VCLF has always sought to honor and support Vermont’s working landscape, support local economies and create opportunities for lower-income Vermonters. For twenty years, we've been an alternative source the capital for farmers, food producers and natural resources entrepreneurs.
But we want to do more! So in 2015, we've launched a new, dedicated loan fund: the Food, Farms & Forests Fund to consolidate, grow and sustain the capital and supporting services that VCLF makes available to meet the needs of small farms, food producers, and the working landscape throughout Vermont. It’s an opportunity for philanthropists, foundations and other institutions to dedicate their VCLF investment and grant-making to creating positive impacts to benefit these critical drivers of our state’s economy, small communities and public health.
Eligible businesses include (but are not limited to):
- farms and agricultural operations
- food producers, incubators, wholesalers and retailers including grocery stores, co-ops, CSAs and farmers markets
- forestry and forest product enterprises
- stewardship and other natural resources organizations
The FFF Fund provides financing to enterprises that meet any of the following qualifications:
- sustainable agriculture/forestry practices/sustainable use of natural resources
- involvement of the local food and Vermont food economy
- participation in/support for healthy foods and healthy foods access programs
- opportunities for education/youth engagement
- other benefit to distressed communities or underserved populations
Uses may include:
- Real estate/farmland acquisition
- Facility construction or improvement
- Working capital
RATES AND TERMS
Terms range from several months to 20 years. Interest rates are fixed and start at 5%. A $50 application fee is due at the time the loan request is submitted. An origination fee of 1% of the loan amount, a $125 documentation fee and associated filing fees are due upon closing. In some cases, origination and closing fees may be financed.
VCLF is willing to partner with other lenders on a project, including banks and credit unions, the Vermont Economic Development Authority, the Cooperative Fund of New England, the Flexible Capital Fund, the Carrot Project and other alternative lenders and financiers, the Vermont Community Development Program, the Small Business Administration and USDA Rural Development.
HOW TO APPLY