Financing Supports Manufacturing Capacity Expansion, New Job Creation
For Immediate Release: May 31, 2023
(GREENWOOD, WI and BRUNSWICK, ME – May 31, 2023) –CEI Capital Management has closed on $10 million in New Markets Tax Credit capacity to enable Grassland Dairy Products, Inc. to acquire equipment and expand its raw milk production capacity by nearly 30 percent.
Grassland Dairy Products is currently the largest family-owned butter creamery in the world. Management sought to process 30-35% more raw milk by installing new, specialized dryer equipment. The volatility of the dairy market, combined with the high cost of construction and equipment, made securing the financing for this expansion challenging. The New Markets Tax Credit financing provides Grassland Dairy with the low-cost and long-term funds it needs to make capital expenditures that support the company’s long-term operations and improve production flexibility.
This expanded production has a positive impact on employment in the region. Grassland Dairy Products will add 34 new full-time positions, bringing added stability to its existing 376 jobs, and support an estimated 180 jobs at its local dairy farm suppliers. All jobs meet CEI Capital Management’s seven-part definition of a Good Job: New entry-level positions start at $17.85, 16% higher than the Living Wage for a single adult and more than double the Wisconsin minimum wage, all jobs offer robust benefits, opportunities for career advancement and increased wages based on meeting goals and are accessible to individuals with a High School Diploma or Less.
“Grassland Dairy has a track record of creating good quality jobs, as well as supporting Wisconsin’s legacy of dairy farming,” said CCML CEO Traci Vaine. “This investment will support the continuation of this multi-generational business, providing a more stable economic future for the region through increasing purchasing and employment opportunities in an industry that is vital to the local community.”
CCML is focused on investing in rural manufacturing projects that revitalize core industries or support emerging sectors. The investment in Grassland Dairy also aligns with CCML’s focus to bring critically needed private investment to deeply distressed rural areas, where access to capital is limited or non-existent.
U.S. Bancorp Impact Finance provided the New Market Tax Credits equity and CCML was joined by co-allocatees Waveland Community Development, LLC and ImpactSeven, Inc. Hope Community Capital served as investment consultant to CCML
About CEI Capital Management
CEI Capital Management LLC works nationally to connect new and existing rural manufacturing companies with flexible capital through the federal New Markets Tax Credit and Maine New Markets Capital Investment Tax Credit programs. CEI Capital Management invests in companies committed to building accessible good jobs that provide living wages, comprehensive benefits and opportunities for training and advancement in alignment with CEI’s Good Jobs Framework. Since 2004, CEI Capital Management has placed over $1.02 billion in 97 different projects across the U.S.
CEI Capital Management LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), a Maine-based nonprofit community development financial institution.
CEI Capital Management LLC is an equal opportunity provider.
Christen Graham for CEI Capital Management
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