Moving is always a bitter-sweet decision. I love VT but after twelve years in Vermont it is time for new adventures.
The move was forced on me by the Vermont’s recent decision to pass a Cloud Tax. As most things I doubt our legislators fully understand the wheels they have set in motion but that is a story for another post. As a serial entrepreneur I’ve been fortunate to be part of four high growth companies during my time in VT. Collectively they added some 200+ jobs to the Vermont economy.
I learned early on that VT was a different place when I lived and worked in the Mad River Valley and Don Mayer of Small Dog was denied the ability to keep his business open late a few extra days a year.
For years my love of the people, place, entrepreneurial spirit, great food, and endless outdoor escapes kept me from properly looking at the facts of running a business here in Vermont.
Data points I came to consider:
- Vermont is ranked 47th in the nation from Business Tax Cimate
- VT housing is limited and expensive to buy or rent
- We have some great schools but pay more than any other state per pupil for that privilege
- Vermont spends $97,963 per graduate from a VT college
- VT takes pride in our social services but again we spend more per capita than 47 other states for the results
- VT also has some of the most expensive Electricity in the country
But we LOVE Vermont. I know I always will too. But it became crystal clear to me talking and listening to our politicians that my love of place was blinding me from the true costs of doing business here.
I started my research by comparing NY, NV, MA, and NH to Vermont.
I was surprised by what I found. Even Massachusetts was a better place to do business than VT. Then you start looking at the softer factors. Good Universities, strong Tech community, hospital ratings, cost of housing, access to airports, tax credits, business laws, and cost of living. The facts start to pile up and burst most of my preconceived notions.
As of July I will return to being an out of state visitor to the Green Mt. state and a joyful resident of NH. I will always love VT but I encourage fellow Vermonters to take a look at the numbers and ask if we can’t do better on some areas than NY, MA, and NH how the hell is VT going to compete with China and India? The game has gone global and we need all the advantages we can get.