The Vermont Community Loan Fund and The Carrot Project announce the creation of the new Carrot Project Agriculture Loan Fund. Eligible Vermont farmers and farm-related businesses can receive loans in amounts up to $35,000. These funds will help farmers and related businesses finance capital investments and meet operating costs. The Vermont Community Loan Fund and The Carrot Project are partnering to jointly administer the program.
“Supporting the Vermont’s farmers has always been an important part of our mission at VCLF,” said Will Belongia, VCLF Executive Director. “Vermont is known for its vibrant agricultural sector, which has been experiencing an important renaissance in the last several years. VCLF, from its inception, has been dedicated to assisting our farmers and building that sector,” added Belongia. “Now, the Carrot Project, alongside the Loan Fund’s other farm programs, further enhances our capacity to do so,” he said.
“We are very happy to offer these loans to Vermont farmers and support their efforts by working with farm-related businesses as well,” said Dorothy Suput, founder and executive director of The Carrot Project. ‘In response to borrower requests, we are happy to offer a higher loan amount of $35,000, and terms up to six-years. As with our other loan programs, it will be open to beginning businesses and more mature businesses.”
Eligible farmers own or lease farms in Vermont, report annual revenues of less than $499,999 and must be engaged in cultivation of farm, forest, or aquatic products. Eligible farm related businesses should have less than 50 employees, be engaged in the processing, storage or distribution of agricultural products, and source the materials from which the product is produced primarily from within Vermont and/or nearby states.
Funds can be used for working capital, capital needs such as equipment or buildings, or other improvements for production or value-added enterprises.
The Vermont Community Loan Fund, established in 1987, is a nonprofit, mission-driven lender that uses socially responsible investments from individuals and organizations to provide affordable housing, community facilities, and small business financing throughout Vermont. By keeping investors’ dollars in Vermont, VCLF is strengthening Vermont’s communities, economy and quality of life.
The Carrot Project, www.thecarrotproject.org, is a non-profit organization based in Massachusetts, dedicated to creating financing solutions for small- and mid-sized farms, limited-resource farms, and those using ecologically sound practices. Its program model is designed to incubate and establish alternative financing programs in combination with business technical assistance. The Carrot Project works collaboratively with private investors, lenders, and farm support organizations to help rebuild a farming system that offers stability to local farmers, provides healthful food for citizens, replenishes the environment, and is good for regional and local economies.