Montpelier, VT – During the most recent quarter, the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) approved over $17.4 million in financing for economic and agricultural development projects throughout Vermont totaling $30.2 million.
“VEDA is pleased to provide financing that will help manufacturing, agricultural and small business projects move forward with their growth plans,” said Jo Bradley, the Authority’s CEO. “In addition, a community health center will expand, and several renewable energy and start-up initiatives will also receive VEDA financing.” Projects approved by VEDA for financing assistance include:
• $1.5 million to Community Health Services of Lamoille Valley (CHSLV) in Morrisville as partial financing for a $6.5 million project to construct a new state-of-the-art medical facility adjacent to the community health organization’s existing building. The new structure will house Appleseed Pediatrics, and other support services including Behavioral Health, case management and telehealth. Union Bank is also providing financing for the project, which will help CHSLV greatly expand and better meet the needs of the community. CHSLV expects to increase employment within three years from 132 to 138 positions; and
• $240,000 as partial financing to Flex-A-Seal, Inc. in Essex Junction to purchase new production equipment and fit up a new leased facility which will provide greater growth capacity for the company. People’s United Bank is also providing financing for the $600,000 expansion project. Established in 1983, Flex-A-Seal produces many types of sealing products used in industries including hydrocarbon processing, chemical and food processing, potable water, and drug manufacturing. Flex-A-Seal employs 101 persons, a number expected to grow within three years to 116.
Through VEDA’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 to plan and/or develop industrial parks, VEDA approved:
• $371,000 to Cynosure, Inc., a non-profit affiliate of Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation (GBIC), for the purchase and installation of new HVAC systems in its building in the Catamount Industrial Park in Milton. The building is leased to Champlain Valley Dispensary, Inc., a State-licensed non-profit distributor of medical cannabis since June of 2013. The renovation will allow the company to build out and increase its production space. Within three years, Champlain Valley Dispensary expects to increase employment from 30 to 49 positions; and
• $78,253 to Springfield Regional Development Corporation (SRDC) for capital improvements to the Robert S. Jones Center in Springfield that will make the property safer and more attractive to existing and potential future tenants. The project will include construction of ADA accessibility features, sidewalk and paving improvements, exterior lighting upgrades, and a new entry roof.
Agricultural loans totaling over $8.2 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.
Close to $1.6 million in Energy Financing was approved for several commercial and agricultural solar energy installation projects which together will produce enough renewable electricity to power the equivalent of 237 average households, and reduce CO2 emissions by 948 tons each year. Approved financings include:
• $808,042 to VRS Solar, LLC to partially fund construction of a 420 kW net metered solar array in Shoreham; and
• $150,000 to Hunter and Hand Solar, LLC to partially refund costs associated with development of a net metered 106.7 kW solar array on the roof of the Fisher School in Arlington.
Loans totaling over $1.3 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:
• $500,000 as partial financing for the $1.6 million purchase The Stone Hill Inn in Stowe. Stone Hill Inn is a 10-room Bed & Breakfast located on 9 acres on the Mountain Road. Union Bank is also providing financing for the project;
• $300,000 in working capital as part of a $1 million project to support the 40-year old Village Cannery of Vermont’s fast-growing organic apple cider vinegar business in Barre. Ledyard Bank is also providing financing for the growth project. Within three years, Village Cannery hopes to increase employment from 20 to 25 jobs; and
• $50,000 in working capital to Mamava, Inc. in Burlington, designer and developer of the first and only free-standing kiosk-type lactation suites for nursing mothers on the go. Mamava has installed approximately 100 of these units in public spaces throughout the U.S. such as airports, arenas/stadiums, colleges, convention centers, government buildings, hospitals and malls. The working capital project will help the business grow employment within three years from five to ten jobs.
Approved financings through VEDA’s Vermont 504 Loan Program which, with SBA’s approval, makes SBA 504 loans to eligible and qualified borrowers, include:
• $380,000 as partial financing for the $1.25 million purchase and renovation of Highland Lodge in Greensboro. Operating since 1926, the Highland Lodge is a 10-room Bed & Breakfast with a 60-seat restaurant and commercial kitchen, owner's quarters and ten cabins located on136 acres of land on Caspian Lake. Community National Bank is also providing financing for the project.
Through VEDA’s Entrepreneurial Loan Program, which provides financing to meet the working capital and capital-asset financing needs of Vermont-based businesses that may not have access to conventional means of financing, the Authority approved financing for:
• J Lev, Inc., Shelburne - Doing business as J Skis, this alpine ski designer and online retailer is an early-stage company. With the help of $250,000 in VEDA financing, J Skis was able to produce inventory for the 2016-2017 ski season featuring new twin tip skis that the business sells exclusively online direct to consumers at Jskis.com.
VEDA also approved $700,000 in financing through the Windham County Economic Development Program, for which VEDA acts as the administrative partner to provide loans for eligible projects that stimulate job creation and strengthen the economic development infrastructure of Windham County. Loans approved are:
• $350,000 to New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA), Inc. in Brattleboro as part of a $2.5 million project to construct a new 8,600 square foot facility with a 38 foot ceiling. Founded in 2007 as a non-profit, NECCA has become a center for circus arts, annually serving over 2,000 individuals of all ages and skills in classes and Outreach programs, and has built an international reputation as a leader for professional level performance training. NECCA currently rents several facilities for its program work, and the new facility will help the Center attract the highest level of professional and aspiring circus arts students and performers. VEDA approved an additional Direct Loan of $391,866 for the project and Brattleboro Savings is also providing financing. The Center estimates employment there will increase from fifteen to eighteen jobs within three years of the expansion project; and
• $350,000 in working capital to SchoolHack Solutions, Inc., designers of an educational software platform to help schools monitor students’ personalized learning plans. The working capital will enable the business to hire in-house software developers and customer service representatives to expand product offerings and professional services to schools. The start-up business now employs nine persons, a number principals expect to increase to thirteen within three years of the project.
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.