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Working Lands Enterprise Initiative Opens Business Enhancement Grant Applications

October 10, 2023
Sterling Mountain - Milling timber for bridge

October 10, 2023 | Montpelier, VT - The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative (WLEI) is now accepting applications for the Business Enhancement Grant. Vermont-based farm, food, and forest sector businesses may apply for grants for $15,000 - $50,000.  

The application portal is open from October 6th through November 20th. There will be an optional applicant webinar on Wednesday, October 11th from 12:00–1:00 PM 

Projects eligible for funding may relate to one or more of the following categories: 

  • Market development  
  • Research and development 
  • Infrastructure development  
  • Workforce training and development 

Applicants will be notified of awards in early January 2024 and the estimated project start is February 2024.  

The Business Enhancement Grant expects a match equal to 100% of the grant request, meaning that for example a business applying for a $25,000 should expect to contribute $25,000 in their own cash and/or labor. Under limited circumstances, the matching requirement may be reduced or waived for applicants who demonstrate a clear need for this accommodation. 

Visit the Business Enhancement Grant webpage for more information and to apply.  

Please visit the WLEI funding opportunities calendar to see other grants available for Fiscal Year 2024. Applications for grants offering either less than $15,000 or more than $50,000 will open in December and January, with awards announced in the spring. Applicants can only apply to one WLEI grant during Fiscal Year 2024.   

The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative (WLEI) and governing board (WLEB) were created by the legislature in 2012 to stimulate economic development in the agricultural and forestry sectors. WLEI is a collaborative effort between the Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets, Department of Forest, Parks, and Recreation, and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.  

Please follow @vtworkinglands and sign up for the Agriculture Development Newsletter for updates and application announcements.  

For questions regarding WLEI grant opportunities, please contact:  

Clare Salerno  

Agriculture Development Specialist | Working Lands Enterprise Initiative | 802-917-2637