VT Community Loan Fund Launches new TRAILS Loan Program: Financing for Vermont’s Outdoor Rec Enterprises

The Vermont Community Loan Fund has announced the launch of TRAILS (Tourism & Recreation Adventure Infrastructure LoanS), a new loan program designed to meet the financing needs of Vermont’s outdoor recreation organizations and entrepreneurs.

Eligible prospects for TRAILS loans include (but are not limited to) for- and nonprofit businesses and organizations that create opportunities for outdoor recreation; “adjacent” businesses or organizations serving participants in outdoor recreation; and outdoor rec-related manufacturers and retailers. Existing and start-up enterprises are eligible. Allowable uses for loans include real estate and land acquisition, facility construction or improvement, inventory, and general operating capital.

VCLF Executive Director Will Belongia noted that the TRAILS loan program fills a need, providing a robust financial resource with flexible terms and supporting services to help outdoor rec and related businesses that are poised to grow.

“The Vermont Community Loan Fund has always recognized the importance of our outdoor recreation sector as a driver of rural economic development, community health and sustainability in the areas of Vermont that need it most,” Belongia said. “TRAILS is designed to serve these entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations, who may not have access to financing from traditional lenders.”

“Vermont’s outdoor rec community is a key driver of our quality of life and identity. They build and maintain the trails we ride and protect the land around them. They sell the gear that keeps us strong and safe. They convert local food into the fuel that keeps us out there. They’re responsible for the infrastructure that make it all possible, all while creating jobs and helping drive our state’s economy.”

TRAILS has been capitalized jointly through a $250,000 grant from the Northern Border Regional Commission, and $500,000 of VCLF’s impact investment loan capital. VCLF made its first TRAILS loan to Londonderry’s Magic Mountain Ski Area last October.

TRAILS offers loans from $5,000-$250,000 with terms from one to ten years.

VCLF will also provide TRAILS borrowers with free-to-them business development & advisory services, tailored to meet their specific needs and opportunities. “Consulting, training and counseling is a key component of our work to foster and support our borrowers’ success,” said VCLF Business Resource Manager Elena Gustavson. “We also regularly partner with third-party sources if we believe their expertise is the best fit for a borrower’s needs,” she added.

The TRAILS Loan Program joins a faimly of issue- and sector-focused VCLF loan programs including the Food, Farms & Forests Fund, SPROUT, Agritourism Loan Program, general business loan program, and lending programs specifically designed for developers of Affordable Housing, Early Care & Learning businesses, and Community Facilities and nonprofits.

CLICK HERE for more information about TRAILS.

VT Community Loan Fund Launches new TRAILS Loan Program: Financing for Vermont’s Outdoor Rec Enterprises

The Vermont Community Loan Fund has announced the launch of TRAILS (Tourism & Recreation Adventure Infrastructure LoanS), a new loan program designed to meet the financing needs of Vermont’s outdoor recreation organizations and entrepreneurs.

Eligible prospects for TRAILS loans include (but are not limited to) for- and nonprofit businesses and organizations that create opportunities for outdoor recreation; “adjacent” businesses or organizations serving participants in outdoor recreation; and outdoor rec-related manufacturers and retailers. Existing and start-up enterprises are eligible. Allowable uses for loans include real estate and land acquisition, facility construction or improvement, inventory, and general operating capital.

VCLF Executive Director Will Belongia noted that the TRAILS loan program fills a need, providing a robust financial resource with flexible terms and supporting services to help outdoor rec and related businesses that are poised to grow.

“The Vermont Community Loan Fund has always recognized the importance of our outdoor recreation sector as a driver of rural economic development, community health and sustainability in the areas of Vermont that need it most,” Belongia said. “TRAILS is designed to serve these entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations, who may not have access to financing from traditional lenders.”

“Vermont’s outdoor rec community is a key driver of our quality of life and identity. They build and maintain the trails we ride and protect the land around them. They sell the gear that keeps us strong and safe. They convert local food into the fuel that keeps us out there. They’re responsible for the infrastructure that make it all possible, all while creating jobs and helping drive our state’s economy.”

TRAILS has been capitalized jointly through a $250,000 grant from the Northern Border Regional Commission, and $500,000 of VCLF’s impact investment loan capital. VCLF made its first TRAILS loan to Londonderry’s Magic Mountain Ski Area last October.

TRAILS offers loans from $5,000-$250,000 with terms from one to ten years.

VCLF will also provide TRAILS borrowers with free-to-them business development & advisory services, tailored to meet their specific needs and opportunities. “Consulting, training and counseling is a key component of our work to foster and support our borrowers’ success,” said VCLF Business Resource Manager Elena Gustavson. “We also regularly partner with third-party sources if we believe their expertise is the best fit for a borrower’s needs,” she added.

The TRAILS Loan Program joins a faimly of issue- and sector-focused VCLF loan programs including the Food, Farms & Forests Fund, SPROUT, Agritourism Loan Program, general business loan program, and lending programs specifically designed for developers of Affordable Housing, Early Care & Learning businesses, and Community Facilities and nonprofits.

CLICK HERE for more information about TRAILS.

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