Saturday July 20, 2013

ELIZABETH CONKEY

Staff Writer

BENNINGTON -- The Vermont Community Loan Fund recently loaned $971,000 to nine small businesses in Vermont, including Catamount Glass of Bennington.

Located at 309 County St., Catamount Glass makes glass kitchen items. A second business purchases the finished glasses and bottles and silk-screens them for custom orders.

"We aim to help small businesses, like Catamount Glass, succeed," said Sam Buckley, director of business programs for VCLF.

ASI Associates, a real estate holding company whose sole tenant is Catamount Glass Inc., will use the loan for structural improvements to its building, including a new roof, electrical upgrades, window insulation, and other repairs.

"The renovations will make for a better work environment," said Buckley, who explained that VCLF makes a constant effort to aid businesses on the outskirts of the state like Southern Vermont and the Northeast Kingdom.

"We try to reach the communities not as close to the capital as most others," he said. "It’s a challenge geographically, but it’s so important."

The loan given to Catamount Glass also resulted in the preservation of 21 jobs within the company. It is anticipated that two new full-time jobs will be created in the next year.

Since its inception, VCLF has lent more than $75 million to cities, towns and villages throughout Vermont, created or preserved over 3,500 jobs, built or rehabilitated more than 12,00 affordable homes, and created or preserved quality care for over 2,600 families and children.


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Will Belongia, VCLF’s executive director, said that the organization’s goal is to contribute to the economic well-being of the state’s lower-class.

"These most recent loans have helped to create and preserve jobs, quality child care and community service for hundreds of Vermonters," he said.