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VT Community Loan Fund Lends $660,476 in Q4 2019 to VT Food, Farms & Forestry Entrepreneurs and More

Vermont Community Loan Fund Lends $660,476 in Q4, $4.47 Million in 2019 

The Vermont Community Loan Fund (VCLF) loaned $660,476 to Vermont’s food, farm and forestry-related small businesses, early care & learning programs, affordable housing developers and community facilities in the fourth quarter of 2019,  promoting job creation, expanding access to quality care, affordable homes and provision of vital community services throughout Vermont.

The last quarter capped off a strong year for VCLF: 38 loans totaling $4,468,857, leveraging another $11.7 million in project funding from traditional lenders and public & private sources. Last year, VCLF financing created or preserved jobs for 338 Vermonters, quality early care & learning serving 236 children & families, and built or rehabilitated affordable homes for 150 Vermont households.

December 31st, 2019, VCLF’s loan portfolio consisted of 239 loans with $31 million outstanding, representing employment for 2,213 Vermonters, quality care for 1,379 children & families, affordable homes for 1,081 families and essential services for 35,141 Vermonters.

“The Vermont Community Loan Fund is proud to help finance Vermont’s innovative entrepreneurs, early care & learning providers, affordable housing developers and community facilities throughout our state,” said VCLF Executive Director Will Belongia.

During the fourth quarter of 2019, the Vermont Community Loan Fund provided financing to the following food, farm & forestry-related businesses:

Copper Creamery, Montpelier Copper Creamery produces loum, an authentic Mediterranean halloumi-style cheese, made exclusively with locally-produced goat and cow milk. VCLF helped them purchase a pasteurizer, cheese molds and testing, cleaning & refrigeration equipment, and to cover installation and consulting fees. The loan helped create one full-time and one part-time position.

Flower Basket, Hardwick  When the Flower Basket, long a fixture in Hardwick, changed hands, the new owners approached VCLF for financing to cover costs including new equipment, inventory and updates to their retail space. Moving forward, they plan to increase their sourcing of local flowers. The loan helped preserve two full-time jobs, with plans to add two more in the near future.

Sawyer Made, Woodbury Sawyer Made fine woodworking has been making historic reproduction and other hand-crafted chairs from locally-sourced wood since 1982. They also offer classes in chair-making and woodworking. Recently, upon receiving a Working Lands Enterprise Initiative grant that partially funded the renovation of their carriage barn, they approached VCLF for help completing the work. The project will enable the business to double class enrollments, create gallery and event space, and more. This loan preserves one full-time job, with the creation of a new job anticipated in the near future.

Walnut Hill Farm, Pawlet Walnut Hill Farm owners previously used VCLF’s SPROUT program financing to purchase equipment and make site improvements on a farm they formerly owned in Wells, Vermont.  Now they’re working with new co-packers in the New York City metro area, having gained access to larger scale farmers’ markets. Financing helped preserve two jobs.      

Since 1987, the Vermont Community Loan Fund has loaned over $110 million to local businesses, affordable housing developers and community-based organizations that have created or preserved over 6,800 jobs; built or rehabilitated 4,250 affordable homes; created or preserved quality care for over 4,200 children and their families; and supported community organizations providing vital services to hundreds of thousands of Vermonters.