This information came from Mad River Valley representitives Maxine Grad and Keri Dolan:
Employer Assistance (Unemployment Claims): Claims Line: 1-877-214-3331.
Individuals having trouble with loan payments: If you are having difficulty with loan payments, whether they are car loans, credit cards, mortgages, business loans or other obligations, contact your lender immediately. The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA), credit unions, and banks will work with borrowers to the maximum extent possible to alleviate financial pressure.
Businesses Experiencing Financial Strains: VEDA outlined a proposed emergency, low-interest loan program for Vermont businesses to enable them to weather cash flow shortages caused in part by the COVID-19. While not available yet, VEDA has experience administering such loan programs and is gearing up their staff to help struggling businesses. contact their regional development corporation to inquire about assistance.
No “Essential Business” Declaration as of yet: Currently there is no directive by the Governor or the Health Department to close businesses. It is up to the individual businesses to decide what is in the best interest of their employees and their customers. There has been no decision yet on "essential" vs "non-essential" businesses, such as a grocery store and pharmacy vs a clothing store. Anticipate the Governor making an announcement soon on the closing of non-essential retail stores.
Unemployment Insurance: If a business does decide to shut down, existing unemployment laws apply, where employees will have to be laid off by the business on a temporary or permanent basis in order to receive benefits. There may be regulatory relief from the feds and the state on the impact on their experience rating calculations for unemployment insurance, but that is not the case as of today. Note that any impact on their experience rating for unemployment insurance would not be effective until July 2021, so there is time to fix this legislatively in the interim. The VT House of Representatives took steps to make this fix last week (in bill, H. 681).