Wellness center celebrates 15 years; business startup workshop set for March 3; child-care facilities grants offered; and AmeriCorps workers available

Wholistic Wellness Center celebrates 15 years

The Wholistic Wellness Center is celebrating 15 years in Springfield. Back in 2002, a group of like-minded health-care practitioners got together to discuss working under the same roof.

Although a few of the names and faces have changed, the underlying premise of providing quality, affordable, complementary health-care has continued.

Care providers from Wholistic Wellness Center in Springfield are, from left, Kate Bell, Mara Cicaloni, Cindy Aldrich, Dianna Wilson, Shawn Antonevich, Deb Sykes, Dee Goings, Lu Parker, Joanie Cioffi and Joni Foster-Robison.

The center offers a variety of healing modalities addressing the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of its clients.

Currently, practitioners skilled in physical therapy, acupuncture, aromatherapy, several types of massage therapy, mental health counseling, integrative energy work, Reiki, somatic therapy and equine facilitated life coaching are part of the wellness team.

Although the practitioners at the Wellness Center are independent, they come together to provide the best choices of treatment for each individual case.

For further information, stop by the center at 160 Wall St.t in Springfield; check out the website at www.wwcvt.com; or the Facebook page, www.facebook.com/wholisticwellnesscenter.

Starting Your Own Business workshop set for March 3

The Vermont Small Business Development Center announces an upcoming workshop for those thinking about starting their own business. The Starting Your Own Business workshop is aimed at helping future entrepreneurs turn their passions into a full-fledged business venture. The workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday, March 3 at Springfield Regional Development Corp. on Clinton Street in Springfield.

The workshop, conducted by an experienced business advisor, is designed as a guide for the first-time business owner. Participants receive a comprehensive start-up workbook, handouts and resources in marketing, financing, management and operations. By the end the workshop, participants will be well-informed about the tools and resources available to them and the next steps involved in launching a successful business.

The price of the workshop is $129 and you can register online at www.vtsbdc.org.
A few workshop highlights include how to:

  • Use the “Business Model Canvas” to evaluate whether there is a viable business in their good idea
  • Identify target customers and “unique selling proposition(s)”
  • Register their business and apply for tax numbers
  • Consider start-up costs, sales, expenses and financing options
  • Pitch their idea and develop a business plan and more.

For more information visit www.vtsbdc.org or contact Debra Boudrieau at (802) 885-2071 or dboudrieau@vtsbdc.org.

Grants available for child-care facilities

The Vermont Community Loan Fund is now accepting applications for Building Bright Spaces for Bright Futures 2017 grants. Building Bright Spaces grants can be used for assistance in starting, relocating, expanding or improving a Vermont child care program’s physical facility and/or accessibility.

Building Bright Spaces grants also may be used for real estate purchase, facility construction and renovation, as well as pre-development costs, interest rate subsidies and costs in meeting child care licensing facility requirements.

Grant requests cannot exceed $15,000 or total more than 25 percent of the full project cost. The application process for these funds is very competitive, and funds are limited. Applications must be received no later than 3 p.m. on March 13, 2017 to be considered.

Basic Eligibility

  • For-profit or private non-profit operations (family or center), licensed, registered or in the process of becoming so, located in Vermont.
  • Projects that serve or plan to serve children from families receiving support through the State Child Care Financial Assistance Program.
  • Projects in compliance, or in process of complying, with all applicable local, state and federal zoning, accessibility, environmental, and other laws and regulations.
  • Youth programs that reach out to all children with positive youth development opportunities.
  • Programs that participate, or intend to participate, with Early Childhood Councils or Community Child Care Support Agencies (Resource & Referral) and who are members of a local child care provider network.

Funding priorities for this year’s grants

  • Programs that operate on a full day/full year schedule;
  • Programs targeting funds to improve their ability to serve infants and toddlers or children receiving Specialized Child Care supports;
  • Programs that plan to use the funds to meet child care licensing or STARS requirements;
  • Programs providing care during non-traditional hours (evenings and/or weekends);
  • Programs seeking to expand the number of child care slots available.

While all qualifying programs are welcome to apply, these factors are used to help determine priorities for grant funding. All applications will be reviewed for quality of care and regulatory compliance. Applicants must be active participants in the Step Ahead Recognition System. Special consideration will be given to start-up programs.

Administered by the Vermont Community Loan Fund, the Building Bright Spaces program is funded with revenue generated from the sale of specialty child care license plates, contributions from the general public and monies provided by the State of Vermont Child Development Division.

The fund was created in 2002 by the Vermont legislature to increase the quantity and quality of child care and early education programs in Vermont. Since 2006, the fund has awarded over $1.2 million in grants to 110 Vermont child care programs, benefiting almost 2,800 Vermont children and their families Applications are available at: www.investinvermont.org/images/stories/docs/vclf2017bbsfbfapplication.pdf

A full program overview can be found at: www.investinvermont.org/images/stories/docs/vclf2017bbsfbfprogramoverview.pdf

For additional information, contact Faye Longo at 802-224-9141 or faye@vclf.org

Towns, organizations encouraged to host AmeriCorps members

The Vermont Environmental Careers and Opportunities AmeriCorps program is seeking partners interested in hosting an AmeriCorps member this coming 2017-2018 service year. Towns and organizations with identified environmental project and outreach needs are encouraged to apply. Successful applicants will be matched with an AmeriCorps member by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, which administers the program.

ECO Members pose after a service project removing invasive species at Lake St. Catherine State Park during National Public Lands Day in September 2016.

“ECO AmeriCorps has proven to be a tremendous resource in helping the state and our community partners achieve Vermont’s environmental goals,” comments Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Julie Moore. “All of our members provide services and complete projects for the host sites that may otherwise go undone. The members truly are getting things done for the state of Vermont.”

More than 30 organizations have benefited from working with ECO AmeriCorps since the program began in 2015, ranging from local watershed groups to the Vermont-based offices of federal agencies like the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. In the program’s first year alone, ECO AmeriCorps provided 32,700 hours of service to host sites, and organized 700 community volunteers who logged 5,840 hours of community-based work. Members serving during this current 2016-2017 service year are on pace to match or exceed these first-year accomplishments.

Applications are being accepted from municipalities, state and national governmental agencies, and nonprofit organizations interested in acting as a service site. The deadline to apply is March 13. Applicants should identify projects where help is needed to protect and restore Vermont’s water quality or to reduce the amount of waste entering landfills. In past years, ECO members have served as conservation assistants, volunteer coordinators and communications specialists.

The department provides administrative support for selected host sites, including providing living stipends, health insurance and regular technical and professional development trainings for members. Service sites are responsible for providing meaningful projects, supervision and support, a work space, equipment  and supplies. Members are required to serve a minimum of 1,700 hours during their 11 months of service from August 2017 to September 2018. Service sites provide a cash match of $6,500 for each AmeriCorps member they supervise.

ECO AmeriCorps is funded in part through an AmeriCorps state grant provided by SerVermont from the Corporation for National and Community Service.

To apply or find more information, visit the ECO AmeriCorps website at: http://ecoamericorps.vermont.gov.

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Filed Under: Business & Personal FinanceBusiness in Brief

About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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