SBA honors lenders for increased aid to VT entrepreneurs; GMP adds electric vehicle charging station

More than 100 lenders from financial institutions throughout Vermont gathered at the Capitol Plaza in Montpelier last Thursday for the Small Business Administration’s Annual Meeting and Awards event.

The event recognized the leading SBA lenders based on total SBA loan volume by dollars and numbers of SBA backed loans made during fiscal year Oct. 1, 2014 through Sept. 30, 2015.

SBA loan volume by dollars increased in Vermont by 58 percent from $33.9 million in 2014 to $53.5 million in 2015. Vermont experienced the third highest percentage dollar volume increase in the nation behind Delaware and Arkansas. The number of SBA-backed small business loans in Vermont increased 26 percent from 262 loans in 2014 to 330 loans in 2015.

During the event, the Vermont District Office recognized Berkshire Bank, Community Capital of Vermont, Community National Bank, Opportunities Credit Union, Vermont Community Loan Fund, Peoples Trust Company, People’s United Bank and Granite State Development Corporation for their various efforts supporting SBA loan programs.

Berkshire Bank made the most SBA guaranteed loans in Vermont during FY15 with 68 loans.  Peoples United Bank was the SBA lender with the highest loan dollar volume in Vermont at $8.2 million.

“The funding options for small businesses in Vermont are expanding. SBA loans made in partnership with our local banks, credit unions, certified development companies and mission lenders will continue to provide low cost capital to startups and small businesses on reasonable terms.” said Darcy Carter, SBA Vermont District director.

The SBA’s three primary loan programs are 7(a), 504 and microloans.

The 7(a) Loan Program is used for equipment, inventory and working capital with no minimum and a maximum of $5 million. The SBA supported 270 such loans in Vermont worth more than $42.5 million, with the  loan amount of $157,495.

The 504 Loan Program provides long-term fixed rate financing for real estate and equipment. The dollar loan volume for the 504 Loan Program nearly doubled in Vermont, increasing from $5.1 million in 2014 to $10 million in FY15. Granite State Development Corp. made more than 50 percent of these loans in FY15, at $5.5 million.  The average amount in Vermont was $589,235.

The SBA Microloan Program is available to qualifying small business owners lacking the collateral or credit history to qualify other loan programs. It provides direct loans up to $50,000 through designated local microlenders. In FY15, 40 SBA microloans were approved in Vermont, totaling $689,407, with the average microloan of $17,235. There are three SBA microlenders in Vermont: Community Capital of Vermont, Northern Community Investment Corp. and Vermont Community Loan Fund. For the third year in a row, Community Capital of Vermont made the most microloans in the state with 29 for a total of $435,072 in FY15.

For the first two months of FY16, ending Nov. 30, the SBA in Vermont has backed 51 loans totaling $7.9 million which is an increase of 54.5 percent in volume by dollars compared to FY14.

For more information, visit or call 802-828-4422.

GMP, Hannaford partner for electric vehicle charging station

You can now charge your car while you shop at the Hannaford Supermarket & Pharmacy in Williston, thanks to a partnership between Green Mountain Power, Hannaford Supermarkets and Taft Corners Associates. The charging station is located at the Williston Hannaford, 78 Marshall Ave.

“The new charging station at Hannaford is part of our effort to build a comprehensive EV charging network across Vermont,” said Dorothy Schnure, Green Mountain Power spokeswoman.
GMP has installed charging stations in 25 locations, nine of which have a DC Fast Charger.  Williston is the second charging station in Vermont supported by Hannaford, which also has a station at its store in Essex.

The charging station at Hannaford in Williston will serve all electric vehicles (Tesla owners need an adapter) with an ABB fast and a dual port Level 2 station.  The GMP NRG EVgo Freedom Station is capable of providing approximately 80 percent of a battery charge in 25 minutes when using the DC fast-charging option. The chargers also have Level 2 capabilities that provide up to 24 miles of charge per hour.

GMP and NRG EVgo offer customers the option to pay as they go or sign up for various monthly charging memberships starting around $5.95 a month. Memberships are available for GMP customers at 1-877-494-3833 or, but anyone can pay by credit card at the charging station.

— Compiled by Leah M. Cunningham

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Filed Under: Business & Personal Finance

About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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