Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) has approved $15.2 million in economic development financings, supporting manufacturing, agricultural, energy and small business projects throughout Vermont.
“VEDA is pleased to provide financing assistance to several manufacturing businesses that are expanding and creating new jobs for Vermonters,” said Jo Bradley, VEDA’s Chief Executive Officer. “In addition, agricultural, energy and small business projects will go forward with financing assistance from VEDA.”
Projects approved by VEDA for financing assistance include:
Autumn Harp, Inc. and Black Bay Ventures V, LLC, Essex – VEDA gave final approval to the issuance of tax-exempt industrial revenue bonds to help Autumn Harp, Inc. undertake an expansion project at the company’s Essex manufacturing facility which is owned by Black Bay Ventures V, LLC. Autumn Harp is a Research & Development and manufacturing partner in the cosmetics and skincare industry, priding itself on the use of innovative cutting-edge technology to produce specialized certified organic and natural formulations, as well as water-based and color cosmetics. Founded in 1978 by naturalists working out of a home kitchen to make lip balms, healing salves and other natural products, Autumn Harp today supplies products that sell in over 60 countries around the world. The company is in need of additional manufacturing space to meet increased product demand and ensure its ability to add additional products for its customer base of multinational companies. The bonds will be purchased by TD Bank. The project will also include new machinery and equipment purchases by Autumn Harp.
Rutland Mental Health Services, Inc., Rutland – Rutland Mental Health Services, Inc., a non-profit agency established in 1957, is the primary provider of essential mental health services in Rutland County. VEDA gave final approval for the issuance of up to $3.0 million in tax-exempt bonds to refinance debt associated with the 2008 construction project at its South Main Street facility. VEDA also gave final approval for the issuance of up to $1.0 million in taxable bonds related to costs incurred in 2014 for the construction of its Stratton Road facility. The underwriter of the bonds will be Municipal Capital Markets Group, Inc., and Zions Bank will be the Trustee.
Global Values, Inc., Barre – VEDA approved $90,000 in financing to enable Global Values, Inc. (GVI), a Barre granite monument manufacturer, to expand operations through the purchase of additional machinery and equipment and related renovations to their facility. Community National Bank is also providing financing for the expansion project. A distributor of imported high-quality, color granite monuments since 1999, GVI purchased Houle Brothers in 2015 to expand into granite manufacturing. GVI now purchases raw blocks of stone, both locally and imported, and manufactures them to completion with control over production, timing, and margins. GVI has 31 employees, a number the company expects to increase to 65 within three years of the expansion project.
Agricultural loans totaling nearly $2.5 million also were approved through the Authority’s agricultural loan program, the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation (VACC), which provides financing for Vermont farmers, agricultural facilities and forest product businesses. Agricultural loan approvals include:
Champlain Orchards, Inc., Shoreham – VACC approved financing to help Champlain Orchards consolidate debt associated with recent improvements to their apple storage facility, and finance new real estate improvements. Champlain Orchards has consistently expanded since production of its first apple crop in 2000. In addition to apples, the farm grows European and Asian pears, tart cherries, plums, peaches, and organic pick-your-own berries. The farm also makes and sells ice and hard cider, pies, cider donuts, apple butter, and apple cider syrup.
Energy Financing of $413,492 was approved for several commercial and agricultural solar energy installation projects which together will produce enough renewable electricity to power the equivalent of 181 average households, and reduce CO2 emissions by 726 tons each year. Approved financings include:
• Catamount St. Albans II – A rooftop solar array to be constructed in downtown St. Albans, from which all of the power will be sold via a net-metering agreement to building tenant Agri-Mark, Inc’s Cabot Creamery Division. Northfield Savings Bank is also providing financing for the project;
• Catamount Student Solar LLC -- A 144 kW solar array constructed on the roof of the Redstone Lofts apartment building on the UVM campus. Northfield Savings Bank is also providing financing for the project. All of the energy produced will be sold via a net metering agreement to Catamount Student Housing, LLC, the company that owns and operates the Redstone Lofts; and
• Catamount Holding Co., Burlington – A 144 kW solar array constructed on the roof of the Chace Mill building in Burlington. Northfield Savings Bank is also providing financing for the project. The Chace Mill building has approximately 86,000 square feet of rentable space and the power generated by the solar array will service the electrical needs of the building.
Loans totaling over $1.1 million were approved 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 loans include:
Joyce’s Noodle House, Winooski – Financing of $280,000 was approved as part of a $1.3 million project to purchase and renovate real estate in Winooski slated to become the second location for Joyce’s Noodle House, a Chinese restaurant that has been operating in Essex Junction for fourteen years. New England Federal Credit Union is also providing financing for the project; and
Green Mountain Distillers, LLC, Morrisville – A $67,200 loan was approved to help Green Mountain Distillers, a craft distiller of vodka and gin spirits since 2002, expand their real estate holdings in Morrisville, providing additional road access and parking, and space for events throughout the year. The $168,000 project, for which Union Bank is providing additional financing, also includes renovations to the company’s existing facility to accommodate the new road access.
The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) is Vermont’s nonprofit economic development finance lender. Created by the Vermont General Assembly in 1974, VEDA’s mission is “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.”
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 $2.288 billion in financing assistance to thousands of eligible Vermont entrepreneurs, manufacturers, small businesses, family farms, and agricultural enterprises. VEDA has five offices throughout Vermont – in Montpelier, Burlington, Middlebury, St. Johnsbury and Brattleboro. For more information about VEDA, visit www.veda.org or call 802-828-JOBS.