The Vermont Economic Development Authority approved business financing loans for entrepreneurial, energy, and small business projects throughout the state.
“VEDA continues to see great interest in the Authority’s Entrepreneurial Loan Program,” said VEDA CEO Jo Bradley. “It is exciting to see small businesses with innovative technology products start and grow in Vermont, creating jobs in the process. The Authority also is pleased to see growth in its Commercial Energy Loan Program, helping to finance the development of renewable energy generation projects throughout the state.”
Two loans were approved through VEDA’s Entrepreneurial Loan Program which provides financing to meet the working capital and capital-asset financing needs of Vermont-based businesses in seed, start-up and growth stages that may not have access to conventional means of financing.
Approved loans are:
Sterling Valley Systems, Inc., doing business as Inntopia in Stowe, Vermont, was approved for $245,000 to purchase additional hardware and software to increase computer capacity and keep up with increasing demand for its technology solutions.
Started in 1998, Inntopia supplies destination travel technology booking and reservation systems for call centers and travel marketing websites. Users of Inntopia’s products include central reservation agencies, destination marketing organizations, resort associations, property management companies, and tour operators. VEDA has provided financing to Inntopia at several points in recent years to support company growth. Inntopia now has 54 employees in Vermont, a number expected to grow to 77 within three years of the expansion project.
In Burlington, Vermont, Social Sell, doing business as divvi, was approved for $150,000 to help the start-up company further develop their unique “divvi” mobile App to be introduced for iOS this month. The divvi App is a mobile advocacy platform that drives digital commerce by powering real world product recommendations with easily-actionable links to purchase in a text or email. This technology enables a user to recommend and pass on an internet site link where friends and acquaintances may inspect and purchase a particular product. Within three years, the company hopes to create ten jobs.
In addition, a number of loans were approved through VEDA’s Commercial Energy Loan Program, which helps Vermont businesses finance qualifying renewable energy generation and energy efficiency improvement projects:
VEDA approved just over $2.1 million in commercial energy loans for Helios Solar, LLC of Montpelier to partially finance its purchase of ten new community net-metered solar array projects in the towns of Orwell, Jericho, New Haven, Whiting, Ferrisburgh, Waltham, Middlebury, Brandon, and Williamstown.
The solar array projects were designed and constructed by All Earth Renewables and SunCommon and each was purchased by Helios Solar just prior to its commissioning. VEDA funded 40% of the Project costs, and the balance was funded with equity. In total, the ten solar array projects will generate over 2.3 million KWH of electricity annually, enough to supply 337 average Vermont households. Together, they are expected to reduce carbon emissions by 1,348 tons annually.