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Food Enterprise and Economic Development (FEED) Kitchens

Challenge

The Northside Planning Council undertakes an innovative approach to community and economic development with the construction of a new facility that provides multiple kitchen spaces, a produce processing area and a training kitchen. The FEED Kitchens allow area entrepreneurs to avoid the overwhelming start-up costs (renting and renovating a facility and outfitting it with equipment can easily cost $15,000) that have kept so many from attempting to get their products to market.

 

Action

The project received initial funding from the Federal Community Development Block Grant, but still had to borrow in order to approach the $1.4 million total project cost. “FCI was recommended as a lender that would understand the nature of the project and work with a nonprofit to provide a loan if the business plan was sound”, says Ellen Barnard, coordinator of the project. This loan is another example of the power of flexible, affordable financing that CDFIs like FCI can deliver. “While there were commercial banks that were interested, they had a hard time understanding the nature of an incubator, and were not comfortable lending without a personal guarantee somewhere in the process”, says Bernard.

 

Impact

24 jobs will be created as a result of the Kitchens, with jobs varying from the facility manager and a processing team for co-packing and processing for local farmers, to employees that users of the kitchens add to their staff as they increase their business capacity.

Learn more about the FEED Kitchens.

Forward Community Investments   2045 Atwood Avenue, Suite 101A   Madison, WI 53704   866.687.1468 | Privacy Policy

© 2017 by Forward Community Investments

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