News

Catch the Latest News from CEI: Updates, Stories & Events

Every month CEI publishes an e-newsletter with updates, stories, and events. Read CEI’s newsletters and client stories below:

 

  • September: What have we been up to?
    • CDFI Program Award
    • CEI Joins ImpactUS Marketplace
    • FocusMaine announces launch of Quality Jobs Initiative with CEI
    • Grime Studios
    • Betsy Biemann welcomed as Aspen Institute Job Quality Fellow

CEI Leads Project to Introduce Commercially-Viable Scallop Farming in Maine

April 23, 2018 – Brunswick, Maine – Three custom scallop aquaculture machines built in Japan have recently been purchased by CEI as part of a multi-phase initiative to further develop scallop farming efforts in the state of Maine.

The unique, patented equipment is being utilized by Bangs Island Mussel in Portland and Pine Point Oyster in Cape Elizabeth to complete the cycle of raising, harvesting and selling cultivated scallops grown in Maine waters. The scallop grow-out period – from spat (seed) to commercially viable harvest size specimen – is estimated to be between two and three years, depending on the desired size of the final product.

“Could scallop farming be a sustainable new job-creating industry for Maine? We think so and we’re setting out to prove it,” said Hugh Cowperthwaite, Director, Fisheries Project at CEI. “We are utilizing the ‘Japanese ear-hanging technique,’ with a lens on the economics and profitability. We are tracking equipment costs, shipping and maintenance of the machinery, labor costs, scallop growth rates and selling scallops throughout the value chain.”

CEI was just awarded a 3-year grant from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a nonprofit established through bipartisan congressional support in the 2014 Farm Bill, to prove the economic viability of farmed scallops. Proof of concept for both the Japanese equipment and grow out techniques would be a significant breakthrough in the American aquaculture industry, legitimizing the Atlantic Sea Scallop as a “new” commercially viable farmed species. This first in the nation project will utilize equipment that has never been used in the United States.

“The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research is pleased to support this effort to expand economic opportunities and sustainable protein availability in the United States,” said Sally Rockey, Ph.D., executive director of FFAR. “We are optimistic about the potential for this innovative scallop farming equipment combined with market research to spur scallop industry growth, beginning in Maine.”

One of the challenges to farming scallops is that they are mobile. By implementing the ear-hanging technique aquaculturists can literally pin scallop shells to a grow out line which holds them in place. Ear hanging is the process of drilling a small hole in the hinge (ear) of a scallop shell, and inserting a specialized plastic age-pin to attach them to ‘grow out’ lines hung vertically in the water column. Compared to efforts implemented in Maine using bottom cages and trays to grow scallops to maturity, Japanese ear-hung scallops typically show faster growth, experience lower mortality and have a larger meat yields, due to uncrowded growing conditions and access to ample nutrients in the water column.

This project builds on a more than century-long relationship between Maine and Japan. Maine has been exchanging information and sharing insights into fisheries, energy practices, art, culture and education with its “sister state’ of Aomori Prefecture since 1994, although the origins of the relationship traces back to 1889. That year the 1,500-ton Cheseborough (a Bath, Maine built ship) wrecked off the coast of Aomori during a typhoon. Local citizens from the village of Shariki rescued four survivors and buried those who died, including Captain Peter Erickson. Two Maine groups, the Maine Aomori Sister State Advisory Council and the Friends of Aomori have kept the relationship thriving for over 20 years.

For the past eight years, CEI has been working in partnership with Maine Sea Grant and the Friends of Aomori to further the development of a Maine scallop farming industry. It was during a visit to Japan in 2010 that Cowperthwaite was introduced to equipment manufacturer Mutsu Kaden Tokki Co. that has been able to mechanize several labor-intensive steps to farming scallops. Principals from Mutsu Kaden Tokki Co. visited Maine in 2011 and 2014 to meet with shellfish growers who were beginning to grow scallops which.

After a year of planning, in October of 2016 CEI led a 10-member delegation to Aomori, Japan for an intensive one-week scallop aquaculture itinerary funded by the United States Japan Foundation. The exchange included a series of meetings with Mutsu Kaden Tokki Co.  as well as marine scientists, private businesses, fishing cooperatives and government officials.

Matthew Moretti, President of Bangs Island Mussel of Portland and Nate Perry, Pine Point Oyster Company of Cape Elizabeth were two members on the trip to Japan in 2016. Moretti and Perry have since been working with CEI staff to test the machines in Maine. “I’m excited to be a part of developing a new species for Maine farmers to grow. It’s important that we push the boundaries and work towards diversification” said Moretti.

Perry is no stranger to working with scallops. Over the past 8 years he has been perfecting collection techniques for wild scallop spat (seed) the essential element of scallop farming. “Without the seed, we won’t be able to build an industry” said Perry.

CEI negotiated a trial of the machines conducted in the summer and fall of 2017 and the results were promising. CEI then purchased the three machines with grant support from the Maine Technology Institute. For the three-year research effort, the team will also include Togue Brawn who runs Downeast Dayboat, a business with expertise in buying and selling fresh wild dayboat scallops to consumers across New England. “Maine produces the absolute best scallops in the world, but we’ve failed to differentiate them from generic “scallops”. Cultivated scallops will help differentiate our superior product by providing a year-round supply and by helping consumers understand the factors that yield our superior scallops and unique varietals.” said Brawn.

While many are optimistic about the scallop market opportunities, the research project will also involve the expertise of resource economist Rachel Bouvier of rbouvier consulting. An economic assessment will investigate wild scallop markets when compared to farmed scallops. “It’s important to have a sense of what the market will bear, who will buy the scallops and for what price, as well as interactions with existing fisheries.” said Bouvier.

As harvest and demands increase over time, farmed scallops could create further opportunities within the seafood distribution supply-chain, creating marketplaces not just in Maine but beyond, to Boston, New York, and nationally. “Farmed scallops could be marketed and sold similar to oysters. For starters we could provide the end consumer with the farm name and where they were grown” said Brawn.

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. CEI envisions a world in which communities are economically and environmentally healthy, enabling all people, especially those with low incomes, to reach their full potential. More at www.ceimaine.org

Celebrating a New Crop of Entrepreneurial Leaders: CEI Clients Win 2018 SBA Awards

 

April 19, 2018– Brunswick, ME Seven business leaders who have worked with CEI to plan and finance their enterprises are winners of the 2018 Maine Small Business Awards given by the U.S. Small Business Administration. They are: Heather Chandler, owner of The SunriseGuide, LLC of Portland; David Jacobson, David Jacobson Glass, LLC of Montville; Melissa Law, Benjamin Whalen, Abigail and Jeffrey Fisher, Bumbleroot Organic Farm, LLC of Windham; and Benjamin Okafor, Eastport Family Pharmacy.

CEI business advisors provide one-on-one, personalized advising services at no cost to current and potential business owners and managers in Maine through the Maine Small Business Development Center (Maine SBDC),the Women’s Business Center at CEI (WBC), and StartSmart, a program for entrepreneurs who immigrate to Maine. Business advisors at CEI have diverse educational and business experience.

The winning entrepreneurs from CEI’s business advising portfolio come from across the state:

Maine Young Entrepreneurs of the Year

Melissa Law, Benjamin Whalen, Abigail and Jeffrey Fisher, founders of Bumbleroot Organic Farm grew a two-acre farm in Buxton to 88 acres in South Windham with business advising and financing support from CEI. The farm is a rising leader in the southern Maine community because of its commitment to increasing access to locally-grown farm-fresh food, which is distributed to low-income and disadvantaged Mainers through programs including Creative Trails in Portland and My Place Teen Center in Westbrook, as well as accepting SNAP benefits. Sarah Guerette, Director of the Women’s Business Center (WBC) at CEI, worked closely with the Bumbleroot team during their expansion to a larger farm.

Maine and New England Micro-Enterprise of the Year

David Jacobson makes hand-blown and kiln-formed glass utilizing contemporary designs based in the Venetian tradition, mostly brightly colored functional objects: bowls, glasses, vases, platters, and sculptural objects. In 2013, with the help of CEI’s SBDC Advisor David Hill, David received a $100,000 loan from a New York City patron, and with the injection of $20,000 of personal capital, transformed his Montville barn into a fully equipped glass blowing studio. By building a multi-faceted business focused on blown-glass manufacturing, instruction, and hospitality, David has managed to persevere and thrive. Ever on the lookout for new and exciting business opportunities, David has learned new skills through a trip to Prague and the development of new products.

