If you are thinking of starting, expanding or relocating a business, Manchester is the place to be.

The Town of Manchester legally came into existence in 1761 when Colonial governor Benning Wentworth, by charter, designated our 42.67 square miles of Vermont as Manchester. By the mid 1800s Manchester had found its niche as a popular vacation designation for the burgeoning middle and upper class. At first, Manchester’s tourist attraction was largely restricted to the summer season. But as Manchester, and America, evolved over the years our community has become known as a “four season” tourist retreat, offering leaf peeping and hunting in the fall, skiing in the winter, trout fishing in the spring and virtually anything else your heart desires in the summer.

logo-120In 1864 Mary Todd Lincoln and her two sons escaped the chaos of Washington D.C. and the Civil War at The Equinox Hotel. Mrs. Lincoln enjoyed her visit so much that before leaving in 1864 she booked for the summer of 1865 with President Lincoln. History would prevent President Lincoln from coming to Manchester in the summer of 1865, but later in life Robert Todd Lincoln, who served as Secretary of War for two presidents and the president of the Pullman Company, built the Lincoln family home, Hildene, on the banks of the Battenkill River in Manchester Village.

Since its early days Manchester has served as a regional service and economic center for the Northshire, the northern portion of Bennington County. At one time or another, Manchester’s landscape has been dotted by iron mines, marble mills and lumber companies. Today Manchester is the home of many varied business enterprises from manufacturing, food production, technology, financial services, and publishing, just to name a few. Vermont County StoreWCWOrvis CompanyAi squaredThe Equinox Hotel and ResortMcBride Design, Battenkill Technologies, The Northshire Bookstore, food producers Wagatha’s organic dog biscuits, Gringo Jack’s southwestern food and Mother Myrick’s Confectionery, and financial services Manchester Capital Management all call Manchester home.

Important Economic Statistics About Manchester

Manchester’s population trend is characterized by steady growth throughout history. With 4,391 residents (2010 US Census) Manchester is the 34th largest municipality in Vermont. Manchester has had continuous population growth driven partly by new residents moving into the community. From 1970 to 2000 Manchester experienced double digit growth in each of the ten year censuses. Between 2000 and 2010 Manchester’s population grew 4.9%, greater than Vermont and the rest of Bennington County. Between 2007  and 2011 nearly 8% of Manchester’s population moved to Manchester from elsewhere in the United States or abroad. Interestingly, in the period 2007-2011 38.8% of Manchester residents were native to Vermont, compared to 45.8% in the County and 51.2% across the State.

For Its Size Manchester Is An Economic Powerhouse. In fiscal year 2013, the Town of Manchester had $401,970,599 in gross receipts, according to the State of Vermont Department of Taxes. This represents a 3.8% increase compared to fiscal year 2012. In real dollars, this makes Manchester the 11th largest economy in Vermont, much larger than our population suggests.

On a per capita basis, Manchester is undeniably an economic powerhouse. In fiscal year 2013 Manchester’s per capita gross receipts, a good indicator of overall economic activity, was $91,544. By comparison, nearby Rutland City was $41,140 and Bennington was $29,086 for the same period. The largest city in Vermont, Burlington, had per capita receipts of $25,058. Similar towns of Stowe, $44,449, and Woodstock, $29,047, also had significantly lower gross receipts per capital than Manchester’s $91,544 in fiscal year 2013. Dollar for dollar, Manchester competes with some of the biggest cities and towns in Vermont, without sacrificing quality of life and without the traffic jams.

For tourism, according to Department of Taxes, Manchester had the fifth highest combined receipts for meals, rooms and alcohol in fiscal year 2013, behind only the larger cities of Burlington, South Burlington and Rutland and the town of Stowe. In fiscal year 2013 Manchester had $47,093,319 in receipts.

Manchester’s Workforce Is Well Educated For 21st Century Careers. 63.4% of Manchester residents have advanced degrees, college degrees or attended college (and 40.5% of residents attained advance degrees or bachelors degrees). By comparison, 51.8% of Bennington County residents and 54% of Vermont residents attained advanced degrees, college degrees or attended college.

Don’t Sacrifice Your Quality Of Life

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Manchester is close to the metropolitan areas of the northeast, yet far enough away to allow space to breath and create. This is a place where a commute to work might be a bike ride or a few minute drive. Manchester is a town with a sophisticated population and culture, educational system renowned for excellence, a vibrant arts community, a town that encourages growth and business development. Vermont was recently ranks as the fifth best in the nation for education and we have one of the very best independent schools in the country with Burr and Burton Academy.

With over 600,000 square feet for retail space, and more being constructed, and almost 100 retail establishments, you can buy just about any you need right here in Manchester. Manchester has two full featured supermarkets and countless other proprietors of local and international food. Speaking of food, Manchester has the very best restaurants. The Town boasts almost 50 restaurants from traditional Vermont food to French, Thai and Southwestern cuisine, just to name a few. Manchester has five banks, countless other necessary services and The Northshire Bookstore anchors the corner of Main Street, Depot Street and Bonnet Street in the heart of the downtown.

Contact Us Today And Start Your Entrepreneurial Journey

For more information about business development in Manchester contact Pauline Moore, Economic Development Office, at p.moore@manchester-vt.gov, call (802) 363-1373 or visit UCanVT.com.

For information about zoning in Manchester contact Janet M. Hurley at j.hurley@manchester-vt.gov or (802) 362-1313 (option 3).