Losses, some gains for Newport businesses

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copyright the Chronicle January 11, 2017

 

by Joseph Gresser

 

NEWPORT — Newport is reportedly gaining a new business, but is losing two others.

A vacant Main Street building may be slated for redevelopment, but up the street, a toy store is closing. In addition, the manufacturing company that took over the former Vermont Teddy Bear factory has shuttered its doors.

Its buildings and equipment have been foreclosed on and are be auctioned off later this month.

Burlington developer Ernie Pomerleau told the Newport City Council recently that his company has found a buyer for the old J.J. Newbury building on Main Street.

At the council’s December 19 meeting, Mr. Pomerleau said, “We just sold the Fishman Building, and I think you’ll see something moving forward that will prove advantageous.”

Mayor Paul Monette pointed out that Mr. Pomerleau meant the Newbury building, which most recently housed a bedding showroom.

Mr. Pomerleau’s father, Tony Pomerleau, bought the building in 2011 and sold it in November of 2011 to TML Commercial, LLC, a St. Albans company owned by Vincent Paradis, according to state records.

City Clerk and Treasurer James Johnson said he does not know when or how Mr. Pomerleau regained possession of the building.

Mr. Pomerleau told council members that the new owner of the property plans to develop “workforce housing and additional retail space” on the site of the Main Street building.

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Women queue up for business info

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copyright the Chronicle December 7, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

NEWPORT — When Tara Lynn Scheidet of Sutton lost her job in 2005, she started her own business making custom natural fiber clothing, particularly wedding apparel.

Since then, Ms. Scheidet has won all sorts of grants and awards to help her move ahead with Tara Lynn Bridals.

She even won the Lowell Barn Pitch this year, but lost out in the state competition in Burlington because her business is too small — nowhere near the $300,000 annual income that investors want to see planned before they put their money down.

So when she heard about a new program called ASPIRE!, which helps Northeast Kingdom women start and grow businesses, Ms. Scheidet was one of the first to sign up.

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SEC turns up heat on Quiros

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copyright the Chronicle May 18, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

Federal regulators turned up the heat on Ariel Quiros Tuesday when they filed an amended complaint in the civil case against the owner of Jay Peak Resort.  Mr. Quiros, along with many of his businesses, and Bill Stenger, former president of Jay Peak, were first charged with violating federal securities laws in connection with several EB-5 funded projects in a suit filed on April 12 by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In filing an amended version of its initial complaint Tuesday, the SEC sharpened its accusations against Mr. Quiros, specifically charging that he used investor money from later phases of his eight EB-5 projects to make up shortfalls in earlier phases.

The SEC has held all along that Mr. Quiros misused, wrongly co-mingled, and stole money from foreign investors who sought permanent residency status in the U.S. by means of the EB-5 visa program.  Those investors and their families would be eligible for green cards if their $500,000 investments in a business in a hard-up area of the U.S. produced at least ten permanent jobs.

Jay Peak financed extensive developments, including three hotels, a water park, a skating area, and numerous other vacation properties, through the visa program.  Mr. Quiros also used money from the program to pay for a hotel at Burke Mountain, and planned to build a biomedical facility in Newport with EB-5 investment.

The SEC claims Mr. Quiros took $55-million for himself and could leave investors without their money or a path to residency in the U.S. if his most recent projects remain unfinished.

In the amended version of its complaint, the SEC specified which projects it claims Mr. Quiros stole from and details how he used the money he allegedly took.

The amended charges say Mr. Quiros and his associates took $6.5-million more than they were entitled to from the project that built the golf clubhouse and a number of condominiums at Jay Peak.  Mr. Quiros also failed to invest a promised $3.8-million…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Stenger and state spar over finances

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copyright the Chronicle April 13, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

EAST BURKE – A long-running disagreement between the sponsors of two EB-5-funded projects and state regulators has been thrown into sharp relief through an exchange of letters between the owners of Q Burke Resort and the commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation (DFR).

On March 25, Commissioner Susan Donegan of the DFR sent a letter to Bill Stenger, one of the Q Burke partners and co-owner of Jay Peak Resort, in which she accused him of failing “to engage in best business practices.”

That failure, Ms. Donegan maintained, made it impossible for her to give the Q Burke partners complete access to investors’ money now held.…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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In Barton: A mixed reaction to townwide yard sale

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Antiques and More was one of the many antique shops in Barton that did well at Barton’s townwide yard sale this year.  To other businesses, it was just another Saturday.  Photo by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

Antiques and More was one of the many antique shops in Barton that did well at Barton’s townwide yard sale this year. To other businesses, it was just another Saturday. Photo by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

copyright the Chronicle July 1, 2015

by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

BARTON — The townwide yard sale, started 20 years old with the hope of bringing people to Barton, certainly does that. Whether it also brings economic activity to local businesses likely depends on what they sell.

Saturday’s annual yard sale was a real boon for the antique shops in town, but other businesses didn’t report much, if any, economic benefit at all.

