I read Whit Richardson’s series on the New Markets Tax Credit program with interest (“Payday at the mill,” April 19 and 26). His articles highlight a sad and unfortunate business failure, but that doesn’t mean Maine taxpayers and legislators are always on the losing end.

My company, Quoddy, is a high-end, hand-sewn shoe manufacturer. We are based in Lewiston, and we employ 31 people. We offer customers shoes, boots and moccasins through a number of channels, including both online and bricks-and-mortar retailers.

The capital we received in conjunction with the federal and Maine New Markets Tax Credit programs came at a critical point in our company’s development when cash was extremely tight. In short, we needed the growth capital to fund operations and payroll, and alternative financing was not available.

No one-day loans were attributed to this deal, and the capital allowed us to retain all of our employees. Moreover, the investment has helped our business to grow, putting into place an opportunity for us to build our sales function and brand awareness.

The importance of this investment is deeper than the impact on Quoddy, though. Historically, the Maine shoe industry supported over 30,000 jobs. Today, it is a small fraction of that. Keeping Quoddy and its leather shoe production in Maine has been very important to the local economy.

Lewiston has a poverty rate in excess of 25 percent with an unemployment rate exceeding 15 percent, almost three times the national average.

Without a capital injection to bolster its Maine manufacturing base, Quoddy would have had a difficult time staying in Lewiston, where there are very few alternative employment options for residents.

The people we employ are skilled craftsmen of shoes, which has been an element of our company’s history since our beginning. These facts alone present a very compelling case for the New Markets Tax Credit program.

John P. Andreliunas

president, Quoddy Inc.