SBA chief Linda McMahon visits Vermont businesses

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) The head of the U.S. Small Business Administration visited Vermont Thursday. Linda McMahon was one of President Trump's first appointees. Our Scott Fleishman caught up with her at Birnn Chocolates in South Burlington to see what she hopes to accomplish here.

McMahon toured three Vermont businesses Thursday. This was part of McMahon's Ignite Tour, focused on spreading awareness of programs and services and to get real-time input from entrepreneurs about their most pressing issues.

Of course, the number one issue for most if not all small businesses is health insurance. Over the summer, the Trump Administration passed the Association Health Plan. It's designed to help business owners with health care costs. They no longer have to spend at least 80 percent of their monthly premiums on health care. WCAX News asked McMahon if this policy will open the door to creating plans that offer unusually poor medical benefits to employees across the state.

"Well, they'll have a menu that they can pick and choose from. That's part of it, as well. They'll have more options for what they'll actually need and what they can provide and I think that that's going to go a long way," McMahon said.

"We work with our employees on finding the right plan for them. We do help subsidize their health insurance and every year their increases are unbelievable. So, it is absolutely a challenge," said Julia Birnn Fields of Birnn Chocolates

The U.S. Small Business Administration defines a small business as 500 or fewer employees. By that count, 99 percent of Vermont businesses are small. There are about 77,600 of them employing more than 158,000 people.