Why the NEK



The Northeast Kingdom - the counties of Caledonia, Essex and Orleans in the northeastern corner of Vermont - has long been considered one of the best places in the state to do business. The region’s strong and willing workforce, the work ethic of its employees - not to mention affordable land, building and payroll costs - go to the heart of why the Northeast Kingdom is becoming one of the most attractive and popular places in the state to locate a business.

Some of the major reasons to consider starting a business in the Northeast Kingdom are:

  • Regional economic development and financing agencies (see “Your Business Partners” below) that will work directly with you to assist you in opening your business.
  • Great access to major markets in U.S. and Canada, including Montreal, New York and Boston, an 11-million possible customer base.
  • Affordable industrial and commercial space, including four fully serviced industrial parks that include incubator space.
  • Easy access to interstates I-91 and I-93 and U.S Routes 2, 5 & 100.
  • Stellar educational institutions, including two colleges, the Community College of Vermont and tech centers.

But there are other important reasons to make a move to the Northeast Kingdom, because employees and employers not only work in a region, they live in the area as well. An employer wants to know that the region’s schools are of the highest caliber, that its cultural institutions will engage its workforce, that its recreational facilities are unsurpassed and that its healthcare facilities rank among the best in the state. On all counts, the Northeast Kingdom excels.

If one is clicking off boxes on what indicators make a region attractive for a new business, there is yet another “box” to consider, and that is our extraordinarily beautiful landscape. The New York Times best-selling book, “1,000 Places To See Before You Die,” described the Kingdom as a place that “could very well be the most beautiful place in America.”


One of the Northeast Kingdom Chamber longtime members, NorthStar Publishing, puts out a very detailed guide on the tri-county region, entitled “Kingdom Guide.” It includes profiles on every community in the region and information on property tax rates, a municipal directory, utilities plus much more. The guides can be found throughout the Northeast Kingdom, including the Northeast Kingdom Chamber office at 78 Mathewson House Circle, in Lyndon Center. It is printed biannually.


  • VERMONT SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER is a free service that partners you with innovative advising and training when starting a business. SBDC provides advice on starting a business, growing a business, funding your operation, marketing your company, improving the operations of the business, hiring/training/retaining employees and transitioning your company.
  • NORTHEASTERN VERMONT DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION  is the economic development and regional planning commission for the tri-county region, providing essential planning services for communities with the region. This includes projects that are small right up to those that cover the entire Northeast Kingdom, with NVDA staying informed of developments in planning, land use, transportation and related fields.
  • NORTHERN COMMUNITY INVESTMENT CORPORATION is a certified Community Development Financial Institution that identifies and develops optimal lending solutions, based on individual business needs. NCIC supports borrowers with resources and coaching solutions and has the capacity to cost share with businesses in an effort to make professional services more affordable.
  • VERMONT DEPARTMENT OF LABOR will work with you to not only ensure you have the best employees possible, but they also have the necessary training for your company to succeed. They will help you match the right workers to the best possible jobs and will continue partnering with your company over your years of operation in helping assess your needs and how they can assist you in fulfilling them.
  • The Northeast Kingdom is fortunate to have accessible and approachable TOWN GOVERNMENT  officials that will also help you every step of your business journey.

As you start perusing other parts of this online Business Resource Guide, you will receive additional information on other state and federal agencies that can assist your efforts. These hyperlinked resources can be found in the STARTING A BUSINESS, GROWING A BUSINESS, RELOCATING/SELLING A BUSINESS AND EMPLOYER RESOURCES sections.


Many ask how the Northeast Kingdom received its unique name, and we have former U.S. Senator and Governor George Aiken to thank for that moniker. Back in 1949, he proclaimed the area so distinct and beautiful that it resembled more a kingdom - a Northeast Kingdom - and the name stuck. The Kingdom includes the counties of Caledonia, Essex and Orleans, comprising a full quarter of the total land mass of the state.


The Northeast Kingdom may be known for its pastoral landscape, for offering the quintessential Vermont experience, but it also the home of some of the most lovely and clean lakes and streams in the state.

  • JAY PEAK SKI RESORT,  located at the northern tip of the Northeast Kingdom in Jay, features an outstanding array of amenities at the resort, including the ski mountain, tram, water park, ice arena and golfcourse. It is a full-service conference center and resort, offering a wide selection of lodging and dining possibilities.
  • BURKE MOUNTAIN RESORT,  situated in the very heart of the Kingdom in East Burke, also offers one of the best skiing experiences in the Northeast, so much so that future Olympians from Burke Mountain Academy train on the mountain. Burke, in 2016, opened an impressive 116-room hotel and full-service conference center, and the resort also offers a wide selection of lodging and dining opportunities in the area.
  • KINGDOM TRAILS, located in East Burke, is an 81-trail, multiple-use trail system with an extensive network of scenic recreational trails, designed to accommodate all levels of ability. It is considered one of the premiere mountain biking trails in the world.
  • MORE MULTI-USE TRAILS TO COME…. We will continue to update you on these trails as they come to completion.
  • ATTRACTIONS abound in the Northeast Kingdom and include:

Northeast Kingdom Chamber of Commerce
2000 Memorial Drive-Ste. 11
St. Johnsbury, VT 05819
802-748-3678, director@nekchamber.com

The Northeast Kingdom Online Business Resource Guide is meant as a resource for those seeking to start, expand, relocate or transition a business. Please contact the Northeast Kingdom Chamber for permission to use or distribute this content. A PDF format of this guide is available to businesses upon request.  Thank you.

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