Financing of $12 million was approved by the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) to help support Vermont economic development projects totaling over $32 million. Several manufacturing expansion projects were approved for VEDA lending, as were agricultural, energy, entrepreneurial and small business projects.
“The variety of projects for which VEDA has approved financing is impressive,” said VEDA CEO Jo Bradley. “Manufacturers are expanding, renewable energy projects are underway, farmers are growing their businesses, and small businesses and entrepreneurs are making investments that will help create jobs.”
Nearly $2.4 million in direct commercial financing was approved, including:
- Cabot Hosiery Mills, Inc., Northfield – Financing of $1,215,508 as part of a $4.1 million machinery and equipment project to help the long-established family-owned and -operated sock manufacturing company meet the growing demand for its products. People’s United Bank is also providing financing for the project. Demand is being driven primarily by Cabot’s “Darn Tough Vermont” proprietary line of premium performance socks, currently available in over 1,600 retail outlets throughout the U.S. and Canada. Cabot is undertaking a large multi-phase expansion over the next five years to meet its distribution and manufacturing space needs, knitting capacity and staff requirements. The first phase involves the purchase and installation of 80 new knitting machines and related tools and equipment, as well as some necessary changes to the physical plant to accommodate the machines. Cabot employs 189 persons, and that number is expected to grow to 312 within three years of the project.
- Maple Landmark, Inc., Middlebury – Financing of $742,500 as part of a $2.3 million plant expansion project to increase operational efficiencies and enable the company’s growth. National Bank of Middlebury is also providing financing for the project. Maple Landmark is a family-run business producing wooden toys and gift items for sale online, through catalogs, and to toy and gift shops across the country. The company will add approximately 11,000 square feet to its existing 16,000 square foot building, and a new CNC router will also be purchased and installed. Maple Landmark expects to employ 45 persons within three years of the expansion project, an increase from the company’s current 36 employees.
- Tivoly, Inc., Derby Line – Financing of $342,765 as part of a planned $856,913 capital expenditures project. Community National Bank is also providing financing for the project. Tivoly, Inc. is a subsidiary of Tivoly S.A., a France-based company that specializes in the design, manufacture and distribution of cutting tools and accessories. Tivoly employs 155 persons, a number expected to grow to 173 within three years of the project.
Agricultural lending of over $5.2 million was approved through the Authority’s agricultural loan program, the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation (VACC), which provides credit to Vermont farmers, agricultural facilities, forestry and forest product-based businesses. Approvals include:
- $257,500 to Joseph and Kathleen Hescock to finance the purchase of approximately 156 acres of land and buildings in Shoreham. The Hescocks are experienced organic dairy farmers who have grown their farm to 1,135 acres in recent years, increasing their herd from 120± milkers to about 275, plus replacements.
VEDA approved nearly $2.3 million in energy financing through VEDA’s Commercial Energy Loan Program, which helps Vermont businesses finance qualifying renewable energy generation and energy efficiency improvement projects. Approvals included:
- Lincoln Renewable Natural Gas, LLC, Salisbury – Financing of $1.4 million as part of a $8.4 million project to make Middlebury College the first and primary customer of Lincoln Renewable Natural Gas, a company formed in 2010. Mascoma Savings Bank is also providing financing for the project. Lincoln Renewable Natural Gas has established a contractual relationship with Middlebury College whereby approximately 75% of the plant’s renewable natural gas output will be purchased by the college, helping the college reach its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2016. Renewable natural gas is chemically equivalent to pipeline grade natural gas, and may be used as alternative heating and vehicle fuel. The plant will produce the alternative fuel product by the anaerobic digestion of dairy cattle manure and other organic material and the upgrade of the resulting biogas into bio methane/renewable natural gas.
- JM & MM Properties, LLC, Derby – Financing of $640,000 as part of a $1.6 million project to design, permit and install a 600 KW DC (500 KW AC) solar array on 3.48 acres of land on Commerce Way in Derby. The group net-metered solar array project will supply renewable electrical energy to several properties owned by the principals of the project, James and Mary Ann Mulkin, and other affiliated members of the group. The project is expected to produce enough renewable electrical energy to supply the equivalent of 105 homes on an annualized basis, reducing CO2 emissions by approximately 422 tons.
- Sun CSA 36, LLC, Fairfield – Financing of $250,291 as part of a $639,615 Project to construct a 203 KW DC (148.2 KW AC) Community Solar Participation array in Fairfield. Sun CSA 35, LLC is a subsidiary of Solar Communities, Inc. d/b/a Sun Common. Sun Common will form a net metering group of 25-35 user members who will earn credits on their electric bills based on the power generated by the solar array. The project is expected to produce enough renewable electricity to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 141 tons annually.
Loans totaling $300,000 were approved through VEDA’s Entrepreneurial Loan Program, which provides financing to meet the working capital and capital-asset financing needs of Vermont-based businesses in seed, start-up and growth stages that may not have access to conventional means of financing. Approved loans include:
- Blog Sparks Network, Inc., Hyde Park – $100,000 of working capital to help accelerate the growth of a 5-year old business whose cloud-based technology builds networks connecting on-line advertisers with bloggers targeting the same large vertical audiences.
VEDA approved $1.8 million in loans through the Authority’s Small Business Loan Program, which assists growing Vermont small businesses that are unable to access adequate sources of conventional financing. Approvals include:
- $292,500 to partially finance the purchase of the Hyde Away Inn, a nine-room full service inn located in Waitsfield that includes a restaurant and tavern. Vermont Federal Credit Union is also providing financing for the project;
- $120,000 to help micro-brewery Stone Corral Brewery, LLC move their operations from their family’s farm in Huntington to leased space in Richmond. North Country Federal Credit Union is also providing partial financing which will help the company relocate, fit-up the Richmond space, purchase brewing equipment and provide working capital; and
- $55,000 in working capital financing to help Blake Hill Preserves of Grafton manage their current growth phase. Blake Hill Preserves is a third-generation English preserve maker that has grown since 2009 into one of the country’s leading artisanal chutney, conserve, marmalade and preserve producers, using only the finest organic or non-GMO certified ingredients. Within three years, the company expects to increase full time employment from two to fifteen positions.
The Authority also approved a $41,500 loan through the Authority’s Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund, which provides funds to repair or improve existing privately-owned drinking water systems.
The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) is Vermont’s statewide economic development finance lender. VEDA was created by the General Assembly in 1974 with a mission “to contribute to the creation and retention of quality jobs in Vermont by providing loans and other financial support to eligible and qualified Vermont industrial, commercial and agricultural enterprises.”
Over the years, VEDA has grown and adapted its financing programs to keep pace with an ever-changing economy. 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 1974, VEDA has provided over $2.07 billion in financing assistance to thousands of eligible Vermont entrepreneurs, manufacturers, small businesses, family farms, and agricultural enterprises, helping them to realize their business growth goals, create jobs, and enhance the vitality of Vermont’s economy. For more information about VEDA, visit www.veda.org, call 802-828-JOBS, or find “Vermont Economic Development Authority” on Facebook.