WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) convened leaders in Vermont’s tourism and hospitality industry for a virtual meeting to discuss the challenges businesses in the industry are facing following this summer’s catastrophic flooding, and the federal delegation’s fight push for funding to support Vermont communities, small businesses, farms, and workers impacted by the floods. Participants also discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian wildfires, and other devastating events impacted the industry and led to a downturn in tourism activity over the last few years.
“We’re blessed to live in such a special place, and we’re fortunate that we get to share it with so many tourists year-round. Even with the summer’s flood, this fall should be no different. Vermont is open for business, and we’re working together to get Vermont’s farmers, families, and small businesses back on their feet as quickly and as safely as possible,” said Sen. Welch. “I’m thankful to our tourism, recreational and business community in the Green Mountain State for sharing their time with me—I’ll bring their voices with me to Washington as I fight for Vermont.”
Participants on the call included representatives from the Vermont Outdoor Business Alliance, Vermont Lodging Association, Vermont Arts Council, Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing, Vermont Retailers and Grocers Association, and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce.
Last week, Senator Welch joined Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Becca Balint in urging House and Senate leadership and the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Appropriations Committees to ensure Vermont’s flood recovery needs are addressed in the upcoming disaster supplemental bill. The Vermont delegation called for increasing the FEMA cap for hazard mitigation, making SBA loans forgivable, expanding U.S. Department of Agriculture emergency grant relief for impacted farmers, and more. The letter can be read here.