In the first quarter of 2014, the Vermont Community Loan Fund (VCLF) loaned $907,500 to Vermont's small businesses, developers of affordable housing and child care programs. The loans have resulted in the creation and preservation of local jobs, affordable homes, and quality early care and education for Vermont children.
Commenting on the busy lending quarter, VCLF Executive Director Will Belongia said “The Loan Fund continues to reach out to borrowers in every corner of our state, with lending capital and other support for those whose hard work, energy and ideas are bringing jobs, homes, quality care and vital services to Vermont communities.”
Projects financed include:
Bella Farm, Monkton
Rachel Schattman (owner) and friends at Bella Farm, Monkton. VCLF photo.
Bella Farm, an organic farmer and producer of dairy- and nut-free pesto, used VLCF financing to purchase seeds and cover miscellaneous expenses until product sales begin, post-winter. The farm was initially referred to VCLF by The Carrot Project, which conducts outreach and screens applicants that need farm business loan financing. The loan resulted in the preservation of two jobs. bellapesto.com
Bridport Creamery, Bridport
Owners Julie Danyew (L) and Nicole Foster (R) of Bridport Creamery, Bridport. VCLF photo.
This start-up, artisanal cheese maker came to the Loan Fund via the Carrot Project. They used VCLF funding to purchase cheese making equipment and to cover other costs relating to the expansion of their product line. The loan resulted in the preservation of two jobs. bridportcreamery.com
Cedar Sawmill of Vermont, Swanton
CSV buys cedar logs from local area loggers and custom mills them into rough cut lumber, panels, furniture, shavings and sawdust for businesses and consumers. They used a VCLF loan to purchase logs to fulfill purchase orders where deposits are not received. The loan resulted in the preservation of one job. cedarsawmillofvt.com
Chester House Inn, Chester
The Chester House Inn, a circa 1780 bed and breakfast in downtown Chester, is listed on the National Register of Historic places. Their VCLF loan was used to refinance their mortgage, resulting in the preservation of three jobs. chesterhouseinn.com
D’s Market & Deli, Bennington
D’s Market and Deli, a small market and delicatessen, used a VCLF loan to purchase the
building which the business has occupied since starting up two years ago. The loan resulted in
the preservation of four jobs.
North Branch Vineyards, Montpelier
North Branch Vineyards, an award-winning winery, used a VCLF loan to cover expenses during their slower sales period. The company buys grapes from several Vermont growers and has increased sales and production steadily since first borrowing from the Loan Fund in 2011. The loan led to the preservation of one full-time job. northbranchvineyards.com/
Schoolhouse Learning Center, South Burlington
The Schoolhouse Learning Center, a nonprofit, cooperative, licensed child care center and State of Vermont approved elementary school, used a VCLF loan for kitchen renovations which now enable them to serve hot meals through the Child and Adult Care Food Program. Additional renovations also allowed for an expansion of their preschool program. The loan resulted in 99 child care slots and 12 child care jobs created or preserved.
W.R. Vilas, Burlington
W.R. Vilas, housing developers, used VCLF financing to acquire and renovate two blighted properties in Burlington’s Old North End, creating Silversmith Commons housing. Silversmith will include three permanently affordable rental apartments, as well as a large retail space – as part of the City of Burlington’s initiative to reinvigorate the area’s commercial corridor. The loan also resulted in the creation of 24 construction jobs.
The Vermont Community Loan Fund’s mission is to create opportunities that lead to healthy communities and financial stability for all Vermonters. Since our inception we’ve lent almost $85 million to small businesses, affordable housing developers and community-based organizations that has created or preserved over 3,600 jobs; built or rehabilitated more than 3,200 affordable homes for Vermont’s families, individuals and seniors; created or preserved quality care for over 2,800 children and their families and supported community organizations providing vital services to hundreds of thousands of Vermonters.