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December 8, 2017

CEI's financing activity in 2017 tops $50 million

Courtesy / Coastal Enterprises Inc.
Courtesy / Coastal Enterprises Inc.
Coastal Enterprises Inc.in Brunswick reported in its 2017 annual impact statement that its family of organizations deployed $51.7 million to 79 businesses in mostly rural regions across Maine and the United States.

About CEI

Coastal Enterprises Inc. 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.

Since 1977, CEI has had a consistent presence in Maine, financing business after business, and helping people seek and accomplish their dreams of a livelihood, home ownership, living in a safe neighborhood, quality childcare, and a way of life connected to our abundant natural resources. Its for-profit subsidiaries bring additional investment dollars to Maine and rural regions across the country, and add financing capacity through venture capital, New Markets Tax Credits and an SBA lending license. Together, over time, the CEI family has invested in 2,724 businesses and projects that are changing Maine's employment landscape.

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.

In its annual impact statement for 2017, Coastal Enterprises Inc. reported Wednesday that its family of organizations deployed $51.7 million to 79 business in mostly rural regions across Maine and the United States.

Of that, CEI invested nearly $14.8 million in loans, microloans and equity in 62 small- and medium-sized businesses and approximately $37 million in loans, equity, and tax credits in 17 businesses and projects through its subsidiaries.

Those investments created or preserved approximately 2,000 direct jobs across industries that include sustainable agriculture, food systems, aquaculture and fisheries, renewable energy, manufacturing, downtown revitalization and the arts. CEI reported that the impact of its investments was magnified by the advice and consulting provided by its staff to 2,820 entrepreneurs and business owners including women and immigrants, employers, farmers and fisheries entrepreneurs, and people seeking housing counseling and education.

The Brunswick-based private nonprofit community development organization also conducts a variety of local and federal policy work.

In the last fiscal year CEI and its subsidiaries:

  • Assisted almost 2,000 Maine entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, including Paul and Theresa Lancisi of Dove Tail Bats in Shirley Mills; Julie Swain of Dog Not Gone in Skowhegan; Jim Chattley of Meineke Topsham Car Care Center; Ten Ten Pič in Portland; and Corrin and Shirley Conforte of Kindred Farms Market and Bakery in Casco.
  • Helped to finance the completion of eight historic redevelopment projects, injecting economic vitality in Maine's downtowns from Biddeford to Waterville.
  • Made a first-in-the-nation loan from the innovative USDA Community Facilities Relending Program to support the expansion of a YMCA in Central Lincoln County.
  • Supported the design and commercialization of innovative technologies at companies such as Pemaquid Mussel Farms and Ocean Renewable Power Co.
  • Successfully exited an equity investment in the software company Certify.

"CEI was founded 40 years ago to expand options for Mainers to earn a decent livelihood in the face of a changing economy," said CEI CEO Betsy Biemann. "We are building on our legacy, revitalizing our rural regions and gateway cities by making the kind of investments that impact people with low incomes — expanding the numbers of good jobs, and ultimately, increasing shared prosperity."

"Our 2017 performance reflects CEI's commitment to Maine and rural regions in other states, with a team that is passionate about tackling the challenges that our country is facing right now," added CEI President Keith Bisson. "Our team's experience and know-how position us to take a risk on early stage innovators that conventional lenders and investors won't, calculating good jobs and environmental benefits as core to return on investment."

CEI's full portfolio will be spotlighted during its 40th anniversary celebration to be held on April 25, 2018.

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