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November 19, 2019

U.S. Treasury Awards CEI $714,000 to Fund Initiatives to Develop Maine’s Food Economy and Bring Economic Opportunity to Places with Persistent Poverty

November 19, 2019— BRUNSWICK, MECoastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) today announced it has been awarded $714,000 in Financial Assistance from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund).

Altogether, the CDFI fund awarded $188.7 million in Financial Assistance awards to 284 CDFIs today. The awards will enable CDFIs to increase lending and investment activity in low-income and economically distressed communities across the nation.

CEI will use its award in two ways:

  • To provide capital to Maine-based food system businesses that have the potential for high growth and for creating jobs for people with low incomes, as well as other positive environmental and social impacts; and
  • To lend in “persistent poverty” counties, which are places that have had poverty rates of 20 percent or more for the past 30 years. None of these counties are located in Maine. Instead, CEI will leverage its expertise to partner with other peer organizations that serve these places.

“We are grateful and honored to receive this award, a sure sign of confidence from the Treasury that CEI’s model of investing in economic equity is one that works,” said CEI President Keith Bisson. “Our investments are designed to catalyze economic opportunity, recognizing that the success of one food entrepreneur has a ripple effect, creating even more jobs and revenue for others. That is our path to shared prosperity.”

CDFI Fund awards, based on a competitive application process, have enabled community development financial institutions such as CEI to increase lending and investment activity in low-income and economically distressed communities. This is the 16th CDFI Fund award that CEI has received since 1997.

About CEI
Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) helps to grow good jobs, environmentally-sustainable enterprises, and shared prosperity in Maine and in rural regions across the country by integrating financing, business and industry expertise, and policy solutions. For more information, visit

About the CDFI Fund

Since its creation in 1994, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $2.4 billion to CDFIs, community development organizations, and financial institutions through the Community Development Financial Institutions Program, the Native American CDFI Assistance Program, and the Bank Enterprise Award Program. In addition, the CDFI Fund has allocated $57.5 billion in tax credit allocation authority to Community Development Entities through the New Markets Tax Credit Program, guaranteed $1.61 billion in bonds through the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program, and awarded more than $434 million through the Capital Magnet Fund. To learn more about the CDFI Fund and its programs, please visit the CDFI Fund’s website at

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