Investment to Support Local Businesses, Economic Development
The Vermont Community Loan Fund (VCLF), a nonprofit, mission-driven, alternative lender, has been awarded a $1 million financing package from USDA Rural Development’s Intermediary Relending Program (IRP). VCLF will use the IRP financing to provide low-interest loans to small and emerging Vermont businesses, stimulating job creation throughout the state.
For thirty years, the Loan Fund’s Business Loan Program has supported local businesses with access to flexible, affordable credit. To date, the Loan Fund counts more than 5,600 Vermont jobs created or preserved. Higher-profile borrowers have included Vermont Smoke & Cure, American Flatbread, and High Mowing Organic Seeds, all of whom first approached VCLF for loans during their early years.
“VCLF has deep knowledge and experience with Vermont’s industries, and a 30-year track record of lending to promising entrepreneurs who have gone on to become some of the biggest employers in Vermont,” said VCLF Executive Director Will Belongia. “This IRP award is a vote of confidence that we’ll continue to build Vermont’s jobs and economy with this financing. We’re honored to have been selected by USDA Rural Development for this award,” he added.
USDA Rural Development Vermont invests in rural housing, community infrastructure and rural economic development to increase economic opportunity and raise the quality of life in rural Vermont, through IRP low-interest loans to organizations such as VCLF that re-lend to local businesses acting as a conduit for investing federal funds in small and emerging rural businesses. VCLF first enrolled in the USRDA IRP program in 1995.
Commenting on VCLF’s award, USDA Rural Development Acting State Director Jon-Michael Muise said “USDA Rural Development is proud to support Vermont Community Loan Fund as it works to connect Vermont’s rural entrepreneurs to capital and business expertise. This partnership with VCLF helps USDA Rural Development ensure that federal investments galvanize local economic development through enabling rural businesses to add jobs, broaden services and increase economic opportunity in Vermont’s communities.”
VCLF projects that 78 Vermont businesses will borrow from this fund, leading to the creation or preservation of more than Vermont 300 jobs. VCLF is one of just six recipients of this year’s USDA Rural Development award.
For more information on Rural Development visit www.rd.usda.gov/vt