Governor signs reimportation legislationGovernor Jim Douglas has signed a drug reimportation bill that will allow a small number of Vermonters access to pharmaceuticals from Canada and other nations, and urged the Legislature to move on to more pressing issues.The governor said that even those who campaigned heavily on the issue of drug reimportation, and who claimed that it would be a significant step toward lower drug prices and affordable health care, now concede that this bill will help only a handful of Vermonters.The governor added that the Legislature must take action to save Medicaid and pass health insurance reforms that make progress toward our goal of universal coverage this year.Douglas continues to insist that the Congress take action to increase competition among manufacturers, speed the approval of lower cost generic drugs, preserve the ability of states to pool drug purchases, and protect state pharmaceutical programs impacted by the Medicare law.
GE Healthcare,Vermont Business Magazine IDX Systems Corp in South Burlington has agreed to be acquired by GE Healthcare, based in London, England, for $1.2 billion. The price reflects GEs offer to buy IDX stock for $44 per share. IDX has 2,400 employees, 850 of whom work in Vermont. IDX will become part of the GE Healthcare IT division. Officials said there are no immediate plans to change employment levels in Vermont.GE Healthcare IT is based in Chicago and is a division of GE Healthcare, based in London, England. The agreement was reached September 28 and announced the next morning. The deal is expected to close early 2006.IDX Chairman Richard Tarrant and CEO James Crook said that they had sought out an owner after realizing over the last few years that to grow the business further, they needed a partner. They said that they had sought out GE and started talking early in 2005 and made a formal management proposal last June. IDX is a $670 million company, while GE Healthcare IT is slightly bigger at $750 million. Its parent company, GE Healthcare, is a $15 billion business.Tarrant and Crook both talked about the benefits to healthcare and to IDX in particular. They both mentioned that this deal was good for customers, employees and the communities where IDX facilities are located.Pressed about the future of the Vermont facility, GE officials said they expect the facility to grow as the company grows, but would not discuss specific employment growth or retraction in Vermont. They did say that they would look at cost savings relative to redundant duties. Whether GE would retain the IDX brand name would depend on how the marketing might work out and customer expectations.IDX and GE Medical have some competitive products, but officials on both sides described the merger as each company offering different strengths to the goal of making electronic health care records more available from anywhere in the world.Crook said health care providers would have the benefit of a suite of software that would allow a hospital or medical office or doctor to see all the information at one time on a patient, from contact name and billing, to personal and family health history, to medications, to diagnostics, like X-Rays, to treatments.IDX was formed in Burlington in 1969 by Richard Tarrant and Robert Hoehl.
In light of the current threat of swine influenza in Mexico and certain US states, the Vermont Chamber Hospitality Council is urging Vermont s tourism industry to remain alert to the symptoms of the flu, while realizing that health officials are taking all necessary steps to help treat those individuals and contain the disease before it spreads. Of the 64 cases identified nationwide, there have been no deaths reported from this influenza strain in Vermont or the US.Of course, Vermont s businesses should ensure a high level of sanitation at all times, and implement strategies and precautionary measures to protect the health and safety of employees and guests.These precautionary measures include the use of common sense to help cease the spread of swine flu, complying with food and health regulations, and seeking up-to-date facts to help make informed decisions. The Centers for Disease Control has set up a web page with current information and resources at: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/(link is external).As of April 27, there have been no reported cases of swine influenza found in any public lodging facility in the US. The National Restaurant Association has set up a webpage with important swine flu information for restaurateurs at: http://www.restaurant.org/swineflu/(link is external). It is important to note that one can not contract swine flu from eating pork.Travelers will be looking to the tourism industry to help them make these decisions, and all businesses can work together to help people continue to travel. If you do receive cancellations due to the threat of swine flu, please let us know.The Vermont Chamber continues to monitor the impact of tourism to Vermont through our partners on a federal level, including our congressional delegation, and the National Restaurant Association, American Hotel & Lodging Association, National Tour Association, and US Travel Association.
