Finance & Industry
Financing Options from Public and Private Programs
Vermont banks are vital financial resources for the business community. The banks help stimulate local businesses by working in partnerships with such organizations as Franklin County Industrial Development Corporation, Vermont Economic Development Authority, the Small Business Administration, the Vermont Community Development Program, and other public and quasi-public sources. Vermont offers competitive tax rates in the New England/New York region as well as tax credits for certain job creation. Franklin County has nine commercial lending institutions with assets in excess of $4.0 billion. Many of these banks offer a wide spectrum of services, including: cash management, certificates of deposit, letters of credit, business and agricultural loans, international services, payroll services, and employee benefit plans. Local banks are ready to work with individuals and institutions to develop an appropriate package of services.
The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) is designed to promote economic growth and increase employment through a variety of financing programs for eligible projects. VEDA has three programs that assist companies and regional development offices in financing economic development projects:
Rural Development is the credit arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The mission area includes loans for businesses, not-for-profit corporations, municipalities, cooperatives and housing loans for single family, multi-family and elderly persons.
Intermediary Relending Program: This program is designed to finance small and emerging business and community development projects in rural areas. Loans are made to qualified intermediaries which in turn relend to small businesses and community development organizations. Businesses or organizations borrowing from the intermediary must be located in a rural area. Qualified intermediaries include private not-for-profit corporations, public agencies and cooperatives.
Community Facility Loans, and Guarantees: Direct loans and loan guarantees can be made to improve, develop or finance essential community facilities in rural areas with populations of less than 50,000. Eligible borrowers include cooperatives, not-for-profit corporations and municipalities that are providing essential services to their local community or region. A very limited grant program is also available to projects serving poverty level communities. The Vermont World Trade Office (VWTO) is a public/private organization created in 1995 through the combined efforts of the Vermont Legislature, the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Affairs and the Vermont Business community. The VWTO's mission is to serve as a source of information, technical assistance, and support to Vermont Businesses in their efforts to develop or expand their international trade opportunities throughout the world. The VWTO carries out this mission in three primary ways: it provides information and technical assistance to any Vermont business that requests it; it delivers a series of export education programs geared towards either the novice or the more experienced exporter; it sponsors trade missions to targeted foreign markets for the purpose of promoting the export of Vermont's products and services.
The Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank's mission is to help finance the export of U.S. goods and services and to provide a level playing field for American exporters by countering the export credit subsidies of other governments. Ex-Im Bank offers four major types of programs: working capital guarantees, loans, loan guarantees and export credit insurance.
The technological revolution now makes it possible to work and live where you want. Franklin County is continually improving its position to move into the new millennium. Newer technologies such as fiber optics, modulation and demodulation of computer information along telephone lines, and interactive television, have increased access to both national and international markets. Vermont's telecommunications network is among the most modern in the nation. Industrial Locations
There are ten industrial sites in Franklin County, several of which currently have lots and buildings available for sale or lease. The Franklin County Industrial Development Corporation (FCIDC) has participated in the development of seven of these parks, and can provide information and assistance to firms interested in locating anywhere in Franklin County. FCIDC's success comes from its longstanding commitment of service to existing and relocating industries.
The State of Vermont has no inventory tax, county tax, local sales tax, or local corporate net worth tax. In addition, there is no sales tax on manufacturing equipment if purchased for use in a direct manufacturing process. Vermont sales tax is 6 percent and Rooms and Meals tax is 9 percent. Property taxes will depend upon the community in which the business is located.
The Transportation Network: Connecting People, Goods, and Services to the World.
Franklin County has developed an integrated network that provides many options for the transportation of people and goods. Connections to the U.S., Canada and world markets are possible using roads, rail, air or water-borne transportation. This carefully managed transportation network is constantly being improved and upgraded as the needs of the region grow.
In the Air
Burlington International Airport, located less than thirty miles from Franklin County, provides passenger, commercial, and freight air services. With its modern terminal, newly constructed parking facility, U.S. Customs Service, and Foreign Trade Zone, Burlington International Airport is the transportation hub of northern New England. Dorval International Airport, located one and one-half hours north in Montreal, provides full service non-stop flights to destinations worldwide. Mirabel Airport, also in Montreal, provides cargo transport via non-stop flights to international destinations.
