In 1957, a group of influential individuals within the State of Arkansas—in concert with most of the State’s utilities—formed First Arkansas Development Finance Corporation (FADFC). Chartered under Arkansas State law for the purpose of providing a mechanism for financing the transformation of Arkansas from an agricultural economy into an industrial economy, FADFC was given the mandate to “engage in any activity which benefits the people of Arkansas.” Today, 56 years after its founding, the organization is known as Arkansas Capital Corporation, Inc (ACC) and is a §501(c)(6) qualified non-profit.
Arkansas Capital Corporation’s diverse operations have catalyzed numerous economic successes, and the companies that it financed through the years are responsible for creating thousands of jobs for hard-working Arkansans. To-date, Arkansas Capital Corporation has made or facilitated over $1.3 billion in loans. In addition, Arkansas Capital Corporation’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Heartland Renaissance Fund, has on four separate occasions been selected by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to receive nearly $200 million in New Markets Tax Credit allocations.
In 2012, at the request of Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe, Arkansas Capital Corporation initiated an effort to form a Regional Center designated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). From the outset, the objective of this undertaking was to take a markedly different approach to EB-5: rather than having a for-profit company speculatively form and operate a Regional Center, Arkansas Capital Corporation would form a Regional Center and build upon its half-century track record as a non-profit, successfully originating, structuring, and executing financings geared toward supporting economic vitality in Arkansas.
Governor Beebe’s call upon Arkansas Capital Corporation to form a Regional Center was matched by support from the Congressional delegation from the State of Arkansas, the Federal Co-Chair of the Delta Regional Authority, the Executive Director of the Arkansas Economic Development Corporation (AEDC), the Director of Economic Development for Mississippi County, Arkansas, and the Mayor of Osceola, Arkansas.
Arkansas State law specifies that the purpose of Arkansas Capital Corporation is to promote the industrial, business, agricultural and general economic welfare of the State through the creation of employment opportunities for Arkansans. As such, the legislated purpose of Arkansas Capital Corporation clearly includes the scope of responsibilities associated with a USCIS-designated Regional Center.