In a check presentation ceremony at Project Independence on Main Street in Barre, Gov. Peter Shumlin announced that 41 businesses have taken advantage of the newly created loan program to help with losses related to recent flooding.
Loans ranging from $5,000 for equipment replacement to the maximum $25,000 for structural repairs have been awarded since the program was launched on Monday. The businesses are located in communities including Barre, Cabot, Shelburne, Danville, Burlington, Montpelier, Essex Junction and St. Albans.
"These businesses needed financial assistance quickly to replace equipment, repair damaged buildings and make other repairs needed to stay open or to reopen after the floods," said Gov. Shumlin. "I'm really pleased that we were able to get employers the help they needed so quickly."
The loans are being administered by the Vermont Economic Development Authority. Jo Bradley, Chief Executive Officer at VEDA, said her office is moving quickly to approve the requests -- a total of 14 have already received checks totaling $307,000. If all loans currently in process are approved, the program will have loaned a total of $914,260.
Three businesses, Project Independence, the Barre Health & Wellness Clinic and Family Memorials, Inc. of Barre attended today's check presentation event.
No businesses have been denied a loan at this point, although two were withdrawn because they were not commercial businesses, according to VEDA's statutory definition, Bradley said.
"VEDA staff has really been amazing," Bradley said. "They have jumped right in to help these businesses. It is gratifying to see many of the business owners so overjoyed to get this assistance."
The loan program was the result of serious damage sustained by Vermont businesses from flooding that began in April and continued into this month. Gov. Shumlin asked the Emergency Board to approve $1 million toward the program and VEDA estimates that it will be able to leverage these funds at least three to one. The loans require no interest or payments for one year and 1 percent interest for the following five years.