News

E.M.B.R.A.C.E Business Grant Applications Now Being Accepted

SEVCA’s Micro Business Development Program (MBDP) announces that applications are now being accepted online for the third round of Economic Micro Business Recovery Assistance for the COVID-19 Epidemic (E.M.B.R.A.C.E.) from businesses open before 12/31/20 that have not previously received the grant. Five thousand dollar grants are available for Vermont-based businesses affected by COVID-19 with five employees or fewer, including sole proprietors, and from low to moderate income households. Businesses that opened after 1/1/21 or that are planned to launch by 11/1/22 may apply beginning on 1/18/22 and must have met for a minimum of 1 hour with a MBDP Counselor. Businesses open before 12/31/21 that have received an E.M.B.R.A.C.E. grant before may apply beginning on 3/1/22.  

For full rules, eligibility criteria, and to apply, visit mbdp.org. Please contact Glen Ohlund, Economic Development Director: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., with questions or for assistance applying. 

SEVCA EMBRACE 3 Agency Flyer

SEVCA’s Matched Savings Program Has Openings for Savers! 

Are you working toward a savings goal, and in need of some assistance to get there? SEVCA has limited openings available in our Vermont Matched Savings Program!  

This program provides 2:1 matching funds for individuals that are saving for a variety of wealth-generating items, such as: home purchase or repair; education or training; car purchase or repair; and business startup or expansion. Participants develop an approved savings plan and receive financial coaching. If you save $1,000 of your own income over a two-year period, savings are matched, enabling you to have $3,000 to apply toward your approved purchase! For more information on this opportunity, please visit here or contact Sue Dillon: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Need Assistance with Heat and Utilities This Winter? SEVCA Might Be Able to Help!

Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) offers a variety of services and supports for eligible Windham and Windsor County residents concerned about affording their heat and utilities this winter.  

Do you need some help heating your home? The first step for receiving seasonal fuel assistance is to fill out an application, available here: dcf.vermont.gov/mybenefits. It’s best to do this now, as benefits are already being issued. Need some additional assistance to stretch your budget? Those eligible for seasonal fuel assistance are also eligible for 3SquaresVT, which can help you put healthy food on the table. Give us a call and we can provide more information about the programs, answer your questions, and help you apply. 

Are you behind on your electric bill and concerned about disconnection? Do you pay for water or wastewater services, and are you looking for help? Are you struggling to meet other utility needs? We may be able to help. For heat, utility, and other assistance, give us a call at 800-464-9951, and listen to the auto-prompt for your local family services office (Brattleboro, Springfield, Westminster, or White River Junction). 

SEVCA to Offer Free Workshop Series on Money Management in December

Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) is providing a series of 4 Financial Fitness workshops to provide training, support, and resources to help participants gain control and manage their money. Workshop topics include: creating a personal, workable budget; reducing debt; setting personal goals; modify spending; basics of banking; plus credit.

Workshops are free to Vermont residents. SEVCA will provide a gift card cash incentive to those Vermont residents affected by Covid who attend Workshops 1,2, and 3. Courses will be offered on Zoom, an online platform. Additional counseling is available to attendees. For more information email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Zoom Workshop dates and times for December 2021:

Workshop 1: Wednesday, December 1: 6pm-7pm

Workshop 2: Wednesday, December 8: 6pm-7pm

Workshop 3: Wednesday, December 15: 6pm-7pm

Workshop 4: Wednesday, December 22: 6pm-7pm

Workshop 1: Take Control of Your Money – Create a Budget

Date: December 1: 6pm - 7pm

Understanding and tracking the details of your financial situation is the start to making better money decisions and building a more secure future. When life situations change, and it often does (job loss, illness, birth of a child, new job, divorce, etc.) it’s time to review how to manage your money. This workshop will help you take control of your money by taking the first step by...creating a budget. We’ll learn what a budget is, why use it, and create and review a budget step by step.

Workshop 2: Manage Your Expenses - Set Your Goals

Date: December 8: 6pm - 7pm

After creating a budget, the next step is to review the expenses then identify goals. Goal examples are: paying off debts, saving for a car, or building an emergency fund. Creating a plan and taking control of income and expenses helps achieve goals. We’ll look at ways to lower expenses, increase income, what to do with bills you can’t pay and using strategies to achieve goals.

Workshop 3: Credit – Tame the Credit Beast

Date: December 15: 6pm - 7pm

Let’s face it, using credit to make purchases make life more convenient. But when credit (loans and credit cards) are overused, they become a trap and one of the biggest barriers in reaching financial goals. This workshop reviews credit: The do’s and don’ts of credit, how to avoid credit traps and ways to get out of credit card debt. We will learn about “Your FICO Credit Score”, how it affects your lifetime of interest rates, how interest impacts monthly payments, and how to improve a credit score.

Workshop 4: Banks and Credit Unions – Protect and Grow Your Money

Date: December 22: 6pm - 7pm

Where money is kept, whether it’s in a bank, credit union or under the mattress, does affect finances. This workshop explains the differences between banks and credit unions plus describes the accounts, benefits, and services (and fees) they offer. We will look at checking accounts, debit cards, savings accounts, loans and interest rates, plus strategies to grow and protect money. We’ll look at “Instant Cash” payday loans, how to protect your information and Identity theft.

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1937