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Loans

Affordable, flexible financing

for your farm or food business.

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Why fund your business with FoodCap?

We're a non-profit loan fund, not a bank. Our goal is to help you get the resources you need to succeed. We've supported over 100 individual farms and food businesses with financing and have first-hand experience with the unique needs of small-scale, diversified, and BIPOC-led operations. 

Customized for 
Your Needs

If a loan is right for your business, we'll fit it to your operation, your budget, and your timeline.

Eggs

Support from
Start to Finish

Nervous about applications? Not a numbers person? We'll walk you through every step.

Squash

Flexibility &
Responsiveness

If weather or markets aren't on your side, we'll work with you to find a solution.

General 
Eligibility

To be eligible for a loan from Foodshed Capital, all applicants must meet the following criteria:

It's right there in our name. Foodshed Capital's mission is to build more equitable, more regenerative foodsheds. We lend to businesses and organizations that are making meaningful contributions to the foodshed by centering food production, food sales, food access, or otherwise have a clear, direct connection to healthier regional food systems. 

Examples include:

  • Production of nutrient-dense, culturally appropriate vegetables, meat, eggs, fruit, fish, grains, or dairy products

  • Creation of value-added food products using locally produced, regeneratively grown foods

  • Processing or distribution of locally produced, regeneratively grown foods

  • Supporting pollinators that make our food systems viable through hive management or pollinator habitat development

In certain cases we may consider applicants producing regeneratively grown flowers or fiber, but operations must also include a food focus of some kind. Food producers and purveyors are prioritized if lending capacity is limited.

Applicants must demonstrate a clear commitment to using regenerative agricultural practices, or partner with or support farmers who do. We support diversified, polyculture operations using practices that protect/restore soil and watershed health, increase biodiversity, manage fertility, and support holistic ecosystem function.​

If you're not sure what this means, you may not be a good fit for funding from Foodshed Capital. Here are some resources to build your knowledge:

Business owners must be able provide a certificate of formation for an LLC, or your EIN number and articles of incorporation for a corporation. Nonprofits must be able to provide their IRS determination letter. We do not lend to individuals. Please note, we only support nonprofits through bridge funding.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they are currently or are on track to being compliant with all state and federal laws as they relate to filing income tax and sales tax. Applicants should be able to provide a minimum of two years of tax returns and proof of remitted sales tax, if requested. 

It is Foodshed Capital’s mission to ensure our loan funds are available to those who need them most and to those who face difficulty accessing capital through other lenders. We prioritize applicants who can demonstrate financial need, who have been denied financing elsewhere, or face systemic barriers to working with other capital providers. We may consider income from other jobs, regional cost of living, and household composition in determining financial need.

Types of Loans, Terms, and Eligibility

Loan Types, Terms, & Eligibility

Interest Rate Update

Beginning June 2024, Foodshed Capital's interest rates range between: 0% and 6.25%. The higher number may go up or down based on the daily prime interest rate.

Our previous offering was a standard rate of 4%, 3.5% with an autopay discount, and 0% interest for BIPOC borrowers. With a broader range of applicants entering our pipeline and a larger loan max, we realized the old policy was too rigid to accommodate the complexity of applications received. 

 

Now, Foodshed Capital’s interest rates are a weighted average of the current prime rate and our cost of capital (currently no more than 1.5%). The rates prioritize our target market of socially disadvantaged farmers in accordance with our mandated commitments as a Community Development Financial Institution, meaning BIPOC borrowers will never pay more than 1.5%.

Seed Loans

Up to $15,000 for those with practical experience who are ready to launch a farm or food business.