In a single sale, Village Treasures owner Leo McElroy made half of what he expected to make for the whole day.

But at the Circle K, James Marcy said the mini-mart actually lost money because it staffed extra for customers who didn’t arrive.

And at The Parson’s Corner restaurant, owner Dave Rath said…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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New eatery comes to Barton

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WEB eddie truck outsidecopyright the Chronicle June 24, 2015

by Natalie Hormilla

BARTON — Eddie Seadale’s newest food venture is operated out of a truck. Mr. Seadale, former owner of The Parson’s Corner restaurant, has set up the truck at the business he owns with his wife, Lori, River’s Edge Farmstand.

Mr. Seadale cooks and serves up a menu that’s made up on the fly — but he doesn’t seem even remotely worried about that.

“When Mom will say, Edward, I’m thinking of making this, I say, Great, because I know it’ll be good,” he said, zipping about his teeny kitchen Monday afternoon. “That’s how we roll.”

Mr. Seadale and his mother, Anne Seadale, are the duo behind the Copper Plate, which opened earlier this month. Mr. Seadale’s mother turns 83 in July, and the two have worked together before.

“We worked together in Southie at my first place.….To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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New “maker space” opens

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Yuri the Destroyer, with Lyndon Institute Headmaster Daren Houck at the controls, fires a laser to ignite a ribbon at the opening of The Foundry.  Foundry President Jim Schenck (center) and Vice-president Thomas Bishop (right) look on.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

Yuri the Destroyer, with Lyndon Institute Headmaster Daren Houck at the controls, fires a laser to ignite a ribbon at the opening of The Foundry. Foundry President Jim Schenck (center) and Vice-president Thomas Bishop (right) look on. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle June 10, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

LYNDON CENTER — Yuri the Destroyer, a spider-legged robot armed with a laser, stood on a table in front of an unassuming building tucked behind the Lyndon Center post office. At the command of Lyndon Institute Headmaster Daren Houck, Yuri shot a beam of blue light at a crepe paper streamer. After a few seconds the streamer burst into flame.

The ribbon had been cut and on Saturday, June 6, the doors of the Northeast Kingdom’s first maker space, The Foundry, were officially open.

A maker space is a facility….To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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contact Joseph Gresser at [email protected]

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Barton Motors to be sold at auction

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The former Barton Motor Company property.  Photo by Tena Starr

The former Barton Motor Company property. Photo by Tena Starr

copyright the Chronicle May 13, 2015

by Tena Starr

BARTON — The Barton Motor Company, for many years a thriving Ford dealership, will go up for foreclosure auction on June 15.

Court papers say that Winston Harper, who once owned the company with his brother Woody Harper, is owed $434,802 in principle and interest. They also say that there are six federal tax liens on the property, amounting to a little over $103,000.

Woody Harper died in February, 15 years after he and his brother parted ways as co-owners of the company.

Winston Harper said their father bought the dealership and garage in 1958….To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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More agriculture, more jobs

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Sweet Rowen Farmstead owner Paul Lisai poses in front of his creamery with his 16-year-old dog, Bailey.

Sweet Rowen Farmstead owner Paul Lisai poses in front of his creamery with his 16-year-old dog, Bailey.  Photos by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

copyright the Chronicle May 6, 2015

by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

The six-year-old Farm to Plate initiative appears to be doing its job and has noticeably helped bolster Vermont’s farm and food economy, according to a report released earlier this year.

Among other things, the report, conducted by the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, says that, statewide, there were 748 food manufacturing firms in the state in 2014, a 37 percent increase over 2009. And between 2009 and 2013 4,189 new jobs were created in the food system. In all, about 60,000 Vermonters are employed as farmers, waiters, cheesemakers, brewers, bakers, butchers, grocery stockers, restaurateurs, manufacturers, marketers, distributors and other food related jobs, the report says.

Farm to Plate was part of the Vermont Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

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Sugaring season was short

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Alfred Carrier and his son, Alfred Carrier Jr., take a moment from sugaring to pose for a family photo.  The younger Mr. Carrier says that he has only missed one day of sugaring in the seven years since the family began making maple syrup.   Photos by Elizabeth Trail

Alfred Carrier and his son, Alfred Carrier Jr., take a moment from sugaring to pose for a family photo. The younger Mr. Carrier says that he has only missed one day of sugaring in the seven years since the family began making maple syrup. Photos by Elizabeth Trail

copyright the Chronicle April 29, 2015

by Elizabeth Trail

Alfred Carrier and his son Alfred Carrier Jr., were among the last people in Orleans County still making maple syrup this past weekend. Many local sugarmakers report that they quit boiling early last week.

Local sugarmakers say the season was nothing to brag about. While some made close to a regular crop, others said they made about half as much as normal. Sugarmakers who do not use vacuum had a particularly skimpy crop.

Asked how her season was, Janet Osborne in Island Pond said, “Horrid.”

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