News & Events

Keeping you updated on what’s happening at CEI


January 10, 2024

Circle Seafoods Closes of $12 Million of New Markets Tax Credit Financing from CEI Capital Management LLC

Critical Capital Supports Wild-Caught Pacific Salmon Processing Facility and New Jobs in Washington State

(ABERDEEN, WASHINGTON and BRUNSWICK, ME – January 10, 2023) – CEI Capital Management LLC (CCML) has closed $12 million in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC)capacity for Circle Seafoods to complete the construction and outfitting of a custom barge for flash freezing wild salmon at sea hours after where they are caught. This new model will not only increase the price per pound for wild salmon to fishers, it will create approximately 90 new full-time jobs in Washington State where the- processing facility is located.

Circle Seafoods is responding to challenges of fishermen and consumers by innovating ways to make wild Pacific salmon more sustainable and more valuable. The company will eventually purchase salmon from a pool of up to 100 salmon fishing vessels and harvesters that employ up to 400 people, paying a per-pound premium over traditional onshore processors.

New flash-freeze enabled barges represent an industry shift that will reduce transportation distance and time, improve the quality of the product, allow small independent fishermen to get higher and more reliable prices, and create year-round processing jobs in a largely seasonal industry. The $12 million NMTC financing puts the company on track to bring the barge online in 2024 for the Southeast Alaska season.

Starting wages at the Aberdeen plant are higher than the MIT Living Wage in the region and come with overtime opportunities and benefits including paid time off, health care coverage, and retirement benefits. In addition, the company has partnered with local Grays Harbor College to train workers to access higher-wage employment opportunities. These policies and programs help the company meet the elements of the CEI Good Jobs Framework.

“The wild salmon fishery is intertwined with the Alaskan native culture and economy of the Pacific Northwest. Circle Seafoods is investing in the long-term sustainability of the ecosystem, increasing the value of the wild fish while presenting a fair system for the people who make their livings from the sea,” said CCML CEO Traci Vaine.

CCML invests in rural manufacturing projects that revitalize core industries or support emerging sectors. The investment in Circle Seafoods 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 NMTC equity and CCML was joined by co-allocatees Alaska Growth Capital and Hampton Roads Ventures. 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 100 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.

image of Kingfield Kinder Care

Kingfield Kinder Care

"When Jackie Lobdell’s children were young, she couldn’t find daycare fitting the hours she needed. The nearby child care was closed Fridays and…"

image of Taylor Tots

Taylor Tots

"Miranda Taylor turned her experience as an Ed Tech III/School-Based Behavioral Health Professional into Child Care entrepreneurship - creating a commute-free job for…"

image of Maine Ocean Farms 

Maine Ocean Farms 

"The oysters produced by Maine Ocean Farms are regarded as some of the best on the East Coast and are served across Maine…"