VT Community Loan Fund’s New Northern Vermont Recovery Loan Fund to Combat COVID’s Economic Impacts

The Vermont Community Loan Fund has announced the launch of the Northern Vermont Recovery Loan Fund (NVRLF), a new loan program serving Northern Vermont agricultural and other businesses and organizations negatively impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Business owners from Vermont’s six northernmost counties of Caledonia, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille and Orleans Counties may be eligible for these loans. The NVRLF provides flexible terms and low- to no-cost debt financing, along with business coaching services and other supports, thanks to grant support from the US Economic Development Administration.

“The Northern Vermont Recovery Loan Fund was created in response to economic distress and community needs resulting from COVID-19,” said Vermont Community Loan Fund Executive Director Will Belongia. “Rural Northern Vermont, including the Northeast Kingdom, has seen the pandemic impact an already economically disenfranchised region, exacerbating job losses and household financial instability. This new loan program will get VCLF’s growth capital into the hands of folks who need it most,” he added.

The fund makes loans available to businesses across multiple sectors including agriculture, forestry & wood products, nonprofits and other drivers of rural economic development.

Loans amounts range from $5,000 to $240,000 and may be used for real estate and land acquisition; facility construction or improvement; equipment; inventory and working capital. The loan’s interest rate typically will be 0% for the first two years, and then fixed at 3% for up to eight more years.

VCLF will also provide NVRLF borrowers with free-to-them business development & advisory services, tailored to meet their specific needs and opportunities. “Consulting, training and counseling is a key component of our work to foster and support our borrowers’ success,” said VCLF Business Resource Manager Elena Gustavson. “We also regularly partner with third-party sources if we believe their expertise is the best fit for a borrower’s needs,” she added.

“The Vermont Community Loan Fund is committed to playing a key role in the state’s response to COVID-19, working toward economic recovery, growth and stabilization in this northern Vermont region, and throughout the state,” said Belongia.

For more information on the Northern Vermont Recovery Loan Fund and other VCLF lending programs, visit:


For more information on loans for affordable housing, nonprofits & community facilities, and early care & learning programs, contact Barbara Petrie, Loan Administrator, at [email protected] or (802) 223-4425. For more information on loans for local businesses, contact Bonnie Smoren, Loan Administrator, at [email protected] or (802) 224-9141.


Since 1987, the Vermont Community Loan Fund has loaned $112 million to local businesses, affordable housing developers and community-based organizations that have created or preserved 6,800 jobs; built or rehabilitated 4,300 affordable homes; created or preserved quality care for 4,200 children and their families; and supported community organizations providing vital services to hundreds of thousands of Vermonters. investinvermont.org