VEDA ANNOUNCES APPROVAL OF $12 MILLION IN DEVELOPMENT FINANCING

Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) has announced the approval
of $12 million in economic development financing to support commercial, energy, small business and agricultural projects throughout Vermont.  The approved financing will leverage additional resources to fund a total of more than $26 million in economic development activity throughout the state.

“Several exciting commercial expansion projects, a large renewable energy project, and a number of small business and agricultural projects will go forward with VEDA’s help, creating and sustaining jobs for Vermonters,” said Jo Bradley, VEDA’s Chief Executive Officer.

Among the $12 million in total financings approved by VEDA are $9 million in direct loan and revenue bond approvals, including:

Circus Smirkus, Greensboro – VEDA gave preliminary approval to a $2.5 million tax-exempt revenue bond that would enable Circus Smirkus, a world-renowned youth circus, to greatly expand its operations and meet increasing demand for its programs. Circus Smirkus’ well-known Big Top Tour travels throughout New England and New York and last year performed 69 shows in fifteen towns in a seven-week period.  In Vermont, children from all over the world participate in Circus Smirkus Summer Camp, which has had waiting lists for its popular circus camp for the past several years.   Circus Smirkus has no overnight accommodations available at its Greensboro location, and for a number of years, has operated its overnight summer camp at Burke Mountain Academy, among other previous host institutions.  Recently, the Circus purchased 29.5 acres in Greensboro, located five miles from its current Headquarters, which houses its administrative offices and plays host to the launch of its Big Top Tour. The new property has a 2,700 square foot farmhouse, a 2,300 square foot barn, a detached glass studio and a detached three-car garage.  Should Circus Smirkus receive final VEDA approval for issuance of the bond, plans call for the farmhouse to be converted into an administration building and sleeping quarters for six seasonal administrative personnel.  The barn will be remodeled to become the new dining hall with an associated camp kitchen, and two new dormitories will be built to provide sleeping quarters for the campers and coaches.  Currently, Circus Smirkus employs 11 year-round employees, and its Camp employs 44 persons, a number expected to increase to 47 within three years of the project.

Clarendon Solar Farm, North Clarendon – A $2 million loan through VEDA’s Commercial Business Energy Loan Program will help finance the construction of a major solar farm in Clarendon.  The solar array is being constructed on twelve of 36 acres purchased for the project near Airport Industrial Park and the Rutland Airport. The project is expected to generate 3.2 million kWh of electricity annually, producing enough annual renewable energy to supply 471 average Vermont households and reducing carbon dioxide emissions across New England by nearly 1.9 tons each year.  Webster Bank of Waterbury, CT has approved a loan to partially fund the project along with VEDA.   Clarendon Solar Farm has entered into a SPEED contract with Vermont Electric Power Producers Inc. (VEPP, Inc.) entitling the project to sell all the power produced by the system for allocation by VEPPI, Inc. to the Vermont utilities for 25 years.

Black River Produce, North Springfield – A $1.5 million VEDA loan will help Black River Produce complete its multi-phase renovation of the former Ben and Jerry’s and Ellsworth Ice Cream manufacturing facility on Fairbanks Road in North Springfield.  Black River Produce sells produce, groceries, meat and fish on a wholesale basis to restaurants, grocers, and other organizations throughout Vermont and the Northeast.  The company is now adding locally-raised and processed meat production to its food distribution business.  Planned facility upgrades for the Vermont Packinghouse will include construction and fitting up of what is expected to be the largest and most efficient slaughterhouse and meat processing facility in Vermont.  As a result of the project, Black River will be able to help meet the increasing demand for locally-raised meats, and provide Vermont farmers much needed local slaughterhouse services.  Black River Produce is financing part of the project with New Markets Tax Credits.  People’s United Bank is expected to buy those tax credits and make a $1.5 million loan, in conjunction with VEDA’s loan, to partially finance the project.  Black River Produce employs 165 persons, a number expected to increase to 179 within three years of the project completion.  Vermont Packinghouse is expected to create an additional 28 jobs at the facility within three years.

Greenfield Capital, LLC, South Burlington – A $1.4 million VEDA loan will help Greenfield Capital, LLC expand a South Burlington building it owns and leases to the fast-growing Logic Supply, Inc.  A planned 21,000 square foot addition will bring the total square footage of the building to approximately 36,000 square feet, and Logic Supply will lease the entire facility.  In existence since 2003, Logic Supply manufactures and sells small, specialized computer systems uniquely designed for embedded and industrial applications.  The company also provides needs analysis, product selection and engineering services for its customers.  Logic Supply has realized dramatic growth since its inception, outgrowing its current facility.  The expansion project is expected to accommodate the company’s growth for the next five to ten years, and will include a large warehouse, an expanded and re-purposed assembly space, a meeting/conference room and employee cafeteria.  Logic Supply currently employs 47 persons, a number expected to rise to 65 within a three-year period.  Bank of America is also providing financing for the project.

VEDA also approved:

·         More than $1.8 million in financing through the Authority’s agricultural loan program, the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation (VACC);
·         $461,823 through its Small Business Loan Program, which assists growing Vermont small businesses that are unable to access adequate sources of conventional financing;
·         $250,291 through its Small Business Energy Loan Program, which helps Vermont businesses finance relatively smaller qualifying renewable energy generation and energy efficiency improvement projects; and
·         $496,148 through its Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund, which provides funds to repair or improve existing privately-owned drinking water systems.

About VEDA
The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) is Vermont’s statewide economic development finance lender.  Now in its 40th year of operations, VEDA was created by the General Assembly in 1974 with a mission “to contribute to the creation and retention of quality jobs in Vermont by providing loans and other financial support to eligible and qualified Vermont industrial, commercial and agricultural enterprises.”

Over the years, VEDA has grown and adapted its financing programs to keep pace with an ever-changing economy.  VEDA offers a wide range of low-cost lending options for Vermont businesses and
farms of all sizes, and the Authority’s lending solutions are customized to each borrower’s individual needs.  Whether in the form of direct loans, tax-exempt bond issuance or loan guarantee support, VEDA’s innovative financing programs help ensure that Vermont businesses and farms have the capital they need to grow and succeed.  VEDA most often lends in conjunction with banks and other financing partners, helping to stimulate economic development activity in Vermont.

Since 1974, VEDA has provided over $2.0 billion in financing assistance to thousands of eligible Vermont entrepreneurs, manufacturers, small businesses, family farms, and agricultural enterprises, helping them to realize their business growth goals, create jobs, and enhance the vitality of Vermont’s economy.  For more information about VEDA, visit www.veda.org or call 802-828-JOBS.

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