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Vermont Economic Development Authority Approves Incentives To Spark Economic Development

09/05/2014
The Vermont Economic Development Authority approved nearly $1.5 million in direct commercial financing to encourage economic development and business expansion throughout the Green Mountain State.

“VEDA is pleased to provide loans and other forms of financing to help businesses throughout Vermont grow and thrive,” said Jo Bradley, VEDA’s Chief Executive Officer. “In this round of approvals, a number of Vermont food and beverage producers will undertake expansion projects to meet increasing demand for their products, creating jobs in the process.” Projects awarded VEDA business incentives include;

A $469,262 VEDA loan was awarded to Jonergin Realty and Swan Valley Cheese in Swanton, Vermont, to fund building improvements and equipment purchases related to Swan Valley’s cheese making. The loan will also enable the buyout of a filtration system that is currently being leased.

The project upgrades to the plant will allow Swan Valley to pass new regulations, increase production and add a second shift, improvements expected to nearly double sales. It is anticipated that the project improvements will also more than double employment at Swan Valley from the current number of 13 to 27 within three years.

Zero Gravity, a Burlington, Vermont, craft brewer, will receive a $440,319 VEDA loan to partially fund the company’s expansion into a full-scale commercial brewery operation. It is projected this will increase employment at Zero Gravity from two to eleven over the next three years.

Zero Gravity has been producing and selling award-winning beer since 2005 as a brewpub connected to the American Flatbread restaurant located in downtown Burlington. The company now wants to expand its operation to meet growing demand for its product and plans to move its brewery to 5,975 square feet of leased space on Pine Street in Burlington. This will allow the company to expand its production capacity of Zero Gravity brand craft beers and add a retail shop with tasting room and beer garden.

The People’s United Bank is also participating in partial funding of the project. The existing brewpub housed in American Flatbread will continue to be used as a lab for innovation, marketing, and other promotions as well as to product small-batch specialty and barrel-aged beers intended for limited release.

Also in Burlington, VEDA approved a $330,000 equipment loan to Koffee Kup Bakery, Inc. as part of an $825,000 project to purchase and install new bakery and communication equipment for its facilities in Burlington and Brattleboro.

KeyBank and People’s United Bank are both participating in financing the Project along with VEDA. Koffee Kup is a long time Burlington bakery still based on Riverside Avenue. The company has grown significantly over the last several years, acquiring Vermont Bread Co. and its bakeries in Brattleboro and Connecticut in 2013. Koffee Kup and its subsidiaries are now vibrant regional bakery businesses, offering a complete line of bread products to supermarkets, convenience stores and other customers throughout the Northeast. The company employs approximately 200 people at its two bakeries in Vermont and has plans to expand Vermont employment nearly to 219 over the next three years. The current project will enhance the company’s productivity and capacity to meet growing demand.

VEDA also approved nearly $2.6 million in financing through its agricultural loan program, the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation. In addition, a total of $948,460 in financing was approved through VEDA’s Small Business Loan Program, which provides loans to Vermont small businesses that are unable to access adequate sources of conventional financing.

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