Source: LSC. 9.16.2009 Lyndon State College is the recipient of a $71, 590 grant from the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Northern Region. The money will be used for paid student internships in Essex County in Vermont and Coos County in New Hampshire. These two areas fall in one of the nation’s most economically depressed regions, and this support will help businesses develop sustainable business models.The grant creates a promising win-win situation for businesses and Lyndon students. Not only will the businesses have access to the latest in planning and development, but students will no longer have to choose between an unpaid internship and a job.Making these types of internship opportunities available is important to both preparing the region’s future workforce as well as helping these students play an active role in building the capacity of businesses and organizations that could become their future employers. The struggling economies of the Northeast Kingdom and Coos County provide an excellent laboratory for Lyndon State College students. By working under the close supervision of experienced faculty who are coordinating with engaged employers they will have the opportunity to put theory into practice while helping to keep and create jobs in the target area.This summer, for example, Lyndon State College senior Ashley Beard and two interns from Mt. Abraham Union High School worked under a Tillotson grant to map parts of the Northern Forest. This information will make the land more accessible to businesses who have questions about types and locations of specific kinds of timber on the land. Other Tillotson money has been used by the College for work with the Northwoods Stewardship Center and the Appalachian Mountain Club.The focus of this internship program will be to help put into practice the recommendations outlined in the SEI’s (Sustainable Economy Initiative) A Strategy for Regional Economic Resurgence while developing regional capacity along with that of participating businesses and organizations. Small and emerging companies, as well as nonprofits, are often unable to pay interns, which limits the pool from which the businesses can choose. Making these types of internship opportunities available is important to both preparing the region’s future workforce as well as helping these students play an active role in building the capacity of businesses and organizations that could become their future employers. The struggling economies of the Northeast Kingdom and Coos County provide an excellent laboratory for Lyndon State College students.The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation has been improving the quality of life in our communities since 1962. It builds and manages a collection of charitable funds totaling nearly $490 million, created by individuals, families and corporations. The Foundation has awarded more than $125 million in the past five years. Based in Concord, N.H., the Foundation roots itself in communities across the state through seven regions including Lakes, Manchester, Monadnock, Nashua, North Country, Piscataqua and the Upper Valley.
Source: SymQuest Larry Sudbay, President and Chief Executive Officer of SymQuest Group, Inc. announced today that Rutland County Parent Child Center, Inc. (RCPCC) was chosen as the winning applicant for the Third SymPowered Office Makeover from SymQuest — worth $25,000. Rutland County Parent Child Center, a locally based non-profit, demonstrated the most need, budget constraints, outdated equipment and dedication to serving their clients. Since 1985, RCPCC has nurtured strengths, growth and independence of children and families in the Rutland area. The RCPCC believes that families and their children have the right to family-centered, comprehensive high quality services. They deliver these services through home-based programs, playgroups, parent education and support, information and referral early childhood programs, community development and on-site services.RCPCC is currently utilizing very outdated equipment donated to the agency, including computers and a networked server. Their two donated copiers are also severely out of date and require a great deal of ongoing maintenance. Funded by state and federal grants that are continually being cut, the Center has been unable to divert any funding to address their technological handicaps and obstacles for several years and sees no immediate change in that.“We are grateful to SymQuest for this much needed support! A SymPowered Office Makeover will dramatically improve how we serve our clients, enabling us to better fulfill our mission of helping families be successful in our community. With this Makeover, RCPCC staff will have more time to spend with families and children and have to spend less time trying to deal with technology issues. RCPCC is proud to be the recipient of this donation,” commented Caprice Hover, Executive Director of RCPCC.“Communications, confidentiality, accountability and efficiency are critical to RCPCC meeting their clients’ needs. Their current computer infrastructure, a key element to the organization’s success, is in a fragile state. The staff is struggling with old, failing computers and outdated software. RCPCC is seriously in need of a more efficient means for their 43 employees to complete and file client reports, process time-sheets and payroll, submit data required by state and federal agencies, report financial data for accountability and to communicate via email,” said Joe Noonan, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, SymQuest. “As a result of the SymPowered Office Makeover, RCPCC’s office infrastructure, communications systems and processing of reports will be drastically improved and streamlined. RCPCC will better be able to provide information to state and federal agencies, as required by law. The training and support aspect of the Office Makeover will get RCPCC’s systems up-to-date,” continued Noonan.The SymPowered Office Makeover includes: a server, multi-functional device (all-in-one copier, scanner, fax and printer), laptop(s), labor costs for technicians/engineers, monitored network service for one year, as well as some fun extras.“We are pleased to offer this unique, exciting opportunity from SymQuest. We have just completed the SymPowered Office Makeover in Keene, NH at CHESCO. This is our third Makeover to date, totaling $75,000. We plan to continue this tradition of giving back to the communities in which we work, live and play,” said Sudbay.
