Sugarhouse Grant Program
VMSMA’s Sugarhouse Grant Program is funded through a 2022 federal earmark (aka Congressionally Directed Spending) in partnership with Senator Leahy’s office. The earmark includes funding for VMSMA to create this Grant Program for Vermont sugar makers who participate in the Sugarhouse Certification Program. Funding, from $1,500 to $15,000 for individual operations, will be available to support Vermont’s sugar makers as part of this five-year earmark. Funding is offered on a first-come, first-served basis and will be available until funding is depleted.
Vermont sugar makers who participate in the Sugarhouse Certification Program are eligible to apply for grant funding in order to meet the requirements of their specific Certification. There are several ways to receive funding from the Grant Program.
The first step is always participation in VMSMA's Sugarhouse Certification Program. Once the onsite portion of Certification is complete, operations are either Certified or they receive a corrective action list that needs to be remedied before they are Certified.
1. For Sugar Makers whose onsite Certification visit occurred before January 1, 2023. Operations who complete the Certification Program, have no corrective actions to remedy before receiving their three-year Certificate, and who completed upgrades within in 6 months of the onsite visit to ensure they were compliant with the Program requirements. These operations can apply for grant funding for upgrades completed (which are related to the Sugarhouse Certification Checklist) within 6 months prior to the onsite visit.
2. For Sugar Makers whose onsite Certification visit occurs on or after January 1, 2023.
a. Operations who complete the Certification Program and have no corrective actions to remedy before receiving their three-year Certification. These operations will receive free Certification at the three-year mark through this grant funding.
b. Operations who complete the onsite visit portion of the Certification Program and have corrective actions to remedy before receiving their three-year Certification. These operations can apply for grant funding for upgrades needed to remedy the stated corrective actions.
Funding & Timing of Funds
Eligible Vermont sugar makers can apply for one of the following levels of funding:
1. Up to $1,500 in grant funding with no match requirements. VMSMA will grant up to $1,500 in funding for eligible Vermont sugar makers as noted above.
2. $1,501 to $15,000 in grant funding with a 25% match requirement. For projects that are estimated to cost more than $1,500, eligible sugar makers will need to fund 25% of the project cost and can apply for a grant for 75% of the cost. For example, if you have a project that totals $20,000, you could apply for $15,000 in grant funding and you would have to fund the remaining $5,000 (or 25%).
For grants of less than $1,500, you will need to include a reasonable project quote and VMSMA will mail a check to your business for the entire amount. See below for grant reporting requirements.
For grants of more than $1,500, you will need to include a reasonable project quote. VMSMA will mail a check for 50% of the cost to your business. The remaining 50% will be paid upon project completion. If you would prefer that VMSMA pay your equipment dealer or similar contractor directly, please note that on your application. See below for grant reporting requirements.