|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
|Economic Adjustment Assistance||1||$1,000,000|
EDA awarded four grants in the state of Vermont in 2012 totaling $1.5 million. Three of the awards are in response to natural disasters that occurred in 2011 and are designed to minimize economic dislocations resulting from a major disaster by promoting job creation, supporting economic diversification, or fostering disaster resiliency.
Investment Spotlight: EDA Grant Establishes Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund to Assist Small Businesses
As a region, New England has some of the highest energy rates in the country, a fact that is especially true for electricity. These high costs have an acute impact on small and medium-sized businesses that must devote scarce income to energy costs, rather than expand their businesses and create new jobs. While making energy efficiency upgrades to their businesses would significantly lower energy costs, many Vermont small and medium-sized businesses lacked the necessary funds to cover the upfront investments in these improvements.
In order to provide these businesses with opportunities to lower energy costs, EDA awarded $1 million to the Burlington Electric Department to capitalize and operate an energy efficiency revolving loan fund for to the Department’s commercial and industrial users. This revolving loan fund will leverage private to public investments at a rate of 2 to 1 through an on-bill financing model that will help commercial and industrial users overcome the “out-of-pocket” expense barrier for energy efficiency improvements. Each loan is structured so that the customer sees monthly positive cash-flow in energy savings greater than the monthly loan repayment.
This EDA supported revolving loan fund is expected to serve up to 150 businesses within its first three years. Additionally, the upfront costs funded by the loans directly support the local economy, in the form of professional services, skilled trades employment, and equipment and materials purchases.