  • Brand new ventures, or operations less than two years old 

  • Minimum of two full seasons of production experience on an established working farm for those seeking to launch a farm business, with strong references

  • Minimum of one full year of related experience for those seeking to launch another kind of food business

  • Capacity to clearly articulate realistic financial projections

  • Demonstrated commitment or connection to regenerative food production 

  • Proof of relevant business registrations 

  • If already in operation, ability to demonstrate tax compliance (income, sales, and payroll tax, if applicable)

  • Demonstrated financial need or barriers to accessing financing elsewhere. We may consider income from other jobs, regional cost of living, and household composition in determining eligibility.

  • Amount: $15,000 maximum

  • Rates: Between 0% and 6.25% as of June 2024. Max interest rate is an average of the prime interest rate and Foodshed Capital's max cost of capital, which is 1.5%. BIPOC borrowers never pay more than 1.5%.

  • Term: 3 - 4 years

  • Grace Period: Optional grace period of 6 months before first payment is due

  • Equipment & Infrastructure: Including but not limited to processing, refrigeration, storage, livestock shelters, buildings, fencing, tractors, irrigation, hoop houses/high tunnels, tractors, roller crimpers, etc. 

  • Working Capital: Purchasing seeds, livestock, inventory; covering costs related to marketing or bookkeeping; paying for vehicle or farm insurance expenses; etc. 

  • Transition & Enhancement: Enhancing or improving the business’ ability to operate regeneratively and incorporate sustainable practices, especially for farmers who will operate a new farm that has previously been operated conventionally. Please note: we do not provide support with land purchase at this time.

  • Employees & Farmhands: Hiring staff to accommodate the operation’s labor needs.

  • 2 years of personal tax returns (past or non-farm income are considered when evaluating need and repayment capacity)

  • 1-2 years of business tax returns, if available

  • Narrative description of marketing plan, projected revenue streams, and any existing sales relationships if available

  • Statement of 1/3/5 year goals for your business and how funding from Foodshed Capital will advance those goals

  • 2 years of cash flow projections 

  • Top line personal budget

Microloans

Up to $25,000 for existing business owners to expand production or streamline operations.

  • Minimum of two years in operation

  • Primary focus on food 

  • Demonstrated commitment or connection to regenerative food production 

  • Proof of relevant business registrations 

  • Ability to demonstrate income, sales, and payroll tax compliance

  • Demonstrated financial need or barriers to accessing capital elsewhere. We may consider income from other jobs, regional cost of living, and household composition in determining eligibility.

  • Active marketing and sales channels such as website, social media, newsletter, CSA, wholesale accounts, or similar

  • Amount: $25,000 max. Loan size cannot exceed previous year of revenue

  • Rates: Between 0% and 6.25% as of June 2024. Max interest rate is an average of the prime interest rate and Foodshed Capital's max cost of capital, which is 1.5%. BIPOC borrowers never pay more than 1.5%.

  • Term: 3 years

  • Grace Period: Optional grace period of 3 months before first payment is due

  • Equipment & Infrastructure: Including but not limited to processing, refrigeration, storage, livestock shelters, buildings, fencing, tractors, irrigation, hoop houses/high tunnels, tractors, roller crimpers, etc. 

  • Working Capital: Purchasing seeds, livestock, inventory; covering costs related to marketing or bookkeeping; paying for vehicle or farm insurance expenses; etc. 

  • Transition & Enhancement: Enhancing or improving farm operations, deepening commitment to regenerative agriculture or conservation practices, or transitioning away from conventional practices. Please note: we do not provide support with land purchase at this time.

  • Employees & Farmhands: Hiring additional staff to expand operations and increase efficiency.

  • 2 years of profit and loss (P&L) reports

  • 2 years of balance sheets

  • 2 years of personal tax returns (non-farm income is considered when evaluating need and repayment capacity)

  • 2 years of business tax returns

  • Narrative description of marketing channels and existing/projected revenue streams 

  • Short statement of 1/3/5 year goals for your business and how funding from Foodshed Capital will advance those goals

  • Off-farm income may be included in debt service

  • Top line personal budget

  • Cash flow projections through the end of the loan term

Sprout Loans

$15,000 - 50,000 loans for established farms or food businesses ready to grow.

