Windham County Economic Development Program

Detailed information can be found here: http://accd.vermont.gov/business/WCGP

2016 Annual Report

Purpose

The WCEDP is meant to promote economic development in Windham County by providing funds to stimulate job creation through business start-up, expansion, or relocation, encourage entrepreneurial activity, and strengthen the economic development infrastructure to ensure a strong foundation for transformational economic activity. The primary focus of the program will be private sector job creation and retention, and direct support of entrepreneurial activities, followed by support of systems and activities that encourage an entrepreneurial, innovation and business start-up environment and culture.

The program’s funds will be made available through direct low-interest loans administered by VEDA, competitive grants to organizations responding to an annual Request for Proposals, and non-competitive grants and incentives.  For-profit businesses must apply for loans. Non-profits and municipalities may apply for loans or competitive grants.

Program Structure

Applicants for loans or competitive grants are strongly advised to take advantage of the technical assistance made available in the region.  Loan and competitive grant applicants are required to attend a Letter of Intent to Apply Workshop, or view the recording online, submit a Letter of Intent to Apply and have the LOI reviewed by the Windham County Advisory Council and approved by ACCD.  If the LOI is approved, applicants attend an application workshop, also available online after December 1st, 2015, and then submit an application.

Loans

Applicants for loans are strongly advised to utilize available WCEDP technical assistance.  Loan applications, including all required documentation and financial information, are filed directly to the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) using VEDA’s Small Business Loan application.  VEDA will conduct underwriting and make a recommendation to ACCD.  If approved, the loan can be closed when all required closing documents are submitted to VEDA.  Click here for additional detail on WCEDP loans.

Eligible Use of Proceeds

  • Purchase of land and buildings
  • New construction or renovation to existing property
  • Purchase and installation of machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures
  • Working capital

Competitive Grants

A Request for Proposals (RFP) will be released each year describing the types of projects that are eligible for that round of competitive grant funding.  Eligible projects may vary each year depending on the need identified by the region. Potential applicants are strongly advised to utilize available technical assistance. Applications are filed with ACCD and will be scored by ACCD staff and reviewed by regional and state agencies.  The Vermont Economic Progress Council will perform a final review of all applications, hold a public hearing in the region, and then make an allocation and prioritization proposal to the Governor.  The Governor will select applications for funding. Both the LOI and application must address one or more objectives of the RFP, advance the goals and objectives of the regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), and address certain other criteria upon which the application will be competitively scored.

CEDS Goals

  • Create an entrepreneurial environment and culture to enhance existing business and grow new business
  • Improve wage parity with the surrounding labor-shed
  • Increase the size and quality of the workforce
  • Regain and attract younger talent through engagement linkages, lifestyle amenities, and meaningful career opportunities
  • Develop immediate VY specific workforce and site impact mitigation strategies prior to the 2014 closure of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant

Contact:

R.T. Hamilton Brown
Windham County Economic Development Project Manager
Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation
76 Cotton Mill Hill
Brattleboro, VT 05301
rbrown@brattleborodevelopment.com
802.451.0442 (cell)
802.257.7731 x221

The following paragraph is from this year’s Annual Report.

“The 2015 – 2016 fiscal year for the Windham County Economic Development Program (WCEDP” has been busy. In late August, 2015, a dedicated Project Manager was hired by BDCC to focus on the program, providing  active business and community outreach, technical advising, and working to foster entrepreneurial activity. Fund utilization, balance and project types are reviewed below. Of note, the GS Precision expansion project won an award from the Northeastern Economic Developers Association (NEDA) and applications from several technology-based startups serve as highlights. Lastly, the launch of INSTIG8, a program for entrepreneurs and early stage businesses kicked-off in May.”

Most importantly, the program’s utilization has resulted annual projected contributions in payroll of approximately 38 million for the region. Of course, these are still projections and there’s much work to do, but the indications are that the program is making a difference. The Report provides context and details the different categories for each project.

The next fiscal year is off to a busy start. Several events are scheduled throughout the county this Fall to promote the program to put these funds back into the region and circulation. For the most up-to-date information, check out www.facebook.com/INSTIG8.

If you have any questions, please contact rbrown@brattleborodevelopment.com.

2016 Windham County Economic Development Program Annual Report

Revision note: 9/15/16 changed word “dispersed” to “committed” on page 6, 2nd to last paragraph.