Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) has approved financing of $7.8 million in financing for economic development projects throughout Vermont totaling $16.8 million. “VEDA is so pleased to be able to provide growth financing to several start-up and early-stage businesses,” said Jo Bradley, VEDA Chief Executive Officer. “In addition, VEDA is helping a long-dormant hydroelectric production facility in southern Vermont once again produce renewable energy.”
Projects approved by VEDA for financing assistance include:
• Hoosic River Hydro, LLC in North Pownal was approved for $2 million in financing as part of a $4 million project to redevelop the hydroelectric production facility at the long-dormant Pownal Tannery Dam, now owned by the Town of Pownal. VEDA also approved $250,000 in Brownfields Revitalization Fund financing to help project developers remove contaminated sediments as part of the project’s approved Corrective Action Plan. When completed, the project will consist of a turbine with 500 kW of electrical capacity, and will produce enough renewable electricity to power the equivalent of 472 average households, reducing CO2 emissions by 1,888 tons each year. Hoosic River Hydro has negotiated a Group Net Metering Agreement with a local institution and the Town of Pownal for 100% of the production credits of the project.
• Konrad Prefab, LLC, Springfield – VEDA approved $180,000 in financing to help start-up manufacturer Konrad Prefab (www.konradprefab.com) purchase machinery and equipment and provide working capital for the company’s move to a larger 17,000 square foot space owned by the Springfield Regional Development Corporation. Mascoma Savings Bank is also providing financing for the project. Konrad Prefab, a manufacturer of architectural and marketing products, will produce private lactation suites for nursing mothers, as well as interior and exterior shelters and kiosks. The company will also offer design and production services for custom signs, displays and exhibits.
• Railroad Row, LLC, White River Jct. – VEDA approved $150,000 as part of a nearly $4.4 million project that includes the construction of an 18,800 square foot, four-story, mixed-use building at the corner of Bridge and Main Streets in historic downtown White River Junction. The 4,600 square foot corner lot has been vacant since 2005 when the 55-year-old building that housed the Polka Dot Diner was destroyed by fire.
Agricultural loans totaling $3.6 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. Approved VACC loans include:
• Honest to Goodness Farm, LLC, Newark – VACC approved a loan of $213,460 to help the owners of a growing, diversified farm refinance their property and purchase additional land. Ben and Kim Bangs, owners of Honest to Goodness Farm (www.honesttogoodnessfarm.com), will add 9.8 acres to their 165-acre Maple Ridge Road farm where they produce and sell over 130 varieties of organic vegetables, eggs, broilers and pork. The Bangs also sell hay from their land, as well as their own maple syrup, and have a number of CSA share customers.
Loans totaling $613,756 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 small business loans include:
• Forty Putney Road B&B, Brattleboro – Partial financing of $223,500 was approved to support the purchase of the Forty Putney Road B&B (www.fortyputneyroad.com). Brattleboro Savings & Loan also is providing financing for the project. Ranked on Trip Advisor as the number one Bed and Breakfast in Brattleboro, 40 Putney Road B&B is a quaint and intimate property with six guest rooms. The Inn is located within an easy walk to vibrant downtown Brattleboro, and has walking/hiking trails accessible from the backyard gardens;
• Appalachian Gap Distillery, Inc., Middlebury – VEDA approved partial financing of $100,000 for a $537,500 building expansion project to accommodate the warehousing of inventory for Appalachian Gap Distillery, Inc. (www.appalachiangap.com). A distiller of whiskey, gin, rum and bourbon, Appalachian Gap Distillery’s business is growing and the company is in need of space to warehouse barrels for aging its inventory. The building being expanded currently houses the distillery owner’s other business, The Friday Group, a specifications consulting firm working directly with and for architectural firms. People’s United Bank and the Addison County Economic Development Corporation are also providing financing for the project. Within three years of the expansion project, Appalachian Gap Distillery expects to create five new jobs;
• Douglas Sweets, LLC, Shelburne – A loan of $90,000 was approved to help Douglas Sweets, LLC (www.douglassweets.com) move its shortbread biscuit manufacturing operation to a larger space at the Shelburne Green Complex. Established in 2012, the business had been manufacturing the biscuits out of the owner’s home. Douglas Sweets needed to expand due to increasing demand for its products, which are made with natural and primarily local ingredients, and distributed to specialty food stores and food co-ops in the New England region. In the new location, the company will be able to greatly increase production capacity, and through its new storefront, also offer direct sales to walk-in customers. The business now has three employees, a number expected to grow to eight over the next two years; and
• The Traveled Cup, St. Albans – VEDA approved partial financing of $40,000 for The Traveled Cup’s $310,000 project to purchase and renovate the North Main Street propery where the wi-fi café is located. Community National Bank is also providing financing for the project, which will include the addition of a new kitchen for the cafe. A warm and inviting coffee shop that offers baked goods and sandwiches, The Traveled Cup (www.thetraveledcup.com) plans to build upon its lunch business, and expand its food offerings to include more hot dishes.
Financing of $500,000 was also approved through the Authority’s Jay/Burke Contractor Assistance Loan Program, which provides loans for affected building contractors holding unpaid invoices for work done at Jay Peak and Burke Mountain Ski Areas.
The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) is Vermont’s economic development finance lender, providing financing for Vermont businesses and farms. 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.