CABOT — On Main Street, the lively sounds of keyboard, song and laughter drift from the hardware store, as the man behind the bar serves up eight craft beers on tap to thirsty patrons. At a time when entrepreneurial spirits often enable small villages to thrive, the owners of Harry’s Hardware have taken a new approach to reinvigorating a 100-year-old Vermont business. With The Den at Harry’s Hardware, they have created a new meeting place to bring people into town for a good laugh and a cold beer. Bobby and Stephany Searles own the Cabot Village Store, the only place to buy groceries in the village.
BERLIN — Berlin Mall officials said they’ve found the perfect new tenant in leading international health-club franchiser Planet Fitness to re-occupy 15,000 square feet of prime mall space. “We’ve been searching for years to find the right tenant for this high-profile space,” said Ken Simon, vice president of Heidenberg Properties Group, owners of Berlin Mall LLC. “In addition to providing Central Vermont residents with a meaningful service at great value, Planet Fitness provides good jobs for the area’s work force.” Berlin Mall LLC, the owner of Berlin Mall, announced it has signed a long-term lease with Planet Fitness.
It’s a challenge the University of Vermont did not shy away from — supporting family farms through the purchase of locally grown and raised produce and meat products. So, five years ago UVM joined the national Real Food Challenge with the goal to increase the purchase of Vermont food products so that 20 percent of what’s served on campus would be locally grown. UVM committed to reaching that goal by 2020.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS A business that wants to build two hydroponic greenhouses in New Hampshire’s North Country to get tomatoes and salad greens more quickly to New England supermarkets has received $25 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. North Country Growers plans to start building its two, 10-acre greenhouses in Berlin, New Hampshire, soon, and planting next July, with its first harvest next October. The company expects to produce 8 million pounds of tomatoes and 15 million heads of lettuce annually in a year-round operation.
The Associated Press NEW YORK — Six months into her tenure as head of the Small Business Administration, Linda McMahon sees a split among small business owners — they are increasingly optimistic, she says, but many are held back by their inability to get loans or find the right workers for jobs that are staying open. “Entrepreneurs are willing again to be bigger risk-takers than they have been over the past eight years,” McMahon said in a phone interview this week with The Associated Press. But, she said, there are also lingering effects of the Great Recession, and “I think there is still a caution.” McMahon’s observations matched owners’ self-assessments in surveys including ones released by Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management and Dun & Bradstreet Corp. and by the National Federation of Independent Business. She also named some of the stumbling blocks that many owners have cited in addition to a scarcity of loans and workers: regulations, taxes and the cost of health care, all issues President Donald Trump has pledged to address.
RUTLAND — The steel drum music of Trinidad is making its way to Rutland via Calypso Consulting, a new business set up by Jennifer Cohen. Cohen, a classically trained pianist and violist with 30 years experience as a performer and educator, wanted to bring what she describes as a transformational experience to the workplace. “Music has a way of connecting us like no other experience. I have seen how the transformative power of collaborative music-making can be used to achieve outstanding results,” she said. Cohen taught herself how to play steel drums, and first introduced it into Clarendon Elementary School, where she taught.
“The Long Haul” by Finn Murphy, 2017, W.W. Norton, $26.95, 229 pages From here to there. That’s where you need to move your stuff: from Point A to Point B. Take it out of one place and put it in another, possibly many miles away. And it’s not like you can wiggle your nose or wave a magic wand to do it, either. You need someone who knows what he or she is doing. In “The Long Haul” by Finn Murphy, there’s somebody like that out there.
Farmers across New England are faced with new challenges every day, including the issue of finding the right piece of land to farm. As a part of its undertaking to help farmers overcome these challenges, the Department of Sustainable Agriculture at the University of Vermont continues its efforts with the Land Access Project to help transition farmers, landowners, conservation organizations, service providers, communities and policymakers throughout New England. The Land Access Project is entering its final year of a three-year timeline. This project builds from the first phase of Land Access, which took place from 2010 to 2013, and focused on improving and coordinating access to resources and services available for farmland. This current phase is structured around land access and transfer networking.
CHARLOTTE — Defining in simple terms what Jacob Edgar does for a living is no easy task. Sure, you could call him an ethnomusicologist, which he is, by training, earning a master’s degree in the unique field from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1994. “But most people don’t know what that is,” he said with a laugh. “So I have a hard time explaining it to them.” Or they assume he’s in academia, which couldn’t be further from the truth. “I guess you could say I’m a global talent scout and a music producer,” said Edgar, who founded music production and promotion company Cumbancha.
“Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World” by Mitch Prinstein, 2017, Viking, $27, 273 pages. None of the other kids like you. They don’t include you in anything. In fact, they often just plain ignore you, and some even pick on you. You don’t understand why this is, but there isn’t much you can do: Quitting your job is not an option.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW YORK — AlphaBay, the now-shuttered online marketplace that authorities say traded in illegal drugs, firearms and counterfeit goods, wasn’t all that different from any other e-commerce site, court documents show. Not only did it work hard to match buyers and sellers and to stamp out fraud, it offered dispute-resolution services when things went awry and kept a public-relations manager to promote the site to new users. Of course, AlphaBay was no eBay. It went to great lengths to hide the identities of its vendors and customers, and it promoted money-laundering services to mask the flow of bitcoin and other digital currencies from prying eyes. Such “darknet” sites operate in an anonymity-friendly internet netherworld that’s inaccessible to ordinary browsers.
MONTPELIER — On June 15 of this year, Gov. Phil Scott issued Executive Order 11-17, creating the Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative. While the collaborative is an unfunded mandate, there is enthusiasm among the members that it will have a positive impact on Vermont’s outdoor economy. While individual sectors of the outdoor economic community have pursued the goal of bringing new and expanded business opportunities to the state through promotion of the landscape and gear to accommodate its use, little has been done to bring all those interests and energies together. One stated goal of the collaborative is to provide a platform for collective focus for accomplishing major goals of growing the state’s economy by leveraging, sustaining and enhancing the outdoor recreation culture, which is such a significant part of the Vermont brand. The collaborative consists of fifteen members, drawn from state government as well as the outdoor recreation industry, nonprofits, the Vermont Trails and Greenways Council, and two “at large” members with experience in other Vermont economic development initiatives.
Trevor Mance launched the composting division of TAM Waste Removal four years ago, hoping to make better commercial use of food scraps and other biodegradable materials from the trash his company hauls. While composting has been good for TAM’s “green image,” and for employment — the company added 3 1/2 new jobs devoted to composting — Mance said it’s been unprofitable so far. “I don’t think it’s ever going to pay,” Mance said. “But we are pushing really hard because we believe in it. We’re doing it more for the environment.” Mance started TAM as an after-school venture in Shaftsbury in 1996.
WAITSFIELD — There are five new beers in central Vermont and, for now, they are available only at Localfolk Smokehouse in Waitsfield. This spring, Localfolk owner and “pit boss” John Morris added four house-brewed beers to the 20 he had on hand — Tolerable Pale Ale, a four malt, seven hops beer; Big Brown & Down, a four malt, four hops, full-bodied malty brown ale; Giggles IPA, a light IPA brewed with four classic American hops; and Adequate Maple Amber, a beer made with Dark B maple syrup added to the boil kettle, which creates a full-bodied, mildly sweet, amber ale. Killer RyeLife, a session rye pale ale, brewed light and crisp, was added in July. Why add your own brews when, for the past 12 years, your bar and restaurant has been a hot spot for skiers, hikers, tourists and locals? The motive for Localfolk, Morris said, was “to brew really good beer” and see what happens next.