Communities in Rural Appalachia and the Southeast To Benefit From Treasury Award
January 13, 2010
Shepherdstown, WV—The Conservation Fund and its Natural Capital Investment Fund NCIF—both working partners of Coastal Enterprises Inc. (CEI)—announced today that rural communities in West Virginia, North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee stand to benefit from a $125 million award from the U.S. Treasury.
The Treasury allocated the funding to CEI as part of the federal New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program. CEI received the highest allocation of the 100 recipients nationwide. Through its subsidiary, CEI Capital Management LLC (CCML), CEI will use the allocation to attract private capital investments for rural economic development projects throughout the country. The Conservation Fund and NCIF will help CEI deploy funding in NCIF’s four-state service area and throughout the Southeast, targeting projects with significant economic, social and environmental benefits.
“As a working partner of CEI’s NMTC program, we are giving distressed communities access to significant investment capital that can accelerate the development and implementation of new businesses and projects that conserve natural resources and enhance the economic capacity of the communities that are supported by them,” said Marten Jenkins of The Conservation Fund/NCIF.
CEI has previously used NMTC financing in West Virginia for a project with The Forestland Group that preserves 131,000 acres of working forestland in the central part of the state. This investment impacts 13 different sawmills with 925 direct jobs and another 840 jobs in the forest products industry.
“West Virginia is blessed with a wonderful natural resource in its hardwood forests,” said Chris Zinkhan, managing director of The Forestland Group. “This program will help to insure the sustainable management of these forests while they are being responsibly utilized to create value-added products for the global marketplace and jobs for citizens living in rural areas.”
In South Carolina, CEI previously used $10 million in NMTC funding for a project with Horsehead Zinc Recycling (HZR) in Snelling, SC, that financed the construction of a recycling facility that will divert hazardous waste from landfills by turning it into usable materials. This investment creates 55 new jobs in an area hard hit by textile mill closings.
“Horsehead Zinc Recycling appreciates the efforts and assistance of CEI and looks forward to beginning operations in the Spring of 2010,” said Jim Hensler, President & CEO of HZR. “The availability of the New Market Tax Credit was a key element in support of our efforts to bring green jobs to the Town of Snelling and Barnwell County,” added Hensler.
“Our new markets subsidiary is being recognized for its impact on jobs and the environment in our most rural regions,” said Ron Phillips, president of CEI and one of the original architects of the new markets program. “Many of the real estate and business projects that benefit from NMTC financing create and sustain jobs, reduce energy costs and/or rely on renewable sources of energy, representing the triple bottom line of economic impact, social gains in meaningful jobs, and care for the environment.”
Charlie Spies, managing director of CCML for the past three years says, “The announcement validates CEI’s focus and the need for increased investment in the hardest hit low income areas of rural America. The people of Appalachia and the Southeast have not been forgotten, nor has the innovation and entrepreneurship of their business and environmental leaders.”
To learn more about projects or businesses eligible for New Market Tax Credit funds, visit www.ncifund.org
About the New Market Tax Credit Program
The NMTC program, established by Congress in December 2000, permits individual and corporate taxpayers to receive a credit against federal income taxes for making equity investments in investment vehicles known as Community Development Entities (CDEs). CDEs must apply to the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, which administers the NMTC program, to compete for this allocation authority. The organizations receiving awards have identified principal service areas that will cover nearly every state in the country, and plan to invest in renewable energy projects, charter schools, health care facilities, manufacturing companies, and retail centers. In the U.S. to date, over $14 billion of private-sector capital has been invested through the NMTC Program into urban and rural communities throughout the country.
A complete list of the organizations selected and additional information on the NMTC Program can be found on the CDFI Fund’s web site at: www.cdfifund.gov.
The Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIF) is a certified Community Development Financial Institution and a Community Development Entity. NCIF provides patient capital to small and emerging natural resource-based businesses. Our investments support business expansion, create employment opportunities, advance sustainable economic development and develop the rural tax base. www.ncifund.org
About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we combine a passion for conservation with an entrepreneurial spirit to protect your favorite places before they become just a memory. A hallmark of our work is our deep, unwavering understanding that for conservation solutions to last, they need to make economic sense. Top-ranked, we have protected more than 7 million acres across America.