Expanded Economic Recovery Grant | FAQs

LAST UPDATED ON OCTOBER 19, 2020 AT 8:00 AM


Who is eligible for the Vermont Expanded Economic Recovery Grant Program with the Vermont Department of Taxes?

Applicants are eligible to apply through either the Vermont Department of Taxes or the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD). Applicants who have sales that are not required to be reported on a Sales and Use or Meals and Rooms tax return are encouraged to consider applying at ACCD as it may result in a larger grant. For more information please read our FAQ on this topic further below on this page.

An eligible applicant is a business or nonprofit that:

  • Is domiciled or has its primary place of business in Vermont.
  • Is registered to collect and remit Meals and Rooms Tax or Sales and Use Tax with the Vermont Department of Taxes.
  • Had at least $22,000 in total sales reported on Sales and Use and Meals and Rooms tax returns in calendar year 2019.
  • Has experienced a decline in total sales reported on Sales and Use and Meals and Rooms tax returns from March-September of 2020 compared to March-September of 2019 due to COVID-19 and still has an “unmet need.” Find more information on how to calculate your unmet need.
    • If you still have unmet need you can apply for this grant even if you have already received an Economic Recovery Grant from the Tax Department.
    • New businesses that do not have a filing history back to March 2019 may still be eligible for the Expanded Economic Recovery Grant, but they must apply through ACCD. More information is available on their website.
  • Is open for business at the time of application or is closed now due to the COVID-19 public health emergency but can certify to its intention to re-open when able.
  • Has filed all required Sales and Use or Meals and Rooms Tax returns through the September 30, 2020 period due on October 25.
  • Is in good standing with the Vermont Department of Taxes.
  • Has not received a Vermont Economic Recovery Grant from ACCD.
    • Business that previously received a grant from ACCD should apply for the Expanded Economic Recovery Grant through ACCD.


My business previously received a Vermont Economic Recovery Grant from the Vermont Department of Taxes, can I apply for the new Expanded Economic Recovery Grant?

Your business can apply for additional funding from the Expanded Economic Recovery Grant program if your business continues to have an unmet need due to COVID-19 related sales/revenue losses. Additional information about unmet need, including a calculator to help you understand if your business has an unmet need, can be found at: https://tax.vermont.gov/coronavirus/grants/unmet-need, and in the FAQ below

Businesses who previously received an Economic Recovery Grant from ACCD should apply for the Expanded Economic Recovery Grant with ACCD.


How is “unmet need” defined for the Expanded Economic Recovery Grant Program? How do I know if my business has one?

If your business has experienced a loss in revenue or sales due to COVID-19, you may have an “unmet need.” Unmet need for purposes of the Vermont Expanded Economic Recovery Grant Program for applicants from the Vermont Department of Taxes is calculated as follows:

  1. March to September 2019 total sales as reported on Sales and Use and Meals and Rooms Tax returns LESS
  2. March to September 2020 total sales as reported on Sales and Use and Meals and Rooms Tax returns LESS
  3. Any Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan your business received LESS
  4. Any Emergency Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance Grant your business received LESS
  5. Any prior Economic Recovery Grant(s) your business received LESS
  6. The total amount of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) received by owners of your business. Note that this should NOT include ordinary UI benefits LESS
  7. Any business interruption insurance proceeds your business received LESS
  8. Any other federal or state grants or credits that your business received related to COVID-19
Example:

A business with March-September 2019 sales of $500,000 and March-September 2020 sales of $200,000, that received a $100,000 PPP loan and $50,000 Economic Recovery Grant would still have an unmet need of $150,000 and could apply for the Expanded Economic Recovery Grant. 

For your convenience, we have placed a calculator on our website for informational purposes only to help you determine if your business has unmet need. Use of this calculator should not replace advice from your accountant or financial advisor.


How long do I have to apply?

