Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Whole Foods Local Producer Loan Program

Whole Foods Market is committed to the concept of fresh, healthy, local foods. Since the beginning, we have remained committed to supporting local products and the people who supply them. In addition to featuring local products in our stores, we’re putting our money where our mouths are by providing up to $10 million in low-interest loans to independent local farmers and food artisans. We’re proud to support small producers who need a hand, not a handout, to help them make their dreams reality.

•Strengthens the partnerships between Whole Foods Market and local producers
•Works with producers to expand the availability of high-quality local products for our customers
•Supports the communities where Whole Foods Market does business
•Reinforces Whole Foods Market’s commitment to environmental stewardship

•Must meet Whole Foods Market’s Quality Standards and standards for animal welfare
•Use funds for expansion and capital expenditures (e.g., buy more animals, invest in new equipment and infrastructure, or expand crops), not operating expenses
•Have a viable business plan and adequate cash flow to service debt

•Streamlined process with fees, interest rates, and paperwork minimized
•Targeted loan amounts between $1,000 and $100,000 (maximum $25,000 for start-ups)
•Loan amount not to exceed 80% of total project cost
•Low, fixed interest rates (currently between 5% and 9%)
•Monthly payments required after termination of grace period
•No penalty for early repayment
•Collateral required
•One-time minimal processing fee covers administrative expenses, including credit report
•Approval and terms dependent on product characteristics, risk assessments, and use of proceeds
•Opportunity to apply for additional financing if initial loan is in good standing after one year
•Existing vendor relationship with Whole Foods Market preferred
•Applications accepted on a rolling basis

For more information, go to the Whole Foods website at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/values/local-producer-details.php

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