Chamber & Economic Development of the Rutland Region is a non-profit, community-based organization. Our mission is to encourage and enhance business success in Rutland County.
To help fulfill this mission, we provide fixed-rate loans through our Revolving Loan Fund. The Revolving Loan Fund provides businesses with loans of between $5,000 – $150,000. As loans are repaid, they are reinvested by Chamber & Economic Development of the Rutland Region in the form of new loans to other businesses.
Chamber & Economic Development of the Rutland Region also works with other partners such as Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) and Small Business Administration (SBA) as well as private and alternative lenders.
Ready to learn more? Contact Operations Director Tyler Richardson with questions.
Revolving Loan Fund FAQs
Who qualifies for REDC’s Revolving Loan Fund?
Funds are available for both existing or startup businesses. Our program is unique because it can finance businesses that are having difficulty obtaining traditional financing due to the unproven nature of their business, their small size, or unconventional product line. We work extensively with local banks and financial institutions, often serving as the “gap financing piece” to help meet the unmet funding needs of area businesses. Loans are available for a wide range of initiatives, from working capital to installing new machinery or buying land and/or buildings. REDC (DBA Chamber & Economic Development of the Rutland Region) is an equal opportunity lender, with funds available on a non-discriminatory basis and in accordance with Title V of Publication L, 93-495, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Funds for these loan programs have been provided by USDA Rural Development.
What can Revolving Loan Funds be used for?
Eligible loan purposes include:
- Machinery and equipment purchase
- Business acquisitions to keep a business from closing
- Leasehold improvements
- Pollution control and abatement
- Transportation services
- Startup costs, including feasibility studies
- Working capital
- Commercial nurseries, forestry, livestock and poultry processing, mushroom growing, and hydroponics.
What can Revolving Loan Funds NOT be used for?
Ineligible loan purposes include:
- Refinancing existing debt
- Lines of credit
- Agricultural production
What are the rates and terms?
The interest rate is prime plus one percentage point with a floor of 5.5%. All rates are fixed for the term of the loan. Terms will vary depending upon the type of financing and typically range from three to ten years (loans for buildings or land purchases may have longer terms). Revolving Loan Funds are available to finance up to 75% of all project costs.
A non-refundable $100.00 application fee is required. If the loan is approved, a 1% commitment fee is required and closing costs may apply.
How do I apply?
Applications may be obtained by calling the Chamber & Economic Development of the Rutland Region office at (802) 773-2747 and are also available online. As with other lenders, our Revolving Loan Fund requires the development of a sound business plan clearly describing the business and the proposed use of the new funds. The plan should address the industry and its trends, the market, and the company’s management and operations. Historical financial information is required along with projected operating results.
When are applications reviewed?
Applications are reviewed monthly by the Finance Committee. The meeting schedule and deadlines are available by contacting the Chamber & Economic Development of the Rutland Region office. A non-refundable application fee is required.
A Revolving Loan Fund Success Story
Rob Hewes was ready to try something new. After working for a large business since high school, Hewes decided to take the first of many steps in opening his own business in the powder coating industry.
“I knew a lot about powder coating, and the closest competition was Albany, Plattsburg or New Hampshire with a strong market in the region,” said Hewes. “The location and timing were perfect.”
Hewes opened R&B Powder Coating in Poultney, Vermont, in 2003. He worked with several local banks to try to finance his start-up. Rutland Economic Development Corporation (REDC) was brought in as a financing partner to help finance a part of the deal through REDC’s revolving loan program. REDC’s program is unique because it can help finance businesses that are having difficulty obtaining traditional financing due to the unproven nature of their business, their small size, or unconventional product line. REDC works extensively with local banks and financial institutions, often serving as the “gap financing piece” to help meet the unmet funding needs of area businesses. REDC was able to finance 25% of the loan that was needed to start the business.
Just a few years later, R&B Powder Coating was established and business was booming. Hewes found himself in need of a larger location to keep up with production. In 2006, Hewes identified a piece of property in Poultney and reached back out to REDC to apply for a new loan to help finance the construction of a new building. By November of 2006, with additional financing assistance from REDC, Hewes had opened in his new location.
Over the years, Hewes hired young talent fresh out of high school, took them under his wing, and gave them the opportunity to grow their careers.
“The greatest highlight of owning my own business here in Poultney will always be the satisfaction of watching my employees work for me right out of high school and mature over the years,” said Hewes. “All of whom have turned out to be incredibly successful individuals in their professional worlds within our region.”
On average, Hewes had 2-3 full-time employees and one part-time employee with customers from all over including Bernstein Display, Dock Doctors, Durasol Awnings, Kalow Technologies, Timberwolf, Vermont Store Fixtures, and many others.
In 2019, longtime customer Kalow Technologies approached Hewes with an interesting offer. Wanting to develop powder coating operations internally without starting from scratch, and recognizing the expertise R&B Powder Coating has built over the years, Kalow entered into an offer to acquire the business from Hewes. By December of 2019, Kalow Technologies was purchasing R&B Powder Coating and taking its three fully trained and qualified full-time employees with them.
“The purchase of R&B Powder Coating was the ideal scenario for Kalow Technologies,” said Paul Van Huis, President of Kalow Technologies. “We are able to expand our own resources and offerings within Kalow, bringing the considerable talent and expertise that R&B has cultivated over the years. The assets we acquired through R&B Powder Coating were invaluable to the growth of Kalow Technologies.”
Hewes shared the years of owning and operating R&B Powder Coating has been rewarding, but the time is right for him to make a change. Selling to Kalow Technologies was the perfect next step for the overall business and the employees, and allows him to start the next adventure in his life.
USDA Rural Development provides REDC with the capital for its loan fund through USDA’s Intermediary Relending Program. The program provides low-interest loans to REDC as the local intermediary that re-lends to businesses to improve economic conditions and create jobs in rural communities. By participating in this program, REDC uses its local lending expertise to ensure that federal funds actively support promising businesses and workforce development across Rutland county.
“R&B Powder Coating is a true success story for our region, and what Rob has done with the business is impressive,” said Tyler Richardson, executive director of REDC. “He took his talents to market and built this great business that provided great jobs. Now, as he transitions to something new, he’s selling to another growing business with regional ties in an arrangement that maintains employment for his staff. It’s a win, and we’ve been delighted to play a small part in it through our loan fund.”
Looking around the now-empty building he built from the ground up as the home of R&B Powder Coating for many years, Hewes says he can’t wait to lease the space to a new business starting out, seeing all that they will accomplish in our community.