01/20/2021 - Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) approved over $20.3 million in new financing for Vermont businesses and farms during the quarter ended December 31, an almost $15 million increase over the previous quarter.
VEDA has also been processing applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which reopened on January 11. Created under the CARES Act and implemented by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), PPP provides forgivable loans to businesses impacted by COVID-19, providing much needed liquidity to keep employees on payrolls and help cover overhead costs.
“One of our biggest priorities since last March has been to help Vermont businesses and farms stay open, whether through PPP forgivable loans or our other traditional lending programs,” said Cassie Polhemus, Chief Executive Officer at VEDA. “I encourage any business or farm owner in Vermont who needs assistance to reach out to VEDA. We have a lot of experience helping Vermont businesses through difficult times.”
The second round of the PPP program is available to both first- and second-time PPP borrowers. Any business or farm owner in Vermont who needs disaster relief assistance can learn more and apply to the PPP program on VEDA’s website.
Last quarter, VEDA provided financing to 43 different borrowers in many of Vermont’s economic sectors, including agriculture, renewable energy, small business and investment in broadband expansion. Of the $20.3 million in loan approvals, $7.5 million were in direct commercial loans, and $825 thousand were small business loans.
Renewable energy financing was $6.6 million for the quarter. This included Groennfell Meadery, a woman-owned business that brews craft mead and distributes around New England. The company will use the funds to install a 150kW AC solar array on the roof of their production facility in St. Albans. VEDA also supported nine additional solar array projects around the state, including eight for existing VEDA borrower Green Lantern Solar.
VEDA provided $3.3 million in agricultural financing to 15 borrowers around Vermont including a few in the equestrian sector. Windy Hill Equine Farm, located in Shaftsbury, imports mainly Dutch Warmbloods and then trains them before putting them on the market for sale. To be fully operational, they are constructing a new outdoor riding arena. VEDA also approved financing for Lunar Hill Icelandics who are moving their Icelandic horse boarding and training facility from Bridgewater to a larger farm and facilities in Chelsea.
For loan closings during the quarter ended December 31, VEDA closed $11.4 million in new loans, including $4.6 million in the agricultural sector, $1.1 million for small businesses, $2.6 million in renewable energy, $2.5 million in direct commercial loans and $527 thousand for its affiliate loan programs.
The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) is Vermont’s economic development finance lender. Created by the Vermont General Assembly in 1974, VEDA’s mission is to contribute to Vermont’s economic vitality by providing a broad array of financing programs to eligible businesses that create jobs and help advance Vermont’s public policy goals.
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 inception, VEDA has provided over $2.5 billion in financing assistance to thousands of eligible Vermont entrepreneurs, manufacturers, small businesses, family farms, and agricultural enterprises.
VEDA has four offices throughout Vermont – in Montpelier, Burlington, Middlebury and St. Johnsbury. For more information about VEDA, visit www.veda.org or call (802) 828-5627.