The U.S. Department of Treasury has allocated $80 million in New Markets Tax Credit capacity to Maine-based CEI Capital Management. The firm will deploy the tax credits to economic development projects that create opportunity in rural communities with low incomes across Maine and the nation.

Based in Portland, CEI Capital Management said it has employed New Markets Tax Credits for 90 projects since 2004, creating or preserving 4,699 permanent jobs in primarily rural places. It said those projects have supported the growth and economic viability of enterprises across industries such as manufacturing, the arts, health care, agriculture, conservation, hospitality and technology.

CEI Capital Management said that to date it has financed 22 projects in Maine with about $274 million in New Markets funds, nearly 30 percent of its total placement.

“We are grateful and encouraged to receive this award. It allows us to identify new opportunities to strengthen rural economies so the effect of each newly created or saved job ripples through the community,” said CEI Capital Management CEO Charlie Spies. “In our dozen years working with this program we have crisscrossed the nation, working on the ground and getting to know the people in rural places who are dedicated to bringing positive change to their communities. We share their vision of renewal and are glad to be their partners in building a path to prosperity for themselves and their families.”

Altogether, the Department of Treasury made allocations to 120 organizations nationwide for a total of $7 billion in New Markets Tax Credit awards, according to CEI Capital Management. It was the single largest award round since the federal New Markets Tax Credit Program was created in 2001.

CEI Capital Management said it carries the “triple bottom line” mission of its parent, Coastal Enterprises Inc. The three components of the triple bottom line are social, environmental and financial.

“This award will enable us to work with community leaders to understand the long-term needs of their regions and to help grow businesses that create jobs and provide avenues to economic opportunity for individuals and families, particularly those with low incomes, who live there,” said CEI CEO Betsy Biemann.

The federal New Markets program is separate from the state New Markets tax credit program, which underwent several changes last year following a five-month investigation by the Portland Press Herald that revealed abuses within it.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

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