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Vermont Small Business Loans: Best Local and Online Options

Vermont’s small businesses help to keep the state alive. With over 79,000 total small business firms employing 60.6% of all workers in Vermont, the economy of the state simply wouldn’t survive without these small businesses. On this page, we will make sense of the loan landscape of Vermont.

Tetiana Sitiugina-Babiuk
Financial Sector Specialist and Content Strategist

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According to the latest Small Business Administration statistics, lending institutions have issued an annual amount of $468.3 million in loans to Vermont-based small businesses. These funds can be used to finance a variety of expenses associated with starting or growing a small business, from leasing a commercial space and purchasing the equipment to hiring staff and running a marketing campaign.

Best Vermont Small Business Loans

Community National Bank

Community National Bank in Derby, Vermont, offers a number of loans for businesses, including small businesses. These business loans include:

  • Business lines of credit. Business lines of credit are usually secured by business assets or real estate and can be used to cover short-term working capital needs. These loans have an annual maturity; however, they can be renewed after the bank conducts a credit review.
  • Equipment loans. Equipment loans from Community National Bank come with flexible terms and can be used to purchase new or used equipment and machinery.
  • Commercial real estate and construction loans. These types of loans can be used to finance the purchase, construction, or renovation of your commercial property. A construction loan takes the form of an interest-only line of credit, which becomes an amortized loan after the construction is finished.
  • Commercial term loans. Commercial term loans come with flexible terms and can be used to rebuild your balance sheet.

Whichever type of loan you are interested in, be prepared to provide your personal financial statement, complete personal and corporate/partnership tax returns for the past two years, as well as the year-to-date Profit and Loss Statement and balance sheet.

Union Bank

Union Bank in Morrisville, Vermont, is one of the most highly rated lenders for small businesses around the state. The Bank offers several types of loans designed specifically for small businesses needs:

  • SBA loans. Union Bank is a Small Business Administration “preferred lender.” These government-guaranteed loans come with no minimum loan amount, smaller down payments, and flexible repayment terms.
  • Economic development loans. The other type of small business loan they offer is Economic Development Loans that are designed to improve the quality of neighborhoods.
  • Real estate loans. The bank knows the Vermont real estate market inside-out and offers attractive real estate loans to fund land and commercial building acquisitions, as well as real estate development projects.
  • Business lines of credit. A business line of credit can help you with working capital needs, seasonal cash flow difficulties, and inventory purchases.

North Country FCU

North Country FCU in South Burlington, Vermont, offers the standard SBA loan programs such as the 7(a) program. They offer loan programs that apply to businesses of all sizes, such as:

  • SBA loans. North Country offers several SBA loan programs for term loans and lines of credit to suit your business needs.
  • Equipment loans. These take the form of a fixed-rate term loan, which can be used to purchase business equipment.
  • Business vehicle loans. North Country FCU finances tractors, trucks, and even boats for small businesses in Vermont.
  • Commercial mortgages. Commercial mortgage loans come with competitive rates and terms of 15, 20, 25, or 30 years.
  • Business lines of credit. The credit union offers regular business lines of credit and investment property lines of credit.

Summary Table

BankTypes of LoansLoan details
Community NationalBusiness lines of credit

Equipment loans

Commercial real estate loans

Construction loans

Commercial term loans
Annual maturity. Secured by business assets or real estate

Flexible terms

Can be used to finance purchase of commercial real estate

Takes the form of interest-only line of credit

Flexible terms
Union BankSBA loans

Economic development loans

Real estate loans

Business lines of credit
No minimum loan amount, smaller down payment

Can be used to improve the quality of neighborhoods

Interest-only during construction period, terms can vary

Asset-based lines of credit are secured by inventory or accounts receivable
North Country FCUSBA loans

Equipment loans

Business vehicle loans

Commercial mortgages

Business lines of credit
Various SBA term loans and lines of credit

Takes the from of a fixed-rate term loan

Can be used to finance trucks, tractors, boats

15, 20, 25, 30-year terms available

Regular and investment property lines of credit available


Top Online Vermont Small Business Loan Options

When you are not able to qualify for a Vermont small business loan from a local bank, you have the option to turn to an alternative lender online. These online loan options make the application process considerably easier, as they require less supporting documentation and are often willing to consider applicants with lower credit scores.

