VCLF Lends Over $1.9 Million in 2nd Quarter 2021,
Surpassing 2020 Totals

In the second quarter of 2021, the Vermont Community Loan Fund made a record 47 loans totaling $1,912,189 and supporting hundreds of Vermont jobs, early care & learning programs and the families enrolled in them, financing affordable homes and supporting provision of essential services in Vermont’s communities. With a total of $3.9 million loaned year-to-date, VCLF has already surpassed our 2020 lending and impacts and is on track to have one of our most impactful years ever.

VCLF was one of just two Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in Vermont to administer Paycheck Protection Program loans. The program was established by the federal CARES Act and implemented by the Small Business Administration. Via PPP, the Loan Fund was able to provide 34 small Vermont businesses with emergency funding during the second quarter of this year alone; we’re currently working with these borrowers to have their PPP loans forgiven, according to the program’s intent.

“The second quarter and, in fact, all of 2021, has been really busy for VCLF and our borrowers,” said Loan Fund Executive Director Will Belongia. “Vermont’s hardworking entrepreneurs, early care & earning programs, affordable housing developers and vital service providers have never had greater need. The entire team at VCLF is proud to do this important work, supporting Vermonters and Vermont’s economy,” he added.

Financing was provided to:

Black Dirt Farm, Stannard
Black Dirt Farm produces and sells compost, soil mix, worm castings, eggs, chicken, produce and hay, and provides food scrap collection services for businesses and institutions. In recent months, lack of labor and materials kept the farm from fulfilling orders, leading to lost revenue. Upgrades to their egg laying and compost collection services, financed through VCLF, will improve production and fulfillment going forward. Financing helps further Black Dirt Farm’s mission of environmental stewardship, and preserves six jobs, with four new jobs anticipated. blackdirtfarm.com

Fisher Brothers Farm, Shelburne (2 loans)
Fisher Brothers Farm produces Sisters of Anarchy premium ice creams and syrups, selling via mail order, at specialty stores, festivals and events. Having canceled all events in 2020 due to COVID-19, they secured a Paycheck Protection Program loan through VCLF, and applied for VCLF SPROUT program financing to assist with renovations, equipment purchases, and advertising & sales consulting. Loans help preserve four full-time jobs, 10 part-time jobs, with two new jobs anticipated. sistersofanarchyicecream.com

Horizons Early Learning Center, Rutland
When Horizons Early Learning opened in 2018, in the basement of Rutland’s Unitarian Universalist Church, they had hoped to serve more families, limited space meant limited enrollments. In 2020, they found a larger facility that, with some upfits and renovations, could accommodate more children. Horizons came to VCLF for a loan to purchase the property and redesign it to meet their needs and goals. The loan resulted in the preservation of 66 early care & learning slots, including 16 for infants and toddlers, and the preservation of 11 jobs.facebook.com/horizonselc.vt

Joneslan Farm, Hyde Park (2 loans)
The multi-generational Joneslan Farm, now run by brothers Brian and Steven Jones, recently transitioned their dairy operations from cows to goats. Today, goats’ milk brings a higher price; goats are also less costly with regards to feed, staffing, equipment, fuel and supplies. Joneslan came to VCLF for help covering costs of new stock, equipment, and renovations associated with this transition. The loan preserves two full-time and two part-time jobs, as well as seasonal positions. facebook.com/joneslanfarm

Lost Nation Brewing, Morrisville
During COVID-19, Lost Nation Brewing saw wholesale business decline, while periods of taproom closure due to the pandemic further cut into their revenues. Thankfully, their canned beer sales kept them afloat. With VCLF financing, they’re expanding this critical production, with purchase of can labeler, and a centrifuge that will increase yield, improve product quality and extend shelf life. The loan preserves 12 jobs, plus 20-30 seasonal positions. lostnationbrewing.com




Lyman’s Towing & Auto, South Royalton
(3 loans)
In 2019, Adam Lyman, owner of Lyman’s Towing and Auto services, purchased the facility he‘d been renting for his business, using seller financing. When the seller later requested that he refinance, Adam came to VCLF. With the Loan Fund’s help, Adam repaid the seller’s note, and opened a line of credit to supply the working capital he needed. The loans preserve four jobs and create one new one. facebook.com/lymanspecialtydesignsllc


Mooseloook Diner, Concord
Owner Kevin Fontecha started renovations to his Mooselook Diner property partly with his own funds. To finish the work and ready the property for opening, Kevin came to VCLF for financing to add another room, a deck, a second floor office/storage area, and purchase equipment. The loan helps preserve 20 jobs. mooselookdiner.com

