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Most will agree that our shared COVID-19 experience in 2020 has generated many questions about our community health. Likewise, it has unearthed many new questions about our Vermont economy as well. In 2020, the Vermont Futures Project had the opportunity for extensive discussions about the Vermont economy with a wide variety of business, non-profit, community, higher ed, and government leaders though out the state. We cataloged the input and boiled down the questions into a list of the top Vermont economic research topics we believe warrant further investigation. Here is a sampling of key topics:

  1. Has COVID-19 uncovered the need to diversify Vermont’s industry mix to be more resilient in the future?
  2. Is it time to modernize Vermont’s land use, zoning and permitting regulations to address our housing crisis?
  3. Why do few businesses grow to employ more than 20 people?
  4. Why are Vermont’s average wages lagging at certain levels of educational attainment?
  5. Does Vermont’s tax burden impact in and out migration patterns in comparison to other states?
  6. How can we make Vermont attractive to remote workers?
  7. How does Vermont balance economic opportunity, climate change and social and racial justice to create a secure and resilient future?
  8. Why have certain industry sectors lagged embracing digital technologies?

These questions along with several others will require in-depth research, new data points and key partnerships to help Vermont repair, reassess and reimagine our future economy. We welcome you to join the conversation. Contact Lori Smith at lsmith@vtfuturesproject.org