Maine Woman Owned Small Business of the Year

Since 2006, Heather Chandler has used the SunriseGuide to help Mainers expand their knowledge of sustainability across a broad spectrum of subject matters including food, health, energy choices, home life and more, while fueling the growth of the green economy in Maine. With support from the Women’s Business Center at CEI Heather has grown the business from a single product in 2006 (the annual green living guide and coupon book) to publishing three print publications, a mobile edition and a monthly e-newsletter/event listing.

The publication has made an impact on its readers:

  • 48% of readers said that the SunriseGuide helped them make healthier decisions for themselves and their families
  • 40% of readers said that the SunriseGuide has helped them learn ways to reduce their personal (or family’s) energy use and carbon footprint
  • 55% credited The SunriseGuide for helping them find greener options for products they were already going to buy.

Maine Minority Owned Small Business of the Year

Eastport Family Pharmacy owner Benjamin Okafor was named Maine Minority Small Business Owner of the Year. Originally from Nigeria, Ben worked as a pharmacist in London before he was recruited to work in Bangor. Driven to open his own pharmacy to support a rural Maine community with limited access to health care, Ben leased a 750-square-foot space to fill a need in this rural coastal community. Previously, residents had to drive almost 30 miles to fill prescriptions.  Committed to providing better service to his customers, Ben purchased and renovated a building right next door to the local health clinic two years ago. As a result he doubled the size of his operation, and installed a drive-up window, a popular feature with residents.  The pharmacy also offers free home deliveries within 25 miles. For the past three years, Ben has worked closely with Ruth Cash-Smith, Business Advisor with the WBC at CEI.

Maine Small Business Persons of the Year

In addition to providing advice to entrepreneurs, CEI also arranges a variety of capital solutions for new and growing companies. The SBA Maine Small Business Persons of the Year worked with CEI to arrange a startup loan and access workforce support when launching Sea Bags.

Sea Bags President Beth Shissler and its CEO Don Oakes have been selected as SBA’s Maine Small Business Persons of the Year and will represent the state in the competition for National Small Business Person of the Year. Portland-based Sea Bags is a designer and manufacturer of totes and accessories made from recycled sail cloth. Today Sea Bags has 13 company-owned stores, two offices and a warehouse facility. The SBA selected Sea Bags for their marquis award based on the continued growth of the business, and the support that the leadership team has shown for the small business community in Maine.

The Maine District Office of the Small Business Administration will recognize all of the 2018 Maine Small Business Award recipients at a reception and awards presentation at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1st at the Harraseekett Inn in Freeport. For additional information about the reception please call 207-622-8551 or e-mail keith.lind@sba.gov.

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. CEI envisions a world in which communities are economically and environmentally healthy, enabling all people, especially those with low incomes, to reach their full potential. More at www.ceimaine.org

New USDA Loan Program Helps Maine Nonprofit Invest in Community

Seedlings to Sunflowers, Gorham, Maine

Loan Officer Daniel Wallace writes about the USDA Community Facilities Relending Program in a recent Daily Yonder article. This lending program was created in 2016 to provide long-term, low-cost financing for community lenders like CEI who work in impoverished rural and Native American communities.

Central Lincoln County YMCA, Damariscotta, Maine

CEI’s financing using the USDA Community Facilities Relending Program includes the expansion of Central Lincoln County YMCA in Damariscotta and the construction of Seedlings to Sunflowers daycare center in Gorham.

Read the full article, New USDA Loan Program Helps Maine Nonprofit Invest in Community, here.

Three CEI Food Business Clients Win Sofi Awards

CEI is pleased to congratulate three portfolio businesses, all from Maine, as the recipients of sofi awards from the Specialty Food Association:

  • Gelato Fiasco – Brunswick – silver sofi award for its Big ‘Ole Peanut Butter gelato
  • Maine Crisp Co. – Waterville – bronze sofi award for its Cranberry Almond Crisps
  • Grandy Oats – Hiram – New Product award for its Coffee Crunch Coconola

Read more in the Press Herald’s article.

