07/20/2020 - Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) approved $6.4 million in new financing for Vermont businesses and farms in the quarter ended June 30. The Authority also approved an additional $11.7 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for 268 Vermont businesses throughout the state and across a variety of industries. PPP was established by the CARES Act and is implemented by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). PPP supports small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis with forgivable loans to pay payroll and operating costs.
“While our traditional lending programs have slowed because of COVID-19, we have been working remotely at full capacity to help Vermont businesses access PPP funds,” said Cassie Polhemus, Chief Executive Officer at VEDA. “We are in a fortunate position in that we can provide help statewide to a wide variety of industries, many of which are unable to access credit through traditional lenders. VEDA will also be working with each of these borrowers to ensure maximum loan forgiveness, which is a critical component of the program.”
Of the 268 businesses approved for PPP funds, 90 were agricultural businesses. With its recent extension to August 8, those seeking assistance are still encouraged to reach out to VEDA via its website or by calling (802) 828-5627. Learn more at https://www.veda.org/ppp-program.
As for VEDA’s traditional lending programs, the $6.4 million in new loan approvals will help 24 different borrowers across the state. This includes eight loans for small businesses, two in the renewable energy sector, three commercial loans and 13 for Vermont farmers. Some examples include:
- Freedom Foods – Freedom Foods, LLC in Randolph was founded in 2008 and supports concept, development and co-packing services for a diverse range of artisan food and beverage products. Its manufacturing facilities provide automated lines for liquid and condiment filling, extrusion, baking, dehydration for national and international distributed products from their certified organic, Kosher and gluten free facility. VEDA approved financing to help the company expand its facilities to meet current demand with construction of a 16,640 square foot addition that provides shelf stable, refrigerated and frozen warehousing. Community National Bank is a partner lender for the project.
- Crestone – VEDA approved financing for Crestone, LLC to install a 150kW AC solar array on the roof of the Edward Farrar Utility District’s wastewater treatment building in Waterbury. The project will be net-metered and all credits generated will be purchased by the Green Mountain Valley School in Waitsfield. Community National Bank is also a partner on the project.
- Iroquois Acres – Iroquois Acres owns and operates two dairy farms in Addison County. VEDA approved financing for the purchase of a Manure Dragline Injection System at its Bridport location, a 700-cow dairy farm. The system injects manure at or below soil surface, reducing disturbance, odor and runoff. This will enhance water quality and reduce overall environmental impact for the surrounding community and Lake Champlain. The project also received a grant from the State of Vermont’s Capital Finance Assistance Program and a Water Quality grant from the Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Enhancement Program.
- Slice of Earth – The Wadel family has operated a successful farmstand on Route 15 in Wolcott for over 20 years. VEDA has provided financing to the family over the years to help them expand operations and transfer ownership to a new generation. The farmstand offers fresh fruits and vegetables from several Vermont farms, including their own, as well as maple syrup, baked goods, cheeses, honey and even Pennsylvania peaches. They also recently opened an attractive new cidery with a tasting room.
VEDA closed $7.5 million in new loans during the quarter ended June 30, including $1.2 million in the agricultural sector, $1.5 million for small businesses, $1.7 million in renewable energy, and $3 million in direct commercial loans.
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.