Vermont small business owners have a chance for a share of $1 million. Economic development in the state got a big win when the Farm Bill was passed last week. Monday, we learned just how businesses here will benefit.
Take, for example, Danielle Nichols. Nichols credits a low-interest federal loan for her success.
“I saved, over the past 10 years, a pretty significant amount of cash that I sunk into the business, about half of what the loan was worth,” said Danielle Nichols. “I wouldn't have been able to do this without the loan."
She owns Cork, a specialty wine shop, in Waterbury, VT. She employs 7 people.
Back in 2011, Nichols launched her small business using a $50,000 loan.
That loan was distributed through the Vermont Economic Development Authority, or VEDA. The money comes from the USDA Rural Development Intermediary Relending Program.
USDA Rural Development State Director for VT & NH Ted Brady said, “This program is about a $20 - 25 million program nationally, we're authorized up to that dollar figure. It was renewed in the Farm Bill that the President signed on Friday in Michigan."
It was announced Monday that VEDA will get $1 million of those dollars this year.
“That's a nice chunk of change for Vermont. Last year, VEDA got 1 million of that. That's more than 5% of that money for Vermont out of that national pot,” said Ted Brady.
VT Governor Peter Shumlin was at Monday’s conference. He recognized the partnership in place to make this happen: “USDA and VEDA coming together to say 'We're going to make it possible for people like Danielle to grow jobs in Vermont.' You can't do that if you don't have capital, cheap, accessible capital,” he said.
A Morrisville couple will also be receiving a similar $50,000 VEDA loan to purchase a residential care home, currently called the Squier House, also in Waterbury.
David and Jennifer Anderson already own Forest Hills Residential Care Home in Hyde Park, Vermont. They opened that using a $50,000 VEDA loan. This new money will go a long way towards their new investment.
“Certainly without this support, we wouldn't have been able to make this purchase. It's vitally important, certainly for Waterbury, to have a residential care home,” said David Anderson.
VEDA has distributed 10 million of these dollars in the last 25 years. In all, it's granted 240 small business loans.