Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) Friday welcomed the award of $2.1 million in federal CARES Act funds to capitalize and administer Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) that will provide critical gap financing to small businesses and entrepreneurs adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic across Vermont.

The award to Vermont includes one for Springfield Regional Development Corporation (SRDC), which will receive a $550,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer an RLF to provide loans to coronavirus-impacted small businesses in the southern Windsor County Vermont towns of Andover, Baltimore, Cavendish, Chester, Ludlow, Reading, Springfield, Weathersfield, West Windsor, and Windsor. SRDC Executive Director Bob Flint expressed thanks to Vermont’s delegation for their ongoing support and said “we look forward to continuing our strong relationship with EDA in putting these funds to work quickly for the businesses in our region who are most feelings the economic impacts of COVID-19”.

The grants are administered by the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA).

Leahy said:  “Businesses in Vermont continue to feel the weight of this pandemic.  When we wrote and passed the CARES Act, we included a variety of resources to support small businesses.  While these Revolving Loan Fund grants will help Vermont entities support Vermont businesses in this uncertain time, it is still not enough.  I urge the President to continue negotiations on a stimulus package and to work with Congress to provide real solutions needed right now in communities across the nation.”

Sanders said:  “Every day I hear from Vermonters who are hurting like never before. During these unprecedented health and economic crises, the government must do everything it can to support struggling Vermonters. I’m hopeful these federal funds will help many small businesses across the state get through this difficult time. But we must do much more to support the 155,000 Vermonters working for small businesses who sustain our rural economies. Working families and businesses in every corner of our country desperately need assistance and it’s long past time for Congress to start working on their behalf to pass another relief package.” 

Welch said:  “As Vermont safely and responsibly reopens, treasured local establishments are learning how to survive the coronavirus pandemic and serve their neighbors for years to come. The CARES Act was designed by Congress to provide immediate relief and much needed investment in our communities struggling to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. I am pleased that this money will provide important gap financing to help local businesses weather this unprecedented health crisis, but these grants are not nearly enough. I urge the president and Senate Republicans to stop their months of delay and begin negotiating further relief for the Vermont businesses and families that are hurting.

The other Vermont EDA investments announced Thursday are:

  • Vermont Community Loan Fund Inc., Montpelier, Vt., will receive a $1 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer an RLF that will provide loans to coronavirus-impacted small businesses in Caledonia, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille and Orleans counties.
  • Burlington Electric Department, Burlington, Vt., will receive a $550,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer an RLF that will provide loans to coronavirus-impacted businesses in the city of Burlington, Vt.

The EDA’s release is available here.