Eligibility Overview for Fiscal Year 2023
Funding Source: The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) through Vermont Legislative appropriation
Available Funds in Fiscal Year 2023: $1,000,000
Funding range is likely to be $50,000 to $250,000
Application will be a two-stage process starting in late fall 2022
In late fall 2022, the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative (WLEI) will open a funding opportunity totaling $1,000,000 for primary producers to invest in business enhancement initiatives. The eligible projects, eligible business structures, and matching requirement sections of the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative Business Enhancement Request for Applications (RFA) are applicable to the upcoming ARPA Funded Primary Producer Impact Grant. However, due to additional funding restrictions, only primary producers of farm and forest products are eligible to apply for the upcoming ARPA Funded Primary Producer Impact Grant. Applicable examples of primary production activities are farming, livestock rearing and logging. All enterprises classified as NAICS Code 11 are eligible to apply. Applicants will need to submit one of the following documents showing NAICS Code 11 status: filed tax return that shows Code 11 or schedule F income, farm registration, produce program registration, or water quality designations for Medium Farm Operation (MFO), Large Farm Operation (LFO), or Certified Small Farm Operations (CSFO).
Primary producers can use grant funds to invest in market, infrastructure, and workforce development initiatives that advance their use of their own primary products. For example, grant funds can be used for processing primary products, but 50% of the product being processed must be produced by the applicant.
While typically the forest industry includes sawmills and other primary wood manufacturing as primary production, only businesses involved in harvesting timber are eligible for this grant. Forestry applicants will be asked to provide proof of intent to harvest during the grant period, which could be a contract or a signed letter from the landowner whose land they are logging.
In addition to submitting a W9, Certification of Insurance, and water quality forms required for all WLEI grants, applicants will need to show that they have applied for a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number. WLEI can accept an IRS Federal EIN Number (FEIN) while a UEI is being processed, but a screenshot and attestation of the UEI application will be required. Additionally, a business that received the Vermont COVID-19 Agriculture Assistance Program (VCAAP) must use these grant funds for a different scope of work.
For questions, please contact: Clare Salerno | Agriculture Development Specialist | Working Lands Enterprise Initiative | firstname.lastname@example.org | 802-917-2637