The HVADC Cultivator
HVADC Project: Agriculture Loan Fund Program
HVADC has been named as a designated lender to help administer a recently established $10 million fund from New York State that will be available to assist local agribusinesses have easier access to capital. The Agriculture Loan Fund Program is another tool to help provide access to capital for small agribusinesses that otherwise may face limited opportunities, not only supporting the success of these businesses but also improving the economic outlook for rural and surrounding communities.
In 2018, New York State announced a new initiative to provide a boost to agribusinesses and create job growth. The Agriculture Loan Fund Program was developed to help the State’s value-added processors, farms, food distribution companies, food aggregators, craft beverage producers, regional Food Hub participants and more, with the expansion of their businesses. Through the New York Job Development Authority (JDA), which operates under Empire State Development (ESD), $10 million in funding is available to assist small agribusinesses across the state access low-interest loans ranging from $50,000 to $200,000 that are distributed through third-party lenders such as HVADC. Eight approved lenders have been named throughout the state, with HVADC focusing on the Mid-Hudson and Capital regions.
Eligible borrowers of program funds include value-added processors, food distribution companies, food aggregators, wineries, breweries, distilleries, cider producers, farms and Food Hub participants. Projects qualifying for loans primarily include the purchase of machinery and equipment used in support of the New York State agricultural industry.
The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing state economy, encourage business investment and job creation, and support diverse, prosperous local economies across New York State through the efficient use of loans, grants, tax credits, real estate development, marketing and other forms of assistance. ESD invests in infrastructure, workforce development, supports the health and retention of existing businesses, works to develop new businesses and industry, provide early stage support for new ventures, strengthen New York State economy and more.
“We are aware that access to capital is an issue for farm and food businesses within our footprint,” said Todd Erling, Executive Director of HVADC. “We are working on several initiatives to address this issue and we are pleased to be working with Empire State Development to roll out this agribusiness loan fund.”
According to Erling, loans may be considered ‘bridge’ funding while awaiting grant or other financial support. For instance, a farm may have won a grant to build high tunnels to extend their growing season, but does not have the cash on hand up front to build the project, and the grant funds are expected to be received as a reimbursement once the project is complete. In this case, if approved for an JDA Agriculture Loan, the farm could secure the funding through HVADC, build the high tunnels, get reimbursed through the grant and then pay off the loan.
In addition to serving as the third-party lender to administer the Agriculture Loan Fund, HVADC is able to work with clients to complete their application, connect applicants with required resources or advisors to execute their projects, assist with business development consultation, solutions and more.
Eligible agribusinesses seeking capital for their next projects can reach out to HVADC Program Associate, Jennifer Bock to learn more about the Agriculture Loan Fund or to apply, at 518-432-5360 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.hvadc.org/agriculture-loan-fund
Photo Source: USDA & HVADC