The Vermont Community Loan Fund (VCLF), a 22-year old nonprofit community development finance organization, has been awarded a $500,000 award from USDA Rural Development to make loans to small businesses and affordable housing developers.
This award will create a revolving loan fund that provides below-market rate loans and will be primarily located in the Northeast Kingdom Rural Economic Area Partnership (REAP) Zone. The fund will provide growth capital to lower-income entrepreneurs, including area businesses, child care centers and home-based providers, affordable housing developers and nonprofit organizations.
“USDA Rural Development's Intermediary Relending Program is an incredibly significant resource for VCLF,” says Paul Hill, Jr., director of housing and community facilities at the Loan Fund. “This gives us an important tool in our efforts to improve the quality of life and create opportunities for lower-income Vermonters. It also speaks to the strong relationship VCLF enjoys with the staff at Rural Development. They recognize our efforts and have been very supportive of VCLF for many years."
“USDA Rural Development is pleased to approve this significant investment,” says David Robinson, business program director for USDA Rural Development. Robinson goes on, “Rural Development values its partnership with the Loan Fund and is pleased to add this investment to the more than five million dollars of Rural Development assistance already at work throughout Vermont for business lending and technical assistance through the Loan Fund.”
The project’s goal is to create quality jobs, increase the availability of safe, affordable homes, to create a healthier living environment and contribute to economic growth in the Northeast Kingdom, one of the most rural and economically challenged areas in the state. USDA Rural Development continues to be a vital supporter of VCLF’s efforts to expand access to community development capital in Vermont.