Now is Your Moment!
Vermont has over 2000 woodworking shops. Many are small operations in a garage or basement. Several are workshops with 5-15 craftspeople working together. A handful are large manufacturing facilities (large in Vermont terms anyway) with 50-100+ craftsmen. Regardless of the size of your woodworking business, now is the time to expand because the state of Vermont wants to help you. Furniture making is critical to environmentally responsible economic growth in Vermont. That's why the Working Lands Grant Initiative has been created and it can help you grow your business. This year (thanks to federal Covid 19 relief monies) the funding available to Vermont furniture makers is huge!
Vermont is 75% forested and harvesting our forests sustainably is key to a healthy future. Using responsibly harvested trees from Vermont's woodlands may make you eligible for a grant to grow your furniture business.
$5.594 Million in VT Working Lands Grants
One of the things that makes Vermont so special is our working landscape, that is our forests and fields. 75 percent of Vermont is forested and we want to keep it that way. That's why the Working Lands Grant Initiative was born. The state created these grants for agriculture and forestry businesses that aim to grow sustainably. This year's grant funding is nearly as much as the previous 10 years of funding combined and you are probably eligible for one of these grants. After all, furniture is the most value-added product coming out of our forests. Deadlines for applications are in November and December so check them out today:
3 Global Trends To Help You Grow
At Vermont Woods Studios we're working with a design firm out of Burlington (Solidarity of Unbridled Labour) that's helping us with our own growth plan. The Solidarity team put together a presentation to illustrate how the 3 trends shown above are dovetailing to position Vermont furniture makers for growth.
Let's Grow Together
Vermont has a diverse group of woodworkers, furniture makers, forest owners, loggers, artisans and craftspeople who are dedicated to creating synergy by working together. If you'd like to get more involved with these progressive thinkers, join our industry group the Vermont Wood Works Council VWWC. We can help each other grow while providing leadership to our industry in the areas of quality and sustainability.
A Slide Deck to Inspire You
We've put together a Google Slides deck (Vermont Furniture Makers - Now is Our Time) to provide you with more information about why now presents such a unique opportunity to grow your business.
Vermont made furniture is special. As Vermonters we tend to take these qualities for granted but in truth, they are rare. We need to grow our sustainable businesses, not only for our local economy but also for the health of our planet.
Why do we care?
At Vermont Woods Studios we've been retailing Vermont furniture online for 16 years and our business is growing. Our vision is for Vermont to be the fine furniture capital of America. We're always looking for like minded collaborators to grow with. There is such a high demand for Vermont made furniture right now that our customers are having to wait over 6 months for their furniture to be crafted and delivered. We are looking for additional workshops to help satisfy demand and reduce lead times. Contact me here if you'd like to learn more.