Round Hearth at Stowe, Stowe

Owners Grady & Merry Vigneau operated the Round Hearth at Stowe as a 150-bed youth dorm and hostel, hosting high school groups for ski trips and summer camps. With the onset of COVID-19, they closed the dorm and Merry launched two new, separate businesses in the building: the Round Hearth Café, and the Blue Moon Artisan & Antique Market. With plans to next convert other sections of the dorm into long-term rental apartments, Merry came to VCLF for financing to renovate one apartment and replace roofing. The loan preserves three jobs. roundhearth.com


Wilson Herb Farm, Greensboro

Wilson Herb Farm, a small-scale operation including a farmstead, market, apothecary and greenhouses, grows certified organic culinary and medicinal herbs for use in value-added products they handcraft. When COVID-19 disrupted revenues and farm improvement plans, they came to VCLF to help finance updates to their greenhouse, equipment purchases, and conversion from oil to pellet wood heating. The loan preserves two jobs and creates two new ones. wilsonherbfarm.com

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Lending:

  • Salah Ali, Colchester
  • Align Body & Mind, South Royalton
  • Kristi Bessette, St. Albans
  • Neeraj Bharati, Burlington
  • Jonathan Bilodeau, Barre
  • Charlene Caiano, Williston
  • Nicola Caiano, Essex
  • Catamount Cleaning, Winooski
  • Cutting Edge Construction, St. Albans
  • Corey Davignon, Orwell
  • DMG Vermont Properties, West Wardsboro
  • E.A. Tree and Lawn Services, Hartland
  • East Hill Tree Farm Nursery, Plainfield
  • Flower Basket, Hardwick
  • Jeremy Gold, Guilford
  • Marlene Holcomb, Manchester Center
  • Michael Howrigan II, Enosburg Falls
  • Jason & Amber Hubner, Putney
  • Jamaican Supreme, Winooski
  • Susan Kennedy, Waterbury
  • Leaping Bear Farm, Putney
  • MJS Travel, Woodstock
  • MSB Builders, Bakersfield
  • Robert Nuzzo, Jeffersonville
  • Noah Ponzio, Colchester
  • Powers Park, Lyndonville
  • Ringer’s Home Care, Vergennes
  • Susan Smereka, Burlington
  • Stowe Bee Bakery, Stowe
  • UA Local 693 Plumbers & Pipefitters, South Burlington
  • Vermont Labor Council, AFL-CIO, Montpelier
  • VSUB Gould, Brattleboro
  • Walnut Hill Farm, Pawlet
  • Wilder Land Works, Vershire



VCLF Lends Over $1.9 Million in 2nd Quarter 2021,
Surpassing 2020 Totals

In the second quarter of 2021, the Vermont Community Loan Fund made a record 47 loans totaling $1,912,189 and supporting hundreds of Vermont jobs, early care & learning programs and the families enrolled in them, financing affordable homes and supporting provision of essential services in Vermont’s communities. With a total of $3.9 million loaned year-to-date, VCLF has already surpassed our 2020 lending and impacts and is on track to have one of our most impactful years ever.

VCLF was one of just two Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in Vermont to administer Paycheck Protection Program loans. The program was established by the federal CARES Act and implemented by the Small Business Administration. Via PPP, the Loan Fund was able to provide 34 small Vermont businesses with emergency funding during the second quarter of this year alone; we’re currently working with these borrowers to have their PPP loans forgiven, according to the program’s intent.

“The second quarter and, in fact, all of 2021, has been really busy for VCLF and our borrowers,” said Loan Fund Executive Director Will Belongia. “Vermont’s hardworking entrepreneurs, early care & earning programs, affordable housing developers and vital service providers have never had greater need. The entire team at VCLF is proud to do this important work, supporting Vermonters and Vermont’s economy,” he added.

Financing was provided to:

Black Dirt Farm, Stannard
Black Dirt Farm produces and sells compost, soil mix, worm castings, eggs, chicken, produce and hay, and provides food scrap collection services for businesses and institutions. In recent months, lack of labor and materials kept the farm from fulfilling orders, leading to lost revenue. Upgrades to their egg laying and compost collection services, financed through VCLF, will improve production and fulfillment going forward. Financing helps further Black Dirt Farm’s mission of environmental stewardship, and preserves six jobs, with four new jobs anticipated. blackdirtfarm.com

Fisher Brothers Farm, Shelburne (2 loans)
Fisher Brothers Farm produces Sisters of Anarchy premium ice creams and syrups, selling via mail order, at specialty stores, festivals and events. Having canceled all events in 2020 due to COVID-19, they secured a Paycheck Protection Program loan through VCLF, and applied for VCLF SPROUT program financing to assist with renovations, equipment purchases, and advertising & sales consulting. Loans help preserve four full-time jobs, 10 part-time jobs, with two new jobs anticipated. sistersofanarchyicecream.com

