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VT Community Loan Fund Lends $522K to VT Farms and Food Entrepreneurs in 1st Quarter 2019

The Vermont Community Loan Fund, a nonprofit, alternative, 501 (c)3, mission-driven lender benefiting lower-wealth Vermonters, made loans totaling $522,000 to Vermont’s small businesses including multiple food and farms enterprises throughout the state.

Financing was provided to: 

Full Belly Farm, Monkton
In 2018 Stephen and Sarah Park purchased this long-operating berry and vegetable farm, which operates as a ‘pick your own’ destination, as well as selling to wholesalers, restaurants and farmers markets. Loan Fund financing will help with soil building, greenhouse and farm stand improvements and more. The loan preserves 12 jobs.

Goat Town of Vermont, Randolph
Since 2012, Ayers Brook Goat Dairy has sold their goat milk to Vermont cheesemakers and other dairy operations. Previously, they partnered with former VCLF borrower Vermont Chevon, which specialized in goat meat (chevon). This year, Ayers Brook purchased Vermont Chevon, creating Goat Town of Vermont, and reached out to the Loan Fund to help finance post-purchase operations. Financing helps create two new jobs.

 Hollister Hill Farm, Marshfield
Bob and Lee Light, owners of Hollister Hill Farm and Loan Fund borrowers since 2005, came to the Loan Fund for financing to help prepare for the sale of their farm B & B as they transition to retirement. The loan preserves two jobs.

Twisted Roots, Middlesex
Twisted Roots makes all-natural, sparkling herbal teas as a healthy alternative to artificially-sweetened beverages. However, Twisted Roots teas require refrigeration. Recent advances in distribution of refrigerated beverages have greatly increased geographic distribution; eager to capitalize on these opportunities, Twisted Roots came to the Loan Fund for financing for equipment, leasehold improvements and more. The loan preserves one job, and creates one full and one part time position.

Vermont Salumi, Barre
Producers of fresh and dry-cured meat products, Vermont Salumi operated out of the Mad River Food Hub and other locations until their success indicated a need for larger space. Loan Fund financing helped fund renovations to and equipment for their new Barre facility. The Barre Revolving Loan Fund also provided financing on this project. The loan preserves one full- and one part-time job, and creates one new job.

Walnut Hill Farm, Pawlet
Walnut Hill Farm owners previously borrowed from the Loan Fund for their southern Vermont pork and produce farm. They’ve since relocated to Pawlet, where their focus now is primarily pork production. The transition to their new location coupled with the closing of their meat co-packer led to diminished sales and additional expenses. Financing from VCLF’s SPROUT working lands loan program helped reinvigorate operations. Now they’re working with new co-packers and sales are up, particularly in the New York City metro area where Walnut Hill has gained access to larger scale farmers’ markets. Walnut Hill also sells dried flowers. Financing helps preserve two jobs.

Since 1987, the Vermont Community Loan Fund has loaned almost $110 million to local businesses, affordable housing developers and community-based organizations that has created or preserved 6,500 jobs; built or rehabilitated 4,100 affordable homes; created or preserved quality care for over 4,100 children and their families; and supported community organizations providing vital services to hundreds of thousands of Vermonters.