On July 9, over 120 Digger readers packed the Manchester community library for a lively discussion about economic development in Bennington County – watch a video of the event below, courtesy of Greater Northshire Access Television:


Photos below by Andrew McKeever of the Manchester Journal. Click on an image below to start slideshow.

VTDigger, in partnership with our media partners the Bennington Banner and Manchester Journal, hosted a community forum, panel-style discussion where local business and community leaders present perspectives on the future of Manchester and Vermont’s economy. The panel was moderated by Wayne Granquist of Weston, and included an audience Q&A. A social networking hour concluded the evening.

View Wayne Grandquist’s Powerpoint presentation about economic indicators in Bennington County.



Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 12.17.34 PMModerator Wayne Granquist
Wayne has a long career in business, finance and public service.  He has also chaired several non-profit boards, including Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company. Wayne is the Chair of the Board of Civil Authority, Town of Weston, VT, where he is the long-time Moderator of the Town Meeting.


Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 12.05.45 PM

Chris Morrow
Chris is President of Northshire Bookstore, an independent, family-owned business with locations in Manchester Center, VT and Saratoga Springs, NY. Chris has long been involved in promoting locally-owned businesses and pushing for skillful economic development.


Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 12.03.51 PMDina Janis
Dina is a theater professor at Bennington College and also serves as the Artistic Director at the Dorset Theatre Festival. She currently serves on various task forces representing the importance of the arts in economic development.

TrevorMance-crTrevor Manse
Trevor is the owner and founder of TAM Waste Management, growing it from an after school job to a regional company with 25 employees. A member of the State’s Solid Waste infrastructure Committee, Trevor has long advocated that resource recovery is a key component to building the local 


This event was sponsored by VTDigger in partnership with People’s United Bank, Berkshire Bank, rkMiles Inc., Southwestern VT Health Care, VSECU, The Manchester Community Library, VT Renewable Fuels and our media partners The Manchester Journal and Bennington Banner and GNAT- public, education, government and public access television.

  • Nancy Gardner

    In yesterday’s NYTimes, columnist Gail Collins wrote an excellent article about the crazy tax breaks that certain states have given to retain or attract corporations. She said “Honestly, this kind of thing ought to be unconstitutional.” The title of the article is “Poking the Republican Pyramid.”

    • Wendy Wilton

      How do tax breaks for business in NY stack up? Cuomo is a Democrat. So far, it seems to be working for NY.

      I don’t believe tax breaks will cut it in VT. The other costs of doing business in VT are high (energy and access) and the political unpredictability regarding health care, regulation (act 250), and labor market that we need to focus on those issues first. I believe businesses will be attracted to and thrive in a environment where they and their employees feel welcomed and appreciated and that means a predictable and stable environment. VT does not have that now in a broad sense.