Credits to be deployed into federally-qualified low-income communities in Arkansas and border states
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Heartland Renaissance Fund (HRF), a subsidiary of Arkansas Capital Corporation, has been awarded a new $50 million allocation of federal New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs) from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. This award brings HRF’s total allocation of NMTCs to $425 million since the NMTC program began in 2003. Over this time, HRF’s credits have produced more than 3,500 direct jobs and over 11,500 indirect jobs in rural and underserved communities.
Arkansas Capital’s CEO, Sam Walls, says NMTCs are a critical part of Arkansas Capital and HRF’s work to deploy capital into historically underinvested areas and have been the catalyst for several transformative projects. These 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;
- expansion and new equipment for a company manufacturing graphite electrodes for electric arc furnaces used in the steel production industry;
- a startup biomass fuel facility;
- expansion of a homeless shelter to double its transitional housing capacity and expand workforce training services; and,
- purchase equipment for a rural manufacturing facility owned by a federally recognized tribe.
Walls noted that the NMTC program is a perfect 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.
Walls emphasized that successful deployment of NMTCs is not possible without partners from both the public and private sectors, noting “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. This latest award underscores Arkansas Capital’s strong reputation for deploying capital to innovative and impactful projects, providing critical investments to the people and places that need it most.