US Senator Patrick Leahy and members of the Putney Historical Society, Preservation Trust of Vermont and Vermont Housing and Conservation Board met at the site of the Putney General Store Wednesday morning to announce that a new $60,000 federal grant will ensure that construction on the new General Store can begin this year. None of us here could have imagined that instead of touring a new and improved Putney General Store today we would be standing in front of a vacant lot, said Leahy. But the fact that we are still here is a testament to the Putney community and another example of how in a time of crisis Vermonters pull together.Before the November 2009 fire that destroyed the Putney General Store for a second time in under two years, Leahy had announced he had secured a $100,000 appropriation, in partnership with the Preservation Trust of Vermont, to rebuild the community-supported project. Leahy said the new $60,000 appropriation would be available immediately, enabling the Putney Historical Society to move forward with construction this year. The significance of this money cannot be overstated. It is the last big push we need, to ensure we can move ahead without delay, said Putney Historical Society President, Stuart Strothman.During Wednesday s visit to the site of the Putney General Store, Leahy pointed out that while these funds will help move the project forward, fundraising is not complete. A recent $20,000 matching grant from the Thomas Thompson Foundation requires a $40,000 match. Combined with the Thompson grant and match, the Leahy appropriation brings the estimated $920,000 campaign within $80,000 of completion. Strothman noted that the project may be able to get a loan to cover the difference.The Putney Historical Society has also accessed funding from the Vermont Community Development Program, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, the Preservation Trust of Vermont, the Windham Foundation, and many other community donors and corporate donors.Source: PUTNEY, Vt. (Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010) Leahy’s office.
SKI Magazine released results from its 2011 Reader Resort Survey naming Sugarbush Resort as the #1 resort in the east for terrain variety. Sugarbush came out on top in a category in which the resort is committed to having a stronghold.”This ranking really pleases me for several reasons,” says owner and president Win Smith. “It underscores the fact that Sugarbush is a place where you can not only learn to ski, but where you can continue skiing throughout your life. You won’t ever get bored here.”Sugarbush’s #1 ranking in terrain variety is followed by a #2 ranking for overall satisfaction, and a #3 for service. The 1-2-3 punch marks a new high for the resort, which has experienced a steady increase in the survey results over the last ten years.Sugarbush has invested $10 million this year on the development of two new skier services buildings as well as upgrades to their snowmaking system. The new buildings include The Schoolhouse, which will be home to all children’s day programs, and The Farmhouse, which will host adult ski lessons, rentals and repair, resort real estate, and the Sunrise CafÃ©. The Farmhouse will also serve as a base for the resort’s “First Timer to Life Timer” program, a three-time adult lesson program for first-time skiers and riders that awards a free season pass to those who complete the program.This is the 23rd year SKI Magazine has published its Reader Resort Survey. The Survey is considered the definitive ranking of North American ski resorts. The annual resort survey is the most comprehensive and longest-running ski resort survey in the winter sports industry. Resorts are ranked in 18 categories: Overall Satisfaction, Access, AprÃ¨s-ski, Dining, Family Programs, Grooming, Lifts, Lodging, Off-Hill Activities, On-Mountain Food, Scenery, Service, Snow, Terrain/Challenge, Terrain/Variety, Terrain Parks, Value and Weather.Source: Sugarbush Warren, VT (October 13, 2010)–**
University of Vermont,USDA Rural Development funds will be used by UVM Extension to strengthen and build community and economic development within three locally based non-profit organizations: Newport Renaissance Corporation, Gilman Housing Trust and Northeast Kingdom Community Action. UVM Extension will work with these local non-profits in order to build the skills necessary to effectively and efficiently plan for and recruit new businesses, promote trade and tourism, and to evaluate the quality of housing available in the region. In the past these non-profits have hired consultants to conduct the proposed work which has not allowed these non-profits to retain these skills year after year. ‘This investment by USDA that provides technical assistance to established organizations in the Northeast Kingdom, is further evidence of the confidence we have in the continued growth and development of this region’ stated Molly Lambert, State Director USDA Rural Development. ‘We are privileged to support this tremendous project.’ USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure, and facility programs through a national network of 6,100 employees located in 500 state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $142 billion in loans and loan guarantees.