CEI Ventures Invests in Hyperlite Mountain Gear and Pika Energy

During the first quarter of 2018, CEI Ventures invested in Hyperlite Mountain Gear of Biddeford, and Pika Energy of Westbrook.

In a recently published Bangor Daily News article, Chandler Jones, principal at CEI Ventures, said of Hyperlite Mountain Gear, “They’re a prime example of what can happen in a flyover state like Maine. They’ve been able to build on a legacy industry [textiles] that had fallen on bad times. They are part of the resurgence of that industry.”

Another article published by the Press Herald describes these significant venture capital investments.

$20 Million of New Markets Tax Credit Supports Pulping Plant Construction; Creates 87 New Jobs

Starbuck, WA and Brunswick, ME – Columbia Pulp I, LLC, a next generation pulp mill turning waste straw into pulp for papermaking, and processed byproducts for other industrial and agricultural uses, has received $20 million in critical New Markets Tax Credit financing from CEI Capital Management LLC to help the start-up build a new processing plant.

The new company will build a 290,000 square foot facility where it will convert low-cost waste agricultural wheat and alfalfa straw supplied by farmers in the area into pulp for papermaking at regional and national paper mills. As a byproduct, the processing plant will also produce a lignin-carbohydrate co-product to be sold as for use in soil and dust abatement and industrial applications. The New Markets Tax Credits are directed toward the construction of that lignin-carbohydrate co-products processing division.

“We’re developing a next-generation pulp mill with the potential to be a transformative regional and national supplier of sustainable, tree-free pulp and unique co-products for years to come,” said Michele McCarthy, CFO from Columbia Pulp. “But it would not have been possible without the New Markets program filling a gap in our financing.”

Because of the economic conditions in Columbia County, Washington, the company qualified for the federal New Markets program, which was designed by Congress to stimulate private investment and economic growth in low income communities that lack access to capital needed to grow businesses, create jobs, and sustain healthy local economies.

Columbia County, where the pulp mill is located, suffered an economic setback in 2005, when Seneca Foods’ asparagus canning facility, once the largest asparagus canning facility in the world, shut down after 71 years of operation and moved offshore. The plant had been Columbia County’s largest employer and taxpayer, providing 50 year-round jobs, 1,000 seasonable jobs during the summer, and supporting 2,000 seasonal jobs at local asparagus farms.

Replacement for such a large employer is difficult for any community and can be particularly challenging in rural areas. Fortunately, following approximately a decade of research and development of a sustainable pulping process, Columbia Pulp I, LLC will create approximately 87 new, well-paying, direct permanent jobs at an industrial site in Starbuck, Washington. According to MIT’s Living Wage calculator all the new permanent jobs will pay above a living wage for a single adult in Columbia County. In addition, during construction, there will be about 120 construction workers working on the site at peak.

The project will also benefit the local farming community, producing about $16 million in new annual income for the region’s farmers and their associated contractors from the sale of wheat straw. It will also significantly reduce the harmful emissions and burdensome cost of burning the straw in the fields after harvest.

The expected local economic benefits incented a variety of public-private financing for the $184 million project. Columbia Pulp I, LLC received $133.6 senior bond financing from the Washington Economic Development Finance Authority. To fill the remaining capital gap, CEI Capital Management utilized the New Markets Tax Credit program to allocate $20 Million in NMTC capacity to finance the $39.4 million lignin-carbohydrate portion of the project. Wells Fargo Community Investment Holdings, LLC provided the equity, while CP Leverage Lender, LLC provided the debt financing for the transaction, which closed in two tranches on September 2017 and February 2018.

CEI Welcomes New Team Members

ASHLEIGH BRIGGS – Business Advisor, Bangor office

Ashleigh is a Business Advisor for the Maine Small Business Development Center, providing one-on-one business counseling in the Bangor area. She has a long history of working for, managing, and owning small businesses and has a passion for helping others fulfill their own dreams of owning their own successful business.  Most recently, Ashleigh ran an operations consulting company that focused on helping businesses identify and deploy technology that promotes operational efficiencies and improve bottom lines. She received a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and minor in Political Science from the University of Maine.

