VT Community Loan Fund SPROUT Financing Available to Early Stage VT Farmers & Working Lands Entrepreneurs
VT Community Loan Fund Announces
New Round of SPROUT Loan Program
The Vermont Community Loan Fund has announced the second round of SPROUT, a low-interest loan program for emerging working lands entrepreneurs. The financing program was created to meet the capital needs of Vermont farms, food producers and processors, foresters, forest products businesses and others in the start-up and early stages of operations. Loan applications are now being accepted.
SPROUT received start-up support from the State of Vermont’s Working Lands Enterprise Initiative in 2016. Earlier this year, a second round of subsidy from WLEI helped to make another round of SPROUT financing possible.
SPROUT offers low-interest loans of up to $60,000, with 1% interest-only payments in the first two years, and a 2% fixed rate thereafter. The Loan Fund’s Business Resource Center also coordinates assistance with business development and financial planning tailored to meet borrowers’ unique needs, free-of-charge.
“SPROUT provides a powerful tool for emerging working lands businesses who have exciting growth opportunities,” said VCLF Executive Director Will Belongia. “We’re very pleased to partner with the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative to continue to offer this innovative, one-of-a-kind loan product to Vermont entrepreneurs.”
“SPROUT’s rates and terms give these working lands businesses the runway of time and resources they need to grow and succeed,” said VCLF Director of Business Programs Raymond Lanza-Weil. “SPROUT helps us extend financing and free business development services to entrepreneurs who otherwise wouldn’t qualify for a VCLF loan.”
Since launching in 2016, SPROUT has loaned almost $400,000 to eleven entrepreneurs; current borrowers include:
- Green Wolf Logging & Sugaring, Bakersfield
- Kettle Song Farm, Worcester
- Rollo Cedar Sawmill of Vermont, Swanton
- Sweet Pickins Farm, Putney
- Sweetland Farm, Norwich
- Tattle Street Cattle Farm, Reading
- Vermont Chevon, Danville
- Vermont Quince, Putney
- Vermont Switchel, Cabot
- Whitefield Hop Yard, East Hardwick
More on SPROUT: https://www.investinvermont.org/borrowers/business/sprout.html
Since 1987, the Vermont Community Loan Fund has loaned almost $106 million to local businesses, affordable housing developers and community-based organizations that has created or preserved 6,100 jobs; built or rehabilitated 4,000 affordable homes; created or preserved quality care for over 4,000 children and their families; and supported community organizations providing vital services to hundreds of thousands of Vermonters. investinvermont.org