The Vermont Community Loan Fund (VCLF) approved $2,400,606 in financing to Vermont's small businesses and affordable housing developers during the fourth quarter of 2012.
"While it's been more than a year and a half since Tropical Storm Irene, the fact is, many Vermonters are still struggling to recover significant losses. The Vermont Community Loan Fund continues to work to bring financial and other resources to speed that recovery," said VCLF Executive Director Will Belongia. "With over $2.4 million lent out in our fourth quarter alone - and more than $5.1 million lent in 2012 – VCLF lending is focused on job creation at Vermont's small businesses, on the restoration and building of quality, affordable homes and ensuring that vital community services are available throughout our state," he added.
Projects approved for VCLF financing include:
Walker Motors, Berlin Walker Motors is a Volkswagen dealership in Berlin, family-owned and in operation for over 50 years. They used a VCLF loan to fund the purchase and expansion of a property they had been leasing. The purchase has resulted in increased revenues, reduced operating costs, the retention of 20 full time jobs, and the creation of five new fulltime jobs. walkervt.com
Champlain Housing Trust/ECHO Housing Limited Partnership, Burlington ECHO HLP is an affordable housing project of the Champlain Housing Trust and Housing Vermont. ECHO consists of 12 homes and one commercial space, in addition to a 'scattered site' development, consisting of 20 residential units in six different buildings. ECHO used a VCLF loan to refinance existing debt at a lower rate, helping to maintain affordability for low-income homeowners. This loan helped preserve 32 units of affordable residential housing. champlainhousingtrust.org
Champlain Housing Trust, Essex JunctionCHT will use another VCLF loan to purchase and renovate a five-unit apartment building with additional office space, in Essex Junction. CHT will lease the building to the Howard Center, northwestern Vermont's largest human and family services provider, to house a program supporting patients with long-term mental health issues. The office space will house an around-the-clock staff therapist, to provide care and oversight for the patients. The program is in part a response by the State to the need to find alternatives to rebuilding the Waterbury hospital as it was before Tropical Storm Irene. champlainhousingtrust.org
Chittenden Housing Corporation, Winooski The Chittenden Housing Corporation is an affiliate of the Winooski Housing Authority, which provides safe and affordable housing for low-income residents of Winooski. CHC used a VCLF loan to refinance their purchase The Courtyard Senior Apartments in Winooski, a block of 101 affordable housing units within walking distance of Winooski's senior center, churches, stores and the library. winooskihousing.org/about/chittenden-housing-corp
William Austin Antiques, Chester Located in downtown Chester since 1986, William Austin Antiques specializes in New England antique furnishings and restoration. Austin's has also incorporated an ice cream stand and a small seafood restaurant into their shop space recently. After Tropical Storm Irene, the store suffered over $180,000 in losses from damage and lost inventory. Austin's used a VCLF loan to cover repair costs resulting from Irene. The loan helped preserve three full-time jobs and to create one new part-time position. wmaustin.com
Resort Ski Shops, multiple sites RSS, which does business under the name The Great Outdoors of Vermont, is a retail chain specializing in outdoor gear and clothing. Following Tropical Storm Irene, the three communities in which RSS operates retail outlets (Killington, Okemo, and West Dover) were severely affected, negatively impacting autumn sales. The following winter was a poor one for snowfall and for local businesses affiliated with the ski industry – thus another challenging season for RSS. They used VCLF financing to purchase inventory for the 2012/2013 ski season. The loan helped RSS retain 22 full-time jobs and create six new ones, all paying a livable wage. greatoutdoorsvermont
Rutland County Parent Child Center, Rutland Rutland County Parent Child Center provides early childhood programs, parent education and support, information, referrals, and more to children and families throughout Rutland County. They used a VCLF loan to purchase a larger facility in downtown Rutland. The upgraded space will allow for consolidation of several core programs, reduced operating costs, and increased capacity for RCPCC's infant and other programs. The loan has resulted in three new jobs created and 41 jobs retained. rcpcc.org
Webiomass, Inc., Rutland Webiomass, Inc., producers of wood pellet boilers designed for residential and commercial heating, used a VCLF loan to finance purchase orders. Wood pellet sales resulting from Webiomass' increased production and sales will have a positive ripple effect on area loggers and wood pellet manufacturers - thereby supporting the working landscape. This loan led to the creation of one new job and the retention of one existing full-time position. webiomass.com