Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) has approved nearly $4.5 million in business financings for entrepreneurial, energy, agricultural and small business projects totaling $8.6 million.
“VEDA continues to see great interest in the Authority’s Entrepreneurial Loan Program,” said VEDA CEO Jo Bradley. “It is exciting to see small businesses with innovative technology products start and grow in Vermont, creating jobs in the process. The Authority also is pleased to see growth in its Commercial Energy Loan Program, helping to finance the development of renewable energy generation projects throughout the state.”
Two loans were approved through VEDA’s Entrepreneurial Loan Program which provides financing to meet the working capital and capital-asset financing needs of Vermont-based businesses in seed, start-up and growth stages that may not have access to conventional means of financing. Approved loans are:
- Sterling Valley Systems, Inc., d/b/a Inntopia, Stowe - $245,000 to Sterling Valley Systems, Inc. d/b/a Inntopia to purchase additional hardware and software to increase computer capacity and keep up with increasing demand for its technology solutions. Started in 1998, Inntopia supplies destination travel technology booking and reservation systems for call centers and travel marketing websites. Users of Inntopia’s products include central reservation agencies, destination marketing organizations, resort associations, property management companies, and tour operators. VEDA has provided financing to Inntopia at several points in recent years to support company growth. Inntopia now has 54 employees in Vermont, a number expected to grow to 77 within three years of the expansion project.
- Social Sell, LLC d/b/a divvi, Burlington - $150,000 to Social Sell, LLC to help the Burlington start-up company further develop their unique “divvi” mobile App to be introduced for iOS this month. The divvi App is a mobile advocacy platform that drives digital commerce by powering real world product recommendations with easily-actionable links to purchase in a text or email. This technology enables a user to recommend and pass on an internet site link where friends and acquaintances may inspect and purchase a particular product. Within three years, the company hopes to create ten jobs.
A number of loans were approved through VEDA’s Commercial Energy Loan Program, which helps Vermont businesses finance qualifying renewable energy generation and energy efficiency improvement projects:
· VEDA approved just over $2.1 million in commercial energy loans for Helios Solar, LLC of Montpelier to partially finance its purchase of ten new community net-metered solar array projects in the towns of Orwell, Jericho, New Haven, Whiting, Ferrisburgh, Waltham, Middlebury, Brandon, and Williamstown. The solar array projects were designed and constructed by All Earth Renewables, LLC and SunCommon and each was purchased by Helios Solar, LLC just prior to its commissioning. VEDA funded 40% of the Project costs, and the balance was funded with equity. In total, the ten solar array projects will generate over 2.3 million KWH of electricity annually, enough to supply 337 average Vermont households. Together, they are expected to reduce carbon emissions by 1,348 tons annually.
VEDA also approved:
· $1.06 million through the Authority’s agricultural loan program, the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation (VACC), which provides credit to Vermont farmers, agricultural facilities, forestry and forest product-based businesses;
· $660,000 through the Authority’s Small Business Loan Program, which assists growing Vermont small businesses that are unable to access adequate sources of conventional financing; and
· $214,000 through the Authority’s SBA 504 Program, through which the Vermont 504 Corporation, with SBA’s approval, makes SBA 504 loans to eligible and qualified borrowers.
The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) is Vermont’s statewide economic development finance lender. 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 $2.07 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.