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Thread summary:

Relocating to Vermont: internet-based business, cable television, work from home, insurance, renting.

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Old 01-03-2009, 02:54 PM
 
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Hello everybody,

Myself and my wife are seriously considering relocating to Vermont. We currently live in New Haven, CT, but have been wanting to head north for quite some time. We actually got married in Montpelier, and my wife went to college at Goddard, so we are well aware of the somewhat icy conditions in the winter! I moved from the UK and was introduced to VT about 3 years ago; of course, I fell in love with the place as much as my wife!*

The main question is this; we are in the process of starting our own internet-based business. How easy is it to start and run a business in Vermont? We are not looking to make millions from this venture, ideally it would provide us with enough to support our Vermont lifestyle. (To begin with I would be continuing my current job which - very helpfully - allows me to work from home.)

The next issue is location; we initially looked at Burlington because it is the largest population centre, but recently we have been veering perhaps towards a more rural lifestyle. We're not especially keen skiers or snowboarders (although we'd probably give it a go!) so being close to a resort is not important. To begin with we would probably looking at renting a place, but our intention is definitely to purchase a 'dream' home in the future.

Finally - having lurked on these pages for some time I have become aware of a belief or suggestion that making friends in the state can be difficult. (which I must admit was difficult to believe because in all of my visits everybody has been friendly and welcoming!) If you can, please shed some light on this, or let me know if this is not the case! We've found our little part of CT to be somewhat unwelcoming and it is important to the pair of us that we be able to meet new folks.

Thanks,

Chris

*er, I just read this again and felt I should clarify - I love the place as much as my wife does....clearly I love her more than anything
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Rutland, VT
1,822 posts, read 4,529,514 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blaggard View Post
The main question is this; we are in the process of starting our own internet-based business. How easy is it to start and run a business in Vermont? We are not looking to make millions from this venture, ideally it would provide us with enough to support our Vermont lifestyle. (To begin with I would be continuing my current job which - very helpfully - allows me to work from home.)

There's starting/running a business, then there's starting/running an internet-based business -- two very different propositions. People who run businesses that do not depend at all on the local population becoming clients/customers can live just about anywhere that has high-speed internet, right?


According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (http://www.sba.gov/advo/research/rs235tot.pdf (broken link)):

"Vermont forcefully states the right of a person to operate a business in his home."

This is important to my husband and me. We have a home-based business in which we see clients. Adding coverage for our home-business to our home-insurance policy was affordable and easy. While some business types are subject to inspections and other regulations, ours is not.
Because our business does not alter the look or character of the neighborhood, we are allowed to operate without licenses, variances, etc. We also avoided zoning issues because we have no employees other than ourselves working onsite. I am also a remote (mainly home-based) staff member of a Vermont non-profit.

Towns vary in their restrictions on home-businesses (from the link above):

"Burlington, Vermont’s “conditional home occupation” allows more area, outside employees (instead of
none), signs (instead of none), additional visits and parking, and sale of goods fabricated on site.
• Charlotte, Vermont’s “extended home office” allows up to 3 FTEs of outside employees (instead of
none) and more vehicle trips.
• Hartford, Vermont’s “home business” allows 2 or 3 outside employees (instead of none).
"

More about doing business of all kinds in Vermont here:


http://www.state.vt.us/tax/pdf.word....tobustaxes.pdf


Quote:
Originally Posted by blaggard View Post
The next issue is location; we initially looked at Burlington because it is the largest population centre, but recently we have been veering perhaps towards a more rural lifestyle.

There are many rural and small-town areas to choose from that are accessible to Burlington, say 30-60 minutes drive. Depends what you seek in a town and how close you want to be to somewhere like Burlington.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blaggard View Post
Finally - having lurked on these pages for some time I have become aware of a belief or suggestion that making friends in the state can be difficult. (which I must admit was difficult to believe because in all of my visits everybody has been friendly and welcoming!)
I've heard this, too. I've lived in Rutland, Vermont for 12 years and in Northern New England for 20 years. I have never had difficulty making friends here and generally find folks welcoming. They're not as effusive as in other parts of the country but I kind of like my personal space so that's fine with me.

