Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) has approved $10.6 million in economic development financing for commercial, agricultural, small business and energy projects totaling $23.5 million.
“VEDA is pleased to provide financing for a number of exciting economic development projects,” said VEDA CEO Jo Bradley. “Businesses will make investments in the manufacturing, energy generation, agricultural, tourism and small business sectors of Vermont’s economy.”
The financings approved by VEDA include:
- Coffee Lab International, Inc., Waterbury – VEDA approved $1.1 million in financing as part of a $3.6 million project to construct and equip a new 14,529 square foot headquarters and manufacturing facility in Waterbury for established sister companies Coffee Lab International and Vermont Artisan Coffee & Tea, Co. Northfield Savings Bank is also providing financing for the project. A portion of the VEDA financing will also cover new equipment for the plant, including roasting machines, green bean silo hoppers, various pack stations, a roast bean sorter, and other equipment. Coffee Lab International is a specialty coffee testing laboratory that conducts green and roasted coffee testing and analysis, quality assurance programs, and research and development for many well-known coffee roasters and retailers. Vermont Artisan Coffee & Tea is a specialty coffee roastery and tea-packing facility that sources, roasts, packages, and sells fresh-to-order, small-batch, farm-direct, organic and non-organic Arabica coffee, as well as loose-leaf teas. Formed in 1998 and 2001, the two companies expect to increase employment from the current thirteen to nineteen positions within three years of the project;
- Lucky’s Trailer Sales, Inc., Colchester – VEDA approved SBA 504 debenture and small business loan financing to help Lucky’s Trailer Sales purchase, renovate and equip the buildings on 8.5 acres in Colchester formerly occupied by Charlebois Trucking. Lake Sunapee Bank will also participate in the project financing. Established in 1984 in Randolph, and operating since 1997 in South Royalton, Lucky’s Trailer Sales is a Peterbilt of Vermont truck dealer, as well as a dealer of many types of over-the-road trailers; and
- Wilcox Ice Cream, East Arlington – VEDA approved partial financing of $225,000 for a machinery, equipment and renovation project at the company’s new ice cream production facility. Improvements will include construction of a 1,000 square foot Blast freezer and 3,000 square foot storage freezer and installation of an additional overhead door. A family run business since its beginnings in 1879, Wilcox Ice Cream has been making ice cream since 1928. The company expects to increase employment from nine to twelve positions.
VEDA approved $2.9 million in partial financing through the Authority’s Commercial Energy Loan Program, which helps Vermont businesses finance qualifying renewable energy generation and energy efficiency improvement projects. Together, the three projects approved for VEDA financing will produce enough renewable electricity to power the equivalent of 382 average households, and reduce CO2 emissions by 1,529 tons each year:
- $1.2 million in partial financing to support construction of Maple Leaf Solar’s group net-metered 499 KW solar array on an 8.2-acre parcel of land in Bennington. All the power produced by the project will generate credits on the electric bill for the Quechee Lakes Landowners Association;
- $870,300 in partial financing to support construction by Bright Star Solar, LLC of a 500 KW system on five acres of leased land in Benson. All of the energy produced will be sold to Agri-Mark via a net-metering agreement for use at the Cabot Creamery; and
- $849,888 in partial financing to support construction by Tinker Hill Solar, LLC of a 500 KW system on five acres of leased land in Guilford. All of the energy produced will be sold to Summit Ventures NE, LLC via a net-metering agreement for use at the Sugarbush Resort.
Agricultural loans totaling $2.1 million were approved 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.
VEDA also approved $886,246 in loans through the Authority’s Small Business Loan Program, which assists growing Vermont small businesses that are unable to access adequate sources of conventional financing. Approved small business loans include:
- $ 350,000 to Green Mountain Harley-Davidson as partial financing to purchase the commercial property in Essex Junction where the business has been operating since 2008. Green Mountain Harley-Davidson is one of only two Harley-Davidson dealerships in Vermont, selling new and used motorcycles, parts, accessories and motor clothes;
- $134,200 for the purchase and renovation of the Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery, an establishment that has been closed for the past year after having welcomed guests since 1803. Once re-opened, the Black Lantern will offer ten rooms in the main property and five suites in the adjacent Burdett House. The on-site restaurant has a 40-seat dining room and fifteen-seat pub. Vermont Federal Credit Union is also providing financing for the project, which is expected to create five jobs within three years; and
- $50,000 to Mad River Garden Center and Mad River Property Management in Waitsfield, complementary businesses that include a retail garden center and floral design services, a property management business and landscaping services. Owners will substantially renovate their current facility to enable their businesses’ growth. It is expected that employment will increase from the current fifteen to eighteen positions within three years of the expansion project;
VEDA also approved financing for two Killington-based travel and tourism projects:
- Killington Mountain Lodge – VEDA financing of $1.5 million was approved as part of a $6.6 million permanent financing package for the purchase and substantial renovation last year of a former condominium property once known as the Inn at Six Mountains. Centennial Bank is also providing financing for the project. The newly-opened Killington Mountain Lodge (http://killingtonmountainlodge.com) is a 64,000 square foot four-story hotel with 103 rooms situated on approximately 4.2 acres located just below the Killington Mountain Resort on the Killington Access Road. In addition to renovating each room in the new hotel, significant improvements were made to the lobby, which now boasts the largest indoor fireplace in Vermont, an outdoor courtyard featuring a large hot tub with fire pits, game/movie room, exercise room, restaurant and bar, indoor pool, and two conference rooms. The hotel also has two full kitchens and its restaurant will offer a limited upscale menu. Management for the new hotel expect to create 57 new jobs within three years of the project; and
- Summit Lodge – VEDA approved partial financing of $560,000 to support the purchase of the Summit Lodge. VSECU also provided financing for the project. Originally established in 1960, Summit Lodge was the first lodge built in Killington, and is located just minutes from the Killington and Pico ski areas. The property consists of a four-season, full-service 45-room lodge located on 8.26 acres of land, is a well-known venue in the region for hosting weddings, and attracts customers for hiking, golfing, kayaking, and other outdoor activities year round. The Lodge’s new owners plan to make extensive upgrades to the property during the next several years, and estimate employment there will double from ten to twenty positions within three years of the purchase.
The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) is Vermont’s nonprofit 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 $2.16 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.