Community Action Programs)
Serving Orleans, Essex and Caledonia Counties
Growing Vermont’s economy from within . . . One business at a time
Our mission statement is to provide technical assistance to low to moderate income Vermonters who own or intend to start a small business.
Our goals are:
- To foster self-employment as a route to economic self-sufficiency for Vermonters facing economic, social or medical challenges.
- To provide assistance and education for business start-up and management.
- To offer counseling and on-going support to assist participants in achieving long-term success.
What is a Micro Business?
It is a business that employs less than five people and generates less than $25,000.00 in annual revenue. A micro business is usually a partnership, sole proprietorship, or family business. The owners are often engaged in a small-scale service, retail, manufacturing or agricultural business.
Our Results Can Be Seen In Communities Across The State
Since 1998, we have helped over 9,000 low and moderate income Vermonters to strengthen their economic self-sufficiency and the economic vitality of their communities. We have supported the launch or expansion of over 1,600 micro businesses and helped Vermonters access more than $12 million in financing for their businesses.
Technical assistance is critical to the success of our participants!
MBDP business development specialists assist individuals through all phases of entrepreneurship. This includes:
- Business feasibility
- Business plan development
- Organizational structure of business
- Market research and analysis
- Marketing (marketing materials)
- Credit issues/Budgeting
- Referrals to other programs/resources
Business Loan Application Assistance
MBDP assists individuals in preparing loan applications for both alternative and conventual lending institutions. We also work with individuals to help repair their credit and to develop good financial management skills before they apply for a loan.
MBDP offers a variety of learning opportunities throughout the year. This includes seminars, workshops, and classes. Seminars are usually one-day events, which are hosted by a guest speaker (an expert in his or her field) who resides in our community. Workshops range from 1-3 hours and may consist of having to meet once a week for several weeks. Classes, such as the Nxlevel® Basic Business Plan Training Course, is more intense and is held on a weekly basis over a 6-8 week period. Topics include:
- Business Development
- Soft Skills
- Record keeping/Taxes
The best way to stay informed about upcoming events is to ask the counselor you are working with to add you to the email list!
Credit Counseling (Nationally Certified Counselor)
MBDP works with individuals one to one to help them resolve their credit issues, whether that means working with their debtors, correcting mistakes on their credit report, personal budgeting and financial management, and/ or learning how to increase their credit score.
Vermont Women’s Business Center
MBDP partners with the Vermont Women’s Business Center to offer one to one counseling and on-going support to women-owned businesses. The Vermont Women’s Business Center offers networking opportunities, workshops, and classes both in our region and statewide.
Individual Development Accounts
Individual Development Accounts (IDA) are special matched savings accounts, which can be used to start or expand a business, attend college or a technical school, or purchase a home. MBDP implements the program, which includes financial literacy classes and ongoing guidance through the process.
MBDP offers FREE tax preparation to income eligible individuals through their VITA site locations. Our counselors are trained to assist with both federal and state taxes including renter rebates and homestead declarations.
Referrals to other Relevant Programs
Often there are additional circumstances or situations that may be an obstacle to starting or expanding your business. The MBDP staff is very knowledgeable about other programs and agencies that may be beneficial. Please don’t hesitate to ask.
PartnershipsVermont Dept. of Employment and TrainingVermont Div. Of Vocational RehabilitationVermont Dept. of Economic ServicesVermont Development Credit UnionVermont Community Loan FundEconomic Development Council of Northern Vermont and local revolving loan fundsVermont Women’s Business CenterSBA’s Women’s Business CenterThe University of VermontNorthern Community Investment Corp.Community Capital of Vermont
108 Cherry Street
St. Johnsbury, VT 05819
| 32 Central Street
Newport, VT 05855
Statewide MBDP website: www.vtmicrobusiness.org
Micro Business Development Program Staff
- Amy Robinson - Director, NEKCA Micro Business/Workforce Development Program
Our Well-Trained Business Counselors Can Be Found Statewide
Southwestern Vermont Community Action, Inc.
(Rutland and Bennington Counties)
Central Vermont Community Action
(Orange, Washington, and Lamoille Counties)
Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, Inc.
(Addison, Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle Counties)
Southeastern Vermont Community Action, Inc.
(Windham and Windsor Counties)