Business Grants and Loans in Vermont: Funding for Your Vermont Business

Department or Agency: The State of Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development

Loan or Grant title: Elevate Vermont

Elevate Vermont offers technical assistance grants for companies applying for the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant programs. With grants up to $250,000, SBIR and STTR are competitive grants to fund basic research needed to bring technology innovations to market. Technical assistance from Elevate Vermont helps Vermont companies complete successful grant applications. Companies must be headquartered in Vermont, among other requirements. The goal is to give applicants valuable feedback and hands-on guidance.

Department or Agency: Agency of Commerce and Community Development

Loan or Grant title: Brownfields Revitalization Fund – State Program

The Brownfields Revitalization Fund aims to promote the safe redevelopment of contaminated properties, stimulating economic development and job creation. Grant funds must be used to implement an approved Correction Action Plan for sites registered in the Brownfields Reuse and Environmental Liability Limitation Program. For-profit and nonprofit organizations are welcome to apply.

Department or Agency: Agency of Commerce and Community Development and the Vermont Department of Economic Development

Loan or Grant title: State Trade Expansion Program (STEP)

The Vermont State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) supports small businesses as they enter foreign markets or expand export operations internationally. Eligible businesses have a physical operation and employees in Vermont, making at least 51% of the product in the United States. Eligible businesses may receive up to 75% reimbursement for pre-approved, allowable export-related expenses up to $20,000 per year. Permitted uses include trade show costs, digital marketing for international campaigns, compliance testing, export research, and more. 

Department or Agency: Agency of Commerce and Community Development

Loan or Grant title: Vermont Training Program

The Vermont Training Program exists to enhance the skills of the Vermont workforce and increase worker productivity. While all business sectors are eligible to apply, there are certain sectors that are given priority. Projects to be funded should focus on developing targeted skills relevant to the employees’ jobs and pertain to a new or innovative product, equipment, technology process, market opportunity, or productivity gain. Funds cover up to 50% of employee wages for training or up to 50% of the trainer costs. See the website for full details, noting the grant agreement must be signed before the training begins. Contact The Vermont Training Program staff for more information.

Department or Agency: Agency of Commerce and Community Development

Loan or Grant title: Community Recovery and Revitalization Program

The Community Recovery and Revitalization Program is designed to help small businesses, nonprofits, and municipalities suffering lingering, negative economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. For-profit businesses are permitted to use grant funds to aid in the safe reopening of a closed business, or to help fund a business expansion that was delayed because of the pandemic. Awards are capped at the lesser of 20% of total eligible project costs or $1,000,000. For-profit business applicants must be located in Vermont and have their primary operations in the state. Businesses must also have at least a 10% equity stake in the company. See the web page for details, FAQs and to access the application portal.

Department or Agency: Working Lands Enterprise Initiative

Loan or Grant title: Business Enhancement Grants

Vermont’s Business Enhancements Grants is an annual program that opens in September each year. The program awards up to $35,000 to businesses in Vermont to fund market development, research and development, infrastructure, energy, or workforce development projects. Learn more at the Working Lands Grant FAQ webpage and keep an eye on the request for application page for details when the program reopens.

Department or Agency: Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

Loan or Grant title: Trade Show Assistance Grants

Vermont’s Trade Show Assistance Grants is an annual program that opens in the fall each year. Grants between $2,000 and $5,000 are awarded to Vermont-based agricultural and forestry businesses that have three or more wholesale accounts and with products that meet defined requirements. Funds may be used to identify, plan, and exhibit Vermont-made products at out-of-state trade shows or at virtual shows targeting out-of-state buyers.

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