Heartland Renaissance Fund (HRF) of Little Rock, a subsidiary of Arkansas Capital Corporation, has been awarded $40 million in federal New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs) to deploy capital into historically underinvested areas.
The credits are part of the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. Since the program began in 2003, HRF has been allocated $375 million for NMTCs. In that time, HRF credits have led to more than 3,000 direct jobs and over 10,000 indirect jobs in rural and underserved communities, ACC officials said in a press release.
NMTC projects funded through HRF include:
- a 3.46 megawatt solar farm that powers all the city and county offices in a rural community;
- a full-service grocery store in a USDA-designated “food desert” that had not had a grocery store since 1993;
- headquarters of a nonprofit organization serving developmentally disabled adults;
- renovation and rehabilitation of a historic building in downtown Little Rock, pairing NMTCs with state historic tax credits;
- LEED-certified rehabilitation of a long-abandoned brownfield facility for a state-of-the-art corporate headquarters and manufacturing operation in a highly-distressed census tract;
- a soybean processing facility that doubled its company’s processing capacity;
- expansion and new equipment for a company manufacturing graphite electrodes for electric arc furnaces used in the steel production industry; and,
- a startup biomass fuel facility.
Arkansas Capital President and COO Sam Walls said the NMTC program is an opportunity for investors to use tax credits to put investments into the most underserved census tracts throughout Arkansas and its bordering states.
“We are continually looking for impactful projects, especially in low-income areas, where local officials are struggling to find capital for projects to grow their economies, provide jobs, and, overall, increase the well-being of their communities,” he said. “Partnerships are key. We must rely on these local, state, and regional officials to give us guidance on what projects are needed in their communities; the projects that have the most impact and are best for the long term health of the community.”
According to the CDFI Fund, NMTCs generate $8 of private investment for every $1 awarded. They support essential investments in business growth, job creation and critical community services.