Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) approved $8.3 million in financing to support manufacturing, agricultural and small business projects totaling $26 million throughout the state. Firms included: Flex-A-Seal, Williston ($1.5 million); Long Falls Paperboard, Brattleboro ($1.5 million); Branon Farm, Fairfield ($1.4 million); and Small Business Loan Program ($1.8 million).
"VEDA is pleased to have approved financing to help a long-established Vermont company expand and consolidate its manufacturing operations in Williston," said Jo Bradley, VEDA's Chief Executive Officer. "VEDA also provided financing as part of a regional/state collaborative effort to secure 100 well-paying manufacturing jobs in Brattleboro. In addition, among the nearly $2.9 million in approved agricultural financings were many loans offering cash flow relief to Vermont's dairy farmers to help them withstand the pressures of several years of low milk prices."
Manufacturing financing approvals include:
* Flex-A-Seal, Inc., Williston - The Authority approved financing of $1.5 million to Flex-A-Seal, a long-time VEDA borrower, to purchase, renovate and consolidate operations to an existing 65,063 square-foot building on Hurricane Lane. People's United Bank is also providing financing for the expansion project. Established in 1983, Flex-A-Seal produces many types of sealing products used in industries including hydrocarbon processing, chemical and food processing, potable water, wastewater, drug manufacturing, marine and pipeline systems. The new building on 6.7 acres will provide Flex-A-Seal the additional capacity it needs to meet continuing growth in demand for its products. The company has 120 employees, and that number is expected to grow to 140 within three years of the expansion project; and
VEDA CEO Jo Bradley (seated second from right) joined Governor Phil Scott (center back) and other state and local leaders in celebrating the purchase of the Neenah paper plant (formerly FiberMark) in Brattleboro by Long Falls Paperboard, which saved 100 jobs. Courtesy photo.
* Long Falls Paperboard, LLC, Brattleboro - In coordination with the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) and many other economic development partners, and on short notice, VEDA approved financing of $1.5 million to Long Falls Paperboard, LLC as part of a $6 million project to secure 100 well-paying manufacturing jobs in Brattleboro. The approved loan funds, in addition to those provided by People's United Bank, facilitated Long Falls' purchase and expansion of the business assets of Neenah, Inc., an established paperboard manufacturing plant which had expected to close its doors by December 31, 2018. Efficiency Vermont provided energy-retrofit grant funds for the change-in-ownership project, and the Town of Brattleboro, Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, and Windsor County Economic Development Program also worked to keep the plant operating. Established in 1961, the Brattleboro mill has been a leading producer of specialty fiber-based materials that support industries and consumers worldwide. Its products are recognized for their superior quality and include innovative technical papers, and strong durable cover stocks. Long Falls Paperboard's owners are uniquely qualified to take over ownership of the established plant, having extensive management experience in the paper industry. They plan to work with the plant's current employees, and make investments that will significantly improve productivity and expand sales.
Approved loans totaling nearly $2.9 million through the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation (VACC) provided cash flow relief for dairy farmers through the Farm Operating Loan Program (FOLP), and assisted other farms in their diversification plans, including:
* Daniel Branon, Fairfield - A $1.4 million loan was approved to partially finance the purchase of an additional established sugaring operation by Daniel and Helen Branon and their sons. The purchase of the nearby property in Fletcher would substantially expand the Branons' own family sugaring operation. Since purchasing their Fairfield farm in 1980, the Branons have modernized and expanded their sugaring operation to approximately 87,000 taps under management within a five-mile radius of their farm. The Branons have all the equipment needed to operate efficiently and utilize all modern sugaring production practices. The new property would expand the Branons' operation by an additional 30,000 taps. Peoples Trust Company is also providing financing for the expansion project.
An additional $1.8 million was approved to small business projects through the Authority's Small Business Loan Program, which assists growing Vermont small businesses that are unable to access adequate sources of conventional financing.
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: Montpelier, VT - VEDA 1.23.2019