1. Smartbiz


Founded in 2009, Smartbiz is now the leading online banking network, connecting applicants to some of the biggest banks in Vermont and across the country. Through Smartbiz, you can apply for either a small business term loan or an SBA loan. The lender is determined to make the application and approval process as simple and transparent as possible and is known for its long repayment terms and competitive rates. Keep in mind, however, that because SmartBiz connects you to banks, you can expect the approval and funding process to take longer than with some other online lenders.

Competitive interest rates
Long repayment terms
High borrowing limits
Multiple loan offers available
High approval rates
Excellent reputation
Transparent fees and terms
Long application process
Additional fees (ex. origination fee)

With SmartBiz, you can apply for a bank term loan ranging from $30,000 to $500,000, with a repayment term of 2 to 5 years. The payments must be made on a monthly basis, and the APR can range from 6.99% to 24.99%.

SBA loans come with much higher borrowing limits, lower rates, and longer terms. As such, you can borrow up to $5 million to be repaid over 10 to 25 years with a monthly repayment schedule. The APR can range from 4.75% to 7%.

The Bottom Line

Bank term loans and SBA loans from SmartBiz come with lengthy terms and competitive interest rates. So, if you are willing to wait a little longer to receive the funds, SmartBiz is an excellent option to keep in mind.

2. Fundera

banner Fundera

Fundera serves as a loan marketplace and an online lender itself. Therefore, in addition to offering its own loan products, the company connects applicants with a variety of lenders around the country.

A variety of loan types to choose from
Connections to numerous lenders
Soft credit check upon application
Competitive interest rates
Funding can take up to 3 weeks
Qualification criteria aren’t clear

The Vermont small business loans you can apply for through Fundera include:

  • Microloans
  • Merchant cash advances
  • Invoice factoring
  • SBA loans
  • Business lines of credit
  • Equipment financing
  • Commercial real estate loans
  • Business term loans

Fundera offers a variety of loans ranging from $2,000 to $600,000, with interest rates beginning at 6%. You can also borrow up to two million dollars with SBA loans, with loan terms of up to 30 years. Fundera also provides its borrowers with access to a wealth of knowledge, making the lending process significantly smoother.

The Bottom Line

Fundera is an excellent alternative to a traditional bank, offering a broad range of loan products with flexible limits, rates, and terms.

3. Credibly

banner Credibly

With more than 10 years in operation, Credibly has earned a reputation as a trusted online lender with a broad selection of loan products and applicant-friendly qualification criteria.

High maximum borrowing amounts
Low minimum credit score
Speedy application and fund disbursement
Several loan products to choose from
Open to high-risk industries
Friendly and helpful customer support
Interest rates can get expensive
Short repayment terms for some types of loans
Loans come with origination fees

With Credibly, you can choose among the following seven small businesses loan options:

  • Government-backed SBA loans
  • Long-term business expansion loans
  • Equipment financing loans
  • Invoice factoring loans
  • Merchant cash advances
  • Business lines of credit
  • Working capital loans

With such a diverse range of loan products, specific loan features, such as borrowing amounts, fees, and terms, can vary greatly as well. For example, Credibly business expansion loans can reach $5 million in value and come with long terms. On the other hand, working capital loans can reach $400,000 and must be repaid over 6 to 18 months.

Credibly is known for its lenient eligibility requirements: for most types of loans, the minimum credit score is only 500. In addition, the lender is open to borrowers from high-risk industries, such as surgical or dental practices.

The Bottom Line

If you are searching for a Vermont small business loan, funding options from Credibly are definitely worth considering. Not only will you be able to find just the right loan for your business needs, but you will also be able to qualify even with subpar credit.

4. Fora Financial

banner Fora Financial

Fora Financial is a reliable fintech lender, which has served thousands of U.S. small businesses since its inception in 2008. The lender offers two forms of small business financing: merchant cash advances and term loans, which are available to applicants from a variety of industries and can be used for a variety of purposes. In most cases, you can expect to receive the funds within 24 to 72 hours after the application approval.

