Renewable Energy - Biomass
Community Forest Collaborative
Regional Wood Products Consortium
New Markets Tax Credit Financing
Finance & Investment
Ways of the Woods
Rob Riley, President
Finance & Investment in the Northern Forest
The Northern Forest Region is rich in amenities but lacks substantive, flexible, and innovative financial resources that complement traditional financing provided by local banks and credit unions. The region needs new and enhanced investment products to support economic opportunities rooted in renewable energy, wood products, tourism, and new values and services from forestland. These new markets have potential to generate income and help stabilize and grow the regional economy, and they need investment.
One exception to this funding gap is the New Markets Tax Credit Program, through which the Center has facilitated financing for several working forest projects. See below for more information.
The Center is leading a strategy to increase investment in the region and build the capacity of innovative investors and lenders to catalyze sustainable business development.
New Markets Tax Credits
The Northern Forest Center facilitates the use of the federal New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program as a subsidized financing tool for projects involving the forest based economy, including projects involving working forestland, renewable energy, tourism, and forest products manufacturing. The Center facilitates projects in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York and Massachusetts.
Depending on the transaction, even with the costs of putting a transaction together, the direct subsidy is typically 20% or more of the amount of the financing. This savings can be a critical factor in making projects viable and achieving mission-related benefits. The Center facilitates NMTC financing through a working partnership with Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) and other Community Development Entities. Learn more about financing through NMTC.
Regional Program Related Investment (PRI) strategy
Program related investments are investments made by charitable foundations in intermediaries, which then lend funds directly to businesses, non-profits and other entities that help advance the overall mission of the foundation. The Center and its partners have identified a regional PRI strategy as one means to increase the availability of low-cost capital that could accelerate projects and complement philanthropic dollars. Read more about the PRI strategy.
Community Forest Fund
The Open Space Institute, in collaboration with the Community Forest Collaborative, has launched the Community Forest Fund to support the creation and expansion of Community Forests in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. The Community Forest Fund has been capitalized initially at $1.4 million and is continuing to raise additional capital to support future funding Community Forest grants. For more information, visit the Community Forest Fund.
The Center partners with a broad array of organizations across the region that provide lending and technical assistance to businesses, non-profit organizations and other entities. A few of these partners by state include: