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Loans offered for working lands efforts

MIDDLEBURY — The Vermont Community Loan Fund has announced the second round of SPROUT, a low-interest loan program for emerging working lands entrepreneurs. The financing program was created to meet the capital needs of Vermont farms, food producers and processors, foresters, forest products businesses and others in the start-up and early stages of operations. Loan applications are now being accepted.
SPROUT received start-up support from the State of Vermont’s Working Lands Enterprise Initiative in 2016. Earlier this year, a second round of subsidies from WLEI helped to make another round of SPROUT financing possible.
SPROUT offers low-interest loans of up to $60,000 with 1 percent interest-only payments in the first two years, and a 2 percent fixed rate thereafter. The Loan Fund’s Business Resource Center also coordinates assistance with business development and financial planning tailored to meet borrowers’ unique needs, free-of-charge.
“SPROUT provides a powerful tool for emerging working lands businesses who have exciting growth opportunities,” said VCLF Executive Director Will Belongia.
“SPROUT’s rates and terms give these working lands businesses the runway of time and resources they need to grow and succeed.” Said VCLF Director of Business Programs Raymond Lanza-Weil. “SPROUT helps us extend financing and free business development services to entrepreneurs who otherwise wouldn’t qualify for a VCLF loan.”
Since launching in 2016, SPROUT has loaned almost $400,000 to eleven entrepreneurs; current Addison County borrowers include:
To apply for or learn more about SPROUT, please contact Dan Winslow at 802-224-9144 or dan@vclf.org.
More information online here.

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