Berlin, Vt. - Governor Phil Scott today announced a six-week holiday campaign to raise funds for Vermonters and businesses impacted by this summer’s flooding through ongoing sales of Vermont Strong license plates and limited-edition socks.
Since the “Vermont Strong” license plates were reintroduced in August, $715,000 in proceeds have been donated, with half going to individual needs via the Vermont Community Foundation and half to help businesses through the State’s Business Emergency Gap Assistance Program (BEGAP).
The holiday campaign announced today will hyperfocus funds raised for individual needs in four main areas:
- Housing needs, like home repairs and heat;
- Food security;
- Individual and family assistance for critical needs, like groceries, filling a gas tank, replacing clothing and bedding that was destroyed, medications and more; and
- Mental health services and support.
The other half of the funds will continue to help businesses through BEGAP, supporting needs that will exceed existing program funds. These additional funds will work to continue to get Vermont businesses reopened, housing units back online, and bring employees back to work.
“We know how much Vermonters care about each other. The way you showed up over the summer and into the fall is a testament to the strength of our communities and our Vermont resilience,” said Governor Scott. “But there’s more work to do, and more money to raise, to help. Because the fact is, the destruction from the flood will take a long time to clean up, and has a lasting effect for those who lost so much. Vermonters need ongoing help, and this fundraising effort will help.”
The State is hoping to raise another $1 million through this six-week campaign given the ongoing needs for Vermont families and employers.
“As we head into the holiday season, it’s important to be thankful for what’s been done and also to be clear about what yet remains to be done. This campaign offers an important opportunity for Vermonters to step up for their neighbors in those areas of the state that are still recovering.”
“We have heard from so many businesses about the real impact the BEGAP funds had – in getting their doors open, their inventory replenished, and their employees back to work. These funds also support landlords working to get needed housing units back online,” said Lindsay Kurrle, secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. “While the initial funds have been distributed, there is still a substantial amount of unmet need from businesses who have yet to receive a payment – and we know every penny can help them get to that next stage of reopening.”
Purchase your Vermont Strong gear or visit the DMV’s Vermont Strong page to support flood impacted Vermonters with housing, food security, individual every-day financial needs, and mental health support, and businesses who need help reopening and bringing back employees. Multiple options are available, including “We Are Vermont Strong” and “We Are Vermont Strong and Tough Too” plates, or a bundle with a plate and pair of Darn Tough “Vermont Strong and Tough Too” socks (sock supplies are limited).