Businesses saddled with Covid debt hesitant to borrow recovery $$

All flood-related damages should be reported to 2-1-1, even if homeowners aren’t seeking compensation, state officials say.

By Guy Page

Covid-19 era debt is discouraging Montpelier businesses from taking out SBA loans to recover from massive flood damage, a business group leader told a joint committee of legislators this morning. 

“Many people have just not been able to pay off their Covid loans,” Katie Trautz, Executive Director of Montpelier Alive, told the House and Senate economic development committees at the State House this morning. “That has to do with the very slow Covid recovery. They just never got back from where they were. They had just started to recover.”

It’s not that these debt-ridden businesses aren’t eligible for SBA loans, Trautz stressed. Rather, they are leery of doubling-down on indebtedness.

“Many of these businesses are still living off of their Covid loans,” Trautz said “They’re still in debt. If they took out another loan, it would be like buying another house.”

Vermont Daily Chronicle asked Gov. Scott this morning if the State can help businesses struggling with federal loan debt. “That’s a Congressional-level question,” he said. 

Other problems the Montpelier businesses face:

Lost inventory – “I know some businesses have lost $100,000 in inventory, some have lost a million in inventory,” Trautz said. 

Rental space rehab costs – Many Montpelier commercial and retail buildings need more work than their landlords can afford, Trautz said.

Creeping mold – Businesses, especially restaurants, that aggressively remove mold in order to re-open may need to close weeks or months down the road because adjacent businesses weren’t as diligent. “It’s a problem of public health,” Trautz observed.

Categories: Business

12 replies »

  1. A large sum of COVID money that was supposed to go to businesses was redirected to the school system under the guise of there being a pandemic of systemic racism. This money is still sitting in a school budgets, unspent. There is a paper written by a teacher named Suzanne Livingston advocating for this. She compared educators to gorilla educators charged with stopping oppression. How convenient for the United Nations Social Justice global agenda.

    • The legislature’s reaction to your comment cj : Huh? What? What did he say? About what? Who’s in charge? Anybody know about this? Are we talking money?
      Totally clueless, as is the dept. of ed.

      • The Department of Education knows about this because when I looked at the website the money was showing as unspent and indicated as COVID relief funds. I can’t remember if I just read it, or read it while I was watching one of their public meetings. I may have taken screenshots with my computer. The paper I referenced is called The Politics of Education and Love on Privileged Classrooms by Suzanne E. Livingston, 2022. She calls teachers gorilla educators charged with circumventing the current system by chipping away at it from the inside out using Freirean pedagogy to open minds one child st a time, emphasizing the public good. Paulo Freire was a Brazilian, Marxist liberation theologist. The paper can be downloaded for free. I recommend reading it, as it is enlightening. You can email me if you want at I will look and send you the image if I can find it.

  2. The legislature on reading your comment CJ : Huh? What? What did he say? Really? Is that what happened ? Can that be? Who’s in charge? WHAT?
    They are totally clueless as is the dept. of ed.

      • This is happening in all public schools. The focus has changed to private schools because they have already introduced Freirian political education in public schools.

      • If anyone is interested in what’s happening with Vermont’s public-school governance, check out the ACT 1 authorized Ethnic & Social Standards Advisory Working Group’s proposals.

        This group is controlled by the usual suspects – the NEA, the Superintendent’s Association, the Principal’s Association, and the Vermont School Board Association. Some of its members are blatant political activists. And while the group includes student representation, there is not one member representing parents.

        With a progressive super-majority in the VT legislature and what is rumored to be a lame duck governor, Vermont’s public education system is in the complete control of those who will do whatever it takes to indoctrinate our children in their own image. They control the governance and the money.

        My advice: get your kids out of the public education system now. Do whatever it takes. It is becoming abundantly clear that Vermont’s public education system is not only indoctrinating kids, it’s dangerous for them physically.

        And homeschooling is your best bet. There are approved independent schools that will cater to homeschool programs. And keep 16 V.S.A. § 822(c) in mind. Your local school board has the authority to allow parents of children in grades 7-12 to choose an independent school.

        “The school board may both maintain a high school [grades 7-12] and furnish high school education by paying tuition to a public school as in the judgment of the board may best serve the interests of the pupils, or to an approved independent school or an independent school meeting school quality standards if the board judges that a pupil has unique educational needs that cannot be served within the district or at a nearby public school. Its judgment shall be final in regard to the institution the pupils may attend at public cost.”

        Do it parents. Your children’s wellbeing is at stake.

  3. I couldn’t get past page 5, but it looks like the upshot of her superfluous verbosity is that rich kids in elite private schools should be educated and trained to help poor kids from poor schools when they all grow up.

    Like that might ever happen…..

  4. This is why in fact one doesn’t want government control. Back in the day if you had a diaster it was dealt with locally. No cumbersome federal loans with stipulations attached to it. No Governor’s saying this is a Congressional issue, not a state issue. We punted to the Feds years ago. No mold mitigation, because well, whatever would the Feds know about mold. We’re bound down by state and federal bureaucrats more concerned about their next photo op than they are about the common good and well being of the people. No punting the ball to the WEFer’s of the world that carry the most vibrant pocketbooks. We”ll come out of this better than we were before, we always do. Perhaps this time, with some well learnt lessons.

  5. “It’s the economy, stupid” The plandemic cratered small businesses while giant corporations thrived. Inflation hit, rate hikes, and the value of our fiat dollar cratered. The perfect storm is here. Those in the power seats know it, but they will gaslight, chicken dance, and pretend “help” is on the way. Their calls for patience and deferment to the Federal hotline help desk is very telling is it not? Considering the amount of disasters unfolding across the entire country, how many other business owners and homeowners are facing the same issues? The staff at FEMA and SBA are getting pummeled with claims and the Treasury is too busy propping up debt-laden banks. August is a hot month and from what is unfolding here and across the globe right now…this August will be fire and brimstone, the likes we’ve never witnessed before.

  6. The 2023 Vermont legislature did no favors for small business. Increases in everything from DMV fees to school budgets, health care premiums, licensing fees and the inevitable effect of 3 years of rampant inflation certainly impact all Vermont residents, not just business. It would be a tough decision to continue on in Vermont if flood damage wiped my business out- contrary to the Vermont government claim- Vermont is an expensive, difficult state to do business in.

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