$3.1 Million in Federal Grants Awarded to Three Vermont Community Lenders

WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 – Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced today that three Vermont organizations received more than $3.1 million in federal grants from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.

The CDFI Fund awarded $202 million in grants and loans to 195 community credit unions and loan funds across the country that provide affordable financial products and services in economically distressed areas.

Three Vermont programs received funds through these awards.

  • Community Capital of Vermont Inc. in Barre received $700,000
  • Opportunities Credit Union in Winooski received $1,653,000
  • Vermont Community Loan Fund Inc. in Montpelier received $786,840

“These organizations play an important role in Vermont’s economy,” Leahy, Sanders and Welch said, in a joint statement. “They are on the front lines providing much-needed financing to individuals, businesses, and projects in economically distressed communities throughout the state.”

Leahy, the senior-most member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has long been an advocate for the CDFI program.  The program has played an important role in Vermont’s economy by investing in small businesses, families and neighborhoods that would not have access to the capital they need from conventional lenders. 

Opportunities Credit Union, which received the largest grant, provides important loaning opportunities to low- and moderate-income Vermonters to start and expand businesses, to buy a first home and to finance basic transportation.


Community Capital of Vermont Inc., established in 1995 in downtown Barre, delivers business loans and technical assistance to startup and existing businesses.


Martin Hahn, executive director of Community Capital of Vermont said, “This award from the CDFI Fund will grow Community Capital’s ability to make loans to Vermont’s entrepreneurs. These funds will help create jobs and provide new investment to strengthen downtowns, village centers and our rural working landscape. Vermont’s congressional delegation is to be congratulated for their support of the CDFI Fund and Vermont’s network of community development lenders.”


Established in 1987, VCLF grows business and creates jobs by providing loans, grants, financial consulting and business development services to hundreds of Vermonters.


Will Belongia, executive director of the Vermont Community Loan Fund said, “Organizations like the Loan Fund are providing flexible financing and financial services that are critical to folks who can’t access services from a traditional lender. Over the lifetime of this grant award, the loans we make will help over 600 families find a safe, affordable home.”


The federal CDFI Program invests in and builds the capacity of community credit unions, banks, loan funds and other financial institutions serving rural and urban communities across the nation that lack adequate access to affordable financial products and services. Through the first 20 rounds of this program, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $1.5 billion, helping build a nationwide network of more than 950 CDFIs located in every state, all focused on economically empowering the communities they serve.





David Carle (Leahy): 202-224-3693
Michael Briggs (Sanders): 202-224-5141
Kirsten Hartman  (Welch): 202-225-4115




Press Contact

Press Contact
David Carle: 202-224-3693