In 2012, the Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Initiative (WLEI) was signed into law. The Initiative supports, grows, and sustains Vermont’s entrepreneurs by providing technical and financial assistance to help Working Lands businesses innovate and grow. Watch this video to hear more about the program, its history and impacts.
Program Overview to Date
- Since the program passed through the legislature in 2012, the program has funded 184 Agriculture and Forestry Projects
- Distributed Over $5.3 Million in Working Lands Funds.
- Leveraged over $10 million in matching funds (cash, in kind, other private and public investment).
- Since the program’s inception, investments to grantees added over 500 jobs, and sales revenues of $31 million.
- WLEB investments are able to respond to imminent needs, sectors and markets that have potential and/or challenges:a current example is industry impact investments in 2019, focused on dairy industry and 2nd wood manufacturing.
- These investments continue to make an impact in all 14 Vermont Counties.
The Initiative also works with the Vermont Community Loan Fund (VCLF) and the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) to provide zero or low-interest loan programs to Working Lands entrepreneurs.
The grant money and loan programs directly impact businesses and service providers by helping to create jobs, build infrastructure, provide technical aid, and promote growth. The program also protects Vermont’s greatest natural resource: its land.
The Working Lands Enterprise Board looks forward to continuing to invest in and support the agriculture and forestry industries in Vermont.