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Business Notes: May 5, 2013

East Thetford — The Vermont Economic Development Corp. has approved a $1.58 million loan to Pompanoosuc Mills and Green Mountain Economic Development Corp. to finance the company’s sale/lease back agreement

Under the agreement, Green Mountain will purchase Pompanoosuc Mills’ manufacturing, headquarters and showroom facility in East Thetford with financing from VEDA and lease it back to the furniture company on a long-term basis.

The annual lease payments will be low enough to enable the company to invest more in growth, product development, marketing and sales development, a news release says.

The loan also will help the mill hire an additional 13 workers within three years.

Established in 1973, Pompanoosuc Mills, which has 137 employees, manufactures hardwood and upholstered furniture from North American hardwoods at its facility in East Thetford. The furniture is sold through the company’s 12 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic retail stores, online and directly to commercial accounts.

The Vermont Economic Development Authority is Vermont’s statewide economic development finance lender. It has a relationship with Pompanoosuc Mills that dates back to 1980 when it helped finance construction of a 10,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in East Thetford. The facility has grown to 74,000 square feet. Green Mountain is a nonprofit regional development corporation that works with companies in Orange and northern Windsor counties.

Flourish Natural Body Care, of Woodstock, has been named by the Brattleboro Food Co-op as “highest quality” Vermont producer of the month.

Flourish’s co-owners Kirsten Connor and Darren McCullough started making natural and organic lotions, cremes, lip balms, shampoo and conditioners the kitchen of their home and selling them in a few shops and stores. Then, just as demand for their natural products grew and they started expanding sales outside of the state, Tropical Storm Irene wiped out their house, their workshop and storage.

Since then, they’ve rebuilt their business in the old bible bindery in West Woodstock and have re-established lost retail customers. Today, they are in more than 50 stores in eight states.

TimberHomes LLC, of Vershire, has received a $12,000 a Vermont Enterprise Investment grant to develop natural structurally insulated panels made with Vermont timber and agricultural resources. Partner Sean Dalton, of Vershire, was one of 20 recipients of grants totaling almost $220,000 from the Working Lands Enterprise Fund announced last week. The grants went to sectors across agriculture, forestry and forest products.

Enterprise Investments are one of three areas of the Working Lands Initiative, with grants ranging from $3,000 to $15,000 for new and growing agriculture or forestry based enterprises.

Hypertherm is one of three finalists for the annual Cornerstone Award, issued by New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility.

The other finalists are Monadnock Paper Mills of Bennington, N.H., and W.S. Badger Co. of Gilsum, N.H. The award will be presented by Gov. Maggie Hassan at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord on May 21.

The award recognizes an individual, a business or organization that exemplifies the concepts of corporate social responsibility to the greater business community within New Hampshire.

Upcoming Events

River Valley Human Resources Association is presenting a seminar, “The Legal Requirements of Personnel Investigations,” a road map for how to conduct personnel investigations, from 8 to 10:30 a.m. on Thursday at Mascoma Savings Bank on Sykes Avenue in White River Junction. (Enter at the rear of the building.)

Kerin Stackpole, of Paul Frank and Collins, will make the presentation. The seminar is free for association member and $20 for non-members. Call 802-280-6124 for more information.

Bob Seelert, chairman of the global advertising agency network Saatchi & Saatchi, will discuss leadership during a seminar and discussion at the Norman Williams Public Library in Woodstock on May 18, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The first 100 audience members will receive a free copy of Seelert’s book, Start with the Answer and Other Wisdom For Aspiring Leaders.

After the seminar, Seelert will lead an exclusive round table discussion in the library’s Vermont History Room, from 2 to 4 p.m. The cost of the round table, which is limited to 11 participants, is $50, with all of the proceeds going to the Norman Williams Public Library. Pre-registration is required.

For more information email ghorsman@wsi-globalreach.com or call 802-457-9799.

Items of interest to the local business community are published every Sunday. Submissions may be mailed to: Business Notes, c/o Sunday Valley News, P.O. Box 877, White River Junction, Vt. 05001. You may also send your items by fax to 603-298-0212, or by e-mail to biznotes@vnews.com. All items are subject to editing for clarity or space.