 

ANNA BROWN – Resource Development and Strategy Advisor

Anna Brown is CEI’s Resource Development and Strategy Advisor, charged with enabling more effective, well-resourced programs for the organization. Passionate about social and economic justice and environmental stewardship, Anna is an interdisciplinary practitioner with experience in inclusive urban development, resilience building, sustainable development, and philanthropy. Anna brings a decade of work with The Rockefeller Foundation, including seven years in Asia, where she managed the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN), a large, multi-country initiative. Anna also helped shape the Foundation’s approach to advancing more Inclusive Economies, developing a global strategy and leading a portfolio of research and innovation grants. In addition to Anna’s experience in philanthropy, her past work includes research with the MIT-USGS Science Impact Collaborative, a program devoted to improving the use of science in decision-making, leading the sustainable development work of the Quaker United Nations Office, and working with the water and peace unit of UNESCO. Anna serves on the Board of Extra Terrestrial Projects, an innovative equity-oriented organization focused on finding new ways to explore, understand and protect the world that surrounds us, and she runs her own consulting practice. Anna earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Brown University and a master’s in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

 

RYAN GREEN – Credit Analyst

Ryan joined CEI in 2018 as a Credit Analyst. He assists the lending department to underwrite and review loan requests and perform annual reviews on the existing portfolio. He also supports the financial analysis of incoming deals to CEI’s lending department. Prior to joining CEI, he worked at Seafax, Inc. for over seven years as a portfolio and credit manager within the Seafood department. Ryan has a BA in International Business and Marketing from the University of Maine, Orono.

 

 

MICHELLE RIDLON – HR Payroll and Benefits Specialist

Michelle is the HR Payroll and Benefits Specialist for CEI.  She is the point person for benefits-related matters and inquiries within all of CEI. She supports the accounting team with post payroll accounting, general ledger, and benefits reconciliation. Prior to joining CEI, she spent over 15 years in HR Benefits and Payroll administration.  Michelle has a Bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Maine, Orono.

Leah B. Thibault and John Egan Share Stories of CEI-Financed Historic Renovation Projects with Revitalization News

From Maine to Hawaii, efforts to revitalize communities, especially rural ones, are taking hold with public-private partnerships between developers and community investors like CEI. Historic Tax Credits and New Market Tax Credits play a necessary role in projects that renew downtowns and power economic development—without the credits, developers would have little incentive to focus on historic structures that have fallen into disrepair, which are often costlier to rehab than building new.

Read more in the recently published Revitalization News article: Historic Restoration Seeds Downtown Revitalization in Old Mill Towns, authored by Leah B. Thibault, Director of Executive Administration and Special Projects at CEI Capital Management LLC, and John Egan, Chief Investment Officer at CEI.

CEI’s Bright Community Capital Wins Opportunity Finance Network’s NEXT Award for Innovation

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 13, 2018 — Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) today announced that CEI’s new subsidiary, Bright Community Capital, is one of five recipients of the NEXT Fund for Innovation (NEXT Fund), a pilot program that builds on ten years of innovation and impact driven by the Wells Fargo NEXT Awards (NEXT Awards) for Opportunity Finance. Developed with support from Wells Fargo and Prudential Financial, the program funds business models, products, platforms, or processes holding the ability to drive transformational change and scale in the community development financial institution (CDFI) industry. The NEXT Fund provides a new source of long-term debt capital for community development financial institution innovation.

“Over the course of ten years the NEXT Awards propelled CDFIs ready for scale to achieve their vision. With the NEXT Fund we recognize and reward emerging CDFI business models, platforms, or processes with great potential—bringing flexible capital, including equity and subordinated debt, into play at a critical stage. As a result of the NEXT Fund CDFIs can achieve the 10x influence that is needed to truly drive transformational change,” said Beth Lipson, OFN Treasurer and Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives.

“We’re proud to continue our work with OFN to help CDFIs continue to innovate in the communities they serve,” said Megan Teare, Senior Vice President and manager of CDFI investing at Wells Fargo. “These five awardees have the potential to employ creative, high-impact strategies that can drive change.”

