Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) has approved $15.7 million in loan and bond financings for commercial, agricultural and energy projects totaling $37.5 million throughout Vermont.
“Manufacturing businesses employing hundreds of Vermonters will continue to grow with the help of VEDA financing,” said Jo Bradley, VEDA Chief Executive Officer. “In addition, a number of agricultural and renewable energy generation projects were approved, as was an SBA 504 project.”
Projects approved for VEDA financing include:
- Grafton Village Cheese Company, Inc., Brattleboro – VEDA gave final approval to the reissuance of $5.75 million in tax-exempt manufacturing revenue bonds that funded Grafton Village Cheese Company’s (GVC’s) construction and equipping of its Brattleboro cheese production facility in 2007 and 2008. That project allowed GVC to expand production by opening a second plant while continuing to operate its original cheese production facility in Grafton. Founded in 1892 to convert surplus milk from local dairy farmers into cheese, GVC still maintains its headquarters at the original Grafton facility. GVC produces a well-known line of aged and cave-aged specialty cheeses, and the additional production capacity in Brattleboro has allowed the company to produce and age significantly more cheese. Since the original VEDA-approved bonds were induced in 2007, GVC has increased employment by sixteen positions to 50 jobs. People’s United Bank financed the project through the purchase of the original bonds and will buy the reissued bonds, extending the term and reducing the annual debt service.
- G.S. Precision, Inc., Brattleboro – VEDA approved $1.5 million as part of a financing package for G.S. Precision’s $17 million expansion project at the Exit One Industrial Park in Brattleboro. G.S. Precision, Inc. (GSP) manufactures high-precision machined components and assemblies for commercial and military aircraft engines, power generation turbines, defense systems, thermal imaging devices and other commercial industries. Founded in 1958, GSP’s corporate headquarters are in Brattleboro, where over 300 people are employed, but the company also has manufacturing facilities in New Hampshire, Mexico and California. During periods of peak demand, GSP currently operates at close to or over capacity at both its facilities located in the Brattleboro industrial park owned by the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC), and the project will accommodate the company’s expansion of operations, and purchase of new equipment. Additional financing for the expansion was provided by TD Bank, CDBG funds, the Town of Brattleboro, and Windham County Economic Development funding, as well as New Market Tax Credits issued by several community development entities, and Vermont Employment Growth Incentives. It is projected that within five years of the expansion, GSP will add up to one hundred jobs in Vermont.
Agricultural loans totaling over $3.7 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.
Through the Authority’s Vermont 504 Loan Program which, with SBA’s approval, makes SBA 504 loans to eligible and qualified borrowers in conjunction with a third-party lender, VEDA approved financing for:
- Gayatrima LLC, Shelburne – Financing of $1,169,000 was approved as part of Gayatrima’s $3,314,000 project to purchase the 58-room Days Inn hotel on Shelburne Road in Shelburne. The new owners and operators of Gayatrima LLC own five other hotels in Vermont and have had many years of experience running hotels. Northfield Savings will also provide financing for the project.
Through the Authority’s Local Development Corporation Loan Program, which provides financing to nonprofit local and regional development corporations to build facilities for lease to identified eligible tenants or develop industrial parks, VEDA approved:Financing of $877,504 to Springfield Regional Development Corporation as part of a $975,000 project to construct a 6,000 square foot building at the Windsor Artisan’s Park for lease to Blake Hill Farm Products, Inc. Blake Hill Farm Products has experienced significant growth since its 2009 beginnings in the owners’ home kitchen, and the new location will provide the company with easy access to I-91 and and high visibility to the large number of visitors to the Park. In addition to a larger production facility for its various jams, preserves, marmalades and chutneys, Blake Hill will also have a small retail store at its new facility. Visitors will be able to purchase hard-to-find specialty preserve making equipment and fresh batch and exclusive Blake Hill varieties not available in other stores, in addition to its well-known customer favorites. Within three years of the expansion project, Blake Hill expects to increase employment from five positions to twelve.
Through VEDA’s Commercial Energy Loan Program, which helps Vermont businesses finance qualifying renewable energy generation and energy efficiency improvement projects, the Authority approved $2.3 million in loans to partially finance several group net-metered solar array systems. Among the approvals are projects in Proctor, Hartford, Bradford, Shoreham, Salisbury and Fairfield. Together, the projects will produce enough renewable electricity to power the equivalent of 392 average households, and reduce CO2 emissions by 1567 tons each year. The commercial energy projects approved include:
- Hartford Solar Field, LLC, Hartford – $761,800 as part of a $1.9 million project to construct a group net- metered solar array project that will produce renewable electricity for the Town of Hartford;
- Proctor GLC Solar, LLC, Proctor – $643,500 as part of a $1.6 million group net-metered solar array project to produce renewable electricity for the Mount Mansfield Modified Union School District; and
- Kendall Sustainable Infrastructure Fundco, LLC– $895,000 as part of an approximately $2.2 million portfolio of operating community solar arrays with net-metering arrangements located in Bradford, Shoreham, Salisbury and Fairfield.
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.