Vermont Business Magazine During the most recent quarter, the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) approved $5.1 million in financing to support commercial, agricultural, small business and energy development projects throughout Vermont. "Several exciting commercial, small business and energy projects were approved for loan assistance," said Jo Bradley, VEDA's Chief Executive Officer. "In addition, VEDA's Farm Operating Loan Program continues to provide cash flow relief to Vermont's dairy farmers to help them withstand the pressures of several years of low milk prices."
Included among the commercial financing approvals was:
- Saxtons River Distillery, LLC, Brattleboro - Through the Windham County Economic Development Program, which provides funds designated for business start-up, expansion, relocation, and entrepreneurial activity in Windham County, VEDA approved a $350,000 loan to help a local distillery purchase and renovate new production space in Brattleboro. The Authority also provided a separate $287,200 loan through its Small Business Loan Program for the expansion project. In 2006, Saxtons River Distillery started producing locally-sourced small-batch Vermont spirits, with an emphasis on premium maple liquors, out of the owner's barn. In 2011, the business located to leased space in Brattleboro, and in recent years, exceeded the production capacity of that space. The new property is approximately four times bigger than the distillery's current location, and will enable Saxtons River Distillery to expand production to meet growing demand and construct a larger, more visitor-friendly tasting and retail facility. People's United Bank is also providing financing for the project, which is expected to grow employment at the company from four to eight positions within three years.
Farm loans totaling $2.8 million were approved through the Authority's agricultural loan program, the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation (VACC). Approved loans assisted farms in their diversification plans, and provided cash flow relief for dairy farmers, in particular, through the Farm Operating Loan Program (FOLP).
Loans totaling nearly $1.5 million were approved through VEDA's Small Business Loan Program, which which assists growing Vermont small businesses that are unable to access adequate sources of conventional financing. Among the loan approvals were:
- PurposeEnergy, Inc., Shelburne - VEDA approved partial financing of $288,000 to procure anaerobic digester equipment for use at the Fiddlehead Brewing Company in Shelburne. Community National Bank is also providing financing for the project. Once installed, the on-site biological treatment system will process brewery wastewater, reducing its organic load below the acceptable threshold for discharge to the Shelburne municipal collection system. Fiddlehead Brewing Company was founded in 2011 by the former head brewer at Magic Hat. In 2017, the company undertook a major expansion from 7,500 to 50,000 barrels per year. The anaerobic digester system is expected to serve the company's long-term wastewater needs at a significantly lower cost.
- NU Chocolat, LLC, Burlington - VEDA approved partial financing of $95,000 to help chocolate makers schooled in the finest European chocolate traditions open a new production and retail space on Battery Street in Burlington. Vermont Community Loan Fund is also providing financing for the project. Financing will help the business purchase European chocolate equipment that has never before been used in the United States, and make inventory and leasehold improvements to the space. NU Chocolat owners plan to create a sophisticated and unique retail chocolate boutique and cafe experience featuring freshly-made chocolate truffles, pastries, and hot beverages. All production will be done on site in the 1,700 square-foot state-of-the-art chocolate lab which will be visible from the boutique side to allow customers a view of the chocolatiers at work.
- LWI Metal Works, Morrisville - VEDA approved partial financing of $40,000 to help a long-established manufacturer of fabricated structural metal expand the company's production and storage space in Morrisville. Union Bank is also providing financing for the project. LWI specializes in steel fabrication for large construction projects, large tank restoration and fabrication, smaller job shop projects, and machine shop and retail sales of steel. The company expects to grow employment from 30 to 35 positions within three years of the expansion project.
Projects approved for commercial energy financing were:
- Bove Brothers Solar, LLC, Londonderry - Partial financing of $90,563 was approved to help Bove Brothers Solar construct a single-user, net-metered solar array on the roof of a shopping center in Londonderry. Brookside Apartments will be the sole off-taker for the project, utilizing the net-metering credits to offset its electricity costs. Mascoma Bank also provided financing for the project; and
- Royalton Gravel Pit GLC Solar, LLC, Royalton - Partial financing of $269,280 was approved for the construction of a group net-metered 150kW solar array in Royalton for which the Town of Castleton will be the off-taker of 100% of the net-metering credits.
The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) is Vermont's economic development finance lender. Created by the Vermont General Assembly in 1974, VEDA's mission is to contribute to Vermont's economic vitality by providing a broad array of financing programs to eligible businesses that create jobs and help advance Vermont's public policy goals.
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 inception, VEDA has provided $2.5 billion in financing assistance to thousands of eligible Vermont entrepreneurs, manufacturers, small businesses, family farms, and agricultural enterprises.
VEDA has five offices throughout Vermont - in Montpelier, Burlington, Middlebury, St. Johnsbury and Brattleboro. For more information about VEDA, visit www.veda.org or call 802-828-JOBS.
Source: VEDA 12.11.2018