Funding issued in 24-72 hours
Credit score isn’t important for approval
Applicants from many industries are welcome
Interest rates can get high
Additional fees are charged

The Fora Financial merchant cash advances and short-term loans allow you to borrow up to $500,000, at a factor interest rate ranging from 1.1 to 1.3. Short-term loans must be repaid over 4 to 15 months, while merchant cash advances don’t have a predetermined repayment period. Here, you would simply repay the loan from your future credit card sales.

The Bottom Line

Fora Financial offers fast and convenient short-term business loans and flexible merchant cash advances. With this lender, you can receive up to $500,000, as quickly as in 24 hours. However, be prepared to pay relatively high interest rates.

Additional Vermont Small Business Financial Resources

Even if you don’t meet the small business loan requirements for Vermont, there are additional resources. Vermont has small business grants and other assorted potential sources of funding.

Vermont Employment Growth Incentive

The Vermont Employment Growth Incentive, for example, provides a cash payment based on revenue return generated to the state. Businesses must be authorized to receive this grant by the state. To be authorized, businesses must apply to the Vermont Economic Progress Council, which determines if the business and its project meet the requirements.

Vermont Training Program

The Vermont Training Program (VTP) is a grant provided for training employees and prospective employees. VTP grants may cover up to 50% of the training cost and can be used for large-scale training projects.

Northern Border Regional Commission

The Northern Border Regional Commission provides additional grants for community and economic development projects. Municipalities, public entities, and not-for-profit entities are eligible applicants.

Economic Development Program

Windham County has an Economic Development Program that promotes business startups in the area. The initial promised funding from the program is finished, but some businesses may still prove eligible for funding.

State Trade Expansion Program

The State Trade Expansion Program provides funding to businesses looking to expand internationally. The program will reimburse businesses that expand internationally through trade shows, trade missions, market research, and export education.

Other Resources for Vermont Small Businesses

The SBA offers a variety of options beyond financial assistance for small businesses. These include counseling such as SCORE, the Vermont Small Business Development Center, the Vermont Women Business Center, and the Vermont Export Assistance Center.

SCORE Vermont

SCORE is a volunteer-run organization dedicated to providing free mentoring to help start or grow your business. They operate in a variety of areas including Vermont and the Clinton, Essex, and Franklin counties in New York.

Vermont Small Business Development Center

The Vermont Small Business Development Center has provided no-cost professional expertise and guidance to business owners since 1992. While not necessarily financial aid, the VTSBDC will provide you with a variety of services to give you the best possible chance of success.

Vermont Women Business Center

For women looking to start out on their own path in life, the Vermont Women Business Center provides assistance. Also called the Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE), the nonprofit organization’s goal is to empower women and provide them with all the tools to succeed. The CWE offers consultations, workshops, and networking opportunities.

Small Business Debt Relief Program

The state of Vermont offers a Small Business Debt Relief Program that allows small businesses to gain immediate relief from non-disaster SBA loans. It specifically provides loans such as 7(a), 504, and microloans if the business meets size standards.

Beyond the size standards, there are more obvious requirements, including a U.S. basis, ability to repay, and a sound business purpose. The purpose of these loans is to forgive debts for businesses that have gotten off the ground, and it was created to assist in COVID relief.

The Bottom Line

While starting or expanding a small business in Vermont isn’t cheap, the state offers a variety of loans, grants, and other forms of support to local entrepreneurs. Whether you decide to go with a traditional bank, a credit union, or an alternative online lender, make sure to review the detailed loan terms and conditions to find just the right product for your needs.

About the Author

Tetiana Sitiugina-Babiuk

Tetiana Sitiugina-Babiuk

Financial Sector Specialist and Content Strategist

Independent writer, content strategist, and financial sector specialist. Tatiana has an extensive experience in working with financial institutions such as Bank of Canada and Risk Management unit at FinDev Canada. She holds an MA in Financial Risk Management from the University of Toronto.

More about me

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