main Street, Suite 305
Barre, VT 05641
(802) 479-0167
info@communitycapitalvt.org
communitycapitalvt.org

Community Capital offers financing and other assistance to businesses in Vermont that do not yet meet all the requirements for traditional bank financing, allowing small-business owners and low-income entrepreneurs start their businesses and flourish with hindrance. The Vermont Job Start Loan Program helps develop self-employment opportunities for low and moderate income Vermonters.
 

Corporations Division of the Vermont Office of Secretary of State

128 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05633-1104
(802) 828-2386
sos.corporations.support@sec.state.vt.us
www.vtsosonline.com

The Vermont Secretary of State’s Corporation Division is responsible for registration of all business entities and Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filings. An individual should contact them if they are starting up a profit or non-profit business. The office provides registration services for new businesses and resources for beginning managers and entrepreneurs.
 

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program of the Vermont Agency of Transportation

Office of Civil Rights & Labor Compliance
1 National Life Drive
Montpelier VT 05633-5001
(802) 828-2644
vtrans.vermont.gov/civil-rights/dbe-center

***Certified Women and Minority Owned Businesses*** The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program at the Vermont Agency of Transportation encourages and supports the participation of the companies owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals in transportation contracts. They provide a central business directory for transportation-related minority and women-owned businesses, provide statewide certification to eligible businesses, and provide technical assistance and training on business development and government contracting. To participate in federally-funded contracts under the DBE Program, firms must be certified with VTrans. A DBE is a business which: is at least 51 percent owned by one or more socially and/or economically disadvantaged individuals, and whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more of the socially and/or economically disadvantaged individuals who own it.
 

Evolve Rutland

https://www.facebook.com/evolverutland

Evolve Rutland grows professional women through mentoring, networking and professional development opportunities, including lunches and seminars featuring prominent speakers. Evolve staff and volunteers believe that caring committed women leaders are models for success for all generation and are the cornerstone of strong, inclusive and economically sustainable communities.
 

Greater Burlington Women's Forum

btvwomen@gmail.com
btvwomen.org

Greater Burlington Women's Forum is a group of women looking to deepen connections around work, family and community. Forum members gather regularly for inspiring educational programs, and for the opportunity to connect with other women who share an interest in the promotion of women to leadership. The program portion of each meeting is presented by either an individual or a panel of women who are experts on the topic being offered. Following the program presentation, women are given a topic for discussion at their table, then are encouraged to make announcements about job openings or leadership opportunities, events or other items of interest to the participants.
 

Micro Business Development Programs (MBDP)

dcf.vermont.gov/benefits/MBDP

The mission of these programs is to provide technical assistance and training to low-to-moderate income Vermonters who own or intend to start or grow a small business. Their goals are to foster self-employment as a route to economic self-sufficiency for Vermonters facing economic, social or medical challenges; to provide counseling and education for micro-business start-up and management; and to offer counseling and mentoring to assist participants in positioning themselves for long term success. The program provides one-on-one business counseling, classroom training, group workshops, feasibility assessment, business planning, market research and analysis, mentoring, and loan packaging. The Micro Business Development Program is a non-profit grant funded program of each of the five Community Action Programs in Vermont. Offices are located statewide:

Micro Business Development Program at BROC (Bennington-Rutland Opportunities Council (BROC)—Community Action in Southwestern Vermont

www.broc.org

Main BROC Office
45 Union Street
Rutland, VT 05701
(800) 717-2762 / (802) 775-0878

Bennington BROC Office
332 Orchard Road
Bennington, VT 05201
(802) 447-7515

Micro Business Development Program at Capstone Community Action

www.capstonevt.org

Main Capstone Office
20 Gable Place
Barre, VT
(802) 479-1053 / (800) 639-1053

Lamoille County Capstone
197 Harrel Street
Morrisville, VT 05661
(800) 639-8710 / (802) 888-7993

Orange County West Capstone
P.O. Box 284
12 Prince Street
Randolph, VT 05060
(800) 846-9506 / (802) 728-9506

Orange County East Capstone
P.O. Box 500
22 Whistle Stop Way
Bradford, VT 05033
(802) 222-5419

