Finance Fund Provides Over $58 MM of Total NMTC Allocation to Five Ohio Projects

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Finance Fund EVP, General Counsel Andrew P. Swary

Finance Fund EVP, General Counsel Andrew P. Swary

Finance Fund closed five major economic development projects in Ohio deploying a total of $48,000,000 of federal and $10,256,412 of state New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation in 2015.

This work is the result of public and private partners coming together to realize a shared vision for greater financial health and prosperity in Ohio’s underserved communities. These NMTC allocations enabled Finance Fund to attract critical private investment to catalytic projects that will provide education, fresh food access, health care and employment in economically distressed, low-income communities throughout Ohio. The NMTC investments were drawn from federal and state NMTC allocation awards made to Finance Fund in 2015 in the amounts of $55,000,000 and $10,256,412, respectively.

The five NTMC projects include:

Children at ConstructionChildhood League Center, Columbus.  Finance Fund provided $8,000,000 of federal NMTC allocation and $2,564,103 of Ohio NMTC allocation to the project. The Childhood League Center (CLC) will double both its space and the number of children it serves through construction of a new, LEED-certified 41,000 sq. ft. modern and accessible facility at the Fort Hayes Campus near downtown Columbus. The building is expected to open for the 2016-17 school year. CLC is a licensed early childhood intervention program. For 70 years, CLC has provided the educational and therapeutic services essential for at-risk, developmentally delayed and special needs children under age six. The project will enable CLC to create 18 new full time jobs, retain 49 current staff positions, and create approximately 120 construction jobs. Capital One, the investor, provided an additional $2,000,000 of federal NMTC allocation to the project.

Kroger Northland Village, Columbus.  Finance Fund provided $8,500,000 of federal NMTC allocation and $2,564,103 of Ohio NMTC allocation to the project. The Kroger Co. (Kroger) is constructing a new 102,188 sq. ft. full-service grocery store in the Northland Village neighborhood of Columbus. This new store is an important priority for the City of Columbus, which is providing the project with Tax Increment Financing for infrastructure. This store, which will be conveniently located next to a public bus stop, will serve a significant low-income population that has little access to healthy food options.  The store will provide a variety of healthy food products including fresh fish and meats, fruits and produce, grains and nuts; and it will include The Little Clinic, which provides high-quality, affordable healthcare. This project will enable Kroger to create 38 new full time jobs, retain at least 146 existing full time jobs, and create 35 construction jobs. U.S. Bancorp, the investor, provided an additional $1,500,000 of federal NMTC allocation to the project.

Woodward Opera House, Mount Vernon.  Finance Fund provided $18,500,000 of federal NMTC allocation and $2,564,103 of Ohio NMTC allocation to the project.  WoodWardOperaHouseThe Woodward Opera House project involves the renovation and rehabilitation of two historic buildings containing approximately 63,706 sq. ft. known as the Woodward Opera House and Woodward Annex.  The project will create a processing kitchen and distribution center for locally grown produce and will also create much needed educational, performance, office, and retail space.  The project will enable the local, nonprofit operators to create 50 new full time jobs, retain 7 full time jobs, and create approximately 277 construction jobs.

ProMedicaToledoProMedica Downtown Campus, Toledo. Finance Fund provided $8,000,000 of federal NMTC allocation to the project. ProMedica Health System, Inc. (ProMedica) will play a major role in revitalizing downtown Toledo with the rehabilitation and conversion of an approximately 119,400 sq. ft. historic and long-abandoned steam plant to become its new consolidated corporate headquarters, housing at least 450 employees. The new headquarters, together with ProMedica’s broader Downtown Campus development, will create as many as 600 new full time jobs within five years, retain approximately 900 full time jobs, and create approximately 300 construction jobs. These employees will represent a significant portion of the City’s job base which will increase the revenues of local businesses, support additional job growth, and enhance tax revenues. The Downtown Campus development also includes a redeveloped public park that could lead to a “river walk” in Toledo. Finance Fund partnered with Northwest Ohio Improvement Fund, LLC, an affiliate of Toledo Port Authority, to deploy the NMTC allocation.  Stonehenge Community Development Corporation provided an additional $5,000,000 of federal and $2,564,103 of state NMTC allocation; and U.S. Bancorp, the investor, provided an additional $2,000,000 of federal NMTC allocation to the project.