I think it depends on what you're like, what town you're in, and what activities you're involved in. As a small business owner, community organizer, and avid volunteer, I am a lot more connected to my neighbors and people throughout Vermont than I was back when I was simply an employee of a business and did little to foster community connection. In other words, I'm not sitting in my house waiting for the Welcome Wagon!
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:26 PM
 
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Make sure you look into internet connectivity wherever you wish to live. Burlington has a city owned fiber network. I think that is the only fiber network in the state. Don't believe any of the 'we're getting highspeed next month/year/millennium' Well maybe next millennium. Satellite slows down in rain and snow and some folks claim they've been throttled by the provider.
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Vermont
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Good point about making sure you find a place to live that offers the internet connection that you need. We live out in the sticks and are the last house on our road with cable (Comcast)....the folks down the street either have DSL, dail-up, satellite, or forgo it all together.
So..what I am trying to say is that high-speed internet via cable or DSL is not available state-wide. The more rural of an area you are in, the less likely you'll have it.
If you are interested in Burlington's system, google Burlington Telecom.
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Old 01-03-2009, 05:50 PM
 
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Internet/Cable - something I probably wouldn't have thought about until it was too late, thanks!

Another thing - I know that VT is generally pretty rural - but is there much of a Jewish community? I would imagine that if so it would concentrated around Burlington?
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Old 01-03-2009, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Burlington VT
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We have excellent high speed internet through Burlington Telecom. We get phone, cable television, and quite fast internet for one price and have been happy with it. And while I have an office I can meet clients in, I also have a home office, so the fiber optic cable right into the house for high speed internet has been a blessing.

I find people in The Greater Burlington Area to be very friendly. I can imagine few other places I'd be happy living - but that may be due to the fact that all my needs are met well here.
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:10 PM
 
Location: Rutland, VT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blaggard View Post
Another thing - I know that VT is generally pretty rural - but is there much of a Jewish community? I would imagine that if so it would concentrated around Burlington?
There are Jews in every Vermont population center, small as they may be. Montpelier, Rutland, Bennington, and Woodstock have synagogues, and I'm sure there are more. The Burlington area has at least three synagogues:

Ohavi Zedek Synagogue

Temple Sinai, South Burlington, VT - Home

Ahavath Gerim Synagogue
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Old 01-04-2009, 07:49 AM
 
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I've found since getting married making friends is very hard. Adults are usually very busy and in Vermont, like many New England places, people keep to themselves more.

You may have more luck connected with other out of staters who also want friendships.

Join a club or a church or volunteer. I have yet to do any of this since I am always 'job searching' or taking care of my son and dog.

Good luck. I am seeing more and more CT plates here (less MA ones).

My husband is originally from the UK as well (we've lived there, too). Cheers!
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:36 AM
 
33 posts, read 84,934 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GypsySoul22 View Post
I've found since getting married making friends is very hard. Adults are usually very busy and in Vermont, like many New England places, people keep to themselves more.
Well my wife went to college near Montpelier, and through the internet has since been able to rekindle some friendships with her old friends, so at least we have an "in" there. And in our experience the people in VT are more chatty and friendly to us, than here in CT. Not sure this will stand long term, but the suggestions are appreciated."

Quote:
Originally Posted by GypsySoul22 View Post
My husband is originally from the UK as well (we've lived there, too). Cheers!
I'm always happy to find "my people" so we may look you up!
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Old 01-04-2009, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Rutland, VT
1,822 posts, read 4,529,514 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blaggard View Post
And in our experience the people in VT are more chatty and friendly to us, than here in CT. Not sure this will stand long term, but the suggestions are appreciated."

Our friends in Connecticut (W. Hartford area) say the same things you do. My best sources for friends & congenial colleagues: the UU church, volunteering for animals, & volunteering for other causes. I find Vermont very friendly, and that's after living here. I do think it depends where in Vermont and what activities you're involved in.
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