Promoting Start-Ups and Small Business

Vintage Steel

Town Small Business Loan Committee

Dave has served on the Brattleboro Town Small Business Assistance Loan Program for four years. During this time, he has attended Brattleboro Area Techies meetings, spoken with members of the Southern Vermont Young Professionals, and approached several small local entrepreneurs to encourage them to consider applying for these low- interest, flexible term loans to expand their businesses and take on additional employees   He lobbied to raise the maximum loan from $40,000 to $70,000, with additional funds available to businesses that have used these loans to grow in the past and will be able to expand significantly further with an addition influx of capital.  Hermit Thrush Brewery, Cultural Intrigue, and Ironwood Brands are recent examples of vibrant local businesses that will grow as a result of this program.

Energy Projects

Dave was instrumental in the development of a contract between Soveren Solar and the Town School Board to create a solar array to provide the electricity for the town’s schools. This was the first school/municipal solar contract in Vermont and provided the model that has been used across the state to reduce school electricity costs and build Vermont’s sustainable energy infrastructure.

Dave was also instrumental in the development of the 5mw solar array currently being permitted for the Windham Solid Waste Management District’s covered county landfill. He initiated contact with Senator Galbraith to change the law so towns could go in together on a solar project, then as a member of the Waste District board, he led the effort develop the contract and get the project underway.  This array will provide over $2 million in lease payments to the District (which includes all but one Windham County town).  It will enable our towns to purchase electricity at the most favorable rates we have seen in Vermont.

Dave joined members of the sustainable energy community to promote and lobby for local administration of the Modern Wood Heat Program for the county.  Pellet boilers have already been installed at Academy School in Brattleboro, and are in the works or planned for several other town and school buildings across Windham County. Having a local team develop and implement this program is building our infrastructure and capacity to expand our leadership in sustainable building and energy.

Hiring for Municipal Projects

Dave initiated the conversation on the Select Board that led to an agreement to favor local contractors on municipal projects like the current Police/Fire upgrades.  Rather than burden subcontractors with quotas, Dave worked with the Project Manager to create a system for the Manager to help sub-contractors to find qualified Brattleboro residents to fill new positions that result from these sub-contracts.

Local Agriculture

Dave managed the Brattleboro Farmers’ Market for three years, vigorously promoting local producers. He engaged the Town Ag Committee in a process that secured a significant balance in the Ag Loan fund and provided a source of funding for energy audits to town buildings.

Dave supports allowing adult Vermonters to grow a small plot of cannabis for their own use.  If the state decides to develop a commercial system for cannabis, it should promote and favor small local farmers over large corporate interests.  We should wait a few years to see what works in other states before embarking on a commercial system.

Farmers’ Market

“Dave managed the Brattleboro Farmers’ Market for three years and is now a vendor. He has served on the board as President and Vice President, and chaired the Marketing Committee for four years.”

David-Schoales-Farmers-Market