A Vermont specialty food company will receive a $550,000 grant from the state to expand its operation and create new jobs, Gov. Peter Shumlin announced today. Vermont Smoke and Cure was one of seven Vermont Community Development Program grants totaling $2,165,700 announced at an awards ceremony Tuesday in Hinesburg. Awarded to the Town of Hinesburg and loaned to Vermont Smoke and Cure, the funding will allow the company to relocate to Hinesburg and occupy the former Saputo Cheese Plant. The total cost of the expansion is $5 million and includes the creation of 13 new jobs. The move will allow for increased capacity and triple the size of the company’s current facility.‘Since it was established more than 45 years ago, Vermont Smoke and Cure has been dedicated to working with local farmers, sustaining economic growth and producing a high-quality product,’ said Gov. Shumlin. ‘The company’s plans to expand its operation and create new jobs in Vermont will have a lasting and positive impact on our economy.’Vermont Smoke and Cure provides processing services for family farmers and is a USDA inspected smokehouse. The new facility will allow the company to expand into production of a broader range of products that include beef. This will lead to expanded purchasing of beef from Vermont farmers and a broader range of products that the company can make as a service for farmers. ‘This expansion is really exciting for our agriculture community. Not only will it add processing options for our farmers but it will create good jobs producing a value added product that is sought after for its quality here in Vermont and beyond our borders,’ said Chuck Ross, secretary of the Agency of Agriculture. ‘I want to thank the Vermont Smoke and Cure team for their resilience and hard work that will have a positive impact on our economy and local community.’Other grant recipients include $520,000 to the Town of Guilford, Housing Vermont and the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust to construct 17 new affordable housing units in two buildings in the village of Algiers. Also, Winooski will receive two separate grants ‘ one for $380,000 to allow the Champlain Housing Trust to continue its Champlain Housing Loan Fund; and the other for $370,000 for the Champlain Housing Trust to rehabilitate 10 apartments in three Winooski properties.The Town of Hartford will receive $255,000 for the Center for Cartoon Studies (CCS) to establish the Inky Solomon Center, a state-of-the-art incubator located in an historic building in downtown White River Junction. The incubator will provide workspaces and professional development services for low and moderate income graduates of CCS.In addition, Shoreham and Morristown will receive $50,000 and $40,700, respectively, to bring local libraries into full compliance with state and federal accessibility requirements.The grants are funded through the federal Community Development Block Grant Program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The program helps Vermonters by developing affordable housing, creating jobs, making town halls and community centers accessible by those with disabilities and providing services for people in need.‘These grants will help improve Vermonters’ quality of life by developing a more creative, versatile economy, providing affordable housing and building strong communities,’ said Vermont Commerce and Community Development Secretary Lawrence Miller. ‘The expertise and dedication of the municipalities, businesses and organizations behind these projects are what make the Community Development Block Grant Program such a success.’The state awards the competitive grants based on recommendations of the Vermont Community Development Board and approval by Secretary Miller.For information about the Vermont Community Development Program, please see the Agency of Commerce and Community Development website at: www.dhca.state.vt.us/VCDP/index.htm(link is external).