Many of the businesses throughout our region are looking to grow and oftentimes find themselves with barriers to unmet funding needs. Chamber & Economic Development of the Rutland Region has a mission to encourage and enhance business success in Rutland County and our revolving loan fund is one of many services we offer to do exactly that. Our loan fund is here to help businesses in Rutland County looking to expand that have a gap in available financing to bring to life plans for expansion.
CEDRR’s loan fund provides funding of $5,000 to $250,000 (for up to 75% of all project costs) at a fixed-rate and is available for both existing and startup businesses. What makes CEDDR’s loan fund so unique is that it can finance businesses that are having difficulty obtaining traditional funding. Most commonly, our loans serve as a “gap financing piece” to meet the unmet funding needs in collaboration with local lenders as well as other partners such as Vermont Economic Development Authority and the Small Business Administration.
Our loans are available for a wide range of purposes such as the purchase of new machinery and equipment, business acquisitions to keep a business from closing, leasehold improvements, startup costs, and more.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and CEDRR is pleased to share that the available funding is stronger than ever and staff, as well as our Finance Committee, are eager to support regional businesses through our loan fund. To submit an application, businesses are encouraged to visit CEDRR’s website or reach out to Operations Director, Tyler Richardson. As with other lenders, our loan fund requires the development of a sound business plan with the proposed use of new funds. Once applications are received, CEDRR’s Finance Committee will review the application to decide on approval.
Before the merger that formed CEDRR in 2020, the loan fund lived with Rutland Economic Development Corporation for over 30 years and has provided many businesses with crucial funding. Most recently, CEDRR approved funding for Ann Clark Cookie Cutters. Ann Clark Cookie Cutters operates in Rutland making more than 30,000 cookie cutters a day, and this funding was used to expand their product offerings with food coloring and other cookie decorating supplies after identifying an increased demand for the products.
“Because of supply chain issues, an immediate opportunity opened for us in the marketplace for a higher quality food coloring,” said Ben Clark, CEO of Ann Clark Cookie Cutters. “To take advantage of this opportunity, we needed to quickly upgrade our facility and buy specialized equipment from Italy. CEDRR looked at our business plan and got us a loan and a state grant. Finished goods came off the production line within five months. With help from CEDRR, we have launched a new sales segment and added employees.”
At CEDRR, we spend a lot of time assessing the needs of individual businesses, large or small, as well as the needs of large county-wide networks and systems that interplay to support an overall healthy economy for our region. Some of our most exciting work comes from when we can connect resources to address these needs and we are honored to be able to address some of these needs through our loan fund.
As businesses work through their plans in the upcoming year, we hope they will consider reaching out to discuss funding opportunities to help bring these ideas to life right here in Rutland County.
Visit rutlandvermont.com/lending/ for additional information.
Tyler Richardson is the operations director for Chamber & Economic Development of the Rutland Region and lives in Rutland City.
Editor’s note: Ann Clark Cookie Cutters is featured in the Rutland Herald Explore magazine, available in locations around the city.