# Montpelier Vermont, July 7, 2011 ‘ USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).VERMONT BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Merchants Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBVT), the parent company of Merchants Bank, today announced net income of $3.63 million and $6.73 million, or diluted earnings per share of $0.58 and $1.08, for the quarter and six months ended June 30, 2011, respectively. This compares with net income of $4.59 million and $8.42 million, or diluted earnings per share of $0.74 and $1.37, for the quarter and six months ended June 30, 2010, respectively.Merchants previously announced the declaration of a dividend of $0.28 per share, payable August 18, 2011, to shareholders of record as of August 4, 2011. The return on average assets was 0.98 percent and 0.91 percent for the quarter and six months ended June 30, 2011 compared to 1.29 percent and 1.19 percent for the same periods in 2010. The return on average equity was 14.20 percent and 13.38 percent for the quarter and six months end ed June 30, 2011 compared to 19.48 percent and 18.10 percent for the same periods in 2010.”The second quarter demonstrated significant improvement compared to the first quarter of this year. We saw healthy increases in loans and our net interest margin. At this point we believe we are on track to post loan growth for the year that will meet or exceed 10 percent. Although we are trailing 2010’s record results we believe we are in line to report another very solid year,” commented Michael R. Tuttle, President and Chief Executive Officer.Taxable equivalent net interest income was $12.95 million and $25.11 million for the quarter and six months ended June 30, 2011, respectively, compared to $12.90 million and $25.32 million for the same periods in 2010. Our taxable equivalent net interest margin decreased 19 basis points to 3.62% for the second quarter of 2011 compared to 3.81% for the same period in 2010, and decreased 24 basis points to 3.53% for the six months ended June 30, 2011 compared to 3.77% for the same period in 2010. The margin for the second quarter of 2011 increased by 25 basis points when compared to the fourth quarter of 2010, and increased 17 basis points from the first quarter of 2011.Merchants recorded a $250 thousand provision for credit losses during the second quarter of 2011, compared to no provision in the second quarter of 2010. Our provision for credit losses for the first six months of 2011 was $250 thousand compared to $600 thousand for the first six months of 2010. Our non-performing asset totals decreased to $3.44 million at June 30, 2011 from $4.30 million at December 31, 2010 and $8.78 million at June 30, 2010.Merchants quarterly average loans for the second quarter of 2011 were $944.81 million compared to $916.38 million for the first quarter of 2011 and $905.05 million for the fourth quarter of 2010. Ending balances at June 30, 2011 were $943.35 million, $32.56 million higher than balances at December 31, 2010. During the second quarter, growth in average monthly loan balances was strong with average monthly loan balances for April 2011 at $931.64 million, increasing to $943.84 million for May, and $958.99 million in June. Growth in commercial loans reflects new customers and expansion of existing relationships combined with increased utilization of credit lines by existing customers. Seasonal fluctuations in municipal cash flows reduced June 30, 2011 loan balances by almost $26 million. Municipal loan balances increased to $82.72 million at July 1, 2011 from $37.93 million at June 30, 2011. Total loans at July 1, 2011 were $987.03 million.Total deposits at June 30, 2011 were $1.10 billion, slightly higher than balances at December 31, 2010. Although deposit growth from the end of last year to the end of the second quarter was minimal, the composition of the deposit base has shifted away from interest bearing deposits and into demand deposits. Demand deposits grew $19.73 million to $161.14 million at June 30, 2011 from $141.41 million at December 31, 2010. Approximately $10 million of that growth is a result of a shift in our retail cash rewards checking product from interest bearing to non-interest bearing. Securities sold under agreement to repurchase (“repos”) decreased by $71.70 million to $160.49 million at June 30, 2011 compared to December 31, 2010, primarily a result of seasonal fluctuations concentrated in municipal cash flows.Merchants investment portfolio totaled $405.53 million at June 30, 2011, a decrease of $61.23 million from the December 31, 2010 ending balance of $466.76 million. We are working to reduce our exposure to premium write off in the investment portfolio and have sold $77.03 million in collateralized mortgage obligations for a total net gain of $127 thousand during 2011. Proceeds from the sales have funded our strong loan growth, and have replaced reductions in repo balances.Total noninterest income decreased to $2.56 million and $4.65 million for the quarter and six months ended June 30, 2011, respectively, compared to $3.16 million and $6.07 million for the same periods in 2010. Excluding net gains (losses) on security sales and other than temporary impairment losses, noninterest income decreased $229 thousand to $2.42 million for the second quarter of this year compared to $2.65 million for the same period in 2010 and decreased $407 thousand to $4.53 million for the first six months of 2011 compared to the first six months of 2010. This decrease is primarily a result of reductions in overdraft fee revenue attributable to legislative