MONTPELIER, VT – Business financing of $18.2 million was approved by the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA), helping to advance a number of economic development projects throughout Vermont.
“New jobs will be created in Vermont, and current jobs retained, with the help of VEDA financing,” said Jo Bradley, VEDA’s Chief Executive Officer. “These business development projects will bring new growth to the manufacturing, technology, agricultural, tourism, and small business sectors of Vermont’s economy.”
Approved by VEDA are:
- Dealer Dot Com, Inc., Burlington – A financing package of $6.4 million in tax-exempt Recovery Zone Facility Bonds and $1.3 million in direct lending was approved to Dealer Dot Com, Inc. to help support the company’s expansion plans in Burlington. Founded in 1998, Dealer Dot Com is the global leader in Internet marketing solutions and technology for the automotive industry. Dealer Dot Com is a rapidly growing, significant employer that plans to create a large number of good paying jobs over the next few years. The company plans to purchase and substantially renovate the Lake Champlain Chocolate Company distribution facility on Pine Street in Burlington to create over 72,000 square feet of quality office space in the facility. Dealer Dot Com’s headquarters is currently located in the adjacent office condominium. Peoples United Bank has agreed to purchase the Recovery Zone Facility Bond being issued by VEDA to partially finance the Project at an attractive interest rate.
- Burlington Community Development Corporation, South Burlington – A package of up to $3.5 million in bond financing and direct lending was approved to the Burlington Community Development Corporation (BCDC) in connection with the 40,000 sq. ft. airport hangar and office facility at the Burlington International Airport that BCDC constructed in 2006 and leases to Heritage Flight. BCDC is a non-profit corporation formed by the City of Burlington to carry out economic development projects. VEDA gave final approval for the issuance of $2,977,500 in tax exempt revenue bonds to be purchased by Union Bank to refinance the VEDA’s 2006 tax exempt loan on the property. To facilitate the transaction, VEDA also approved approximately $539,000 in additional financing to cover various related fees and expenses. The refinancing will help BCDC reduce its annual debt payments and fix the interest rate on the tax exempt bond at a low rate for 10 years.
- Bariatrix Vermont, Inc., Georgia – Financing of $1.08 million was approved as part of Bariatrix Nutrition Corporation’s $2.7 million project to purchase and renovate the former Vermont Fastener’s Sales building in the Georgia Industrial Park. HSBC Bank is also participating in financing for the project. Bariatrix, a Canadian manufacturer of high-protein nutritional products for 35 years, has been operating its distribution and light manufacturing center out of leased space in South Burlington for 20 years. Relocation to the larger Georgia facility will enable the company to maintain inventory in one location, and expand its product offerings. The company presently has 17 Vermont-based employees, a number expected to grow to 22 within three years of the expansion project.
- Larkin Family Partnership, d/b/a Smart Suites Hotel, White River Junction – With the assistance of $1.3 million in VEDA financing, the Larkin Family Partnership plans to extensively renovate a 110-room hotel in White River Junction long operated as an EconoLodge franchise. Mascoma Savings Bank is also participating in financing for the $5.5 million project. Once renovated, the hotel will be converted to a Smart Suites extended stay hotel. John and Marilyn Larkin, the principals of the Larkin Family Partnership, have developed and managed a wide variety of real estate projects primarily in Chittenden County over the past 30 years, including residential apartment buildings, assisted care and nursing homes, and a variety of hotel properties, including the Smart Suites multi-building complex on Shelburne Road in South Burlington.
- Amoskeag Woodworking, Inc., Colchester – VEDA approved $538,000 in financing to assist Amoskeag Woodworking in their plans to purchase Morse Hardwoods and Millwork Company and their facility in Fairfax. Founded in 1992 as a home-based business, Amoskeag Woodworking has grown over the years to utilize 13,500 square feet in combined leased and owned commercial space in Colchester. Designers, fabricators and installers of all types of interior architectural millwork, Amoskeag plans to move all manufacturing and warehousing functions to the new Fairfax facility, while maintaining the Morse Hardwoods manufacturing line. Morse Hardwoods retail operation will move from its Essex location to combine with Amoskeag sales offices in Colchester. Amoskeag Woodworking employs 28 people, a number expected to grow to 40 within three years of the expansion project. Peoples United Bank is also participating in financing for the $1.46 million project.
- Rhapsody Natural Foods, Inc., Cabot – VEDA approved loans totaling $76,152 to Rhapsody Natural Foods, Inc. to help finance construction of a 1,000 square foot food manufacturing facility in Cabot. Rhapsody Natural Foods produces tempeh (a high-protein cultured soyfood), and amazake (a fermented rice drink), available through two New England distributors, and locally throughout Central Vermont. They also produce smoothies, vegetable eggrolls, and maple syrup sweetened cookies for their Rhapsody Café on Main Street in Montpelier. The $210,000 project will allow Rhapsody to improve efficiencies and expand their tempeh, amazake, and eggroll production, now taking place in their Montpelier restaurant kitchen. It is expected that jobs at Rhapsody Natural Foods will increase from 1.5 to 5 within three years of the project.
VEDA also approved:
- $3 million in financing to Vermont farmers through the Authority’s agricultural loan program, the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation (VACC);
- $398,000 in commercial real estate development financing through VEDA’s Vermont 504 Loan Program;
- $439,500 in small business project financing through the Authority’s Small Business Loan Program;
- $118,404 in financing through VEDA’s Business Energy Conservation Loan Program, designed to help small businesses make energy efficiency and conservation improvements; and
- $27,862 through VEDA’s Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund, designed to repair or improve existing privately-owned drinking water systems.
VEDA’s mission is to promote economic prosperity in Vermont by providing financial assistance to eligible businesses, including manufacturing, agricultural, and travel and tourism enterprises. Since its inception in 1974, VEDA has made financing commitments totaling over $1.5 billion. For more information about VEDA, visit www.veda.org or call 802-828-5627.