In the second quarter of 2014, the Vermont Community Loan Fund loaned over $347,000 to Vermont's small businesses and child care programs.
The loans have helped create and preserve Vermont jobs, and to create and preserve high-quality early child care and education for Vermont’s children.
“VCLF’s great emphasis on helping Vermont’s families access high-quality, affordable child care, essential for the development and success of Vermont’s children, is well-served by these new child care programs. The businesses we’ve loaned to this quarter promise to build jobs and the Vermont economy,” said VCLF Executive Director Will Belongia.
Projects financed include:
Berry Patch Holistic Childcare, Moretown Berry Patch will be a for-profit, full-day, year-round, home-based child care program for children ages six weeks to 12 years. They’ll focus on a holistic approach to learning, with a curriculum including yoga, meditation, environmental awareness, music, art and more. Berry Patch is using a VCLF loan cover start-up costs including the transformation of their walk-in basement into space for child care. The loan has resulted in 11 new child care slots and will create two new jobs.
Danforth Pewterers, Middlebury Danforth Pewterers designs and manufactures fine pewter jewelry, home accessories and gifts which are sold through retail stores in Vermont, online and at approximately 700 independent gift stores nationwide. The colonial-era Danforth name and business was revived by current owners and family members Judi and Fred Danforth in 1975. They will use VCLF financing to pay off an investor loan. danforthpewter.com
Hollister Hill Farm, Marshfield (2 loans) Bob and Lee Light bought Hollister Hill Farm in 1983 and milked cows there for 15 years, until they sold their herd and converted their home to an agri-tourism B&B where guests can experience life on a working farm. The Lights operate a farm store selling beefalo, pork, eggs, chickens, turkeys, maple syrup and honey - all raised or processed on-site. Hollister Hill Farm has been a VCLF borrower for many years; they’ll use this most recent loan to finance improvements to the B&B. hollisterhillfarm.com
Kettle Song Farm, Worcester Kettle Song Farm, a 65-acre vegetable farm, will use VCLF financing to purchase equipment, as well as additional materials to enrich their soil. The operation currently includes consists of a 2,160 square foot high tunnel, an irrigation pond, a drilled well, and a mule shed, and four tilled and cover-cropped acres, two of which will be planted in 2014 with a mix of vegetables. Kettle Song came to VCLF via The Carrot Project (thecarrotproject.org), which helps smaller food producers find financing. The loan resulted in the preservation of one job.
Megan’s Childcare, Danville To expand her full-day, year-round child care facility, owner Megan Bunnell determined to relocate her home-based program from her residence in Danville to a larger structure in nearby Passumpsic, a town without child care programs. In so doing, Bunnell grew her program’s size from ten children to 31, and added four full-time employees, and one part-time. The new program will participate in the federal subsidized healthy foods program and the state’s STARS child care quality rating system. This VCLF loan will be used to fit up the new space with two new classrooms, new lighting and flooring, a new bathroom and fire alarm system.
Spring Hill School, Waitsfield Spring Hill School, a nonprofit, full-day, year-round early education program, has been located in the same building since its inception over 40 years ago. When another of the building’s tenants left recently, Spring Hill saw the opportunity to expand their space and capacity to serve more of the area’s families. They’ll use a VCLF loan to fit up the expanded space, a library, a kitchen and break room, upgrade a bathroom, lighting, install a fire alarm system, make roof repairs and repaint. The additional space will grow the number of children served from 36 to 45. springhillschoolvt.org