The Vermont Retail Lumber Dealers Association (VRLDA) welcomed Vermont Gov. Phil Scott on Tuesday, April 4, for a roundtable discussion on the business conditions of the state, and how government can help small businesses.
Gov. Scott, who previously met with the VRLDA while he was campaigning for office in 2016, took office in January 2017. VRLDA members had candid conversations with Gov. Scott about the difficulties of running a business in Vermont, including state and local taxes, and government regulations.
The governor said he is committed to working with VRLDA members and other small businesses to address those challenges. “It’s going to take time to help,” explained Scott. “There has to be a change in attitude, and there will be. The House has not taken all of my recommendations, but there are no increases in taxes and fees. That’s a step in the right direction.”
The governor also spoke about the importance of investing in education, both in early childhood and post-graduation, including specialized training and community college. As he described it, education will help prepare Vermont residents for the jobs that are available, including the jobs that lumber dealers provide. Vermont has an aging and decreasing population—meaning the state needs to do more to attract young families to the state and providing more career opportunities.
The candid roundtable discussion with Gov. Scott was part of the VRLDA’s Annual Lobby Day. Following the roundtable, 18 VRLDA members met with their elected officials to discuss the issues effecting their companies. Key issues discussed at the event included: exempting materialmen from retainage (H. 288), business conditions in Vermont, and paid family leave (H. 196).