Gov. Phil Scott has signed a proclamation declaring October to be Independent Country Store Month in Vermont, recognizing how important the state’s country stores are to the cultural, economic and social lives of Vermonters.
In signing the proclamation, Governor Scott acknowledged the integral role independent country stores have as an essential piece of Vermont communities and the tourism industry. He also acknowledged how they have played an integral role in supporting their communities during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As the pandemic has continued, independent country stores have remained open to serve their communities at great personal risk to themselves and to their employees.
Store owners have gone above and beyond to support their communities during these trying times. Stores have spent thousands of dollars instituting extra safety measures including curbside systems and new personal protective equipment to ensure the safety of their customers and employees. Some have even implemented home delivery for vulnerable populations. On the front lines daily, stores have remained a vital life line for their community.
“Vermont’s country and general stores represent the best of Vermont – always willing to help nurture and support their communities. Today’s stores continue to be creative and driven in their endeavor to strengthen and build their communities – just as store owners did 100 and 150 years ago. In recent years, they have proven to be innovative and persevering in an ever-changing retail environment, always putting the needs of their customers first,” said VRGA President Erin Sigrist. “There are countless examples across Vermont of country and general stores selflessly giving their time, energy and products to aid those in their communities. Vermont can be proud of the example they set.”
As the pandemic continues, Independent Country Stores will carry on serving the communities they call home. The Vermont Alliance of Independent Country Stores thanks Governor Scott for recognizing its members during these trying times.
The Vermont Alliance of Independent Country Stores is a subgroup of the Vermont Retail & Grocers Associations. Country Stores are the essence of Vermont with memorable and individual character. These stores provide the staples of everyday life in Vermont along with eclectic and special wares, community-oriented customer service, and quite often operate as the community hub for information sharing, event support, and much more.