News

Maine Community Foundation Partnership with CEI Brings Loan Capital to Maine’s Rural Communities

Dover-Foxcroft’s Mayo Mill Benefits from Collaborative Financing for the Economy and Environment

Wiscasset, ME–The Maine Community Foundation (MaineCF) has committed $500,000 in new loan funds to Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), repayable in five years, to be used for fisheries-related enterprise development and the rehabilitation of downtown buildings in Maine’s rural communities.

“Our downtowns are important engines for commerce, culture and overall quality of life in Maine’s communities,” said Meredith Jones, President and CEO of the Maine Community Foundation. “With CEI’s expertise and resources, MaineCF’s investments can have greater impact  in revitalizing our downtowns and strengthening fisheries-related enterprises vital to our coastal communities.”

“CEI welcomes this partnership with Maine Community Foundation to provide resources for the people and places that fuel Maine’s economy,” said Ron Phillips, President and CEO of CEI. “Our deployment of the loan funds will include the identification of projects that will create jobs and leverage additional resources for long-term sustainability.”

IMG_1499The agreement builds CEI’s capacity to support businesses and communities struggling to access needed capital. The funds supported a recent construction loan from CEI for the complete renovation of Mayo Mill in Dover-Foxcroft, the county seat of Piscataquis County, Maine’s least populous county. Approximately 11.5 percent of the county’s population is unemployed as the region moves from a manufacturing to service-based economy.

The project will create an economic hub on the Piscataquis River at the center of town, with 22 affordable rental units, eight commercial tenants (providing an expected 42 jobs on site), and a state of the art data center to support the 3-Ring Binder fiber extension project, an effort supported by the State of Maine to expand high speed internet to rural communities. The entire energy load of the project is from renewable sources, including geothermal heat pumps, solar and hydro-electric power from the adjacent dam. The renewable source for the building’s energy budget is helping to keep rents at affordable rates, and utilities as low as possible.

“The powerful combination of new community investment, job growth, quality housing for median-income residents and renewable power and heating makes the Mayo Mill revitalization a compelling triple bottom line investment for CEI,” said John Egan, Senior Vice President, Housing and Real Estate, CEI. “Twenty of the 22 residential units are already spoken for, largely by returning native Dover-Foxcroft residents who want convenient, affordable housing in a green space back in their hometown.”

CEI is leveraging the MaineCF loan fund with capital from other private and public sources, including Bangor Savings Bank, Genesis Community Loan Fund, the Northern Border Commission, Cordish Capital and CEI Notes, Inc., to enable the revitalization of this mill, which once housed Moosehead Manufacturing.

About Maine Community Foundation

A statewide organization with offices in Ellsworth and Portland, the Maine Community Foundation works with donors and other partners to improve the quality of life for all Maine people. To learn more, visit www.mainecf.org or call 1-877-700-6800.

 About CEI

CEI, one of the nation’s premier Community Development Corporations and Community Development Financial Institutions, specializes in rural business development and financing. Founded in 1977 in Wiscasset, Maine, CEI helps create economically and environmentally healthy communities in which all people, especially those with low incomes, can reach their full potential. For more information, visit www.ceimaine.org or call 1-207-822-7552.

CEI and Morgan Stanley Announce Community Lending Partnership

Agreement brings $5 million in new loan funds for small businesses, affordable housing in the Northeast

Wiscasset, ME—Maine-based Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) is pleased to announce a new community loan agreement with Morgan Stanley Bank, N.A. to benefit low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, individuals, and families in Maine and the Northeast. The agreement enables the distribution of $5 million in new loan funds for three key areas of CEI’s lending practice: financing for small businesses, affordable housing, and community facilities.

“Communities in rural regions of the Northeast have been slow to recover from the recession, and face a number of challenges that prevent them from accessing patient and flexible financing,” said Ron Phillips, President and CEO, CEI. “Infusions of capital to essential sectors of our economy can help create jobs. At the same time, people with low- and middle-incomes need access to health and childcare, and affordable housing. CEI takes a comprehensive view of community development, believing that strong neighborhoods and healthy communities are the backbone to success for small businesses. We are grateful to Morgan Stanley for sharing in our work and supporting our mission.”

The $5 million line of credit supports CEI’s five-year commitment to deploy $128 million in loans and investment for 771 sustainable enterprises and the creation of 6,500 jobs.

“Morgan Stanley is pleased to partner with CEI to revitalize communities across the Northeast, particularly in rural areas, by making capital available to small businesses and low- and middle-income families and neighborhoods,” said Mike Mantle, President of Morgan Stanley Community Investments, LLC. “Healthy communities build and attract successful businesses that can drive economic growth.”

“CEI welcomes Morgan Stanley as a community development partner in moving capital into underserved and distressed rural communities in Maine and throughout the Northeast,” said Keith Bisson, Senior Vice President, Programs and Development, CEI. “By focusing on small businesses, affordable housing, and childcare and healthcare facilities, Morgan Stanley is supporting a holistic approach to place-based financing.”

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About CEI

CEI, one of the nation’s premier Community Development Corporations (CDCs) and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), specializes in rural business development and financing. Founded in 1977 in Wiscasset, Maine, we create economically and environmentally healthy communities in which all people, especially those with low incomes, can reach their full potential. CEI provides financing and technical assistance to small and medium-sized businesses, natural resource-based industries including the farm, fish and forest sectors, community facilities, renewable energy, commercial real estate and affordable housing. CEI serves communities in Maine, New England, and rural regions throughout the U.S. Find out more at www.ceimaine.org.

About Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley is a leading global financial services firm providing a wide range of investment banking, securities, investment management and wealth management services. With offices in more than 43 countries, the Firm’s employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals.  Since 2006, Morgan Stanley has committed more than $9.6 billion in investments to strengthen underserved communities.  For more information about Morgan Stanley, visit www.morganstanley.com.

CONTACTS:

Liz Rogers, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications, (207) 632-7693
Matt Burkhard, Morgan Stanley, (212) 761-2444

Ron Phillips Recognized for “Extraordinary Commitment to Maine”

CEI President and CEO Ron Phillips received Maine Development Foundation’s 2014 Champion of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Capacity Award on October 7, 2014 at MDF’s annual meeting held at Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland. See Ron’s remarks here.

MDF Award Harold & Ron3

CEI President and CEO Ron Phillips with Maine Development Foundation’s President and CEO Harold Clossey

Fueling the Economy by Investing in Green Energy

Our latest newsletter profiles CEI client Interphase Energy, who is expanding the market for renewables with affordable, fossil fuel-free heating options. Click here to find out more! In the following video, Steve Cole, CEI’s Energy and Environment Officer, explains renewable energy fits into our $128 million Platform for Sustainable Lending and Investing, with borrower Interphase Energy as an example of a Maine-based startup whose goal is to make energy more affordable for all.

Leading Equity Fund Invests in Maine Communities

CEI announced today that Parnassus Investments, an investment management company and a leader in the field of responsible investing, has made a $1 million investment in CEI Investment Notes, Inc. (CEI Notes) via its Parnassus Core Equity Fund. Read more!

Meet Our 2014 Summer Interns!

022“A lot of people ask me why I am studying environmental and resource economics instead of just economics—and the answer is that I want to utilize both skills by focusing on environmental issues in a business setting, a subject I don’t think receives enough attention. CEI’s commitment to creating economically and environmentally healthy communities has introduced me to deserving companies, businesses, and individuals who are implementing countless plans, proposals, and unique tactics to work towards expansion. Although many people think the fishing industry is struggling, I have observed CEI creatively work to position it for success, all while remaining socially responsible in their practices.”

-Jessica Kaczynski, Environmental and Resource Economics, Spanish, & Business Administration Major at the University of New Hampshire; CEI 2014 Internship Placement: Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Program

 

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“It’s difficult to explain ‘socially responsible venture capital’ to my friends. A lot of kids at Columbia intern at big banks, where they feel like there’s no soul and it’s all profit driven, while others intern at non-profits where they feel pretty ineffective. CEI Ventures is mission-driven, but seeks to generate business growth and returns on investment—the perfect balance of the two. It’s a great example of aligning incentives to promote social goals. As soon as you look at the long-term results, it’s pretty clear: we’ve been able to effectively create quality jobs for distressed communities throughout the Northeast.”

-Jameson McBride, Economics & Sustainable Development Major, Columbia University; CEI 2014 Internship Placement: CEI Ventures

026“There’s excellent work happening at CEI, but what strikes me the most, from an internal communications standpoint, is how the triple bottom line platform doesn’t just serve as a metric for investments, but truly drives employee decisions as well—from office conversations to designing CEI central in Brunswick. There are certainly countless moving parts, with multiple sectors and diverse groups involved, but the amount of collaboration between employees really speaks to shared values and purpose. The energy here turns it into one community revitalizing another, and local, sustainable industry growth is the result.”

-Elisabeth Sepulveda, Psychology, Management, Middle Eastern Studies Major, St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN; CEI 2014 Internship Placement: Marketing and Communications

IMG_3570“With a degree in Economics, I always figured I’d have to somehow sacrifice my dreams of effecting real change in the world if I wanted to build a challenging career in finance. CEI’s model of socially responsible lending, however, has taught me that that “big bank mentality” is not the only way. I am challenged every day I come into work, and at the end of that day, I get to see the impact we make here, whether it’s through job creation, affordable housing placement, environmental sustainability projects, or microenterprise lending that allows refugees the chance to start anew. I am so proud to be associated with an organization such as this, and am thankful for my time here.”

-Erin Morris, Economics Major, recent graduate from the University of Carolina at Chapel Hill; CEI 2014 Internship Placement: Lending Department

Headshot.CCML“While some Community Development Entities (CDEs) are eager to quickly push out New Market Tax Credit allocation as soon as they receive it, CEI Capital Management is committed to taking time to find the right deals. Deals that not only meet the criteria set by the program, but that go steps beyond, ensuring that projects will create sustainable businesses that have positive impacts on the surrounding community and environment. And the work doesn’t stop once the deal is closed. What sets CCML apart from other CDEs is its commitment to the borrower and the communities impacted throughout the seven years of the deal. This is only made possible by each team member’s passion for serving the underserved and furthering CCML’s mission.”

-Sandhya Nakhasi, Master’s in Business Administration, University of Michigan; CEI 2014 Internship Placement: Investment – CEI Capital Management LLC

JaredPic“My experience this summer at CEI has been amazing.  As an individual coming from out-of-state, CEI has been a great place to learn about community development within Maine.  I have been able to connect with a number of individuals working in fields from education, to healthcare, to small business development, giving me a great sense of Maine’s areas of need and growth.  Being able to take part in CEI’s work to improve Maine and create beneficial partnerships has been a rewarding experience.”

-Jared Benjamin, 2L student, University of Maine School of Law; CEI 2014 Internship Placement: CEI Policy