Business loans and bond financings in excess of $10.4 million have been approved by the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA). It is estimated that the VEDA financing will help stimulate $15.5 million in economic development activity throughout the state. ‘VEDA is very pleased to offer financing support to a number of small business projects around Vermont,’ said Jo Bradley, VEDA Chief Executive Officer. ‘In addition, bond financing has been approved for several large facility expansion projects.’ Among the projects approved by the Authority for financing assistance: · Rutland Plywood Corporation, Rutland ‘ Financing of $346,000 was approved to help Rutland Plywood Corporation complete a wood-fired electric co-generation project at the company’s Ripley Road facility, and provide working capital to help the company expand operations. People’s United Bank and Rutland Economic Development Corporation provided financing for the $1.5 million project. The electric co-generation system utilizes the Company’s wood waste to fire boilers, which supply steam to the mill for manufacturing processes and also to a steam driven turbine and generator. Electricity generated from the project is sold to Vermont utilities to help meet local demand. Rutland Plywood is a significant manufacturing employer in Rutland, with jobs expected to increase from 149 to 156 within three years of the project. Rutland Plywood manufactures hardwood laminates used by manufacturers of gunstocks, musical instruments, knitting needles, exercise machines, wire, and many other items.· Whetstone Station Restaurant and Brewery, Brattleboro ‘ A new restaurant and brew pub will be established in Brattleboro, with the help of $200,000 in VEDA financing. Brattleboro Savings and Loan is also providing financing for the $789,670 project. Whetstone Station Associates will purchase and renovate 4,500 square feet of real estate formerly known as the Riverview Restaurant. The new Whetstone Station Restaurant and Brewery will be a family-friendly brewpub with a mixture of on-site brews, regional micro- and international brews, pub food, local specialties and a children’s menu. Business principals expect to employ 25 people within three years of the start-up project.· Washington County Mental Health Services, Inc, Barre ‘ VEDA gave final approval for issuance of up to $5.3 million in tax-exempt bonds to help finance a two-part $6.9 million real estate development project being undertaken by Washington County Mental Health Services, Inc. (WCMHS) in Barre Town. The project received preliminary VEDA bond financing approval in January. Part I of the project entails the purchase of 6.6 acres of land and a building for conversion to a school for students unable to operate in normal academic settings. This facility is expected to include classroom, cafeteria, gymnasium, and auditorium space for 60 students in grades 1 through 12. Part II of the project entails the purchase of 4 acres of land and a building to create a larger central administration building for WCMHS. Northfield Savings Bank is also providing financing for the project. WCMHS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation providing a wide range of mental health services to residents in Washington County and several Orange County towns. WCMHS has 498 full-time employees. · Vermont School Boards Insurance Trust, Inc, Berlin ‘ Preliminary (inducement) approval for the issuance of $3.65 million in tax-exempt bonds was given the Vermont School Boards Insurance Trust (VSBIT) for their planned construction of a 12,000 square foot office building in Berlin. VSBIT, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation formed in 1978 to provide insurance and risk management services to Vermont school districts, currently operates out of 4,000 square feet of leased space.· Crash Palace, LLC, Rutland ‘ Financing of $300,000 was approved to help Crash Palace, a Rutland auto body repair shop, purchase the property it currently leases. Berkshire Bank is also providing partial financing for the $750,000 real estate acquisition project. Crash Palace employs 13 persons. VEDA also approved: · An additional $461,900 through the Authority’s Small Business Loan Program to assist growing Vermont small businesses that are unable to access adequate sources of conventional financing; and · $201,354 through the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund, which provides funds to repair or improve existing privately-owned drinking water systems. VEDA’s mission is to promote economic prosperity in Vermont by providing financial assistance to eligible businesses, including manufacturing, agricultural, and travel and tourism enterprises. Since its inception in 1974, VEDA has made financing commitments totaling over $1.8 billion. For more information about VEDA, visit www.veda.org(link is external) or call 802-828-5627.