Article Archives: Maine
Help for Cooperatively Owned Businesses
The Cooperative Fund of New England is a Community Development Financial Institution focused on providing financial and technical assistance to community-based, cooperatively owned businesses and nonprofits serving low-income communities throughout New England and parts of eastern New York state.
Founded in 1975 to support food cooperative development, the Cooperative Fund has recently expanded its focus to include other types of cooperatives involved in affordable housing development and job creation. Loans made by the Cooperative Fund can cover such needs as working capital, predevelopment costs, business expansion, and equipment and real estate purchases.
In 2010, the Cooperative Fund made loans that resulted in the creation or retention of 616 jobs and 545 units of affordable housing throughout its service area, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. Recent loans originated by the Cooperative Fund have supported a variety of activities, including local retail food cooperatives, energy-efficiency service providers, youth services, affordable housing development, and rural and urban food production.
Loans provided to the Cooperative Fund are used exclusively as capital for its revolving loan program. Contributions and grants help the fund to provide technical and educational services that support its lending activities.
To learn more about the Cooperative Fund, including potential investment and lending opportunities, please contact Executive Director Rebecca Dunn at (800) 818-7833, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Published in Community Developments Investments, February 2012]
Seacoast Workforce Housing
The Workforce Housing agencies of the Greater Seacoast is a coalition of businesses, government agencies, and community groups, dedicated to the development of a range of housing options for the diverse workforce in the Greater Seacoast region of New Hampshire and Maine. Its goals through 2006 are to promote municipal land-use ordinances and regulations that will: (1) create workforce housing through coordination with and support of Regional Planning Commissions; (2) educate businesses, concerned citizens, and municipalities regarding workforce housing's connection to regional economic vitality; (3) act as convener of municipalities, developers, and communities to offer best practices/models of successful workforce housing; (4) develop and support a legislative agenda to increase the supply of workforce housing; and (5) increase financial resources for housing production (i.e. explore a regional housing trust fund).
Financial institutions interested in joining this coalition should call (603) 766-3131 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
[Published in News from the Districts, Community Developments, Spring 2006]
Investing in Sustainable Forestry
Rural banks in northern New England and upstate New York now have the opportunity to invest in a vital industry sustaining their communities: forestry. Under a new investment fund introduced by Coastal Enterprises, Inc., banks can receive tax credits for their participation in a program providing long term working capital for sustainable timber harvesting and forest management across the northern regions of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. The project has received an allocation of New Markets Tax Credits, and investors purchasing these tax credits will be capitalizing a fund supporting forest-based businesses such as paper mills while helping to sustain jobs and maintain working forests and receiving a direct credit to federal taxes at the same time. Last year, Coastal Enterprises celebrated its 25th year of providing critical support to community development initiatives in Maine, and is now expanding its market to encompass all of the northern New England and upstate New York.
For further information about this and other funds in these rural geographies, contact Coastal Enterprises, Inc, at (207) 882-7552.
[Published in News from the Districts, Community Developments Investments, Summer 2004]
New Rural Empowerment Zone Established
The USDA has announced the creation of the Aroostook County Empowerment Zone in northern Maine. Empowerment zones receive various federal tax benefits and technical assistance geared to boosting economic growth and business opportunities in rural areas. Sparsely populated Aroostook County's economy relies heavily on timber and agriculture. An initial grant of $100,000 will help cover the start-up costs of implementing the Zone's community development strategy.
For more information, contact the Northern Maine Development Commission at (207) 498-8736 or on the Web at: www.nmdc.org.
[Published in News from the Districts, Community Developments, Fall 2002]