Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) has approved a total of $5 million in loans for economic development projects totaling over $11 million throughout Vermont.
“VEDA is pleased to provide loans and other forms of financing to help businesses throughout Vermont grow and thrive,” said Jo Bradley, VEDA’s Chief Executive Officer. “In this round of approvals, a number of Vermont food and beverage producers will undertake expansion projects to meet increasing demand for their products, creating jobs in the process.”
Projects approved by the Authority for nearly $1.5 million in direct commercial financing include:
Jonergin Realty, LLC and Swan Valley Cheese of Vermont, LLC, Swanton - VEDA has approved a $469,262 loan to Jonergin Realty and Swan Valley Cheese to fund equipment purchases related to Swan Valley's cheese making and to fund needed building improvements. The loan will also enable the buyout of a filtration system that is currently being leased.
The project upgrades to the plant will allow Swan Valley to pass new regulations, increase production and add a second shift, improvements expected to nearly double sales. It is anticipated that the project improvements will also more than double employment at Swan Valley from the current number of 13 to 27 within three years.
All milk used by Swan Valley in the production of its cheeses is purchased through Dairy Marketing Services andthe St. Albans Cooperative Creamery. Swan Valley’s product lines include fresh mozzarella balls and loaf, Romano, Parmesan, Ricotta and a new Pizzarella (mozzarella blend.) Swan Valley cheeses are purchased and distributed by the LotitoFoods Company, which is headquartered in Edison, New Jersey. Lotito is a major importer and distributor of cheese to U.S. food manufacturers, food distributors and supermarkets, also supplying over 10 million tons of cheese per year to major restaurant chains throughout the United States, Canada, South America, Asia and the Middle East, totaling over 4500 restaurants. The Bank of America is also participating in financing the project.
Zero Gravity, Burlington - Zero Gravity, a Burlington craft brewer, will receive a $440,319 VEDA loan to partially fund the company’s expansion into a full-scale commercial brewery operation. It is projected this will increase employment at Zero Gravity from two to eleven over the next three years.
Zero Gravity has been producing and selling award-winning beer since 2005 as a brewpub connected to the American Flatbread restaurant located in downtown Burlington. The company now wants to expand its operation to meet growing demand for its product and plans to move its brewery to 5,975 square feet of leased space on Pine Street in Burlington. This will allow the company to expand its production capacity of Zero Gravity brand craft beers and add a retail shop with tasting room and beer garden.
The People’s United Bank is also participating in partial funding of the project. The existing brewpub housed in American Flatbread will continue to be used as a lab for innovation, marketing, and other promotions as well as to product small-batch specialty and barrel-aged beers intended for limited release.
Koffee Kup Bakery, Inc., Burlington - VEDA approved a $330,000 equipment loan to Koffee Kup Bakery, Inc. (Koffee Kup) as part of an $825,000 project to purchase and install new bakery and communication equipment for its facilities in Burlington and Brattleboro. KeyBank and People’s United Bank are both participating in financing the Project along with VEDA. Koffee Kup is a long time Burlington bakery still based on Riverside Avenue. The company has grown significantly over the last several years, acquiring Vermont Bread Co. and its bakeries in Brattleboro and Connecticut in 2013. Koffee Kup and its subsidiaries are now vibrant regional bakery businesses, offering a complete line of bread products to supermarkets, convenience stores and other customers throughout the Northeast. The company employs approximately 200 people at its two bakeries in Vermont and has plans to expand Vermont employment nearly to 219 over the next three years. The current project will enhance the company’s productivity and capacity to meet growing demand.
VEDA also approved nearly $2.6 million in financing through its agricultural loan program, the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation.
A total of $948,460 in financing was approved through VEDA’s Small Business Loan Program, which provides loans to Vermont small businesses that are unable to access adequate sources of conventional financing, including:
- A $165,000 loan to help the Rutland Veterinary Clinic and Surgical Center purchase the facility and land it currently leases in Rutland. The clinic currently employs 40 persons and this is expected to grow to 43 in the next three years. The project property consists of a 7,280 square foot veterinary clinic, a large waiting room, six exam rooms, a surgical room, lab, x-ray and an intensive care kennel. There is a separate boarding facility for dogs and cats. People’s United Bank is also participating in the financing for the project.
The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) is Vermont’s statewide economic development finance lender. Now in its 40th year of operations, 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 $2.0 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.