U.S. Treasury awards $600,000 to fully capitalize the Flexible Capital Fund to make more royalty financing investments available for growing Vermont agriculture, forestry and clean technology companies
Montpelier, VT – A $600,000 award from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) is the final investment in the Flexible Capital Fund’s capitalization goal of $4 million. Known as Vermont’s only royalty financing fund, the Flexible Capital Fund L3C (Flex Fund), provides flexible debt in the form of revenue-sharing loans and technical assistance to growth stage value-added agriculture, forest products, and clean technology companies with socially responsible missions.
“We are actively seeking to invest in companies that are building our food system, re-localizing our clean energy, and preserving our working landscape,” says Janice St. Onge, president of the Flex Fund. “We are a mission-based investment fund that provides equity-like financing in the form of subordinated debt and royalty (revenue-share) financing. The “flexible” in Flex Fund offers growing Vermont companies the ability to repay creatively structured debt over a longer timeline and on flexible terms without taking ownership in the company.”
Current Flex Fund investments include Vermont Smoke and Cure, Aegis Renewable Energy, Farmers To You, Liz Lovely, Vermont Butcher Block & Board Company, and WallGoldfinger. The full capitalization awarded by the CDFI Fund provides the Flex Fund with more capital and technical assistance money to support those Vermont companies committed to creating sustainable jobs and resilient communities in the agriculture, forestry, and clean technology sectors.
The Flex Fund was certified as a CDFI organization last year, recognizing the Flex Fund’s commitment to promote community development, serve low to moderate income target markets, and provide business development services in addition to being a financing entity.
“Flex Fund loans are repaid based on a percent of revenue over time. They are structured to be creative, can be deferred, and unlike equity investment our loans don’t force an exit strategy or require an owner to give up control,” St. Onge adds. “The advantage of working with the Flex Fund on a company’s financing package is that we are a long term partner offering non-financial support through peer-to-peer network resources, mentorships, and technical assistance. We are committed to the success of the companies we work with – as both viable business operations and as socially responsible investments.”
The Flexible Capital Fund, L3C is a mission-based investment fund that provides ‘equity-like’ financing in the form of royalty loans and subordinated debt to targeted Vermont growth companies in value-added agriculture, forest products, and clean technology (renewable energy, environmental technology, energy efficiency, and waste management) companies. Flex Fund investments are combined with business assistance to ensure borrowers have the support they need to stay and grow in Vermont. As a Vermont Licensed Lender, the Flex Fund is the first business lending program in Vermont focused on providing royalty financing for growth stage businesses—and one of only two such programs of its scale in New England. With royalty financing, instead of taking a piece of ownership in the company, a lender provides debt that the company repays by sharing a piece of their gross revenue over a fixed period of time. The Flex Fund’s innovative royalty/revenue-based financing allows for income and upside to investors while preserving ownership and mission with founding entrepreneurs. www.FlexibleCapitalFund.com
Since its creation in 1994, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $1.9 billion to CDFIs, community development organizations, and financial institutions through the CDFI Program, the Bank Enterprise Award Program, the Capital Magnet Fund, the Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program, and the Native American CDFI Assistance Program. In addition, the CDFI Fund has allocated $40 billion in tax credit allocation authority to Community Development Entities through the New Markets Tax Credit Program, and $325 million has been guaranteed in bonds through the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program. To learn more about the CDFI Fund and its programs, please view the Fact Sheet or visit the CDFI Fund’s website at www.cdfifund.gov.