Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) has approved $6.3 million in loans for economic development projects totaling over $16.5 million throughout Vermont. Creation of more than 100 new jobs throughout Vermont is projected within three years of completion of the financed projects.
“It is exciting to see so many businesses continue to grow and create jobs for Vermonters, and VEDA is pleased to provide financing support to these companies,” said Jo Bradley, VEDA’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are also especially excited to provide financing assistance to businesses through the Authority’s new Entrepreneurial Loan Program.”
Through the Entrepreneurial Loan Program, VEDA approved $700,000 in working capital financing for several businesses. The program helps meet the working capital and capital-asset financing needs of Vermont-based start-up and growth-stage businesses that may not have access to conventional means of financing. Approvals by VEDA for entrepreneurial working capital financing assistance include:
- KnowledgeWave Training, South Burlington – $200,000 to assist in further development of its platform for delivering cost-effective on-demand and instructor-led e-learning and training. KnowledgeWave is a Microsoft-certified learning partner, specializing in delivering education and training on popular business applications (e.g. Microsoft Office, Google Docs, Adobe Suite) to employees of small and medium-sized businesses in the region and around the country. KnowledgeWave now has nine employees, and expects to create sixteen additional jobs at the company within three years of the project.
- Piematrix, Inc., Burlington - $200,000 to help the cloud-based software company fund sales and marketing investments in their business. In existence since 2006, Piematrix software helps organizations improve revenue and effectiveness through better project and process management. The company has ten employees, and expects to grow to 20 employees within three years of the project.
- Nathaniel Electronics, Vergennes - $200,000 to help Nathaniel Group move their newest products to market. In existence since 1984, Nathaniel Group designs, manufactures and services electro-mechanical devices, including medical equipment for surgical applications, as well as cameras and LED and Laser light sources for medical and scientific markets around the world. The company has fifteen full-time employees, and expects to increase that number to 21 within three years of the project.
- Patient Engagement Systems, South Burlington - $100,000 to help the nationally-recognized healthcare services company enhance clinical and mobile solutions for its patient engagement programs, expand business development efforts, and build customer service infrastructure. Patient Engagement Systems produces automated patient engagement tools as well as timely clinical analytics and decision support to physicians, care managers, health insurers, health systems and government agencies. These tools enable them to better manage and monitor the health care needs of people with chronic diseases such as diabetes and chronic kidney disease. Patient Engagement Systems has four employees, and the company expects to triple that number within three years of the project.
Projects approved by the Authority for over $1.8 million in direct commercial financing include:
- Cabot Hosiery Mill, Inc., Northfield – VEDA approved $470,400 in financing to help Cabot Hosiery Mill, Inc. meet growing demand for its popular proprietary Darn Tough Vermont socks by purchasing and installing 30 new knitting machines. The new machines are in addition to the 35 machines the company purchased and installed earlier this year as part of a construction and renovation project at the Northfield factory, also financed in part by VEDA. Cabot Hosiery Mill has been designing and manufacturing socks since 1978, and introduced the Darn Tough Vermont sock line in 2004. The product has gained a growing reputation for its high quality, and is now currently available in over 1,600 retail outlets throughout the United States and Canada. Employment at Cabot Hosiery Mill is expected to grow from its current 143 to 170 within three years of the expansion project, for which Peoples United Bank is also providing financing.
- Vermont College of Fine Arts, Inc., Montpelier – VEDA approved participation in the amount of $754,000 in two Community National Bank loans totaling over $1.8 million to partially finance two building renovation projects at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier. The projects include renovating the second floor of the College’s Schulmaier Hall for lease to the State of Vermont as a Human Resources training center and lecture halls and the installation of an elevator to provide access to all four floors in the building. The VEDA and Bank loans also include bridge funding for a capital campaign being conducted by the College to renovate Alumni Hall into a multipurpose gallery and performance space, Frail Hall for use as faculty housing, and to construct a new faculty and alumni retreat center on the campus. Vermont College of Fine Arts offers several fine arts graduate programs to more than 350 students. VEDA and Community National Bank previously assisted Vermont College of Fine Arts to acquire the College campus property in Montpelier and its initial graduate fine arts programs from Union Institute and University. The College now employs approximately 75 faculty and staff (full-time and FTE part-time positions), a number expected to increase to 97 within three years as a result of the projects and ongoing expansion in its degree programs.
- Vermont Precision Tools, Inc., Swanton, and Vermont Custom Gage, LLC, Lyndon - VEDA financing of $350,000 will help Vermont Precision Tools, Inc. further expand its operations by forming a new manufacturing subsidiary to operate out of vacant Lyndon manufacturing space previously occupied by the former NSA Industries. The subsidiary, Vermont Custom Gage, LLC, is expected to create five new jobs at the Lyndon plant, with projected growth to fifteen jobs there within three years of the project. Since 1968, Swanton-based Vermont Precision Tools has been manufacturing super high-precision gages and other tools used by metalworking industries throughout the country, including aerospace, automotive, medical tooling, ejection molding, and die casting industries. The company employs 200 people at its Swanton headquarters and manufacturing facility. The Lyndon subsidiary will manufacture gage blanks for Vermont Precision Tools. Northern Community Investment Corporation (NCIC) is also providing financing for the Lyndon project.
- Rhino Foods, Inc., Burlington – Financing of $280,000 was approved to help Rhino Foods purchase and install new production machinery and equipment to improve efficiency and safety, and make a variety of processing and packaging improvements. Peoples’ United Bank also approved financing for the project. Founded in 1981, Rhino Foods operates out of a 27,600 square foot building on Industrial Avenue in Burlington. The company’s first product was an ice cream sandwich, called the “Chesster.” Rhino soon expanded its offerings to include ice cream cookie dough pellets for sale to Ben and Jerry’s and production of other high-quality bakery products on a private label basis for several large retail customers. Over the years, Rhino Foods has grown to become the number one manufacturer of ice cream cookie dough pellets and a leader in bakery other ice cream inclusion products in the country. Rhino now employs 79 people, and that number is expected to grow to 102 within three years of the project.
The Authority’s agricultural loan program, the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation (VACC), approved over $2.2 million to Vermont agricultural and forestry projects, including:
- Mad River Forestry, LLC, Waterbury - $685,000 to provide working capital and finance the purchase of specialized equipment that will enable an established forest harvesting and sustainable forest management business to increase its level of production and efficiency and expand its ability to offer low-impact logging services. Established in 2008, Mad River Forestry’s purchase of the new cut-to-length timber harvester and timber forwarder system is projected to help the business continue its growth trend and add jobs as a result of the project.
Nearly $1.3 million in financing was approved through VEDA’s Small Business Loan Program, which provides loans to Vermont small businesses that are unable to access adequate sources of conventional financing. VEDA also approved $267,212 in energy-related financing.
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.