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Governor Phil Scott Announces Launch of Rural Industry and Development Program

February 2, 2024

Montpelier, Vt. - Governor Phil Scott and the Vermont Department of Economic Development (DED) today announced the launch of the Rural Industry and Development Program (RIDP) to increase the amount of move-in ready industrial space, in an effort to shorten the timeline for the permitting and building of sites that businesses can confront when moving to, or relocating within, Vermont.

“Expanding Vermont businesses and recruiting new employers from out of state is an important priority for my Administration,” said Governor Scott. “Having industrial space ready for occupation increases Vermont’s competitiveness and will help us overcome a challenge we’ve heard from prospective businesses.”

In 2022, DED received a dozen inquiries from companies headquartered in Canada and Germany looking for move-in ready industrial sites. Those potential employers were from the aerospace, manufacturing, construction, and tech sectors. Collectively, they could have brought 284 jobs to Vermont, but they never came because they could not find suitable industrial capacity.

RIDP provides $5,000,000 in grant funding to regional and local development corporations located in areas that can accommodate business growth. Eligible uses for a RIDP grant include the purchase, demolition, building, or renovation of a property for industrial use, as well as permitting and installing infrastructure including, but not limited to, electricity, parking, and driveways.

“Our regional partners know which assets in their area could benefit from RIDP,” says Vt. Economic Development Commissioner Joan Goldstein. “We’re excited to work with them to increase economic opportunity and vitality in their regions by using RIDP to make them more attractive to businesses and employers.”

RIDP requires the formation of a Rural Industry and Development Fund (RIDF). DED intends to manage RIDF as a revolving fund. That means if an industrial property that benefitted from RIDP is later sold, the awardee will return the amount of the total principle of the grant plus 2.5% compounded annually, not to exceed $250,000. That money will then be used to make more RIDP grants possible.

The application portal is open now and will close on March 15, 2024.

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