Dear Governor Scott,
We, the undersigned, serve on the State Board, Leadership Committee, and Advisory Council of the Main Street Alliance of Vermont. We are writing to express our support for H.196, Vermont’s family leave insurance program, and to ask you to approve our state legislature’s passage of this bill, which will help grow a healthy Vermont economy.
Small businesses are a vital piece of Vermont's economy. Roughly 90% of our state's businesses have fewer than 20 employees and these are the businesses that are least likely to be able to offer paid medical leave on their own.
Vermont’s small business owners spend countless hours and dollars interviewing and training employees with the hope that they will become a valuable asset to the business. Many small business owners pay competitive wages and are eager to help their employees learn new skills, but one area where we just cannot compete is benefits. With modest bottom lines, most small businesses aren’t able to provide extended paid parental or caregiving leave. A statewide family leave insurance program makes sense for Vermont because it will help level the playing field for small businesses like ours and provide a much needed support for our employees.
A statewide family leave insurance program is an effective recruitment and retainment tool for local, small businesses that are struggling to find ways to compete with larger corporations. This is also a great recruitment tool for the state of Vermont, and has the potential to help make Vermont more appealing to the young professionals and businesses we are trying to attract and retain.
Throughout your campaign and time as Governor, you have expressed a commitment to growing Vermont’s economy, attracting new workers to Vermont, and making workforce development a priority. If you are serious about supporting our businesses, working families, retaining young people and families, and attracting new workers to Vermont, signing H.196 is the best next step.
Benjy Adler, Owner of Skinny Pancake in Montpelier, South Burlington, Burlington, Warren, Stowe
Sue Bette, Owner of Bluebird Barbecue, Burlington
Matt Birong, Owner of 3 Squares Cafe, Vergennes
Eliza Cain, Co-Owner of Red Hen Baking Company, Middlesex
Sivan Cotel, Co-Founder and Director of Operations, Stonecutter Spirits, Middlebury
Lindsay DesLauriers, Partner and Chief Operating Officer, Bolton Valley Resort, Bolton
Michael DeSanto, Owner of Phoenix Books in Burlington, Rutland, Essex, Chester, Woodstock
Brent Farrell, Owner of Vitality Vending, Essex Junction
Randy George, Co-Owner of Red Hen Baking Company, Middlesex
Claire Georges, Owner of Butterfly Bakery, Montpelier
Anna Grady, HR Director of NRG Systems, Hinesburg
Nicole Grenier, Owner of Stowe Street Cafe, Waterbury
Lisa Hagerty, Owner of Well Heeled and the Yoga Barn, Stowe
Wes Hamilton, Co-Owner of Three Penny Taproom in Montpelier, Mad Taco in Waitsfield & Montpelier
Cecile Johnston, Owner of Jumping Raindrops Sewing & Design, Montpelier
Jen Kimmich, Co-Owner of the Alchemist, Stowe
Ricky Klein, Co-Owner of Groennfell Meadery, Colchester
Kelly Klein, Co-Owner of Groennfell Meadery, Colchester
Caleb Magoon, Owner of Power Play Sports, Morrisville, and Waterbury Sports, Waterbury
Michael Metz, Generator Makerspace, Burlington
Barbara McAndrew, MSA-VT Advisory Council, Calais
Paul Millman, President of Chroma Technology Corp, Bellows Falls
Melinda Moulton, CEO of Main Street Landing, Burlington
Andrew Peterson, Owner of Peterson Quality Malt, Monkton
Kesha Ram, MSA-VT Advisory Council, Burlington
Allan Reetz, Director of Public Relations, Hanover Food Co-op Stores, White River Junction
Jaquelyn Rieke, Owner of Nutty Steph’s, Middlesex
Bill Schubart, MSA-VT Advisory Council, Burlington
Shap Smith, Chair of MSA-VT Advisory Council, Morrisville
Eric Sorkin, Co-Owner of Runamok Maple, Cambridge
Leigh Williams, Owner of Laughing Moon Chocolates, Stowe