Known as one of the most beautiful highway systems in the world, toll free Interstate-89 travels through the heart of Franklin County on its route connecting Montreal and Boston. Interstate-89 links several important roads including Interstate-91, U.S. Route 7, Vermont Route 105, and U.S. Route 2. These links provide efficient road access to Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and New Hampshire. In addition, Route 78, part of the National Highway System, connects Interstate-89 in Franklin County to New York's Interstate-87. Dozens of interstate trucking companies serve Franklin County and overnight freight and parcel service is offered by several transportation firms.
Railroads also play a key role in Vermont, with 740 miles of active railroad tracks providing major cities and small towns with easy access to national and international markets. Franklin County is serviced by New England Central Railroad, which operates from Montreal, Canada to the coast (New London, CT) with connections to three class-one railroad carriers and eight short line carriers. It also offers service to six distribution centers and intermodal service ensuring that Vermont customers can rail freight to the global market. Passenger service is available from Amtrak's "The Vermonter" which begins in St. Albans and travels down the eastern seaboard, with connections in New York City and Washington D.C. "The Vermonter" also connects daily with passenger service to Montreal by Intercity Bus Service and is available several times daily with stops in Swanton and St. Albans.
Only sixty-two miles away lies the Port of Montreal, which offers year round shipping possibilities. In fact, the Port of Montreal is the shortest, most direct sea route between the northeastern U.S. and Northern Europe. The multifunctional Port of Montreal is linked to the five continents, and more than 200 ports worldwide. Forty shipping lines have specialized terminals that handle all types of cargo, including containers, breakbulk, grain, petroleum products, and other dry and liquid bulk. Terminals at the port include Cast, Inc.; Tremont, Inc.; and Empire Stevedoring Co. The Port of Montreal serves as another way of connecting businesses in Franklin County with international markets.
Customs and Immigration
Franklin County shares a 20-mile stretch of border with the Canadian province of Quebec, with five ports of entry. Before entering the United States, all travelers must be prepared to provide proof of citizenship; visitors for pleasure who are not American or Canadian citizens may be required to show a valid tourist visa and pay a processing fee; foreign visitors should be prepared to explain the length and purpose of their visit. Check with the nearest American Embassy or Consulate in your area for information regarding your visit.
Franklin County companies involved in international trade have access to A. N. Deringer, Inc. Deringer is the fourth largest U.S. Customs Brokers in the world with 30 offices worldwide and over 450 employees. Deringer offers a full range of customs brokerage and freight forwarding-related services, including: importation services, customs law counseling, insurance exporting, domestic shipping, reforwarding, and bonded and non-bonded warehouse facilities. In addition to its Franklin County corporate headquarters, Deringer also has an office in Highgate Springs at the U.S./Canadian border and a U.S. Customs Bonded Container Freight Warehouse with automated shipping, reforwarding, and air freight consolidations. Other Customs Brokers include: Affiliated Customs Brokers, Fritz Companies, Inc.; Norman G. Jensen Customs Broker, Livingston International, Inc.; FW Meyers & Co., Inc.; PBB USA, Inc.; and Trans Border Customs Service, Inc.
For complete information on customs regulation contact:
U.S. Customs Service, Public Information
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20229
tel. (202) 482-4600
U.S. Customs District Office
St. Albans, VT 05478
tel. (802) 524-6527
For complete information on immigration and naturalization contact:
Office of Information, U.S Immigration and Naturalization Service, Department of Justice
425 I St. NW
Washington, DC 20536
tel. (202) 514-4316
INS Highgate, Vermont
tel. (802) 868-3349
INS Sub-office in St. Albans, Vermont
tel. (802) 527-3255
At present, Vermont enjoys a significant capacity of energy resources. Included in our energy portfolio are hydro-electric, nuclear, natural gas, oil, and coal. Franklin County is one of only two counties in Vermont serviced by natural gas. These services are provided by Vermont Gas Systems, Inc., which serves the towns of Georgia, Sheldon, St. Albans, and Swanton. Franklin County electrical service providers include Central Vermont Public Service, Citizens Utilities, Enosburg Electric, Swanton Municipal Electric, and Vermont Electric Cooperative.