Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) recently approved $10.9 million in loans to help support commercial, agricultural, small business and energy projects throughout Vermont.
“Vermont’s travel and tourism infrastructure will be enhanced with the addition of new and substantially-renovated lodging accommodations, and construction of a new downtown Burlington harbor marina,” said Jo Bradley, VEDA’s Chief Executive Officer. “In addition, loans will help dairy and other farms diversify, small businesses will expand, and energy generation projects will be developed.”
Among the projects VEDA approved for commercial financing assistance through VEDA’s Direct Loan Program and Small Business Loan Program are:
• Black Bay Ventures X, Colchester – VEDA approved financing of $1.5 million for the purchase of land at Water Tower Circle in Colchester, and construction of a 93-room, four-story Holiday Inn Express there. The 55,760 square-foot hotel will include 950 square feet of meeting space, an indoor pool, and shuttle service among its amenities, in addition to 24 covered parking spaces. Northfield Savings Bank is also a lender for the project, which is projected to have a March, 2020 open date, and create 18 new jobs within three years of construction;
• Burlington Harbor Marina, Burlington – Partial financing of $1.5 million will enable construction to commence on a 160-slip marina on Lake Champlain at Penny Lane in Burlington. More than four years in the planning, design and permitting stages, development of the marina, along with several other waterfront projects, was overwhelmingly supported by Burlington voters on their 2014 Town Meeting Day ballot, and is part of the City’s Public Investment Action Plan which aims to spur waterfront development in Burlington’s downtown. Burlington is one of the premier boating destinations on Lake Champlain; however, there is a shortage of transient and seasonal boat slips that directly serve the downtown Burlington area. Project costs of $800,000 were approved by the City of Burlington under a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) grant, in part to subsidize construction of a new waterfront park, and the project has been awarded grants from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Boating Infrastructure Grant program. TD Bank is also providing financing for the $8.1 million project, which is scheduled to be open for the 2019 summer season;
• Hotel Sportiva Stowe, Stowe – VEDA approved partial financing of $500,000 for the purchase and substantial renovation of Town & Country Resort on the Mountain Road in Stowe. Rooms at the refurbished hotel, which caters primarily to out-of-state travelers, will increase from 45 to 54, positively impacting the region’s travel and tourism infrastructure. Project developers are brothers, one of whom is a U.S. Navy veteran and former Navy SEAL. The team is designing the facilities to appeal to sports-related group tourists, among other categories of tourists. The property is adjacent to the Stowe recreation trail, and also includes amenities such as an onsite multi-sport field, innovative fitness center, outdoor heated pool and direct access to the Cady Hill Forest mountain bike trail. Union Bank also providing financing for the project; and
• Red Clover Ale Company, Brandon – Partial financing of $95,000 was approved to help a home-based brewer expand its business through opening a retail storefront in downtown Brandon. Red Clover Ale Company will expand its production capabilities and focus on on-premise, direct-to-consumer beer sales by the glass, in growlers and in cans. The company plans to further expand into a microbrewery and taproom. The Town of Brandon’s revolving loan fund will also provide financing for the project.
Financings totaling $2.4 million were approved through the Authority’s agricultural loan program, the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation (VACC). Included among the approvals are:
• Ackermann Dairy, LLC, Hardwick –A loan was approved to Ackermann Dairy, LLC to help finance the farm’s purchase of a second organic dairy herd, and new machinery and equipment. In addition, the farm will refinance debt to support the expansion project and a line of credit loan will provide working capital. Jointly operated by James and Sara Ackermann, the primary focus of the business is organic dairy farming, but the farm is diversified into maple production and other income streams, as well. This expansion project will double the farm’s herd size; and
• Maple Ridge Meats, LLC, Benson – Financing of $150,000 was approved to help a USDA-inspected slaughter and processing facility expand to meet increased demand for its services. Maple Ridge Meats processes animals raised by local growers for sale and for private use. Under the expansion project, the meat processing business will double its cooler/freezer storage capacity, and improve efficiencies in the processing of animals and handling of products.
Energy financing of $671,528 was approved for several commercial solar energy installation projects which together are estimated to produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of 91.4 average households, and reduce CO2 emissions by 365.5 tons each year. Approved financings include:
• Mansfield Heliflight International, LLC, Milton -- $292,912 in partial financing for the construction of a net-metered solar array being developed by Mansfield Heliflight International, LLC to produce renewable electricity for its commercial property in Milton;
• Eurowest Solar, LLC, Essex Junction -- $197,600 in partial financing for the construction of two rooftop net-metered solar arrays atop the Essex Outlet Mall and Essex Cinema commercial buildings. Mascoma Bank is also providing financing for the project; and
• Randolph GLC Solar, LLC, Randolph -- $181,016 in partial financing for the construction of a group net-metered 100kW solar array on one acre in Randolph. Healthy Living Market and Café will utilize the credits generated by the project.
In addition, $37,983 in financing was approved 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 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 $2.49 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.