flfreshfoodhubTCAD has made its first loan from the Sustainable Business Loan Fund to the Finger Lakes Fresh Food Hub. A social enterprise project of Challenge Workforce Solutions, the new, 18,000 square foot facility in Groton will create 35 jobs, many of which will be filled by individuals that face barriers to employment. The food hub will also work with local farmers to aggregate, store, and perform value added processing for local produce and products, and then use the existing Finger Lakes Fresh distribution networks to get their products to market.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on June 27th to symbolically mark the beginning of the project with plans to be operating in October of this year. The $1.8 million project also received funding from New York State, Tompkins Trust Company, and the Appalachian Regional Commission.

The TCAD Sustainable Business Loan Fund was made possible by a long term investment from The Park Foundation. The fund was established to provide financial support to businesses that meet the triple bottom line goals of financial, social and environmental responsibility.

The Sustainable Business Loan Fund is part of the larger TCAD Loan Fund Program, targeting businesses selling a product or service to costumers outside of Tompkins County. Since 1989, TCAD has loaned $2.1 million to 57 companies that have created 852 jobs. At TCAD, we create quality employment opportunities and strengthen the tax base.