The five CDFIs who are set to receive awards are:

  • Building Hope, Washington, DC: Awarded $1,000,000 to expand its charter school real estate development practice into new markets such Texas and Tennessee, complementing its growing charter school lending.
  • CEI, Brunswick, ME: Awarded $1,500,000 for a newly formed solar energy financing subsidiary, which will focus on providing long-term debt and equity capital to mid-sized commercial solar power projects.
  • Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA), Minneapolis, MN:Awarded $1,000,000 to provide a new, patient equity-like capital product to support early-stage minority-owned business in Minneapolis that have potential for high growth.
  • ROC USA, Concord, NH: Awarded $1,000,000 to continue its transformational work converting manufacturing housing community from investor-ownership to resident-ownership by supporting a new product in the manufactured housing space to address park-owned home and park-financed home portfolios.
  • Reinvestment Fund, Philadelphia, PA: Awarded $500,000 to invest in a newly-formed subsidiary that invests in pay-for-success transactions that support the scaling of promising policy innovations. The new PFS Fund will target investments in housing, education, social services, and health care throughout the U.S.

About OFN
Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), the national network of community development financial institutions (CDFIs), strives to ensure low-income and other under-resourced communities have access to affordable, responsible financial products and services. Members of OFN are CDFIs that deliver responsible lending to help low-income communities join the economic mainstream. Through 2016, OFN’s network originated $54 billion in financing in rural, urban, and Native communities. This financing has helped to create or maintain more than 1,202,000 jobs, start or expand more than 256,000 businesses and microenterprises, and support the development or rehabilitation of nearly 2 million housing units and more than 10,000 community facility projects. For more information, visit www.ofn.org.

About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranked Wells Fargo No. 3 on its most recent list of the top corporate cash philanthropists. In 2016, Wells Fargo donated $281.3 million to 14,900 nonprofits and Wells Fargo team members volunteered 1.73 million hours with 50,000 nonprofits. Wells Fargo’s corporate social responsibility efforts are focused on three priorities: economic empowerment in underserved communities, environmental sustainability, and advancing diversity and social inclusion. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

Bright Community Capital Brings Solar Energy to Underserved Communities

New CEI subsidiary has launched to finance high-impact, mid- scale solar projects

February 7, 2018 – Brunswick, Maine – CEI today announced the launch of Bright Community Capital, a new subsidiary created to fill a financing gap in the solar energy marketplace.

Bright Community Capital will invest equity, debt, and tax equity to develop non-residential solar projects in low- to moderate-income communities, a historically underserved segment of the market. The projects deliver both environmental and social benefits to the community, through climate-friendly energy production, sustainable land management at project sites, quality job creation in installation and maintenance and a lower cost of energy for low-income residents.

The formation of Bright Community Capital was made possible through a $20 million bond from the U.S. Treasury’s CDFI Fund designated expressly to finance community and small business solar power generation projects that impact low income communities across the country. It was the first ever award of long-term debt from the CDFI Fund for solar financing.

The Bright Community Capital team has experience directly negotiating, structuring and managing tax equity transactions on behalf of CEI and its New Markets Tax Credit subsidiary CEI Capital Management.

“Our model fills a gap in the solar energy market,” said Bright Community Capital CEO Niels Zellers. “These mid-sized projects can be a challenge because each is so different, with unique variables, but by controlling multiple sources of capital, Bright Community Capital can finance more efficiently at this scale.  When completed these solar projects will return a full spectrum of impact, lowering energy costs in low-income communities, contributing to a sustainable economy and climate change mitigation. Our financing and impact investing strategy will deliver what many impact investors want: investments with impact and a return.”

This new subsidiary is in keeping with CEI’s mission to build an economy that works for everyone and its belief that climate change disproportionately affects people and communities with low incomes. Bright Community Capital will not only help transition communities away from CO2-intensive fossil fuels, it will create good jobs for people with varying levels of education and also provide workforce training for entrants to the field.

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. CEI envisions a world in which communities are economically and environmentally healthy, enabling all people, especially those with low incomes, to reach their full potential. Learn more about how CEI is helping to build an economy that works for everyone here: www.CEIMaine.org.