Grants & Financial Resources

This list of resources is provided to guide those looking for loans, grants or information regarding financial aspects of starting a vineyard and/or winery in North Carolina.

In this section: Vineyard and Winery Business Models | Financial Resources | Business Resources | Insurance Coverage

Vineyard and Winery Business Models 

Cost of Establishment and Production of Vinifera Grapes (Cornell University)

Writing a Business Plan: A Guide for Small Premium Wineries (Cornell University) 

Writing a Business Plan: An Example for a Small Premium Winery (Cornell University) 

Smart Marketing Articles (Cornell University)

Winery Planning and Design

Vineyard and Winery Feasability Workbooks (Iowa State University)

Wine Grape Production (Penn State University) 

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Financial Resources

North Carolina Department of Agriculture, Agribusiness Development
Ron Fish, Phone: (919) 733-7887, Email: ron.fish@ncmail.net

USDA Agriculture Funding Resource Guide

USDA Rural Development Division
Offers business and cooperative programs including Value-Added Producer Grants. VAPG may be used for planning activities and for working capital for marketing value-added agricultural products and for farm-based renewable energy. Eligible applicants are independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives, agricultural producer groups, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures.

For assistance, contact Bruce Pleasant, business programs specialist, at (919) 873-2031 or bruce.pleasant@nc.usda.gov.

North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center Microenterprise Loan Program

Farmers Tax Guide (IRS Annual Publication)
For more information, call (800) 829-1040.

Golden LEAF Foundation
A possible source of grant funds available to non-profit and government organizations. 

Rural Advancement Foundation International
USA of Pittsboro offers a producer cost-share grant program. Scott Marlow is the director of farm sustainability at (919) 542-1396. They offer free assistance in putting together a loan package or restructuring debt.

North Carolina Agricultural Finance Authority
Primarily a lender of last resort, they require a company be turned down by at least two commercial lenders. They do have other programs that may be helpful, depending on the specifics of your situation. Contact Frank Bordeaux at (919) 790-3949.

Grants.gov
Search federal grants available for agriculture, community development, etc.

AgCarolina Financial
Farmer-owned cooperative that provides financial support to rural eastern North Carolina through farm loans, agribusiness loans, home financing and rural property lending.

Tobacco Trust Fund Commission
For information, call (919) 733-2160.

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Business Resources

Business Link North Carolina
Works with individuals to determine needs, permits, options, employee regulations and more. Call (800) 228-8443 or (919) 807-4280.

Good Work (Durham)
Call (919) 682-8473.

Small Business Administration
Contact the Charlotte office at (800) 827-5722.

Small Business and Technology Development Center 
A counseling service with regional offices. For more information, call (800) 258-0862.

Small Business Center Network 
Offers counseling, training and resources from within the local community college system.

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Insurance Coverage 

The North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI) has a Market Assistance Program (MAP) established in the mid-80s when commercial coverage was difficult to find. Anyone having difficulty finding commercial coverage should contact the MAP and ask about carriers that may be willing to write the coverage. Keep in mind, though, that MAP attempts to respond to the availability issue. It does not speak to affordability.

There are two types of companies that provide insurance coverage:

  • Licensed Companies. Policyholders are covered by the state's Guaranteed Association in the event a licensed company became insolvent.
  • Surplus Line Coverage (SLC) companies. If the SLC Company were to become insolvent, there would be no protection for its policyholders, under the Guaranteed Association.

If you are having a problem finding coverage, please call the NCDOI's Market Assistance Program at (919) 807- 6750 or (800) 546-5664 for assistance.

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