Working Lands Enterprise Initiative Business Grants Funding Opportunity for COVID-19 Response


From: Schimoler, Lynn Ellen
Sent: Friday, May 15, 2020 7:55 PM
Subject: Working Lands Enterprise Initiative Business Grants Funding Opportunity for COVID-19 Response

Hi, all:

Please share this new funding opportunity with your agriculture & forestry sector contacts – it’s a very quick turnaround, and an exciting opportunity!

The Working Lands Enterprise Board (WLEB) plans to award a total of $180,000 in COVID-19 Response Business Development Grants within the sectors of agriculture and forestry.

These funds are designed to complement business’s ability to maintain operations while increasing capacity to rebuild and/or recover during this unprecedented time of need.


Request for Applications Release: May 15th, 2020

Application Opens for Submission: May 21st, 2020

Application Deadline: May 31st, 2020 at 11:59 PM (application closes at midnight)

Award Notification: June 15th, 2020

Estimated Project Start: June 25th, 2020


Grants will be awarded within the range of $5,000 to $25,000.

Match is not a requirement for this particular funding opportunity, though match of cash or in-kind is encouraged, and applications with match will be more competitive


Applying organizations must have experienced, and be able to clearly demonstrate, negative business impacts due to COVID-19.

Eligible proposals will focus on business response, shifting marketing strategies, or other activities that may improve business recovery. Project activities eligible for funding include:

  • Market development: developing marketing plans and/or sales strategies, accessing new markets and securing new customers, brand development including website design or upgrades, institutional and wholesale market expansion, costs associated with achieving humane and/or organic certification
  • Value-added production: transitioning to operation as a new processor or expansion as an existing processor; transitioning to new pack-size/labeling or enhancing production and/or manufacturing efficiencies
  • Research and development: testing new systems or technologies; developing innovative solutions to production or management issues including accounting, tracking, and/or sales software, (e.g., E-Commerce, Home Delivery or Curbside Pick-up)
  • Operations logistics: workplace modifications to meet worker safety protocols regulations for working lands enterprises compliance, addressing labor force and public health in response to the pandemic
  • Growth strategy: new or expansion of current efforts, expanding consumer outreach and/or expansion of existing marketing strategy, established multi-year marketing plan and growth strategy of the industry represented, with intent to sell goods out of Vermont.

Here is the link to the Request For Application: WLEF COVID-19 Response Business Development Grants

Thanks so much,

Lynn Ellen

Lynn Ellen Schimoler

Senior Agricultural Business Development | Working Lands Enterprise Initiative

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

94 Harvest Lane, Williston Vermont 05495 |

802-622-4477 cell

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