Montpelier, VT – During the last quarter, the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) approved $9.9 million in financing to help support commercial, agricultural, energy and small business projects totaling more than $29 million throughout Vermont.
“VEDA is pleased to help a Vermont manufacturer create more jobs,” said Jo Bradley, VEDA’s Chief Executive Officer. “Improving St. Albans’ tourism infrastructure is also a project VEDA supported, as well as several agricultural expansion projects, and a number of energy projects.”
Included among the nearly $4 million in commercial project loans approved by VEDA are the following projects:
• Rhino Foods, Inc., Burlington – VEDA approved partial financing of $643,850 to help Rhino Foods expand its physical plant on Industrial Parkway, and increase its manufacturing and processing capacity. People’s United Bank is providing financing for the project, as well. Started in 1981, Rhino Foods has supplied the ice cream and commercial food service industry with cookie-dough, cake and brownie inclusions and mix-ins for frozen desserts, making the company a national leader in the market. The project will include an extensive renovation to the company’s existing 30,000 square foot building, as well as new construction of a 14,000 square-foot addition. Upon completion, Rhino’s manufacturing, processing and lab space will nearly double, helping the company to meet current and future production demands. In addition to the expansion project, Rhino will purchase new processing machinery and equipment. Rhino Foods has 128 employees, a number expected to grow to 143 within three years of the project; and
• St. Albans Marina, LLC, St. Albans – VEDA approved partial financing of $1.2 million for a project also financed by Union Bank to build the first marina in St. Albans Bay. The start-up marina business will be built on 2.15 acres, have 154 slips, a fueling and pump-out dock, and have an 80-car parking lot that will be used for winter boat storage. A single-family home now on the site will be renovated into the office, ship store and customer lounge area, and will include a kitchen, bathroom with showers, and a patio/picnic area for customers.
Financings totaling nearly $3 million were approved through the Authority’s agricultural loan program, the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation (VACC). Included among the approvals are:
• Sunrise Orchards, Inc., Cornwall – VACC approved seasonal working capital to help long-established Sunrise Orchards grow, harvest, process and ship its apples. A family business in which the current owner worked as a boy, Sunrise Orchards has been in operation since 1974. With nine full-time employees, ten seasonal full-time, and 60 harvest workers, the business grows, packs, stores, and distributes all of its fruit through regional retail and additional wholesale channels; and
• Rogers Hill Sugar Maple Farm, Bradford – Financing was approved by VACC to help a long-established certified organic maple producer, Rogers Hill Sugar Maple Farm, expand from 14,200 taps to over 26,000 taps. The business will purchase the necessary maple equipment, tanks, and a larger reverse osmosis machine to accommodate the increased production.
Energy financing of $2.1 million was approved for several commercial solar energy installation projects which together are estimated to produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of 275 average households, and reduce CO2 emissions by 1,101 tons each year. Approved financings include:
• Milton McMullen Road Solar, LLC, Milton – Nearly $1.2 million in partial financing to construct a group net-metered 500 kW solar array on 3.5 acres of land in Milton. The Town of Milton and Healthy Living Market and Café in South Burlington will use the net-metering credits generated from the project;
• Gaines Farm Community Solar, LLC, Guilford – $300,000 in partial financing for a group net-metered 150 kW solar array on one acre of land in Guilford. Sam’s Outdoor Outfitters (Sam’s) in Brattleboro to be the off-taker for the electricity credits generated by the project; and
• The Woodstock Farmers Market, Inc., Woodstock – $190,000 to partially finance construction of a single user net-metering solar project in Sharon, producing energy for The Woodstock Farmers Market. VSECU is also expected to partially finance the project. In addition, loans totaling $765,335 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.
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 $2.288 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.