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VEDA approves business and agricultural loans totaling $7.1 million

August 8, 2018

Vermont Business Magazine

The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) has approved $7.1 million in loans to help Vermont manufacturing, agricultural, small business and energy development projects move forward. "Several manufacturing projects throughout the state were approved for VEDA financing, creating jobs for Vermonters," said Jo Bradley, VEDA's Chief Executive Officer. "In addition, over $4 million dollars in agricultural loans were approved, assisting farms in their diversification plans, and providing cash flow relief for dairy farmers, in particular, through the Farm Operating Loan Program (FOLP)." 

Travel and tourism projects included:

Sterling Ridge Resort, LLC, Jeffersonville - VEDA approved partial financing of $700,000 toward the purchase of Sterling Ridge Resort, a hospitality property consisting of 23 log cabins and three houses that are offered year-round for short-term rental to visitors seeking lodging in the Jeffersonville area. The financing, provided in conjunction with Union Bank, will also facilitate the construction of three additional log cabins. Established in 1992, Sterling Ridge's 76.5-acre property also includes two ponds and an outdoor pool;

* The Jackson House Inn, Woodstock - VEDA approved partial financing toward the purchase of the Jackson House Inn in Woodstock. A well-known landmark in Woodstock, and ranked by TripAdvisor in 2018 as one of the nation's 25 best inns and bed-and-breakfasts, the eleven-room inn has dining room seating for 45, where guests are served breakfasts featuring farm-to-table ingredients. The financing, done in conjunction with Bar Harbor Bank, will enable renovation of the historic portion of the inn to provide three additional rooms; 

* Huntington House, Rochester - Partial financing of $270,000 was approved by VEDA toward the purchase of the Huntington House, offering lodging accommodations, fine dining and a classic tavern on Route 100 in Rochester. Mascoma Bank is also providing financing for the project. In existence since 2003, Huntington House is a 4,900 square-foot, six-room inn on .77 acres. In addition to guest rooms, the inn features three intimate dining rooms, a dining porch and a historic barn that has been converted into a tavern; and

* HAI Hospitality, Inc., Waitsfield - A $133,480 loan was approved by VEDA to partially finance the purchase of the vacant property at the junction of Routes 100 and 17 in Waitsfield that formerly house Egan's Pub, and establishment of a new restaurant there. The project will be developed by owners of the Hyde Away Inn & Restaurant in the Mad River Valley, a successful ten-room full-service inn and popular restaurant. Vermont Federal Credit Union is also providing financing for the project.

Financings totaling $4.1 million were approved through the Authority's agricultural loan program, the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation (VACC). Included among the approvals were:

[VSFA Member] * Screamin' Ridge Farm, Inc., Montpelier - A machinery and equipment loan will allow the owner of Screamin' Ridge, a growing producer of high-quality soups and other food products from local ingredients, to create additional processing and cold storage capacity utilizing space adjacent to his commercial kitchen in Montpelier; and

* Full Belly Farm, LLC, Monkton - Partial financing was approved toward Full Belly Farm's purchase of the Norris Berry Farm, a well-established 108-acre Monkton farm property that Full Belly Farm owners have leased since early 2017. The Vermont Land Trust will convey the property to Full Belly Farm on behalf of the former owner and original founder of the Norris Berry Farm, who has decided to retire, thus completing the transition in ownership of the wholesale, retail and pick-your-own berry and produce farm.

Energy financing of $308,000 was approved for a commercial solar energy installation project which is estimated to produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of 89.5 average households, and reduce CO2 emissions by 357.9 tons each year. The 336 kW group net-metering project being constructed by Ascutney Heights at Cedar Hill, LLC will produce renewable electricity for related entities, The Village at Cedar Hill, Inc. and Cedar Hill Health Care Corporation. VSECU is also providing financing for the project.

In addition, $36,809 in financing was approved through the Authority's Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund, which provides funds to repair or improve existing privately-owned drinking water systems.