In recent weeks, many Vermont hurricane- and tropical storm-damaged businesses have sought emergency financing assistance from the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA). In addition, VEDA wants to make sure Vermont farmers also take full advantage of the special financing assistance. ‘On August 28th, Governor Peter Shumlin announced the immediate availability of up to $10 million in special low-interest VEDA financing for Vermont businesses and farms who suffered damage as a result of Hurricane and Tropical Storm Irene,’ said VEDA Chief Executive Officer Jo Bradley. ‘While we’ve been receiving numerous applications for financing assistance from flood-damaged commercial businesses, we are concerned that Vermont farms damaged by Irene may not be completely aware of resources that are available to them,’ Bradley said. Additional financing for the emergency program, enabling the Authority to offer the lowest-possible interest rates, was approved by the State’s Emergency Board on September 13th. ‘We understand affected Vermont farms are still assessing the damages they sustained as a result of this terrible storm,’ said Bradley. ‘We encourage farmers to contact us as soon as they are able to.’ Emergency agricultural financing for farms damaged by Irene is available through VEDA’s agricultural financing program, the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation (VACC). The maximum loan size under the program is $100,000. The interest rate on the emergency VACC financing is 1% for the first two years with no payments required during the first year. At the beginning of the third year, the rate will adjust to the VACC Prime variable index. VACC financing is available for a variety of farm losses and damage attributable to Irene, including crop supplies, seed, livestock, fertilizer, machinery and equipment, fuel, lost inventory, and storm-related repairs to land, buildings and machinery. Applications will be reviewed and loans approved on a first-come, first-served basis until all available funds are exhausted. For more information, or to apply on-line, please visit www.veda.org(link is external), or email [email protected](link sends e-mail).