Mad River Valley Capstone
Evergreen Senior Center (building basement)
5308 Main Street
Waitsfield, VT 05763
(802) 496-6900

Micro Business Development Program at Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, Inc. (CVOEO)

www.cvoeo.org

Addison County CVOEO
54 Creek Road, Suite A
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802)-388-2285

Chittenden County CVOEO
255 South Champlain Street
Burlington, VT 05402
(802) 863-6248

Franklin/Grand Isle County CVOEO
5 Lemnah Drive, Suite 5
St. Albans, VT 05478
(802) 527-7392

Micro Business Development Program at Northeast Kingdom Community Action (NEKCA)

nekcavt.org

Newport NECKA Offices
70 Main Street
P.O. Box 346
Newport, VT 05855
(802) 334-7316

32 Central Street
Newport, VT 05855
(802) 334-4072

St. Johnsbury NECKA Office
108 Cherry Street
St. Johnsbury, VT 05819
(802) 748-6048

Canaan Satellite Office
P.O. Box 69
217 Gail Street or 253 Gale Street
Canaan, VT 05093
(802) 226-7134

Island Pond Satellite Office
P.O. Box 430
70 Cross Street
Island Pond, VT 05846
(802) 723-6245

Micro Business Development Program at Southeastern Vermont Community Action, Inc. (SEVCA)

91 Buck Drive
Westminster, VT 05158
(802) 722-4575 ext. 150 & 151 / (800) 464-9951
sevca.org
 

Northeastern Vermont Development Association

Main Office
36 Eastern Avenue
P.O. Box 630
St Johnsbury, VT 05819
(802) 748-5181 / (800) 639-5011
info@nvda.net
nvda.net

Newport Office
79 Coventry St., Suite 4C
Newport, VT 05855
(802) 334-5861

The Northeastern Vermont Development Association (NVDA) offers loan services and other financial assistance in conjunction with the VTSBDC. The NVDA provides resources for small business start-ups, economic/community projects, and various parties in need of loans or help paying loans.
 

Opportunities Credit Union

Burlington Office
92 North Ave.
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 660-4751
oppsvt.org/

Winooski Office
25 Winooski Falls Way, Suite 203
Winooski, VT 05404
(802) 654-4540 / (800) 865-8328

Opportunities Credit Union (OCU) promotes grass-roots community development in Vermont through home ownership, small business development, reliable transportation, financial stability, and economic literacy. The organization services 220 towns and cities all across the state, providing financial assistance to those who need it throughout Vermont with the help of their investors and partners.

 

SCORE

score.org

SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business" is a nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide. SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Chapters hold events and workshops and match up entrepreneurs with local, volunteer mentors. There are five other chapter locations in the Champlain Valley area:

Champlain Valley SCORE

champlainvalley.score.org

Main Office
11 Lincoln Street, Room 209
Essex Junction, VT, 05452
(802) 764-5899 / (800) 634-0245

Manchester Branch
39 Bonnet Street
Manchester Center, VT 05255
(800) 362-4144

Middlebury Branch
93 Court Street
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 951-6762

Rutland Branch
College of St Joseph
71 Clement
Rutland, VT 05701
(802) 951-6762

St. Albans Branch
2 North Main St.
St. Albans, VT, 05478
(802) 951-6762

Montpelier SCORE

87 State Street, Room 203
P.O. Box 605
Montpelier, VT 05601
(802) 828-4422 ext. 217
montpelier.score.org

Upper Valley SCORE

Citizens Bank Building, Room 316,
20 W. Park Street
Lebanon, NH 03766
(603) 448-3491
uppervalley.score.org

 

Small Business Development Centers

Main Office
1540 Vermont Route 66
Randolph, Vermont 05060

Mailing Address
P. O. Box 188
Randolph Center, VT 05061
(800) 464-7232 / (802) 728-9101
vtsbdc.org

Small Business Development Centers are located throughout Vermont providing general management and financial counseling to small business clients. The overall mission is to assist start-ups and strengthen existing business entities through high quality, no cost counseling, and high-quality, affordable training programs. There are 12 centers across Vermont:

Addison County
1590 Route 7 South, Suite 8
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 388-7953