Applications for the Expanded Economic Recovery Grant program are available with the Vermont Department of Taxes starting on October 19. The application will be available with the Tax Department until October 30 at midnight. While it is critical to submit your application by October 30, there is no need to rush to apply on the first day of applications. Unlike the first round of Economic Recovery Grants which were first come first served, the Expanded Economic Recovery Grant program will issue grants to all qualifying applicants based on the total demand received over the entire application period.


How will the Expanded Economic Recovery Grants be calculated?

The Expanded Economic Recovery Grant program will use a business’s unmet need as the basis for the grant award. If the program is oversubscribed, the Department of Taxes and Agency of Commerce and Community Development will issue grants based on proportionate share of each business’s unmet need, up to the award cap. Each agency will use the same proration factor. Act 154 instituted a $300,000 grant award cap which includes any previously received Economic Recovery Grants. For instance, if a business previously received a $100,000 Economic Recovery Grant, they could receive no more than $200,000 from the Expanded Economic Recovery Grant program, based on their unmet need and available funding.


When will grants for the Expanded Economic Recovery Grant Program be paid?

It is expected that the Vermont Department of Taxes and Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development will issue grant payments in late November after processing all the applications. Until all the applications are processed, the agencies will not be able to tell you how much grant funding your business will receive as the grants will be issued on a pro rata basis of each business’s unmet need.


What information do I need to apply?

  • Your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). Your FEIN is often used to file federal and state income taxes. If you are a sole proprietor who does not have a FEIN, you may use your Social Security Number (SSN).
  • The appropriate North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code for your company. The NAICS is used by the United States, Canada, and Mexico to classify businesses by industry. If you don’t know your NAICS code, the application provides a search feature based on industry keyword to find it.
  • Amount and source information about any compensation you have already received from business interruption insurance, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), or any other federal or state program for economic damages incurred as a result of COVID-19.
  • You need to have filed all necessary Meals and Rooms and Sales and Use tax returns for your business. The Department will use the information from the filings to verify your eligibility for a grant.
  • Generally speaking, you will not need to provide any additional documents. Aside from your application information, all the data being used to calculate your grant eligibility and award amount are derived from Sales and Use or Meals and Rooms tax returns you have filed with the Department. If you believe you have an unusual circumstance that may require additional documentation, please email us at tax.grants@vermont.gov or call us at 802-828-6611 for additional instruction on what documentation to provide.


I received a letter, email, or call that my business’s grant application was denied, can I get more information or appeal?

If the Department finds that your business does not qualify for the Expanded Economic Recovery Grant program, we will attempt to contact you by phone or email to discuss your application. If we cannot reach you, you will receive a letter that indicates the reasons your business does not qualify. If you believe the Department’s information is incorrect and you believe you could provide additional information that will allow your business to qualify, or you would like more information about why your application was denied, you should contact us immediately at tax.grants@vermont.gov or (802) 828-6611.


What if I have a Sales and Use or Meals and Rooms tax account, but I have income from sales or services that are not required to be reported on a Sales and Use or Meals and Rooms tax return?

The Vermont Expanded Economic Recovery Grant program being administered by the Vermont Department of Taxes uses total sales as reported on Sales and Use and Meals and Rooms tax returns as the basis for the calculation of unmet need. Applicants who apply through the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development use the basis of total revenue, which will include sales or revenue sources that may not be required to be reported on Sales and Use or Meals and Rooms tax returns.

If your business has these additional revenue sources, you should apply for the Expanded Economic Recovery Grant program through ACCD. If you already applied for and received a grant from the Vermont Department of Taxes from the original Economic Recovery Grant program, please call us at 802-828-6611 or email us at tax.grants@vermont.gov for additional instruction.


How do I apply for a grant with the Department of Taxes?

Applications are exclusively being accepted through myVTax, the Department’s online filing site.

From the myVTax homepage, click “Apply for a Vermont Expanded Economic Recovery Grant” on the bottom of the page. If you need help, you may reach out to us at mailto:tax.grants@vermont.gov or call (802) 828-6611. We apologize for any delays in responses or call wait times due to a high volume of applications and questions.