changes that went into effect on August 15, 2010. Trust division income continued to grow during 2011 and increased to $632 thousand and $1.26 million for the quarter and six months ended June 30, 2011, respectively, compared to $533 thousand and $1.05 million for the same periods in 2010. Trust division assets und er management have grown to $488.85 million at June 30, 2011 from $460.42 million at December 31, 2010 and $388.24 million at June 30, 2010. Other categories of noninterest income were generally flat compared to 2010.Total noninterest expense was $10.21 million and $20.32 million for the quarter and six months ended June 30, 2011, respectively, compared to $9.62 million and $19.09 million for the same periods in 2010. There were several factors that combined to produce the changes. Salaries and wages and employee benefits were slightly higher for the quarter and six months ended June 30, 2011 compared to the same periods in 2010, primarily a result of normal salary increases. Occupancy and Equipment expenses were $1.76 million and $3.59 million for the quarter and six months ended June 30, 2011 compared to $1.62 million and $3.23 million for the same periods in 2010. This increase is primarily a result of depreciation related to significant bank-wide investments in telecommunication and computer equipment. We anticipate that these investments will provide us with additional operating efficiencies and cost savings. FDIC insurance expense for the second quarter of 2011 was $194 thousand com pared to $340 thousand for the same period in 2010, a result of the new deposit insurance assessment rates effective April 1, 2011. We booked expense recoveries and gains related to the sale of other real estate owned (“OREO”) properties totaling $318 thousand during the first quarter of 2010. This gain resulted in a negative OREO expense during the quarter and six months ended June 30, 2010 of $(196) thousand and $(390) thousand, respectively, compared to expenses of $65 thousand and $81 thousand for the quarter and six months ended June 30, 2011.Michael R. Tuttle, Merchants’ President and Chief Executive Officer, Janet P. Spitler, Merchants’ Chief Financial Officer and Geoffrey R. Hesslink, Executive Vice President and Senior Lender of Merchants will host a conference call to discuss these earnings results at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, July 27, 2011. Interested parties may participate in the conference call by dialing U.S. number (800) 230-1059; the title of the call is Merchants Bancshares, Inc. Earnings Call. Participants are asked to call a few minutes prior to register. A replay will be available until noon on Wednesday, August 3, 2011. The U.S. replay dial-in telephone number is (800) 475-6701. The international replay telephone number is (320) 365-3844. The replay access code for both replay telephone numbers is 200985.Vermont Matters. Merchants Bank strives to fulfill its role as the state’s leading independent community bank through a wide range of initiatives. The bank supports organizations throughout Vermont in addressing essential needs, sustaining community programs, providing small business and job start capital, funding financial literacy education and delivering enrichment through local sports activities.Merchants Bank was established in 1849 in Burlington, Vermont. Its continuing mission is to provide Vermonters with a statewide community bank that combines a strong technology platform with a genuine appreciation for local markets. Merchants Bank delivers this commitment through a branch-based system that includes: 34 community bank offices and 43 ATMs throughout Vermont; local branch presidents and personal bankers dedicated to high-quality customer service; free online banking, phone banking, and electronic bill payment services; high-value depositing programs that feature Cash Rewards Checking, Rewards Checking for Business, business cash management, money market accounts, health savings accounts, certificates of deposit, Flexible CD, IRAs, and overdraft assurance; feature-rich loan programs including mortgages, home equity credit, vehicle loans, personal and small business loans and lines of credit; and merchant card processing. Merchants Bank offers a strong set of comm ercial and government banking solutions, delivered by experienced banking officers in markets throughout the state; these teams provide customized financing for medium-to-large companies, non-profits, cities, towns, and school districts. Merchants Trust Company, a division of Merchants Bank, provides investment management, financial planning and trustee services. Please visit www.mbvt.com(link is external) for access to Merchants Bank information, programs, and services. Merchants’ stock is traded on the NASDAQ National Market system under the symbol MBVT. