The Vermont Community Loan Fund loaned $483,368 to food, farms and forestry businesses in the second and third quarters of 2017. “The Loan Fund is proud to finance these businesses through our new Food, Farms and Forests Fund and our SPROUT deferred loan program, both established to make loan capital more accessible to Vermont’s working lands community,” said Executive Director Will Belongia. “These entrepreneurs are creating jobs and opportunities, as well as extraordinary products that continue to build on Vermont’s unique identity and strengths in the marketplace,” he added.
Financing was provided to:
Cellars at Jasper Hill, Greensboro
Renowned cheesemaker the Cellars at Jasper Hill (CJH) frequently works with Northern Community Investment Corporation (NCIC) as well as the Loan Fund to finance various projects. NCIC recently requested that VCLF purchase a majority interest in an earlier loan provided to CJH for equipment purchases. This financing results in 80 jobs preserved or created. www.jasperhillfarm.com
Center for an Agricultural Economy, Hardwick
Nonprofit Center for an Agricultural Economy owns and operates the VT Food Venture Center, a shared-use food processing facility and business incubator. They provide shared kitchens, storage, business advising, food safety training and more to entrepreneurs to help them reach larger institutional markets such as colleges, hospitals, schools, etc. with their farm products. They’ll use Loan Fund financing to purchase a blast freezer for clients who produce frozen foods and/or freeze fresh foods to extend seasonality. The loan preserves eight jobs. hardwickagriculture.org
Vermont Natural Beef, Benson
Vermont Natural Beef raises approximately 150 head of grass-fed cattle annually on two adjacent farms across 495 acres, selling their beef throughout the northeast. They’re currently in the process of acquiring another adjacent farm property comprised of a house, two barns and 310 acres. With this acquisition, VNB will expand to 500 head of cattle annually, convert the home into a bed-and-breakfast and one of the barns into an events facility. They’ll use financing from the Loan Fund to purchase equipment (tractor, baler, fencing, and freezer trailer) and to support expanded operations, leading to the preservation of three jobs, with two new jobs anticipated following the opening of the B&B and events facility. www.vermontnaturalbeef.com
Vermont Quince Company, Newfane
Vermont Quince specializes in jams, mustards, syrups, vinegars and other specialty food items featuring regionally-sourced quince. They’re poised for expansion, so they approached the Loan Fund to help finance the purchase of raw materials, inventory, equipment, marketing and other costs. The loan results in preserving one full-time and one part-time job. www.vermontquince.com
Vermont Switchel Company, Hardwick
The Vermont Switchel Company specializes in crafting this traditional Vermont beverage flavored with locally-sourced maple and apple cider vinegar. At this early stage in their company’s growth, the Switchel team will use SPROUT (VCLF’s low-interest, deferred-payment working lands loan program) financing to cover costs of new hires, inventory and equipment. The loan helps create or preserve two jobs. www.vtswitchel.com
Wild Wood Vermont, Hinesburg
Wild Wood Vermont custom-crafts wooden travel mugs from solid wood with a stainless steel liner and cap. They sell these high-end specialty items at farmers markets, on Etsy, Shopify, and other venues. They approached the Loan Fund to help finance bulk purchase and shipping of stainless steel liners. The loan preserves one job. www.wildwoodvermont.com
Since 1987, the Vermont Community Loan Fund has loaned over $100 million to local businesses, affordable housing developers and community-based organizations that has created or preserved 5,600 jobs; built or rehabilitated 4,000 affordable homes; created or preserved quality care for over 3,850 children and their families; and supported community organizations providing vital services to hundreds of thousands of Vermonters.