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The goal of this research is to identify the assets and constraints that exist specific to small business manufacturers in Vermont. To satisfy this goal, the study examines factors that influence location decisions as well as identifying what obstacles business owners have experienced. The idea for this project originated in response to the troubled economic condition of several Vermont communities, where unemployment rates are unusually high and income unusually low. Understanding what obstacles business faces might enable future ideas on how to solve these problems. Once assets are identified, they can be capitalized on, leading to more successful business operations. Preliminary data was collected through a telephone interview survey with Vermont small business owners. The data was analyzed in order to discover incentives and obstacles that existed for Vermont manufacturers as a whole, as well as in specific industries. Results from the survey suggested that Vermont's largest asset is that it offers an excellent quality of life. However, results alluded to several difficulties that owners are faced with, particularly complying with certain rules and regulations, obtaining adequate finances, a low-skilled workforce, and a weak communication network for small businesses.


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