  • Minimum of two years in operation

  • Primary focus on food 

  • Demonstrated commitment or connection to regenerative food production 

  • Proof of relevant business registrations 

  • Ability to demonstrate income, sales, and payroll tax compliance

  • Demonstrated financial need - we may consider income from other jobs, regional cost of living, and household composition in determining eligibility. Inability to access financing elsewhere can override this requirement.

  • Active marketing and sales channels such as website, social media, newsletter, CSA, wholesale accounts, or similar

  • Amount: $25,000 - $50,000. Loan size cannot exceed previous year of revenue

  • Rates: Between 0% and 6.25% as of June 2024. Max interest rate is an average of the prime interest rate and Foodshed Capital's max cost of capital, which is 1.5%. BIPOC borrowers never pay more than 1.5%.

  • Term: 3 - 5 years

  • Grace Period: Optional grace period of 3 months before first payment is due

  • Equipment & Infrastructure: Including but not limited to processing, refrigeration, storage, livestock shelters, buildings, fencing, tractors, irrigation, hoop houses/high tunnels, tractors, roller crimpers, etc. 

  • Working Capital: Purchasing seeds, livestock, inventory; covering costs related to marketing or bookkeeping; paying for vehicle or farm insurance expenses; etc. 

  • Transition & Enhancement: Enhancing or improving farm operations, deepening commitment to regenerative agriculture or conservation practices, or transitioning away from conventional practices. Please note: we do not provide support with land purchase at this time.

  • Employees & Farmhands: Hiring additional staff to expand operations and increase efficiency.

  • 2 years of profit and loss (P&L) reports

  • 2 years of balance sheets

  • 2 years of personal tax returns (non-farm income is considered when evaluating need and repayment capacity)

  • 2 years of business tax returns

  • Top line personal budget

  • Narrative description of marketing channels and existing/projected revenue streams 

  • Short statement of 1/3/5 year goals for your business and how funding from Foodshed Capital will advance those goals

  • Off-farm income may be included in debt service

  • 3 years of cash flow projections (link to financial template?)

Harvest Loans

Up to $150,000 for seasoned business owners looking to scale up or make significant expansion investments.

  • Minimum of five years in operation

  • Primary focus on food 

  • Demonstrated commitment or connection to regenerative food production 

  • Proof of relevant business registrations 

  • Ability to demonstrate income, sales, and payroll tax compliance

  • Demonstrated financial need - we may consider income from other jobs, regional cost of living, and household composition in determining eligibility

  • Active marketing and sales channels such as website, social media, newsletter, CSA, wholesale accounts, or similar

  • Amount: $50,000 - 150,000. Loan size cannot exceed previous year of revenue

  • Rates: Between 0% and 6.25% as of June 2024. Max interest rate is an average of the prime interest rate and Foodshed Capital's max cost of capital, which is 1.5%. BIPOC borrowers never pay more than 1.5%.

  • Term: 5-7 years

  • Grace Period: Optional grace period of 3 months before first payment is due

  • We reserve the right to request collateral on any loan, but loans will only be secured with assets purchased directly with financing from Foodshed Capital.

  • Equipment & Infrastructure: Including but not limited to processing, refrigeration, storage, livestock shelters, buildings, fencing, tractors, irrigation, hoop houses/high tunnels, tractors, roller crimpers, etc. 

  • Working Capital: Purchasing seeds, livestock, inventory; covering costs related to marketing or bookkeeping; paying for vehicle or farm insurance expenses; etc. 

  • Transition & Enhancement: Enhancing or improving farm operations, deepening commitment to regenerative agriculture or conservation practices, or transitioning away from conventional practices. 

  • Employees & Farmhands: Hiring additional staff to expand operations and increase efficiency, but not to sustain an otherwise underperforming business.

  • Please Note: We do not provide support with land purchase at this time.

