The NOFA Vermont Revolving Loan Fund was jointly established in 1994 by NOFA Vermont and Chittenden Bank's Socially Responsible Banking Fund (formally Vermont National Bank). NOFA Vermont manages the $90,000 fund. The motivation to create the fund arose from an increasing number of loan requests from small scale organic farmers; farmers who lack credit history and therefore could not secure conventional loans; and the need for short-term working capital.
Process and Timeline:
Completed applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Technical assistance is available from the NOFA Vermont office for applicants who need help developing a business plan or in completing their loan application. Contact the office at (802) 434-4122 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications are reviewed by a peer loan fund advisory board. An initial screening will take place and applicants who are declined at this point will be notified. The applicants who are still in the selection pool may get a site visit by the loan fund officer after an initial screening is completed. Final decisions will be made by the loan fund advisory board. The loan fund will conduct a credit history check at its own expense.
Here are the forms and applications you'll need (all links are downloadable PDFS):
- General Information Sheet
- Loan Fund Letter
- Personal Data Sheet
- Joint Applicant Personal Data Sheet
- Trade Reference Sheet
General Information for borrowers:
Loans are available to:
- farmers within Vermont
- farmers that farm with sustainable agricultural practices
- organic farmers
- farmers that are interested in making the transition to sustainable management practices
- farmers that are interested in making the transition to organic management
Permitted Use of Funds
- Equipment and long-term assets (such as tractors, greenhouses, building improvements, or breeding or market livestock that will be on farm for more than one year)
- Working capital and short-term assets (such as inventory, advertising, seeds, market livestock to be processed within one year, or wages for production of product that will be sold during the year)
- Improvement of business management (such as market research, computer software and training, or seasonal labor)
- $2,000 - $15,000
- Fixed rate of 5.75%. Terms and disclosures will be detailed in the commitment letter.
- Equipment loans - 1 to 5 years
- Working capital - 1 to 12 months
- Business management - 1 to 12 months
Note: There is no pre-payment penalty for the payback of loans.
- Loans under $2500 will be unsecured
- Loans of $2500 or higher must be secured with a minimum loan to value ratio of 90%. Value of the collateral will be assured by appraisal by the loan officer or an independent third party.
A minimum of 10% equity in the project is required on loans of $2500 or greater.