February 2007 Press Releases
2007 Democracy Awards Announced - February 5, 2007
Secretary of State Deb Markowitz honors five Vermonters for their contributions to democracy during a state house ceremony.
Business Starts Stay Strong in 2006
- February 13,
Contact: Ginny Colbert For Immediate Release:
(802) 828-2148 February 5, 2007
Secretary of State Honors Vermonters for Their Contributions to Democracy
Secretary of State Deb Markowitz recognizes five Vermonters during a state house ceremony
Montpelier. Secretary of State Deb Markowitz today honored five Vermont citizens who have demonstrated a strong commitment to promoting the tenets of democracy. Vermont Supreme Court Justice John Dooley was the featured speaker at the event which was attended by the family and friends of the honorees as well as several Vermont dignitaries. Markowitz presented the National Association of Secretaries of State Medallion Award to the Honorable Lynn Bohi, former Windsor County state legislator, and to Chris Graff, distinguished Vermont journalist.
The Medallion Award Program is a program established by the National Association of Secretaries of State in 2001 to honor individuals, groups, or organizations with an established record of promoting the goals of NASS in one or more of the following areas: Improving elections, with special emphasis on voter education and increasing voter participation; civic education, including the teaching, promotion, and study of this subject; and service to state government--specifically, as it relates to improving democracy in the state.
Markowitz also presented the Vermont Secretary of State Enduring Democracy Award to the Honorable John Hall, former state legislator from Newport; Janice Santiago, Director of the Northgate Residents Association; and Joyce “Birdie” Wyman, retired Arlington town clerk.
The Vermont Secretary of State Enduring Democracy Award honors individuals and organizations that have shown an outstanding commitment to promoting democracy in the Vermont.
Markowitz said, “These five Vermonters represent the true spirit of democracy. They are all shining examples of creative participation in the democratic process. They lead by example and they actively teach others how to participate. All of them deserve recognition for their efforts to enhance and improve our democracy and all of them deserve our thanks.”
Background information on this year’s winners is as follows:
National Association of Secretaries of State Medallion Awards:
The Honorable Lynn Bohi, Former Windsor County Legislator
Former Representative Lynn Bohi, a resident of Hartford, has been selected because of her many years of service working to improve the administration of the state’s elections. Lynn continuously focused on updating and improving Vermont election law to make it easier for Vermonters to register and vote, and to ensure the smooth administration of Vermont’s elections.
Chris Graff, Distinguished Journalist
Mr. Graff has been selected as a recipient of this year’s Medallion Award because of his many years of service as a reporter and bureau chief of the Associated Press. His commitment to accurate and insightful reporting and his championship of open government has helped to strengthen Vermont’s democracy for over 25 years.
Vermont Secretary of State Enduring Democracy Award:
The Honorable John Hall, Former Orleans County Legislator, Disability Advocate
As a member of the Access to Election Advisory Group, former Representative John Hall of Newport has provided invaluable assistance to the Secretary of State’s office as we enhance voting options for Vermonters with disabilities. During 2006, his contributions helped the office as we made the Vote-by-Phone option available for the first time.
Janice Santiago, Northgate Residents Association
Janice Santiago organized a state-wide voter registration conference for low income housing staff that resulted in several hundred new voters casting their ballot on Election Day 2006. Janel Johnson, formerly of the Secretary of State’s office, says “Janice Santiago has an authentic enthusiasm that is contagious.” Her commitment to democracy will have an enduring impact, empowering her community, as well as the entire state of Vermont.
Joyce “Birdie” Wyman, Retired Arlington Town Clerk
Joyce “Birdie” Wyman has been a champion of democracy in her town and a leader and role model for clerks across Vermont. Her 23 years of dedication as Arlington Town Clerk has been a shining example for town officials across the state. Her participation on the Secretary of State’s Clerks’ Advisory Board, and with the Vermont Municipal Clerks’ and Treasurers’ Association has demonstrated her strong commitment to strengthening democracy throughout Vermont.
Please visit our website http://www.sec.state.vt.us/Democracy_Awards.html for more information and to see a list of past winners.
Contact: Ginny Colbert For Immediate Release
802-828-2148 February 13, 2007
New Business Starts Stay Strong in 2006
Filings with Vermont's Secretary of State's Office show new business starts leveled off in 2006
Montpelier. Secretary of State Deb Markowitz announced today that the number of new businesses registering with the Secretary of State’s Corporations Division leveled off in 2006. As of January 1, 2007, 16,011 domestic corporations, 7,280 nonprofit corporations, 8,438 foreign corporations, 40,181 tradenames, and 13,530 limited liability companies (LLC) were registered in Vermont. Of these, 9,971 were newly formed in 2006.
The number of newly formed business entities reflects a small increase from 2005 when 9,815 new businesses were formed. Similar increases were seen over the past decade, reflecting a sustained positive trend. In 1996, 7,042 new business entities registered with the state. This means that over 2,800 more new businesses registered in 2006 than ten years ago.
New business registrations have topped 9,000 for each of the last four years. The fact that new business registrations continue at this pace may indicate a strong interest in starting businesses in Vermont.
"That nearly ten thousand new businesses registered this year is good news,” said Secretary Markowitz. "This statistic is a good barometer of confidence within the business community and shows that Vermont's economy continues to be strong," Markowitz said.
According to Markowitz, corporate dissolutions have continued to stabilize. The 883 dissolutions in 2006 represent a small increase from the 874 dissolutions in 2005.
The 9,971 new Vermont business starts in 2006 include businesses and nonprofits that have been formed as corporations, as limited liability corporations and those using a tradename. Markowitz said, “It is notable that, for the first time in several years, the registration of new LLCs is not the only factor driving the overall growth in Vermont’s business starts. Over the past five years the number of new LLCs has increased by about 300 a year. This year it slowed to an increase of only 140. On the other hand we had, for the first time in a few years, an increase in the number of new tradenames issued.”
Markowitz said, "It is often Vermont’s smallest businesses that seek tradename registration.”
In addition to seeing a steadying in growth for certain for-profit enterprises, the Secretary of State's office also experienced a small increase in filings of new nonprofit corporations.
Markowitz said “Not every form of business entity saw growth this year. The 970 new foreign corporations filed in 2006 represent a minor decrease from the new filings registered in 2005.”
The Vermont Secretary of State’s Office licenses and registers foreign and domestic corporations, non-profits, LLCs, and tradenames and is the repository for Uniform Commercial Code filings. Information about the services offered by the Corporations Division, including registration forms and searchable databases, is available at www.sec.state.vt.us.
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