Bennington County
215 South Street
Bennington, VT 05201-0923
(802) 379-0036

Caledonia/Essex/Orleans Counties
36 Eastern Avenue
P.O. Box 630,
St. Johnsbury, VT 05819
(802) 748-1014

Chittenden County
60 Main Street
P.O. Box 786,
Burlington, VT 05402-0786
(802) 658-9228

Grand Isle County
P.O. Box 213
North Hero, VT 05474-0213
(802) 372-8400

Lamoille County
P.O. Box 455
Morrisville, VT 05661-0455
(802)-888-4542

Orange/Northern Windsor County
35 Railroad Row, Suite #101
White River Junction, VT 05001-0246
(802) 295-3710

Rutland County
67 Merchants Row, "City Center" Suite 6
Rutland, VT 05701
(802) 773-9147

Southern Windsor County
14 Clinton Square, Suite 7
Springfield, VT 05156
(802) 885-2071

Washington County
P.O. Box 1439
Montpelier, VT 05601-1439
(802) 223-4654

Windham County/ Southern Windsor
76 Cotton Mill Hill, C-1
Brattleboro, VT 05301
(802) 257-7731

 

Tangible Assets Program

(802) 477-5215 / (802) 477-5116
capstonevt.org/savings-credit-programs

Tangible Assets is a savings program of the Central Vermont Community Action Council (CVCAC) and the Vermont Office of Economic Opportunity. Participants attend budget, debt, and savings workshops, and deposit savings into an Individual Development Account (IDA). Tangible Assets matches savings deposits up to $500 per year. Savings can be used to start a business, buy a home, pay for education.
 

United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development State Offices

rd.usda.gov/vt

The Department of Agriculture Rural Development offices guarantee loans by eligible local lenders to businesses in rural areas. The programs are applicable in cities and suburban areas of less than 50,000 people, and priority is given to areas with less than 25,000 people. No size restrictions on the business. Individuals as well as public and private organizations may borrow. There are three offices in Vermont:

Main Office
87 State Street, Suite 324
P. O. Box 249
Montpelier, VT 05601
(802) 828-6000 / (802) 828-6080 / (802) 828-6018 (Fax)

Brattleboro Office
28 Vernon Street, Suite 333
Brattleboro, VT 05301
(802) 257-7878

St. Johnsbury Office
481 Summer Street, Suite 203
St. Johnsbury, VT 05819-2734
(802) 748-8746

 

U.S. Small Business Administration

Montpelier District Office
87 State Street, Room 205
Montpelier, VT 05601
(802) 828-4422 / (802) 828-4550 (TDD)
sba.gov

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a government-sponsored organization that helps entrepreneurs and business owners through counseling, training, and business development programs. The SBA also approves loans for new and struggling small businesses. The SBA’s Small Business Training Network at www.sba.gov/training is an Internet-based training portal for free courses, workshops and access to learning tools for small businesses. Local resource offices within Vermont can also be found using the site map here: www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance

 

Vermont Community Loan Fund

15 State Street
P.O. Box 827
Montpelier, VT 05602
(802) 223-1448
vclf.org

The Vermont Community Loan Fund (VCLF) is an organization that offers loans to community-based nonprofit organizations, affordable housing projects, community-wide economic development strategies, businesses that use Vermont’s resources, and businesses located in Burlington’s Old North End. The VCLF also provides financial consultation and development services to ensure that borrowers have all the resources they may need to achieve their goals.
 

Vermont Department of Labor

5 Green Mountain Drive
P.O. Box 488
Montpelier, VT 05601-0488
(802) 828-4000 / (802) 828-4203 (TDD)
labor.vermont.gov/

The Department of Labor provides information and resources for workers within the state of Vermont, and it consists of three divisions: The Division of Workers' Compensation and Safety, the Division of Unemployment Insurance and Wages, and the Division of Workforce Development. There are 13 career resource center locations statewide:

Barre Resource Center
McFarland State Office Building
5 Perry Street, Suite 200
Barre, VT 05641
(802) 476-2600

Bennington Resource Center
200 Veterans Memorial Drive, Suite 2
Bennington, VT 05201
(802) 442-6376

Brattleboro Resource Center
State Office Building
232 Main Street
Brattleboro, VT 05302
(802) 254-4555

