May 15, 2015 (Wiscasset, ME)—Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) is the winner of the National Development Council (NDC) Academy 2015 President’s Award in Financial Structuring, presented in Washington, D.C., this week. The 2015 Academy Awards honor innovative economic and community development projects and individuals that make a significant impact in their communities.
Robert W. Davenport, President of NDC, selected CEI for the inaugural President’s Award for Financial Structuring for its role as the lead lender and organizer of the financing consortium that enabled 45 employees to purchase three stores on Deer Isle, ME, and establish the Island Employee Cooperative. CEI also provided significant technical support for the transaction through three of its programmatic arms: agriculture and food, workforce development, and business advising.
“Employees organized a cooperative to purchase three stores, establishing themselves as Maine’s largest worker co-op and second largest in New England,” said Mr. Davenport. “This is a forward thinking model of how small businesses can stay in business and save and create jobs in their communities.”
A team of financial institutions, service providers, and technical assistance providers, including CEI, Independent Retailers Shared Services Cooperative, Cooperative Development Institute, and Cooperative Fund of New England, worked over 2,800 hours to complete the conversion and purchase in 12 months, a short timeline for the complex $5.6 million project. It is now a national model for worker co-op conversions, grocery store succession planning, and creative financing.
“This financial transaction represents the best kind of collaboration to build wealth and opportunities in Maine’s rural communities,” said CEI Loan and Investment Officer Cole Palmer. “It is a clear example of what defines sustaining community.”
“We were honored to be recognized out of a pool of 90 submissions from communities across the country for this award,” said Daniel Wallace, CEI Program Developer, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems. “In truth, our award is for the Island Employee Cooperative and all of the partners who worked so hard with us to keep jobs and local food access in rural Maine.”
About Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI)
Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (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, CEI helps 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 The NDC Academy The NDC Academy is a biennial conference of the National Development Council, which brings together economic and community development professionals from around the nation with policymakers, advocates and elected officials for high impact training, learning and networking. Former Governor of Michigan and president of the Business Roundtable, John Engler, and Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental affairs at the White House, Jerry Abramson, were keynote speakers. John Engler welcomed the 400 plus participants at the event’s Keynote Lunch on the opening day, while Deputy Assistant Abramson addressed attendees during the Awards Luncheon held the final day of the conference. For more information on the NDC Academy, please visit: http://ndcacademy.org/
About the National Development Council (NDC) NDC is a nonprofit that was established in 1969 to operate as one of the nation’s first socially motivated investment bank and community development advisors. We connect the nation’s vast financial resources to Main Street investment across America and create financial efficiency by leveraging the impact of every public dollar invested in overlooked communities across the nation that are home to millions of small businesses and middle-class Americans working to achieve a good job and homeownership. NDC acts as a teacher, advisor, investor, developer and lender all in one, working tirelessly to increase the flow of investment capital, spur job creation and bring community development to America’s economically forgotten areas. NDC stands for quality of opportunity through Homes, Jobs and Communities. For more information about NDC, please visit: http://www.nationaldevelopmentcouncil.org/