Monthly Archives: July 2023

**Federal Disaster Declaration for Caledonia County**

If you haven’t heard already, Caledonia County was just added to the major disaster declaration. This means residents of Hardwick can now apply for FEMA Individual Assistance. 

FEMA will have a mobile trailer set up at the Hardwick Elementary School. Residents can meet with FEMA at the mobile trailer to apply for assistance and have any questions answered regarding individual assistance.

We will continue to post fact sheets and pertinent information to our website as it becomes available.

Individuals – click here for more information.

Businesses – click here for more information.

Please share this widely with anyone that has been affected by the flood.

0% Flood Relief Loans for Vermonters

A message from Vermont State Employees Credit Union (VSECU):

Flood Relief Loans for Vermonters & Businesses

As we’ve been working to reopen our branch services in Central Vermont, we’ve also been busy developing new loan options to provide financial relief to those impacted by the floods.

  • Thanks to a partnership with the Vermont Community Foundation, we’re able to offer 0% financing on up to $3,000 for Vermont residents with our member emergency loan. Because the devastation is so widespread, we’re also waiving any credit requirements so anyone can get approved for much-needed funds.
  • For members with existing loans, we’re offering two-month deferments, loan forbearance, and fixed reduced payments. For more information and to see which option is best for you, give us a call at 802/800 371-5162.
  • Some of our local businesses have been hit the hardest. Contact our business lending team to learn about our three flood disaster business loans, ranging from $20,000 to $250,000 with a low, fixed rate.

If you have any questions or aren’t sure if you qualify for these flood disaster recovery loans, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to support our members and our communities through these times of need.

Learn More & Apply

Business Advice from VT SBDC Re: Flood

Current Situation 07.14.2023

As you can imagine, things are evolving quickly, and we will be in contact regularly as we have concrete, verifiable information, and actionable next steps.

Yesterday the Disaster Declaration request left Governor Scott’s desk for Washington DC. The President had signed an emergency declaration on Tuesday which allowed for immediate assistance with rescue operations. This second step in the process required more data gathering on what the situation on the ground was in Vermont.

The Declaration will be fast tracked and could be signed as early as next week. When that happens, it will allow FEMA and SBA to arrive and begin their work as follows:

  • FEMA will work with the state, towns and cities and individual homeowners and that assistance will be proportional and in the form of grants.
  • SBA will work with businesses, and that assistance will be in the form of the EIDL program. EIDL stands for Economic Injury Disaster LOAN. The loan has two parts: physical damage and economic injury. You can apply for one or both. Keep in mind that if there are road closures that impact your business (whether those roads were flooded or not), this may count as economic injury.
  • Please note that the EIDL program applies to both for profit and non-profit businesses but NOT farms. The farms will come under a separate declaration that will be handled by the USDA.

We emphasize the word loan here for a reason. This IS a loan, and we want to make sure that businesses assess whether debt is the right option, especially if you are already dealing with existing debt. Talk with us and let’s look at all the options together. Our team has experience in this loan process so we can assist you through the steps if that is what you choose to do.

There will be some small grants most likely coming from local organizations. If you receive one of those, please keep good records of the source, the amount and the use. This will be taken into consideration if you choose to apply for and receive an EIDL.

What Can You Do Right Now?

1.     Continue to diligently document your situation in both words and pictures. That means to continue to take pictures of damage, and to write down what actions you are taking.

2.       Make sure your financial records are in order.

3.       Register at 211 so that the State has you on their list for all future updates:

4.       The Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) has set up a page for businesses, and you should bookmark it:

5.       We highly recommend that you also sign up for their newsletter specifically related to the flood and updates here:

6.       We will be updating our dedicated Flood Resources for Small Businesses page here, which includes our Disaster Recovery Guide for Business, so please bookmark it as well:

We are here for you

Please remember: at VT SBDC, we were here before the floods, we will be here during recovery, and we will be here after. We are dedicated to supporting you and your business so that you can make the most informed, best decisions on the road to recovery from this disaster.

Stay Safe.

Heidi Krantz, Business Advisor

Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC)

(802) 586-7559 Home Office

Information on reporting damage to your Business

Assess  & Report Damage To Your Business

  • The State is requesting all businesses report damage using this form. For support call “211” and select Ext. 5: Community Resources or text “898211” between 8 AM – 10 PM. (The more damage that is reported the more money, people power, equipment and supplies Vermont – its businesses and residents – will get for recovery.)
  • To assess your damage and prepare for assistance, the Vermont Small Business Development Center has created a quick checklist:
    • As much as you want to check on the situation, do not enter your location if there is flooding. (Do take pictures and videos from a safe distance, including high water marks).
    • Call your local insurance agent. Do exactly as they direct.
    • Begin DOCUMENTATION related to step #2:
      • Take pictures of everything you do from this point forward.
      • Keep a running narrative of every action you take.
      • Begin to estimate the cost of the damage. (Make a list of damaged or lost items and, if possible, include the date of purchase, value, and receipts.)
      • Keep all of your financial data up to date and backed up.
  • The Vermont Small Business Development Center has also produced a go-to Disaster Recovery Guide for Businesses, which provides step-by-step guidance for small business owners and employees after a natural disaster. (If you’re feeling overwhelmed and struggling to focus/prioritize, this can be a very helpful resource.)