Burlington Resource Center
63 Pearl Street
Burlington, VT 05402-0310
(802) 863-7676

Middlebury Resource Center
1590 Route 7 South, Suite 5
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 388-4921

Morrisville Resource Center
197 Harrel Street
Morrisville, VT 05661-0429
(802) 888-4545

Newport Resource Center
Emory E. Hebard State Resource Center Building
100 Main Street, Suite 210
Newport, VT 05855-4898
(802) 334-6545

Randolph Resource Center
50 Randolph Ave
Randolph, VT 05060 *by appointment only
(802) 476-2600

Rutland Resource Center
200 Asa Bloomer Building
Rutland, VT 05701-9413
(802) 786-5837

St. Albans Resource Center
27 Federal Street, Suite 100
St. Albans, VT 05478
(802) 524-6585

St. Johnsbury Resource Center
1197 Main Street, Suite 1
P.O. Box 129
St. Johnsbury, VT 05189-0129
(802) 748-3177

Springfield Resource Center
56 Main Street, Suite 101
Springfield, VT 05156
(802) 885-2167

White River Junction Resource Center/Hartford
118 Prospect Street, Suite 302
Hartford, VT 05001
(802) 295-8805

 

VT Dept. of Taxes

Business Tax Division
133 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05601
(802) 828-2551
tax.business@vermont.gov
tax.vermont.gov/business-and-corp
 

Vermont Employee Ownership Center

286 College Street
P.O. Box 546
Burlington, VT 05402
(802) 338-7448
info@veoc.org
veoc.org/

The Vermont Employee Ownership Center is a statewide non-profit whose mission is to promote and foster employee ownership in order to broaden capital ownership, deepen employee participation, retain jobs, increase living standards for working families, and stabilize communities.
 

Vermont Farm Women Fund

617 Comstock Rd., Suite 5
Berlin, Vt 05602
802-223-2389 / (866) 860-1382
uvm.edu/~vfwf/

Vermont women farmers have banded together to form the Vermont Farm Women Fund, which gives loans and grants to aid women in agriculture, build thriving businesses, influence agricultural policy development, and support the awareness of women farmers. The VFWF has made it their mission to build up women farmers in the Vermont area and provide them with the financial resources to thrive economically and bring awareness to the issues regarding women in the agricultural community.
 

Vermont Food Venture Center

P.O. Box 422
140 Junction Road
Hardwick, VT 05843
802-472-5362
www.hardwickagriculture.org/vermont-food-venture-center

The Vermont Food Venture Center is a shared-use kitchen incubator for value-added and specialty food producers who can rent the kitchen on an hourly basis or arrange for co-packing at the facility. Staff provides a wide array of food and agricultural business consulting services to aspiring entrepreneurs, existing food businesses and organizations looking to promote food businesses as an economic development tool.
 

Women's Agricultural Network (WAgN)

327 US Route 302
Berlin, VT 05641
(802) 476-2003          
wagn@uvm.edu
uvm.edu/wagn/

Through a series of educational, technical assistance, and networking opportunities, WAgN works to increase the number of women owning and operating profitable farms and ag-related businesses, as well as their profile in leadership positions throughout the agricultural sectors of business, government and community. From developing and assessing a business idea through the advanced planning and implementation phases, WAgN offers a program to support and encourage these varying levels.
 

Women Business Owners Network (WBON)

P.O. Box 173
Williston, VT 05495
(802) 503-0219
wbon.org/

The Women Business Owners Network (WBON) is a Vermont-based association of over 300 women business owners in Northern New England. WBON offers a forum for women to connect and learn. They share what they know and learn from one another. Since 1984, WBON has been creating the opportunity for members to exchange information and resources in an atmosphere of mutual respect. The network has chapters in Burlington, Williston, and Waterbury.
 

Women’s Small Business Program at Mercy Connections

255 South Champlain Street, Suite 8
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 846-7063
mercyconnections.org

The Women’s Small Business Program (WSBP) provides classroom-based education for women at every stage of their entrepreneurial career. From helping women to decide if business ownership is right for them, to comprehensive business planning assistance, WSBP equips women with the technical knowledge, professional and support networks that help them make informed decisions about business in their lives.