$36.4 million in business financing approved by VEDA

first_img-30- The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) has approved $36.4 million in economic development financing assistance for a variety of large and small business projects. The financing support will leverage additional private investment, generating a total of $104.6 million in economic activity throughout Vermont.“VEDA is pleased to offer loan and other financing support to a number of commercial, renewable energy, small business, educational and agricultural initiatives,” said Jo Bradley, VEDA’s Chief Executive Officer. “These projects will bring jobs to Vermonters, and help stimulate Vermont’s economy.”Utilizing American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) federal stimulus funds, VEDA approved the following Recovery Zone Facility Bond issuance:· Green Mountain Power, Colchester – Green Mountain Power received final approval for $25 million in Recovery Zone Facility Bond (RZF) financing support from VEDA. The special facility bonds, which received preliminary approval from VEDA in January, utilize federal tax exemptions provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Green Mountain Power also received final Authority approval for an additional $5 million in taxable bonds to support expenditures planned for the following year. Green Mountain Power plans over the next two years to undertake numerous large capital projects throughout Chittenden, Addison, Caledonia, Washington, Windham, and Windsor counties. Projects include substation upgrades, renewable energy deployment, hydro-dam refurbishing, and reliability and transmission projects. Total project costs are anticipated to be $31.7 million in 2010, and an additional $46.6 million in capital expenditures in 2011. Green Mountain Power serves 122 Vermont communities across nine counties in the state. The electric utility employs 191 persons, a number expected to grow modestly within three years, due in part to these projects.Other bond financing approved by VEDA:· Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc., Brattleboro – Final approval was given for issuance of $3 million in tax-exempt industrial revenue bond financing to support the Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing’s extensive energy conservation upgrades at the Brattleboro campus, and their refinance of existing debt from prior renovations. Originally established in 1904 as the Austine School, the Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. now provides comprehensive educational and support services through several programs to deaf and hard of hearing children, adults, and families throughout Vermont and surrounding states. The school’s campus consists of multiple school and dormitory buildings on approximately 174 acres of land. The school employs 201 persons, a number expected to grow to 229 within three years of the project.Among the projects approved by VEDA to receive direct loan assistance:· Vermont Biomass Energy Company, Island Pond – Financing of $1.3 million was approved to the Vermont Biomass Energy Company to support the planned construction and operation of a wood pellet manufacturing facility in Island Pond. The $18.8 million project will convert the 80,000 square foot former Ethan Allen furniture manufacturing facility in Island Pond into a production plant. Community National Bank has approved a $10 million loan for the project, to be secured by a USDA Rural Development guarantee. In addition, the Township of Brighton will be submitting an application for $1 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for the project. Employment projections at the new manufacturing plant over three years are 34 jobs, with estimates that another 120 indirect jobs may be created as a result of the project.· Sugarsnap, Burlington – Financing of $75,000 was approved to support the expansion plans of Sugarsnap, a small fresh food farm and retail operation located on Riverside Avenue in Burlington. Opportunities Credit Union is also participating in the project, which will enable Sugarsnap to develop and outfit a production kitchen and office to serve additional retail locations planned within the next several years. Sugarsnap employs 7 persons, a number expected to grow to 21 within three years of the project.· Flex-A-Seal, Essex Junction – VEDA approved a $51,176 loan as part of a $127,939 machinery and equipment acquisition project at Flex-A-Seal, Inc.  The project will enable the company to grow their operations as producers and assemblers of different types of mechanical sealing products. Flex-A-Seal employs 54, a number expected to increase to 63 jobs within three years of the project.Through the Authority’s new Technology Loan Program, designed to assist smaller technology-related firms, VEDA approved $31,500 to Computer Care in Colchester to help the business expand their market area, purchase equipment, and hire additional employees.In addition, VEDA approved:· $1.2 million in financing to Vermont farmers through the Authority’s agricultural loan program, the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation (VACC); and· $719,396 to support small business development projects through the Vermont Small Business Loan Program.VEDA’s mission is to promote economic prosperity in Vermont by providing financial assistance to eligible businesses, including manufacturing, agricultural, and travel and tourism enterprises. Since its inception in 1974, VEDA has made financing commitments totaling over $1.5 billion. For more information about VEDA, visit www.veda.org(link is external) or call 802-828-5627.Source: VEDA. 3.9.2010last_img read more