  • 3 years of profit and loss (P&L) reports

  • 3 years of balance sheets

  • 3 years of personal tax returns (non-farm income is considered when evaluating need and repayment capacity)

  • 3 years of business tax returns

  • Top line personal budget

  • Narrative description of marketing channels and existing/projected revenue streams 

  • 5 years of cash flow projections

  • Short statement of 1/3/5 year goals for your business and how funding from Foodshed Capital will advance those goals

  • Off-farm income may be included in debt service. Land projects will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Bridge Funding

Up-front capital for farmers or non-profit food organizations who have received reimbursable grant funding.

  • Primary focus on food 

  • Demonstrated commitment or connection to regenerative food production 

  • Proof of relevant nonprofit registrations

  • Typical range: $5,000 - $50,000. Please contact us for bridge loans beyond this range.

  • Rates: Between 0% and 6.25% as of June 2024. Max interest rate is an average of the prime interest rate and Foodshed Capital's max cost of capital, which is 1.5%. BIPOC borrowers never pay more than 1.5%.

  • Term: Repayments are structured to reimbursement. Typically payable in full upon project completion. 

  • Supporting up-front capital needs to complement grant funding from state or federal agencies in the case that the grant requires a purchase before reimbursement, or in the case of a matching or cost share grant where you must cover a portion of the cost of your project. Example uses include but are not limited to:

  • Grant-Funded Equipment & Infrastructure: Such as high tunnels, wells, livestock exclusion fencing, or other season extension or climate-smart infrastructure 

  • Transition & Enhancement: Enhancing or improving farm operations, deepening commitment to regenerative agriculture or conservation practices, or transitioning away from conventional practices.

  • Please Note: We do not provide support with land purchase at this time.

  • 2 years of profit and loss (P&L) reports

  • 2 years of balance sheets

  • 2 years of business tax returns

  • Cash flow projections, if requested

  • Award Letter(s)

  • Narrative description of marketing channels and existing/projected revenue streams for farm businesses

The Loan Process

1. Intake Form

This short form takes 10-15 minutes to complete and helps determine if Foodshed Capital’s services are aligned with your needs. It also helps us identify folks who are not eligible for lending. If that’s the case, we'll connect you with our Business Support program or recommend another lender.

3. Full Application

If your financials are in good shape, we'll open up

the rest of the application. You'll be able to share all

the nitty gritty details about your farm, your business, and the specific ways you would use the loan funds you’re requesting. The full application will take a little longer, but don’t worry - you can save your work as you go and complete it in sections as you have time. Once the application is complete, we’ll schedule a 60 minute meeting to get to know each other and learn all about your business.

2. Upload Documents

Next you'll upload financial reports, tax filings,

and other documents to help us determine your financial capacity to take on a loan and successfully manage repayment. If you have these things on hand, this step should only take 10-15 minutes.

If the documents we ask for seem unfamiliar or overwhelming, never fear! You might not be ready

to apply for a loan, but we’ll connect you to our Business Support program, where other members of our team will help you prepare to apply for a loan from FoodCap or another lender

4. Underwriting

Now the FoodCap Lending Team takes over. We’ll analyze all your materials to ensure a loan will be of service to you. During this time we’ll meet virtually or on the phone for one hour at least once, and up to three times, to discuss your business, your financials, and your future. If we find that it’s taking longer than anticipated to gain clarity around the business structure and financials, we may defer your application until next quarter and connect you with our Business Support team.

5. Closing 

This is where things start wrapping up!  Closing your loan entails signing documents and setting you up for success during the repayment period.  We’ll also get your bank account connected so we can deposit your funds and auto draft repayments.  Anticipate a one hour meeting to go through the closing docs and talk about the future.

6. Funds Disbursed

This is when your money hits your account.  Congratulations!

The Lending Team

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Ashley Appolon

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Indy Brahm

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Emily Tybur

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