The State of Vermont announced the award of about $1,500,000 in Newport Development Fund (NDF) grants. Available for projects, businesses, and organizations within the City of Newport, the NDF provided for two multi-stage application grant programs – the Newport Development Grant Program and the Discover Newport Business Grant Program.
The Newport Development Grant Program, a competitive grant with a minimum request of $50,000, was designed to assist impactful projects that align with existing city and regional plans. Increased consideration was given to properties and entities that demonstrated they were adversely impacted by the fraud surrounding local projects perpetrated by Ariel Quiros, Sr.
The Discover Newport Business Grant Program, a set-aside funding opportunity of the NDF, aimed to incentivize businesses to expand or locate within the City of Newport, grow job opportunities, and attract visitors to the Newport area. This competitive business grant program awarded a maximum of $20,000.
Awarded Newport Development Grant Program projects include:
- Tanguay Homes received $300,000 to upgrade property infrastructure including clearing the property, building roads, storm sewer system installation, and power trenching. After the completion of the upgraded infrastructure, they will build 19 single family houses on the property.
- The Northeast Kingdom Development Corporation (NEKDC) received $1,029,000 to purchase and renovate a former manufacturing facility. NEKDC will lease much of the building to Track, Inc., a growing manufacturing business located in Newport Center. Track, Inc. expects to create 25 new jobs by 2025 and 80 to 100 jobs over ten years at full implementation. Importantly, Track, Inc. is partnering with businesses from both the electric vehicle and artificial intelligence sectors who would like to co-locate within the Newport facility.
- The Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center received $79,500 to make upgrades to their existing facility including a new roof, new decking, new exterior signage, new dock lift, and repairing and upgrading interior ceilings, walls, décor, and floor. The building has been over 70% occupied since opening, creating a vital center of activity in the downtown, with combined employment of over 20 jobs.
Awarded Discover Newport Business Grant Program projects include:
- Memphremagog Community Maritime received $20,000 to redevelop and repurpose the Gateway Center into a new tourism attraction and education center using Lake Memphremagog as the focus.
- Thrive Holistic Healing Center received $20,000 to establish a new supportive health and retail space.
- Inked Arches received $20,000 to complete renovations to their retail space and enable them to build their training program.
- Inspired Yoga received $20,000 to expand their facilities in order to bring two additional businesses and wellness offerings into the larger space.
Three of the four Discover Newport grants were awarded to woman-owned businesses. The NDF grants will build homes, expand businesses and employment, and improve the downtown streetscape while retaining local jobs.
Funding for these grants was provided via the 2018 settlement agreement with Quiros to the State of Vermont. Review and selection of the grant applications were completed by the Newport Development Committee, comprised of staff from the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, the City of Newport, and representatives from Northeast Kingdom regional institutions. Complete program details are available to view here.
Categories: State Government