New Jamaican PM becomes region’s youngest

first_img Sharing is caring! 12 Views   no discussions Tweet Share Sharecenter_img Prime Minister Andrew Holness (R) and his predecessor Bruce Golding share a laugh during the swearing in on SundayKINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — History was created on Sunday, when 39-year-old Andrew Michael Holness was sworn in as Jamaica’s youngest prime minister.In a 90-minute ceremony presided over by Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen and attended by some 4,000 guests, the country’s first Jamaican head of government born in the post-independence era (1962) took the oaths of allegiance and office, before being presented with the instrument of office as the nation’s ninth prime minister.The changing of the guard also saw the standard of outgoing prime minister, Bruce Golding, being lowered and replaced by Holness’, thereby completing the transition.Prior to these formalities, Golding formally tendered his resignation on Sunday, and advised the governor-general of the decision by the majority of government members of the House of Representatives to endorse Holness as his successor.The new prime minister had served as education minister since the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) won the 2007 General Election. He was also the youngest member of Golding’s Cabinet.Golding, who assumed the office of prime minister over four years ago, had indicated his intention to demit office in September, stating that the challenges of the last four years had taken a toll and it was appropriate for him to make way for new leadership to continue the programmes of economic recovery and transformation, while mobilising the JLP for the next general election.He delivered his last national address on Saturday. However, Golding remains leader of the JLP until the party’s annual conference in November.Holness’ meteoric rise to prime minister came within 14 years, and has seen him move from Member of Parliament (for West Central St Andrew), having been first elected to the House of Representatives in 1997, to opposition spokesman, to Cabinet minister and Leader of the House of Representatives.He has become the third youngest politician in the English-speaking Caribbean to assume the position, and one of three to do so prior to age 40. The others are: Bharrat Jagdeo, who became president of Guyana in 1999, at age 35; and Roosevelt Skerrit, who was installed as Dominica’s prime minister in 2004, at age 32.Holness, however, currently holds the distinction of being the youngest head of government in the English-speaking Caribbean, by 40 days, over Skerrit. In his near one hour-long inaugural address, Holness declared that it was with a deep sense of honour and humility that he took the oath of office and that he was cognizant of the “awesome responsibility” he now has.“I want to express appreciation to all those who have reposed confidence in me. Rest assured I am totally focused on the task of helping the Jamaican people realize their hopes and aspirations. I pledge to serve the people of Jamaica faithfully, with all my energies, all of my heart, mind and soul,” he stated, while paying tribute to his predecessors, particularly Golding.The governor-general congratulated Holness, urging him to use the confidence reposed in him by his colleagues, and the “tremendous” goodwill of the nation, to “step forward boldly and respond to the needs of the country”.“Today, you will embark on an epic journey. (You) will be tasked with the responsibility to catapult us into a rapidly changing world, and allow us to be comfortable doing business and interacting, without losing our identity as a unique group of people. We must position and understand ourselves in the context of global economic and geo-political relationships, and leverage recognition and respect, that the world has for us, to our advantage,” he said.Paying tribute to Golding’s tenure, the governor-general said the leadership transition symbolized “the end of one cycle and the beginning of another”. He noted that the former prime minister provided leadership at a time of global economic challenges.“You presided over a watershed period in the history of our country, and successfully provided us with a steady footing from which to transition into our 50th year of independence,” he stated.The governor-general praised Golding for endeavouring to do what he felt was in the nation’s best interest, adding that “history will be the judge of whether you succeeded (or not)”.Meanwhile, the secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, on Monday congratulated Holness, and extended the full support of the hemispheric organization as well as his best wishes for a successful term in office.“It’s a tribute to Jamaica’s unwavering commitment to democracy that the transfer of state power on Sunday passed from one elected Member of Parliament to another,” Insulza said in a letter to the prime minister, adding that his country “should take pride in the smooth transition of leadership in government.” The head of the OAS recalled in the letter that “Jamaica has been a strong and consistent partner in the work and efforts of the Organization in the Hemisphere.” “Therefore, we offer full support and cooperation from the OAS,” he concluded. By Douglas McIntoshCaribbean News Now NewsRegional New Jamaican PM becomes region’s youngest by: – October 25, 2011 Sharelast_img read more