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.Non-GAAP Financial Measure. In addition to results presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”), this press release contains certain non-GAAP financial measures. Merchants’ management believes that the supplemental non-GAAP information, which consists of the tangible capital ratio, is utilized by regulators and market analysts to evaluate a company’s financial condition and therefore, such information is useful to investors. These disclosures should not be viewed as a substitute for financial results determined in accordance with GAAP, nor are they necessarily comparable to non-GAAP performance measures which may be presented by other companies. Because non-GAAP financial measures are not standardized, it may not be possible to compare these financial measures with other companies’ non-GAAP financial measures having the same or similar names.Certain statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and are intended to be covered by the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. These statements, which are based on certain assumptions and describe Merchants’ future plans, strategies and expectations, can generally be identified by the use of the words “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “would,” “plan,” “potential,” “estimate,” “project,” “believe,” “intend,” “anticipate,” “expect,” “target” and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are based on the current assumptions and beliefs of management and are only expectations of future results. Merchants’ actual results could differ materially from those projec ted in the forward-looking statements as a result of, among others, general, national, regional or local economic conditions which are less favorable than anticipated, including continued global recession, impacting the performance of Merchants’ investment portfolio, quality of credits or the overall demand for services; changes in loan default and charge-off rates which could affect the allowance for credit losses; declines in the equity and financial markets; reductions in deposit levels which could necessitate increased and/or higher cost borrowing to fund loans and investments; declines in mortgage loan refinancing, equity loan and line of credit activity which could reduce net interest and non-interest income; changes in the domestic interest rate environment and inflation; changes in the carrying value of investment securities and other assets; misalignment of Merchants’ interest-bearing assets and liabilities; increases in loan repayment rates affecting interest incom e and the value of mortgage servicing rights; changing business, banking, or regulatory conditions or policies, or new legislation affecting the financial services industry, such as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, that could lead to changes in the competitive balance among financial institutions, restrictions on bank activities, changes in costs (including deposit insurance premiums), increased regulatory scrutiny, declines in consumer confidence in depository institutions, or changes in the secondary market for bank loan and other products; and changes in accounting rules, federal and state laws, IRS regulations, and other regulations and policies governing financial holding companies and their subsidiaries which may impact Merchants’ ability to take appropriate action to protect Merchants’ financial interests in certain loan situations.You should not place undue reliance on Merchants’ forward-looking statements, and are cautioned that forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain. Actual performance and results of operations may differ materially from those projected or suggested in the forward-looking statements due to certain risks and uncertainties, which are included in more detail in Merchants’ Annual Report on Form 10-K, as updated by our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and other filings submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Merchants does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect circumstances or events that occur after the date the forward-looking statements are made. SOUTH BURLINGTON, VT–(Marketwire – July 25, 2011) –
Otter Creek Brewing Co, LLC of Middlebury, Vermont is pleased to announce that an agreement is in place with Ken and Kathleen Strong, the founders of the legendary The Shed Restaurant in Stowe, VT- to have Otter Creek Brewing acquire The Shed Brewery and the award winning Shed brand family of ales. The change is effective immediately. Plans are underway to transfer The Shed’s existing brewing equipment to Middlebury, Vermont- home of the Otter Creek Brewery and Wolaver’s Organic brands, so that there is no interruption in supply to the marketplace.Brian Walsh, President of Otter Creek Brewing Co. said, ‘We are extremely proud that Ken and Kathy Strong have entrusted their beer brands and the rich heritage of The Shed Brewery to us. We look forward to working with them as ongoing ambassadors for Shed Mountain Ale and the entire brand family.’The Shed recently closed the landmark location on the Stowe Mountain Road. Walsh went on to say, ‘The Shed family is a Vermont treasure. Otter Creek Brewing is proud to be able to continue the brewing history of The Shed.’Mike Gerhart, Brewmaster at Otter Creek, has been working closely with Ken Strong on the details with The Shed recipes and equipment. The brewing traditions and additional capacity at Otter Creek is well positioned to continue the heritage and quality of an iconic Vermont brand.Ken Strong said today, ‘Kathy and I are very pleased that Otter Creek Brewing, a Vermont brewer, was willing to assume the operation of The Shed Brewery and brands. It is terrific that Shed Mountain Ale will continue to be brewed and served throughout Vermont.’ As for future plans to reopen The Shed Restaurant Ken Strong said, ‘We are continuing to evaluate choices and locations to reopen The Shed as soon as possible.’ October 31, 2011Middlebury, Vermont