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Working Lands Business Grant

Grants to Vermont Nonprofits and For-Profits
to Develop the Agricultural and Forestry Sectors

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Initiative

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

01/22/19 12:00 PM


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Grants to Vermont nonprofit and for-profit organizations to strengthen the agricultural and forestry sector through innovative strategies and new business models. Applicants must submit an LOI prior to submitting a full application. Projects may involve infrastructure improvement, market development, marketing, research and development, and working capital.

Business grant projects may include scaling up production, developing new products, or developing new markets. Examples may include (but are not limited to):

1) Infrastructure: project specific planning, permitting, and/or engineering/architectural plans; purchase and/or construction of physical assets (i.e., building and equipment costs).

2) Marketing and market development: working capital for customer acquisition or developing supply chain relationships; labeling or packaging innovations.

3) Research and Development: testing new systems or technologies.

4) Grants for land acquisition will be considered in limited circumstances and will require documentation of value that justifies the request. Examples could include real estate appraisals by a licensed appraiser or the fair market value adjusted by the town’s common level of appraisal.

5) Working capital is an eligible use of funds

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 176703

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

- Business Grants – Standard: Requests must total between $5,000 - $25,000 in Working Lands EnterpriseFunds.
- Business Grants – Industry Impact: Requests must total between $25,001 - $150,000 and demonstrate significant potential for supply chain or overall industry impact. Projects above $50,000 should focus on low-grade wood or dairy and will involve additional requests for information in the full application period. (See scoring criteria for further detail.)

Term of Contract:

Projects must be completed within 18 months after the grant agreement start date.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The applicant must be in compliance with all state regulations (i.e. water quality, taxes, child support) and in good standing with the State of Vermont at the time of submitting an LOI and must remain so during the entire grant period.

Businesses must be based in Vermont and registered with the Secretary of State at the time of full application submission.

All business structures are eligible (e.g. Partnerships, Limited Liability Corporations, Sole Proprietorships, Cooperatives, Corporations, S Corporations, L3Cs, and B Corporations and/or nonprofits that are involved in the production of agriculture and/or forest-related products).

Previous recipients of Enterprise Investment grants (or Business Grants $20,000 and under) are welcome to apply for projects that demonstrate strong supply chain impact (projects over $20,000).

Previous recipients of Capital and Infrastructure grants (or Business grants for over $20,000) are ineligible for further Working Lands funds until three years after the start date of their previous grant (FY15 Capital and Infrastructure grantees are eligible to apply for FY18 funds).

Nonprofit projects that compete with for-profit working lands businesses are ineligible.

Pre-Application Information:

Application Period Begins: October 15, 2018 at 12:00 PM
Letters of Intent Due: November 8, 2018 at 12:00 PM
Applicant Notification of Acceptance/Denial (Letter of Intent): December 21, 2018
Invited Full Applications Due: January 22, 2019 at 12:00 PM
Award Notification: End of February 2019
Estimated Project Start Date: End of March-April 2019

An LOI is required in order to be considered for the submission of a full application. Not all applicants will be invited to submit a full application. All businesses selected to submit a full application will be required to attach a business plan.

All LOIs must be electronically submitted online. Paper applications will not be accepted. Applicants are strongly encouraged to log onto the website well in advance of the LOI deadline to register as a new user and gain familiarity with the online system.

First time applicants are encouraged to work with an advisor to develop their project concept and to construct a thoughtfully-planned and clearly-written LOI. For tips on writing a successful grant proposal and a list of service providers, please visit:

Budget must show at least a 1-to-1 match (for every dollar of WLEB funds requested, applicant must show at least one dollar of matching funds). At least 50% of match must be cash, the rest may be in-kind. Under limited circumstances, match requirements may be reduced or waived for projects that can justify the need for a reduced match (see budget narrative for further detail).

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit an LOI online:

Noelle Sevoian

Working Lands Enterprise Initiative
116 State Street
Montpelier, Vt 05620

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Vermont