When farmers have been struck by disaster, or a new business has a great idea to increase their efficiency, create a new product or improve their marketing, they are best served with quick and easy access to a loan with friendly terms. That’s why the VFF was designed to make borrowing as easy as possible, while still protecting the integrity of the fund. The Advisory Board responds to loan applications within 10 days and payments can start as soon as 14 days.
BUSINESS BUILDER LOANS
Business Builder loans are awarded to farmers and food producers to help capitalize their business ideas. Start-up businesses, especially in the farming sector, are usually turned down by traditional lending institutions, making it very difficult for an entrepreneur with a great idea to get off the ground. The VFF balances risk with opportunity and has supported new farm and food ventures with $5,000 to $30,000 loans at 3% – businesses that will someday play an important role in Vermont being able to feed itself.
Started in response to devastation our Vermont farms suffered at the hands of Tropical Storm Irene, the VFF seeks to minimize the hurdles an applicant needs to navigate to secure a loan and receive funds to begin the recovery process. The maximum Emergency Loan amount is currently $10,000. This is a zero percent interest loan, payable over 24 months with a flexible payment schedule.
A COMMUNITY OF BORROWERS
The Vermont Farm Fund is a partnership between Pete's Greens and the Center for an Agricultural Economy. When farmers and food producers take a loan from the VFF, they become part of the larger agricultural lending community; it’s their payments that are in essence “paid forward” to be invested in other sustainable businesses, promoting a virtuous cycle.The result is a growing community of farmers lending money to farmers when it is most needed, in a timely manner, and without a lot of red tape.
Network Groups: Financing, Slow Money Vermont, Communications and Marketing Community of Practice