Vermont Wood Products COVID-Recovery Project
The Vermont Wood Products COVID-Recovery Project aims to assist woodworking companies in Vermont, navigate the challenging times posed by COVID-19 and associated business disruptions. For a limited time (September - December 2020), business and technical assistance will be offered free of charge to a limited number of Vermont wood products businesses. The following services will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis:
COVID Recovery Business Coaching:
Group Cohort: 6-8 business owners will meet as a small cohort with business coaches for approximately four months to discuss common challenges and develop solutions to meet each business’ needs. Topics will include emergency cash flow management, HR and COVID-related workplace safety issues, and sales and marketing. Cohort members will also receive 1:1 business consulting services tailored to the businesses' needs.
Individual Business Consulting: We are also offering 1:1 business consulting services to businesses that are not in the group cohort, who are struggling with COVID-19 related challenges.
Marketing Assessments: We are offering free online marketing assessments for up to 25 businesses by a marketing professional who will analyze your existing online marketing program and provide a report that includes specific recommendations on how to improve your online marketing program. We will also offer guidance for how to receive assistance to implement specific recommendations to ramp up your online marketing program quickly.
Photography Services: We are offering one free photoshoot (up to 4 hours) of the product(s) of your choice for use on your online channels, for up to 15 businesses. A professional photographer will take photos, edit, and provide final images that you will own. Some images may also be used to represent your business on vermontwood.com. To participate in one or more of these offerings, please fill out this form: https://forms.gle/hea3ByhJr9mpsQ989
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is providing these services?
The program is administered by the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund in partnership with the Vermont Wood Works Council, Northern Forest Center, and supporting partners that include the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, UVM Extension, and the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. We are contracting with business consultants, as well as with marketing professionals and professional photographers to provide businesses with digital marketing assessments and/or product photography to improve their online marketing efforts. The work is being funded by a COVID-recovery technical assistance grant from the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.
What services are included?
Peer-to-Peer Cohort: the Cohort is limited to up to 8 businesses, selected on a first-come, first-served basis. Services will include peer-to-peer learning opportunities led by two experienced business coaches, as well as one-on-one business consulting tailored to your business needs.
Business Consulting Services: for businesses not in the cohort, one-on-one consulting is available to address specific COVID-19 related business challenges.
Marketing Assessments: The marketing assessments will help your business identify and prioritize ways to improve your websites and digital marketing efforts. Your assessment will include:
- An initial phone or Zoom introduction with a marketing professional;
- An online questionnaire to inform an assessment of your current digital marketing;
- Review of your current digital marketing by a marketing professional;
- A 1-2 hour Zoom consultation to review the assessment, discuss recommendations, and help you prioritize your digital marketing efforts; and
- A brief written report outlining findings, recommendations, and priorities
Professional Product Photography: Professional photography services will help your business improve your visual marketing assets. Services will include:
- A photoshoot of up to 4 hours to capture new or existing products to be displayed on your website, or other online channels;
- Editing and delivery of a final photo package; and
Opportunity to list your business on the Vermont Wood Works Council website, vermontwood.com (must be a member)
Who is eligible?
A business is eligible for the program if it:
- Makes and sells wood products to wholesale or retail customers;
- Is located in Vermont; and
- Has experienced business disruptions due to COVID-19
Why wood products?
COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on Vermont’s wood products industry, which was nearly completely shut down in mid-March. As a result, wood product businesses in Vermont have a critical need for business assistance such as cash flow planning, human resources, COVID-related workplace safety and marketing.
What does it cost?
These services are being provided free of charge to eligible businesses, thanks to a COVID-recovery technical assistance grant from the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development.
How do I apply?
A basic application can be completed online at https://forms.gle/hea3ByhJr9mpsQ989
Who can I contact with questions?
Please get in touch with Christine McGowan, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund.