SPRINGDALE, Ark., March 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Los Angeles-based National New Markets Fund, LLC is expanding its investment in Arkansas with a $10 million New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation to help fund development of an American Tubing Arkansas (ATA) facility in Springdale, about 50 miles northwest of Little Rock.
The ATA plant is the Fund's second major project in Arkansas. It follows a $15 million NMTC investment in the award-winning BlueOak Arkansas electronic scrap (e-scrap) recycling facility in the rural and distressed Delta community of Osceola. The energy efficient and environmentally sustainable BlueOak project created 75 quality jobs and was named 2015 QLICI (Qualified Low-Income Community Investment) of the Year by the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits Community Development Awards. It also earned Harvard Business School's New Venture Award in 2011.
When complete, the new ATA plant will produce components used in refrigeration, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), defense and automation products. It will create more than 100 permanent jobs in a community designated as a distressed census tract, with a poverty rate of 20.5 percent and an unemployment rate 30 percent greater than the national average. The project is supported by the Springdale Chamber of Commerce, Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) and Arkansas Development Financial Authority.
"Arkansas has many projects in a position to use NMTC funding to transform distressed communities," said National New Markets Fund Co-Founder and President Deborah La Franchi. "The new ATA facility is one such project with the potential to provide much-needed manufacturing jobs. We look forward to growing our investment portfolio in Arkansas and across the South with other similarly worthwhile projects."
National New Markets Fund Co-Founder and CEO Belden Hull Daniels added, "With its new state-of-the-art facility, ATA will train, equip and employ local workers for high-quality jobs. New Markets Tax Credits are the funding vehicle that will make all of this possible."
Daniels and his firm – Boston-based Economic Innovation International, Inc. - have a long history of investment and economic development leadership in Arkansas, including formation of a comprehensive economic development plan for then-Governor Bill Clinton, design and implementation of the Arkansas Development Finance Authority, expansion of the Arkansas Capital Corporation and the Arkansas Science & Technology Authority, restructuring of the Arkansas Public Employee Retirement and Teachers Retirement Systems, and assistance in designing and building the Southern Bancorp. These innovations have together brought $10 billion in new capital to build businesses, affordable housing and community development in all 75 Arkansas counties over the last 31 years.
"We have a long and strong track record of success in Arkansas and across the southern U.S., and we look forward to using NMTC funding to help more distressed communities across the region," added Daniels.
Since it was founded in 2005, National New Markets Fund has focused much of its investment portfolio in the South. This focus is consistent with the Fund's mission to invest in projects that help revitalize distressed communities, including those hit especially hard by the loss of manufacturing jobs, occurrence of natural disasters and other macroeconomic factors.
To date, National Markets Fund has been granted $427 million in NMTC allocation from the U.S. Treasury's CDFI (Community Development Financial Institutions) Fund. It has invested in a total of 32 major projects nationwide, including 17 in southern states (a complete list of projects is available at http://www.sdsgroup.com/funds/sds-managed-funds/national-new-markets-fund/nnmf-projects).
New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs) were established by Congress in 2000 to stimulate investment and economic growth in designated low-income communities. They raise investor capital and leverage public and private funding to provide borrowers, such as ATA, with financing in the form of favorable rates and flexible below-market terms.
About National New Markets Fund
Deborah La Franchi of Strategic Development Solutions (SDS) and Belden Hull Daniels of Economic Innovation International, Inc. co-founded the National New Markets Fund to invest in development projects that serve low income communities across the U.S. As a mission-driven investment fund, it seeks investments that create substantial economic and community development impacts. For more information, visit http://www.sdsgroup.com/funds/national-new-markets-fund.
About American Tubing Arkansas
Launched in 2015, American Tubing Arkansas, LLC (ATA) acquired the equipment of American Tubing, Inc. (ATI), which was founded in Springdale, Arkansas in 1976. ATA is a premier supplier of manufacturing parts for the residential air-conditioning business. Its highly automated technology and advanced machinery enable the company to stay ahead of a shifting market.
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SOURCE National New Markets Fund, LLC