Horizons Early Learning Center, Rutland
When Horizons Early Learning opened in 2018, in the basement of Rutland’s Unitarian Universalist Church, they had hoped to serve more families, limited space meant limited enrollments. In 2020, they found a larger facility that, with some upfits and renovations, could accommodate more children. Horizons came to VCLF for a loan to purchase the property and redesign it to meet their needs and goals. The loan resulted in the preservation of 66 early care & learning slots, including 16 for infants and toddlers, and the preservation of 11 jobs.facebook.com/horizonselc.vt

Joneslan Farm, Hyde Park (2 loans)
The multi-generational Joneslan Farm, now run by brothers Brian and Steven Jones, recently transitioned their dairy operations from cows to goats. Today, goats’ milk brings a higher price; goats are also less costly with regards to feed, staffing, equipment, fuel and supplies. Joneslan came to VCLF for help covering costs of new stock, equipment, and renovations associated with this transition. The loan preserves two full-time and two part-time jobs, as well as seasonal positions. facebook.com/joneslanfarm

Lost Nation Brewing, Morrisville
During COVID-19, Lost Nation Brewing saw wholesale business decline, while periods of taproom closure due to the pandemic further cut into their revenues. Thankfully, their canned beer sales kept them afloat. With VCLF financing, they’re expanding this critical production, with purchase of can labeler, and a centrifuge that will increase yield, improve product quality and extend shelf life. The loan preserves 12 jobs, plus 20-30 seasonal positions. lostnationbrewing.com




Lyman’s Towing & Auto, South Royalton
(3 loans)
In 2019, Adam Lyman, owner of Lyman’s Towing and Auto services, purchased the facility he‘d been renting for his business, using seller financing. When the seller later requested that he refinance, Adam came to VCLF. With the Loan Fund’s help, Adam repaid the seller’s note, and opened a line of credit to supply the working capital he needed. The loans preserve four jobs and create one new one. facebook.com/lymanspecialtydesignsllc


Mooseloook Diner, Concord
Owner Kevin Fontecha started renovations to his Mooselook Diner property partly with his own funds. To finish the work and ready the property for opening, Kevin came to VCLF for financing to add another room, a deck, a second floor office/storage area, and purchase equipment. The loan helps preserve 20 jobs. mooselookdiner.com

Round Hearth at Stowe, Stowe

Owners Grady & Merry Vigneau operated the Round Hearth at Stowe as a 150-bed youth dorm and hostel, hosting high school groups for ski trips and summer camps. With the onset of COVID-19, they closed the dorm and Merry launched two new, separate businesses in the building: the Round Hearth Café, and the Blue Moon Artisan & Antique Market. With plans to next convert other sections of the dorm into long-term rental apartments, Merry came to VCLF for financing to renovate one apartment and replace roofing. The loan preserves three jobs. roundhearth.com


Wilson Herb Farm, Greensboro

Wilson Herb Farm, a small-scale operation including a farmstead, market, apothecary and greenhouses, grows certified organic culinary and medicinal herbs for use in value-added products they handcraft. When COVID-19 disrupted revenues and farm improvement plans, they came to VCLF to help finance updates to their greenhouse, equipment purchases, and conversion from oil to pellet wood heating. The loan preserves two jobs and creates two new ones. wilsonherbfarm.com

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Lending:

  • Salah Ali, Colchester
  • Align Body & Mind, South Royalton
  • Kristi Bessette, St. Albans
  • Neeraj Bharati, Burlington
  • Jonathan Bilodeau, Barre
  • Charlene Caiano, Williston
  • Nicola Caiano, Essex
  • Catamount Cleaning, Winooski
  • Cutting Edge Construction, St. Albans
  • Corey Davignon, Orwell
  • DMG Vermont Properties, West Wardsboro
  • E.A. Tree and Lawn Services, Hartland
  • East Hill Tree Farm Nursery, Plainfield
  • Flower Basket, Hardwick
  • Jeremy Gold, Guilford
  • Marlene Holcomb, Manchester Center
  • Michael Howrigan II, Enosburg Falls
  • Jason & Amber Hubner, Putney
  • Jamaican Supreme, Winooski
  • Susan Kennedy, Waterbury
  • Leaping Bear Farm, Putney
  • MJS Travel, Woodstock
  • MSB Builders, Bakersfield
  • Robert Nuzzo, Jeffersonville
  • Noah Ponzio, Colchester
  • Powers Park, Lyndonville
  • Ringer’s Home Care, Vergennes
  • Susan Smereka, Burlington
  • Stowe Bee Bakery, Stowe
  • UA Local 693 Plumbers & Pipefitters, South Burlington
  • Vermont Labor Council, AFL-CIO, Montpelier
  • VSUB Gould, Brattleboro
  • Walnut Hill Farm, Pawlet
  • Wilder Land Works, Vershire


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