Includes $37.3 Million in Tax-Exempt Revenue Bond Financing; Manufacturing Expansions in Middlebury and Barre Expected to Create 32 Jobs
Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) has approved $46.5 million in loan and bond financings for a number of commercial, agricultural, energy and small business projects throughout Vermont. Among the projects approved for financing assistance are manufacturing expansions in Middlebury and Barre that are expected to create 32 new manufacturing jobs within three years.
“It is always exciting to see Vermont manufacturers continue to grow and create new jobs.” said Jo Bradley, VEDA Chief Executive Officer. “VEDA is pleased to provide part of the financing needed to help facilitate these and other projects expected to create jobs for Vermonters.”
Among the direct loans to businesses, VEDA financed two manufacturing expansion projects:
- Otter Creek Brewing Company, LLC, Middlebury – Otter Creek Brewing Company is expanding its beer-brewing facilities in Middlebury to increase production space and improve efficiencies at the plant. As part of the $5.2 million multi-phase project, the beer-brewing company will purchase a new 120-barrel brewing system to increase production capacity; the project also includes improvements to increase seating capacity at the company’s restaurant. VEDA approved financing of $230,000 to help facilitate the project, for which People’s United Bank is providing additional financing. Employment at Otter Creek is expected to grow from 85 to 93 positions over the next three years.
- Global Values, Inc., Barre – VEDA approved $544,000 in financing as part of a $1.5 million project to help Global Values, Inc. begin manufacturing in Barre. Global Values, Inc. (GVI) has been a Barre distributor of high-quality, color granite monuments since 1999. GVI purchased the real estate and the equipment of Houle Brothers Granite Co., Inc. and will upgrade the equipment and manufacturing facility by purchasing more machines, including a new CNC machine. The project will allow GVI to expand its product offerings and provide value-added services. The Houle Brothers building is located on the adjacent lot to the former Northern Mausoleum building which GVI recently purchased, providing the merged company with a ready-made “campus” for granite manufacturing. Employment at the newly-integrated plant is expected to grow from 31 to 55 positions within three years. Community National Bank is also providing financing for the project.
VEDA approved an additional direct loan to:
- Atomic Professional Audio, Inc., North Clarendon – VEDA approved financing of $920,000 as part of a $2.3 million project to help Atomic Professional Audio, Inc. purchase and make leasehold improvements to a new facility for its growing company. A supplier and lessor of staging, lighting, video, power distribution, custom fabrication, sound, event coordination and production management for events and concerts throughout the United States, Atomic Professional Audio has been operating out of 15,000 square feet of leased space in Rutland. The new building in North Clarendon’s Airport Industrial Park will provide the company with nearly five times the space. Founded in 1994, Atomic Professional Audio currently employs twenty people; that number is expected to grow to 28 within three years of the expansion project. TD Bank and Rutland Economic Development Corporation are also providing financing for the project.
VEDA also approved $37.3 million in tax-exempt bond financing for two projects:
- Casella Waste Systems, Inc., Rutland – VEDA gave inducement approval to Casella Waste Systems, Inc. for a $35 million tax-exempt facility bond to fund Casella’s ongoing capital expenditures in Vermont over the next three years. Pending final approval, the bond would fund such improvements as state-of-the-art landfill capacity development and system upgrades; the purchase of new fuel-efficient transportation equipment, new container and compactor equipment and other purchases to replace older, less efficient machinery and equipment; and, investments in infrastructure that are intended to improve safety, environmental compliance, and productivity of Casella’s collection, transfer, and administrative facilities in Vermont. Founded in 1975 with a single truck, Casella, together with its subsidiaries, is a regional, vertically-integrated solid waste services company that provides resource management expertise and services to residential, commercial, municipal and industrial customers, primarily in the areas of solid waste collection and disposal, transfer, recycling and organics services. In its six states of operation, Casella employs approximately 1,950 people. Of that number, approximately 545 positions are in Vermont, and expected employment would grow to 575 within three years of the project.
- Circus Smirkus, Greensboro – VEDA gave final approval to a $2.3 million tax-exempt revenue bond that enabled Circus Smirkus, a world-renowned youth circus, to greatly expand its operations and meet increasing demand for its programs. Children from all over the world participate in Circus Smirkus Summer Camp, which had had waiting lists for its popular circus camp for the past several years. Circus Smirkus had no overnight accommodations available at its Greensboro location, and for a number of years, had operated its overnight summer camp at Burke Mountain Academy, among other previous host institutions. Recently, Circus Smirkus purchased a property in Greensboro for the new camp, located only five miles from the current administrative and Big Top location. The property originally had a farmhouse, post and beam barn, and detached glass studio and garage. The farmhouse was converted into an administration building and sleeping quarters for six administrative personnel; the barn was remodeled to become the new dining hall; and the studio and garage will be used for storage of circus equipment. In addition, two new dormitories have been constructed to provide sleeping quarters for the campers and coaches. Community National Bank funded the construction of the camp and will be purchasing the VEDA-issued bond which will be used for the Project’s permanent funding. Currently, Circus Smirkus employs 11 year-round employees, and its Camp employs 44 persons, a number expected to increase to 47 within three years of the project.
Through VEDA’s Commercial Energy Loan Program, which helps Vermont businesses finance qualifying renewable energy generation and energy efficiency improvement projects, the Authority approved over $3.2 million in loans to partially finance several group net metered solar array systems. Among the approvals are projects in Jamaica, Ferrisburgh, and Pittsford which, together, will produce enough renewable electricity to power the equivalent of 524 average households, and reduce CO2 emissions by 1,590 tons each year. The commercial energy projects approved include:
- Cement Plant Solar, LLC, Jamaica – $1.1 million as part of a $2.1 million project to construct and operate a Group Net Metered 499 KW solar array;
- HV Solar, Ferrisburgh – $708,441 as part of a $2.6 million project to construct two net metering projects in Ferrisburgh to benefit several affordable housing partnerships;
- Pittsford GLC Solar, LLC, Pittsford – $673,200 as part of a $1.7 million project to produce renewable electricity for the Town Proctor and Grace Cottage Hospital; and
- Ferrisburgh Community Solar NM, LLC, Ferrisburgh – $300,000 as part of a $1.5 million net metering solar project to benefit Vergennes High School and other businesses in the area.
Agricultural loans totaling over $3.2 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 over $1 million 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:
- Village Cannery of Vermont, Inc., Barre –$150,000 as part of a $316,172 machinery and equipment project to purchase and install an automated cider vinegar bottling line at the Cannery’s plant. The company introduced its line of organic apple cider vinegar this year and the project will enable it to significantly increase year-round production.
- Laura Zindel Design, Inc., Brattleboro – $69,940 as part of a $174,850 project to purchase machinery and equipment and provide working capital to the manufacturer and distributor of finely-crafted luxury housewares such as ceramic tableware, linens and paper products.
VEDA also approved $45,000 through the Authority’s Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund which provides funds to repair or improve existing privately-owned drinking water systems.
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.