Wisconsin holding its own at home

first_imgBilly Bertha is the lone senior on the Wisconsin squad, and although he has been an average leader in the singles game at 5-5, he has dominated the doubles slate with a record of 9-1.[/media-credit]As the seemingly endless winter weather continues to pummel Madison, the Wisconsin men’s tennis team is preparing for a big spring by heating it up during their season-opening 12-match homestand at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium. Having already jumped to a quick 5-1 start to open their season, the Badgers look to build on their early season success as the homestand continues.It’s an important string of matches for a team that has big plans for the upcoming season.“It’s nice to play at home because all of the guys, even new guys, are very comfortable in Nielson,” head coach Greg Van Emburgh said. “[Being at home] enables young guys to play their best tennis and gets everyone on the same page.” Getting everyone comfortable and on the same page early in the season will be a critical task for Van Emburgh as the competition picks up for a Badger team featuring three freshmen. Nonetheless, grand expectations remain this spring for a team that feels it has something to prove.“I believe we’re one of the most underrated, under-ranked teams in the country,” Van Emburgh said. “We have two seniors who understand what it takes to win, and the younger guys are definitely ready for their matches.”Van Emburgh said his team goals for the years were to “finish strong in the Big Ten and get back into the NCAA tournament.”The Division I men’s tennis championship is a single elimination bracket draw, formatted the same way as Division I basketball’s March Madness tournament. It is no small task reaching the tournament, as only the top 64 teams in the country are invited. The last Badger team to earn a spot in the tournament was the 2009-2010 squad, which advanced to the round of 16, something no Wisconsin team had done in the program’s history.The only remaining member of the 2009-2010 group on this year’s Wisconsin team, senior captain Billy Bertha, understands the challenge of making the tournament but knows it’s still a real possibility.“We’ve been practicing very hard,” Bertha said. “Everyone is more focused, staying earlier and leaving later at practice and in the weight room as well.”“The new guys are getting used to college tennis and learning what is expected of them as athletes. They’re starting to get competition under their belt and we’re gelling as a team.”One of the younger talents Bertha is referring to is Oskar Wikberg.Only a freshman, Wikberg has already made a large impact on the team. Raised in T?by, Sweden, he has been a tennis standout for many years, eventually winning the Swedish U18 singles national championship. Wikberg has built a very strong 15-2 record individually to start his college career and although he is in a new environment, he seems to be finding his place smoothly and naturally with the help of older teammates.“Our chemistry is really good,” Wikberg says, “Bill [Bertha] helps out younger players and gives us advice, we have a good mix of young players and older players and it’s a perfect match.”Wikberg and Bertha both have the potential to make some noise individually in the NCAA tournament but they are clearly focused on the team.“My goal is for the team to reach the NCAA tournament,” Wikberg said. “Making the tournament individually is just a bonus. My first goal is for the team to reach the tournament. It’s a tough goal but it is very possible. We have to do it one match at a time.”Although the goals are big, the team knows they must take care of business at home before they plan their trip to the NCAA tournament. The 12-match home stand to begin the year is critical for a young team trying to find their comfort zone and chemistry for the season.“It’s very important to start off on the right foot at home,” says Wikberg. “It’s much tougher on the road with bigger crowds. If we could get a few people to our home matches we could use that to our advantage.”As youthful as the team may be, it’s clear “the sky is the limit” mindset has taken over the program. When asked about the team’s youth and diversity, Van Emburgh has confidence and optimism.“We have a great mix. It doesn’t matter where [our guys] are from as long as they have the same goals,” he said. “It comes down to whether we have good guys who are hard workers and on the same page and the answer to that is yes.”last_img read more