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December 17, 2009

"Getting By" Going Bye-Bye

Image6 This week, I'm working on the final "Getting By" column, and I need your help! Read on.

We launched "Getting By," a column devoted to exploring how Vermonters are surviving the recession, last December. Over the past 12 months, we've asked Vermonters to share money-saving strategies, we asked a mechanic to tell us how to get the most mileage out of our aging cars, we've talked with a retiree from Montpelier who explains how she saved her way to financial independence, we explained how to swap houses with someone to save on vacation costs and we listed resources to help you — and your kids — learn how to manage money. In the latest installment, our food editor offered tips to get the most of our your Thanksgiving turkey leftovers.

But though the recession's not over, "Getting By" is. I'm working on the final column this week. I'd like to do a year-end wrap-up describing how Vermonters have gotten by this year, which is why I need your help.

I want to know — no, Seven Days readers want to know! — how did you get by this year? Did the recession impact your life? How? Did you change your lifestyle? Did you change your habits? Did you learn anything from "Getting By" that you put into practice in your own life?

Please share your comments here, or email them to me, by Saturday, at [email protected]. Thanks for reading!

How did we get by at the Coaching Center of Vermont? We re-imagined our business model and made experiments which resulted in our launching a whole new way of doing business in 2010.

We've gone from a professional coach collaborative with general offerings on business and personal coaching to a series of Divisions that is targeted to our various customers. This allows us to be more customer driven and more collaborative with our customers.

To learn more, visit

Thanks, Lea!

My husband Phil and I decided to open a bakery last year at this time, at the height of the market crash and fear about a new Great Depression.

We used frugality when setting up shop, and filled our bakery with second-hand equipment and upcycled goods. Our menu board was once a screen door, our staff aprons and baker's hats are made from reclaimed men's dress shirts, and our bread rack is made from old wooden window blinds from a central Vermont train station. By paying attention, instead of paying money, we were able to open our doors without breaking the bank!

Good one, Jodi. Thanks.

Cathy, A lot of people are so thankful you're ending this column. It was unreadable. Is 7days really paying you to write?

Believe it or not, Jen, they're also paying me to write comments on the blog responding to anonymous critics like you. What a world!

It is indeed a crazy world. It's hilarious that you can get away with such poor writing and reporting. Some additional schooling might help, or perhaps an online course in typing.

An '08 UVM grad, I worked for a local flooring installer right out of school, thanks to a friend who recommended me to the boss.

I was laid off multiple times, at first for short periods, and then for months at a time. In February '09, I started a business to "help small businesses in Vermont and New England compete and communicate more effectively online."

After another layoff, I made the decision to devote myself full time to the new business, and I've been providing web development services to businesses in VT, the US, and all over the world.

The "economic situation" is tough, but I believe that small businesses will prove to be quite the catalyst for growth in the Vermont economy, and the US economy as a whole.

What can policy makers do to help small businesses to expand successfully? For instance: As the all-hats wearing "one guy" involved in my business, I have reached full capacity. How can the state and federal governments help with costs to businesses, like my own, involved in the transition from a existing as a "seed phase," one person operations to an expanded business model with additional employees to allow for increased capacity?

My business pays my rent my rent, and has allowed me to continue living in Vermont. I would like to be able to effectively and sustainably expand my business to help other entrepreneurial and creative individuals succeed in the same way.



No URL? No surname? Anonymity *is* a great confidence booster.

Perhaps you should turn your attention to more positive matters than criticizing others?

Maybe you ought to get a blog going yourself, so that you have a channel to provide the valuable, well written information you seem to have such interest in.

I don't mean to sound flippant in my remarks, but why waste your time authoring mean-spirited comments, when your efforts could be used for creative purposes?

-Ben Weller ([email protected])

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