In the first half of 2015, the Vermont Community Loan Fund (VCLF) loaned $2,883,650 to Vermont's small businesses, early education and child care programs, affordable housing developers, and facilities providing vital community services.
VCLF Executive Director Will Belongia said “For nearly three decades, the Loan Fund has been committed to creating opportunity and building healthy communities throughout Vermont.”
“So far this year, our lending activities have advanced our mission to create and preserve quality Vermont jobs, safe and affordable homes, early care and community facilities, improving the quality of life for all Vermonters and the communities we call home,” Belongia added.
Projects financed include:
247 Pearl St., LLC, Burlington
In Burlington, where the long-term housing vacancy rate averages 1% and affordable housing is urgently needed, 247 Pearl Street was an unused brownfield lot when VCLF collaborators Erik Hoekstra and Larry Williams from Redstone undertook this project to remediate and redevelop the site. The Loan Fund is financing construction of 29 rental apartments, four of which will be permanently affordable. The loan also created 32 construction jobs.
ABC Academy, Milton
ABC Academy is a full-day, year-round, child care program serving infants and toddlers alongside preschool and afterschool programs. VCLF helped them make facility improvements and purchase equipment. The loan preserved quality care for 22 children and will create opportunities for 16 new children and families; six jobs were preserved, and three created.
Aunt Sadie’s, Lunenburg
Aunt Sadie’s manufactures and sells handmade artisanal candles, scented with natural essences and oils. VCLF helped them refinance existing debt, helping them become eligible for federal loan programs. The loan preserved four full-time jobs and one part-time job. auntsadiesonline.com
Outdoor Gear Exchange, Burlington (2 loans)
Longtime VCLF partner Outdoor Gear Exchange used VCLF financing to purchase the Church Street home they had rented since 2011. These loans resulted in the preservation of 84 jobs and the creation of five new ones. gearx.com
Burlington Housing Authority, Burlington
Vermont’s oldest and largest municipally-based housing authority, BHA has been preserving and developing affordable housing in Burlington for over 50 years. This year, they partnered with the Howard Center for Developmental Services to develop a “community house” on two BHA-owned properties VCLF financed construction and rehabilitation of the property. The loan created six new affordable homes and seven construction jobs. burlingtonhousing.org
Bus Barns Bond, Burlington
The Bus Barns property, so-named as it was previously the site of Burlington’s City trolley barns, is on the State Registry of Historic Places. Now the historic site is being remediated and renovated to create 13 affordable rental homes in an area in which this is desperately needed. VCLF financing refinanced pre-existing debt, freeing up cash to keep the project moving forward. The loan also created 14 construction jobs.
Hannon Home Center, Moretown
Specialists in kitchen & home design, and retailers of flooring, mattresses, appliances and more, Hannon Home Center used a VCLF loan for a number of purposes including inventory purchase, showroom remodeling and marketing. Now, HHC is able to hire two new employees to augment their team. hannonhomecenter.com
HoriZinn Early Learning, Vernon
A 4-STARs-rated, licensed home provider, HoriZinn used VCLF financing for child care program-dedicated space. The loan preserves quality care for eight children and families, creates opportunities for four more and preserves one part-time and two full-time jobs.
Little Lake Orchard, Wells
Family farm Little Lake Orchard raises and sells strawberries, sweet corn, apples, pork and other delicious comestibles. They used VCLF financing to purchase equipment, make farm improvements, and to pay down existing credit card debt, putting them in a better position for the future. littlelakeorchard.com
Living Well Community Care Home, Bristol and Burlington
Living Well Community Care Home is a nonprofit licensed residential and assisted living care organization with facilities in Bristol and Burlington, providing service to many low-income and Medicaid clients. They used VCLF financing for predevelopment costs associated with the planning and expansion of their Burlington facility. The loan helps preserve care for 58 seniors, and preserves 30 jobs. livingwellcarehome.org
Puddle Jumpers, Shelburne
This full-day, full-year, home-based, 5-STARs program used a VCLF loan for renovations and expansions to their facility. The loan preserves quality care for 10 children and their families.
Rollo Cedar Sawmill of Vermont, Swanton
David Rollo buys cedar logs from local area loggers and custom mills them into rough cut lumber for businesses and consumers throughout the northeast. He’ll use this loan to purchase a forklift and to refinance an earlier VCLF loan. cedarsawmillofvt.com
Shadow Creek Farm, Fairfax
Shadow Creek Farm leases land to grow vegetables for local restaurants and wholesalers. Planning become an organic and environmentally sustainable producer, they used VCLF financing to purchase new equipment and other sundries. They were referred to the Loan Fund by the Carrot Project (thecarrotproject.org) which supports small and mid-sized farms in accessing financing and technical assistance.
Shires Housing, Bennington
Shires Housing, a developer of affordable housing in southwestern Vermont, collaborated with the Bennington Historic Rehabilitation Project to rehab historic multi-family buildings on three Bennington properties. They used VCLF financing for predevelopment and construction costs. The loan built nine new affordable homes and generated 10 construction jobs. shireshousing.org
SunCommon, Waterbury (2 loans)
SunCommon’s innovative approach to community-owned solar arrays is making solar energy affordable and available to a broad range of Vermonters. They used two recent VCLF loans to facilitate the production and installation of solar projects in Fairfield and Monkton. SunCommon currently employs 138 Vermonters. Suncommon.com
Twin Pines Housing Trust, Wilder
Twin Pines Housing Trust develops and manages affordable housing in the Upper Valley. They used a loan to construct a new, energy efficient “VerMod” modular home to use as a sales model and, subsequently, to sell to a low-wealth/income qualifying Vermont family. The project is part of the Vermont Housing Conservation Board’s Shared Equity Program. tphtrust.org