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OVER $5.2 MILLION in ENERGY, COMMERCIAL and AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT FINANCING APPROVED BY VEDA

Apr 21, 2014, 3:04:31 AM

Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) has approved over $5.2 million in financing for energy, agricultural and commercial development projects throughout Vermont.

“The Authority is pleased to be part of the financing packages for these exciting projects, helping to bring them to fruition,” said Jo Bradley, Chief Executive Officer of VEDA. Financing approvals by the Authority include:

Commercial Energy Loan Program financing of $1 Million to Barton Solar, LLC (Barton Solar), Barton - The Authority approved a $1 million Commercial Energy Loan to help Barton Solar, LLC finance a new 1.89 MW AC solar power array on Rt. 16 in Barton. The $7.8 million project will be constructed on approximately 24 acres of land that will initially be leased from the current owner. The solar project is expected to produce enough annual renewable energy to supply 432 average Vermont households. Under a 25-year SPEED contract, all power produced by Barton Solar will be sold to the Vermont Electric Power Producers, Inc. (VEPPI), which under State law, allocates the power to all Vermont’s electric utilities. The project system will be connected to the New England Power grid through Vermont Electric Power at an existing three-phase line running along Rt. 16 adjacent to the project property. VEDA is participating with Mascoma Savings Bank to finance the Project.

VEDA also approved $1.6 million in financing to Vermont farmers through the Authority’s agricultural loan program, the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation (VACC), including $600,000 to Mack’s Meats, Inc. in Grand Isle to partially fund the purchase of the real estate and business assets of the former Champlain Valley Meats, Inc. slaughterhouse. The facility has been inactive since 2009. Mack’s Meats, Inc. will operate.as a full-service slaughterhouse and meat processing facility. The new owners intend to process.beef, swine and a small number of sheep and goats. Initially, the facility will operate as a State-inspected slaughterhouse and processing facility, eventually progressing to a Federally-inspected facility. The new owners intend to serve small and large scale farmers in Vermont, as well as local hobby farmers. Owners also plan to eventually develop a private label line of meats for retail, such as bacon, ham, fresh cuts, aged meats and sausages.

VEDA approved $1.92 million in financing for small business projects through its Small Business Loan Program, which assists growing Vermont small businesses that are unable to access adequate sources of conventional financing. Projects approved for financing assistance include:

  • The Inn at Manchester, Manchester - A $350,000 VEDA loan will help the Inn at Manchester to expand into the wedding and events business. The Freedom Realty, LLC and Freedom Hospitality Corporation own the Inn at Manchester —an 18-room bed and breakfast located in the heart of Manchester Village. Expansion plans call for the construction of a 7,500 square foot event barn on the site. The barn will include three suites located above the kitchen, leaving the event space open to the rafters for a barn feel. The company employs five persons and will add another position within three years. Bank of America is also providing financing for the project.
  • IBEX Outdoor Clothing, LLC, White River Junction – Financing of $350,000 was approved to augment IBEX’s working capital line of credit with Wells Fargo, enabling the company to better time the purchase of raw materials to coincide with seasonal production cycles. Founded in 1999, IBEX designs, markets, sells and distributes high-quality outdoor clothing, primarily made from New Zealand merino wool. IBEX employs 56 persons, a number expected to grow to 63 within three years of the project.
  • E and J Realty, LLC (E&J) and Upper Valley Produce, LLC (UVP) have received a $78,000 VEDA loan which will partially fund the purchase of the former Legare’s Farm Market on the Barre-Montpelier Road in Berlin. E&J retails local products eight months out of the year. UVP sources local products and the farm stand allows an outlet for extra product during the farm stand’s summer operational period. Northfield Savings Bank is also providing financing for the project.
  • A Waterbury consulting firm, Utility Services, Inc., will expand its service offerings with the help of a $50,000 VEDA loan. The company will be hiring an employee who specializes in vegetation management around power lines, using both mapping and analytical processes. The project includes needed computer equipment and working capital.

Through the Authority’s Local Development Corporation Program, which provides financing to nonprofit local and regional development corporations to build facilities for lease to identified eligible tenants, or to plan and/or develop industrial parks, VEDA approved $461,400 in financing for projects, among them

  • Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC), Brattleboro received financing approval for two projects:
  • $40,000 to help BDCC fund costs related to the fit-up of leased space at the Brattleboro Business Park for Sidehill Farm. In existence since 2001, Sidehill Farm is a producer of high quality hand-prepared jams and fruit toppings distributed throughout the Northeast. The company has most recently been located at BDCC’s Cotton Mill. The larger space at the Business Park will enable Sidehill to purchase and install new processing equipment, expand the company’s line and production to meet demand, increase use of local products, decrease production costs, and increase profitability. Sidehill currently has 4.25 employees, a number expected to grow to 7.75 employees within three years of project; and
  • $36,400 to help BDCC purchase 3.3 acres of land located adjacent to their Exit One Industrial Park in Brattleboro to help facilitate future expansion of the Park. The land purchase will provide easier access to the top of the property, and a future road will provide a more attractive option for potential buyers of land there.

Additionally, VEDA approved:

  • $196,000 in financing through the Vermont 504 Loan Program; and
  • $43,872 through the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund.

 

About VEDA

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 $2.0 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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