Community and Economic Development
Economic development has traditionally focused on efforts to attract and retain employers. Job training programs, targeted public infrastructure, and grant support round out other parts of economic development. Economic development planning’s goal is to have a healthy and diverse economy so that residents can earn good wages, have fulfilling employment, and so the local economy is not overly dependent on any particular business sector.
The primary organization for business development, retention, and expansion in our region is the Green Mountain Economic Development Corporation (GMEDC). They are a resource for technical support, workforce needs, funding and financing, site and building information, and other key business needs. The Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) also works to strengthen existing business entities and assist start-ups with no-cost counseling, affordable training programs, and financing. The Vermont Department of Economic Development delivers statewide assistance with training, marketing, workforce development, and financing.
TRORC works with these agencies, and at times with individual businesses, such as through our brownfields assessments or with towns on job creation grants. We also help towns apply to the Vermont Downtown Program for downtown or village designation, which then provides tax incentives for improved infrastructure projects in those designated areas. This program fits in with local and regional land use planning, ensuring that business support and locational decisions occur in areas consistent with state, regional and local land use law while simultaneously improving quality of life for Vermonters.
Community development integrates businesses and economic development with other factors including quality of life and sense of place in a region.
Our many planning programs are centered on assisting our member towns in creating the lively communities in which businesses will want to locate and residents wish to live. For example, the quality of life in our region is a major draw for businesses, because businesses are run by people who want to live where there are walkable neighborhoods, clean rivers, sound infrastructure, local food, and cultural activities. Tourism depends on a healthy and beautiful place, but many other business sectors use the Vermont brand to further their image of quality, dependability, and cleanliness.
TRORC believes that much of our work provides the foundation for businesses and a sound economy, as it literally creates the place for businesses to start and prosper.
East Central Vermont Economic Development District and Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)
The federally designated East Central Vermont Economic Development District (ECVEDD) consists of 40 towns within parts of Addison, Orange, Rutland, and Windsor Counties in Vermont. The ECVEDD’s mission is to access and provide resources and to facilitate and support decision making for the benefit of entrepreneurs, businesses, and communities in East Central Vermont. The towns of East Central Vermont are Andover, Baltimore, Barnard, Bethel, Bradford, Braintree, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Cavendish, Chelsea, Chester, Corinth, Fairlee, Granville, Hancock, Hartford, Hartland, Ludlow, Newbury, Norwich, Pittsfield, Plymouth, Pomfret, Randolph, Reading, Rochester, Royalton, Sharon, Springfield, Stockbridge, Strafford, Thetford, Topsham, Tunbridge, Vershire, Weathersfield, West Fairlee, West Windsor, Windsor, and Woodstock.
A Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) is a strategy-driven, regionally developed roadmap for economic development, with the ultimate goal being a stronger, more diverse regional and resilient economy. The CEDS process provides the opportunity for individuals, organizations, local governments, educational institutions, and private industry to engage in a meaningful conversation about what economic development efforts would best serve the region.
Featured Project: Cornerstone Creative Community (3CVT)
Learn more by visiting our ECVEDD site.
Northern Border Regional Commission NBRC:
50/50 infrastructure and economic development planning grants. Must have a clear link to wider economic development. VT ACCD page for NBRC
Economic Development Links
- East Central Vermont Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Plans
- East Central Vermont Economic Development District
- Green Mountain Economic Development Corporation (GMEDC)
- Vermont 2020 CEDS
- Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC)
- USDA Rural Programs and Services
- Better Places Program
- Facilitating Economic Development
- Department of Housing and Community Development
- Small Business Resources
- Northern Border Regional Commission NBRC:
Peter Gregory, Executive Director
[email protected] – 802-457-3188 x3002
Meghan Asbury, Planner
[email protected] – 802-457-3188 x3014