The PVGrows Loan Fund has announced $60,000 in funds available to directly cover the costs of key business development services for local farm and food businesses. This investment in capacity building complements the financing options already available at the PVGrows Loan Fund, in part by helping to create prepared borrowers who can leverage financing to grow their farm and food businesses.
“It is great to see how financing options have been expanding in recent years because it gives farm and food entrepreneurs the ability to find the best match,” says Michael Abbate, Chief Operating Officer at Common Capital in Holyoke and PVGrows Loan Fund collaborator. “What these new funds represent is the ability to provide the in-depth assistance businesses need so they can develop a plan to grow and utilize the capital sources.”
Farm and food entrepreneurs are beginning to tap into this new source of support. Recent beneficiaries include Greenfield’s Artisan Beverage Cooperative where, according to co-owner Will Savitri, “The PVGrows Loan Fund has been an incredible source of help in our preparation for a major expansion. The technical assistance provided by these funds has allowed us to develop a brewery design and expansion plan, as well as providing us expert technical assistance to improve our business plan and financial projections in preparation for our largest round of financing to date.”
Business assistance funding up to $10,000 per project is available thanks to the Fair Food Consulting Corps, which Fair Food Network operates in collaboration with Common Capital and PVGrows in Western Massachusetts. Farm and Food businesses located in the Pioneer Valley are invited to inquire about financing and business assistance by visiting www.pvgrows.net/loan-fund or call 413-665-7100, ext. 15.
About the PVGrows Loan Fund
The PVGrows Loan Fund is a project of PVGrows, a professional network of over 900 people dedicated to creating a healthier food system in the Pioneer Valley. The PVGrows Loan Fund was established in 2009 by a unique collaboration of lenders, foundations, nonprofits and state government including Common Capital, Franklin County Community Development Corporation, Equity Trust, Cooperative Fund of New England, Solidago Foundation, Lydia B. Stokes Foundation, New England Small Farm Institute, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources. These nine organizations are dedicated to improving the local food system economy and have raised over $750,000 from institutional investors. The Fund makes loans up to $250,000 and provides financing expertise and business assistance. In the fall of 2014, the PVGrows Loan Fund will begin accepting investments from community members who want to support local farm and food businesses.
For more information, go to www.pvgrows.net/loan-fund