May I still apply for a Department of Taxes grant if I received a PPP loan, EIDL grant or loan, or other federal or state grant or credit for COVID-19 damages?

Yes, you may still be eligible for an Expanded Economic Recovery grant so long as your business still has an unmet need after considering other aid your business has already received. Please see our Vermont Expanded Economic Recovery Grant Unmet Need for more information.


What happens if more eligible businesses apply than there are available funds for grants?

The Vermont Department of Taxes and Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development will work together to assess the total unmet need of all qualifying businesses after the application period has closed and all qualifying applications have been processed. If the total unmet need of qualifying businesses exceeds the amount of grant funding available, each agency will pay the grants based on a proportional share of each business’s unmet need, capped at $300,000 per business for total aid from the Economic Recovery Grant program. The proration factor used by each agency will be the same.


What will happen if the Department of Taxes needs more information after submitting my application?

You must provide a daytime phone number and email address for your business’s contact on the application so the Department may call you or email you if we have questions about your application. It is important to provide accurate information and provide a contact who is easy to reach and readily available to answer questions about your business. The Department will attempt to make two contacts to your business via phone or email to resolve any outstanding questions and will expect a response to any questions within two business days. Any delay longer than two business days may result in your grant being denied if the Department cannot approve your business’s grant with the information provided.


What can businesses use the grant funds for?

The Vermont Economic Recovery Grants are being issued to help provide economic support to your business, which has been impacted by decreased customer demand due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The funds can be used both to pay necessary expenditures that your business faces, and costs directly associated to your business’s response to COVID-19.


What does it mean to be in good standing with the Department of Taxes?

Good standing for your business means that all required tax returns are filed and that all taxes are paid, or if you owe any taxes that are past due, you are making payments in accordance with your payment plan for those taxes. For purposes of this grant, taxes owed for the February through September 2020 tax periods for Sales and Use or Meals and Rooms tax will not disqualify you from receiving a grant. Any taxpayers who are otherwise not in good standing may be deemed ineligible for the grant.

If you have any unpaid taxes beyond February—September Sales and Use or Meals and Rooms tax for your business, you should call us at (802) 828-2518 to request a payment plan before submitting your application.


Are non-Vermont companies eligible for a grant?

Act 154 requires that eligible businesses have their domicile or primary place of business in Vermont. Generally, if your business is headquartered in Vermont, you will be eligible, and if your business is not headquartered in Vermont, you will not be eligible. If you are headquartered out of Vermont but believe your primary place of business is in Vermont, please email us at tax.grants@vermont.gov to discuss your individual case. If the business operates in more than one state, several factors are considered to determine the principal place of business. These factors include where the management of the business functions, where books and records are kept, and where the senior officers conduct the central business affairs.


I started a new business in 2020, or I purchased an existing business in Vermont in 2019. Do I qualify for a grant?

New businesses or purchased businesses may be eligible for the Vermont Expanded Economic Recovery Grant program, but they must apply through the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development.


Are the grant funds taxable income?

Funds awarded from this grant may be considered taxable income. Recipients will receive a Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments, in January 2021. Applicants are encouraged to discuss their tax situation with their accountant or financial advisor.


Will information about my grant be released publicly?

Yes. According to law, the identity of grant recipients and the amount received are both public information. Information regarding grant recipients is published on the ACCD website.


Where may I find additional resources available for my business to help with the economic downturn from COVID-19?

The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development has released a COVID-19 Recovery Resource Center available on their website at accd.vermont.gov/covid-19.


How can I get help if I still have questions?

If you have additional questions or need help completing your application, you can contact us at tax.grants@vermont.gov or (802) 828-6611. Our staff is available 7:45 a.m.—4:30 p.m. Monday—Friday. We apologize for any delays in responding or long call wait times due to high volume.