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$2.7 Million Total VCLF Lending in 4th Quarter 2016 Includes Financing to Vermont's Food, Farms & Forests Enterprises

The Vermont Community Loan Fund (VCLF) loaned approximately $2.7 million dollars including loans to Vermont small food/farms entrepreneurs, during the fourth quarter of 2016. Financing will be used to expand businesses, create and preserve agriculture and food-related jobs, and preserve Vermont’s working landscape. 

“VCLF has been helping finance Vermont’s food, farms and forest-related businesses for decades,” said VCLF Executive Director Will Belongia. “And now, our dedicated Food, Farms & Forests Fund is available both to borrowers and investors who are interested in supporting these important, even quintessentially-Vermont ventures” he added.

Projects financed include:

Farm to Cake, Barre
Justine Macris began baking her celebrated Farm to Cake (FTC) carrot cakes in her own kitchen in 2014; a 2016 VCLF loan helped her move operations to a commercial kitchen in Waterbury Center. Not long after, one of her accounts, Montpelier’s Hunger Mountain Coop, asked if she’d also supply them with apple and pumpkin pies. Feeling it was the perfect next step in her expansion plan, Justine approached VCLF for additional financing to purchase the needed baking supplies, small equipment, raw materials, packaging, and label design for this line extension. Now, in addition to her many existing accounts, Justine has been approached by Hannaford, Price Chopper, Sodexho and many others to supply her baked goods. The loan preserves one full-time job.  

Full Sun Company, Middlebury
Start-up business Full Sun Company, New England’s only oilseed mill, sources the majority of its seeds locally and regionally, making them into extra virgin, cold-pressed, non-GMO culinary sunflower and canola oils. With sources such as Whole Foods Market reporting 154% growth in non-GMO and organic foods nationally from 2010 to 2014, Full Sun will use VCLF financing to gear up for expanding sales. The loan preserves four jobs and is expected to lead to four more created in the coming year.

High Mowing Organic Seeds, Wolcott
High Mowing Organic Seeds (HMOS) a family-owned mail and web order seed company, is the nation’s leading producer and distributer of organic, non-GMO seeds, and a VCLF borrower from its early years. With sales projections continuing to rise, HMOS approached VCLF for financing to support its anticipated growth. Funding will preserve 44 jobs and is expected to create nine new full-time jobs and eight part-time seasonal jobs.

Old Route Two Distillery, Barre
Owners Ryan Dumperth and Adam Overbay started Old Route Two Spirits (ORTS) to develop “craft regional spirits showcasing the flavors that can only be made by hand in the heart of Vermont.” They’re using VCLF financing for equipment purchases and leasehold improvements to their new production facility, including a boiler and heating upgrades, flooring, lighting, and countertops, plumbing and HVAC. The loan is expected to create three new jobs in 2017 and additional jobs going forward. ORTS plans to source most of the raw materials for its products from Vermont, including grains and hardwoods.

Since 1987, VCLF has loaned over $95 million to local businesses, affordable housing developers and community-based organizations that has created or preserved 5,200 jobs; built or rehabilitated 4,000 affordable homes; created or preserved quality care for over 3,700 children and their families; and supported community organizations providing vital services to hundreds of thousands of Vermonters.