Sole Proprietor Grants Support Businesses Recovery & “Pivots”

April 26, 2021
Contact: Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC)

Sole Proprietor Grants Support Businesses Recovery & “Pivots”

Funding is still available for sole proprietor businesses in Windham, Bennington, Rutland, Addison, Washington, and Lamoille counties through Round 2 of Vermont’s Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) CV economic relief. Awards range between $1,500 and $10,000 based on eligibility and documented unmet need. Applications will remain open through May 26th.

Paul Croutworst, owner of 802 Fitness & Therapy in Wilmington, received a Round 1 grant this fall which helped his business recover after fitness facilities were required to close, then reduce occupancy. “Our family and business very much appreciate this much needed boost,” said Croutworst of the grant program.

Sole proprietors can be reimbursed for business expenses, or seek funding to implement “pivot” projects. Businesses may use the program to fund a variety of activities such as the creation of new products, equipment for transitioning to remote or online work, and accommodations for social distancing. Whaleback Vineyard in Poultney received a grant to expand outdoor seating, creating safe spaces for customers to meet social distancing guidelines. Ellen Ecker Ogden, an author and lecturer based in Manchester, reoriented her business towards online content. “My work as a public speaker was facing an uncertain future,” said Ogden. “Thanks to the grant…I was able to begin planning new ways to pivot my career.” Popia, based in Stowe, imported specialty merino hats handmade in Italy. When the pandemic hit Italy hard last year, production was canceled and the company lost 80% of their revenue. With a CDBGCV grant, proprietor Poppy Gall was able to quickly design and create a new collection, made in Vermont.

Eligibility criteria for Round 2 is different than Round 1. This round is open to both sole proprietors and S-Corp owners with no W2 employees. Other eligibility requirements require the applicant to:
• Be from a low to moderate income household (80% or below the area median income for your county)
• Be a for-profit entity, providing goods or services to clients.
• Have a physical establishment in Vermont.
• Have pre-pandemic or current gross annual business revenue of $24,450+.
• Have been legally established prior to March 15, 2020.
• To see if you are eligible and to begin an online application for the Vermont Sole Proprietor Stabilization Program, visit and click “Get Started”.