|Montpellier, Vermont – The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) today announced its financial summary for fiscal 2019. VEDA approved 231 new loans, providing $ 87.9 million in financial assistance to entrepreneurs, manufacturers, small businesses and businesses agriculture in Vermont. “This has been a banner year for our small business loan programs, with over $ 10.5 million in funding approved for a key sector that is driving job creation and the economic vitality of our state. Our loan programs provide access to capital at affordable rates for small businesses, ”said Cassie Polhemus, CEO of VEDA. “Other trends that we are seeing statewide include downtown revitalization projects, the continuation of solar installations and the diversification strategies of our dairy farmers. The Authority approved $ 22.3 million in agricultural loans. Through its farm loan program, VEDA has assisted over 31 dairy farms (to date) by providing low-interest loans for planting crops and refinancing high-rate debt. Commercial loan approvals of $ 56.7 million in fiscal 2019 included projects for job retention, business expansion, equipment financing and downtown revitalization, such as Bennington’s Putnam Block. VEDA continues to support Vermont’s renewable energy infrastructure, with funding of $ 6.9 million for solar projects. The Authority has also approved loans of $ 2.1 million for its affiliated loan programs, including the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund and the Windham County Economic Development Program. Over the past five years, VEDA has provided $ 165 million in direct trade financing and leveraged over $ 444 million in private capital to support more than $ 609 million in projects in the state of Vermont. VEDA is hosting its annual meeting today in South Burlington, with guest speaker Daniel Silver, Senior Economist at JP Morgan Chase. Several of VEDA’s recent borrowers will also be in attendance, including Red Wagon Plants, Rogers Farmstead, Chappelle’s Vermont Potatoes, Vermont Shepherd, Scholten Family Farm, NU Chocolat, Skinny Pancake, Shacksbury Cider, Saxton’s River Distillery, Runamok Maple and LEDdynamics. VEDA’s fiscal year runs from July to June. As of June 30, 2019, VEDA had total assets of $ 316 million. Its loan portfolio totaled $ 279.1 million. Since its inception in 1974, VEDA has approved funding totaling over $ 2.5 billion. The Authority’s 2019 annual report can be downloaded at www.veda.org/about-veda/annual-reports/.