Kick Start Middlebury is open to legal residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older who are interested in starting, relocating, or significantly expanding a business into an available property within the Town of Middlebury, Vermont, before January 1, 2022. Any business is eligible to submit a Letter of Interest. Businesses may earn additional points based on location and current town needs. Please refer to the Application Scoring Criteria for scoring details.


  • Each Applicant (and each applicant team member) must agree to the rules, regulations, terms and conditions, without limitation, by signing a certification that: All decisions regarding Kick Start Middlebury, including the selection of applicants to proceed to a full application, the program winner(s), are in the sole discretion and judgment of the review committee and decisions in each case are final and unappealable; each Contestant shall release and hold harmless the Town of Middlebury, Better Middlebury Partnership, Addison County Chamber of Commerce, Addison County Economic Development Corporation, Middlebury College, Vt Small Business Development Center, any sponsors, review committee members, business participants, property owners, and all others associated with or assisting with Kick Start Middlebury from any and all matters regarding Kick Start Middlebury.

  • Any cash grant awarded and products and services offered must only be used for costs associated with starting or operating the new business in Middlebury that is the subject of the application to Kick Start Middlebury (for example: inventory, rent, equipment, fit-up expenses, start-up activities) as outlined by the application and plan (excluding payment of federal, state, or local taxes). Kick Start Middlebury will pay or reimburse the selected business for eligible business expenses, up to the maximum cash award ($20,000).  Winners will be required to submit invoices detailing a business-related expense to receive program funds. Kick Start Middlebury will endeavor to distribute funds and connect winners with donated services and products in a timely manner following the announcement of winners, but reasonable delays may occur. Executing the use of donated services and products will be the responsibility of the winning business(es) and the donating businesses.

  • Winning business must secure a lease or purchase agreement for a property in Middlebury, Vt within three months of receiving notification of award, and the business should open for operation within six months of notification. In case of reasonable delays, the winner may make an appeal to the review committee for an extension. Kick Start Middlebury reserves the right to withdraw an award from any winner who fails to comply with this timeline or request an extension in a timely manner.

  • Applications and plans will be judged based on the quality of the application, business plan, and attachments, and the business’ market viability.  Businesses may earn additional points based on current downtown needs and the location of the project. Please refer to the Scoring Criteria for additional details. 

  • Members of the Review Committee must sign a Conflict of Interest statement committing to recuse from deliberation of, and abstain from voting on, any Letter of Interest or Application/Business Plan submitted by any acquaintance, friend, relative, colleague, employer, or employee of the Review Committee member or of their respective employer or organization.

  • Business ideas and Letters of Interest must be received in the format requested, be complete, and be received by 5:00 PM on the deadline date. 

  • Full applications, business plans and attachments must be received in the format requested, be complete, and be received by 5:00 PM on the deadline date.

  • Up to ten business ideas with complete Letters of Interest will be selected to submit full applications. These finalists will be required to make a presentation of their business plan before the review committee. Finalists will be contacted in advance to arrange a time for presentations.

  • Before Kick Start Middlebury distributes any awards, the business applicants (including all business team members) must agree to the terms and conditions as specified in the Agreement Form to be provided by Kick Start Middlebury.

  • All Business Plans must be the original work of the individual(s) representing the applicant's business.

  • Kick Start Middlebury reserves the right to not release the names or contact information of the review committee members. Lobbying of any review committee member is strictly prohibited.

  • Applicants will be notified via the contact information provided as to whether they will advance in the competition. 

  • Awards, including cash grants and products and services donated by businesses, are not transferable. 

  • Applicants retain rights to their business plan at all times. 

  • The review committee reserves the right to modify the Kick Start Middlebury timeline at their sole discretion but must provide adequate written notice to applicants. 

  • All submissions will remain confidential until awardees are announced. A public announcement will be made naming the finalists, their business names, and a brief description of their project. Business Plans will always remain confidential. 

  • Winners are responsible for paying all applicable taxes.

  • If there are no acceptable Business Plans submitted, Kick Start Middlebury reserves the right to not award the prize package.