Mercy Health’s Behavioral Health Institute, Youngstown.  Finance Fund provided $5,000,000 of federal NMTC allocation and $2,564,103 of Ohio NMTC allocation. Mercy Health Youngstown’s St. Elizabeth Hospital is renovating a 32,000 sq. ft. section of its current facility to create a Behavioral Health Institute (BHI). The BHI will expand the hospital’s current behavioral health services from adult care to include geriatric care, outpatient services, and increased inpatient admission. It will have 24 adult acute beds and 14 senior medically frail beds, which can service up to 100 patients per day.  In addition, post-acute services and intensive outpatient programs will reduce the need for frequent inpatient hospitalization. This project will enable Mercy Health to create 20 new full time jobs primarily in the health care field, retain at least 50 full time jobs, and create approximately 90 construction jobs.  Development Fund of the Western Reserve, Inc. provided an additional $5,000,000 of federal NMTC allocation to this project.

If you have questions or comments, would you please get in touch with me aswary@financefund.org.

Finance Fund/FCAP Leadership Transition

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James R. Klein, CEO Emeritus

James R. Klein, CEO Emeritus

For 26 years in Ohio, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity of a lifetime – to think more deeply about how local communities work and to actively influence improvements in the quality of life of the people living in them. Ohio has given me the privilege to work with amazing people to provide much-needed capital to help more than 3,500 projects overcome financing barriers that were keeping them from fulfilling their potential. Their success meant that Finance Fund was on the right path and that our guiding Mission, Vision and Values were being fulfilled. We’ve come a long way on this path but we’re not at its end yet.

Last year, I invited Diana Turoff to accept the position of President for Finance Fund and Finance Fund Capital Corporation (FCAP). For 14 years as Chief Financial Officer, Diana led our financial decision making, managing nearly $300 million in assets that have enticed $1.3 billion of investments in Ohio. Her acceptance as the head of operations has been marked with stellar achievements. This January as a result of an offer from the Board of Directors, she took the next step into the expanded role as both President and CEO of Finance Fund and FCAP.

Under Diana’s leadership Finance Fund’s pursuit of Mission and the strategic path set by the Board will continue to emphasize funding projects in healthy food, health care, community facilities, affordable housing, education, and small business.

Please join me in congratulating Diana on her new role as Finance Fund and FCAP President and CEO.

I will stay on as a consultant in the role of CEO Emeritus to advise and represent the organization as it moves through the transition process. Now is the ideal time for me to embark on another venture.

As many of you may know, my work with the Said Business School at the University of Oxford has presented some interesting opportunities. With an international cohort of Oxford alumni I have been intensely exploring the concept of “inclusive capitalism” and its application in addressing positive social impact globally. The cohort is strategizing changing local economies through addressing systemic barriers that inhibit stability and growth in the areas of water, energy, education, and food. I still want to change the world.  

Thank you for your friendship, partnership and strong support of Finance Fund’s work over the years. Together, we’ve grown great ideas into great communities throughout Ohio. I am certain there are even greater achievements yet to come.

Finance Fund Poised for Further Growth

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Finance Fund President Diana Turoff

Finance Fund President Diana Turoff

Like any organization, Finance Fund succeeds through the efforts of our experienced and dedicated staff members who are truly passionate about our mission. The quality of our staff and their work is exceptional and is reflected in Finance Fund’s growth in funding and deployment of capital to nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses across the state.

This year, we made some changes in our leadership structure, and a staff addition, to help us continue our growth and create new opportunity. In January 2015, the responsibilities of President and CEO were separated and turned into two positions. I was named President and worked alongside James R. Klein who continued to serve as CEO throughout the year.

In November, our Board activated the second half of the transition plan to enable Mr. Klein to step into the role of CEO Emeritus beginning in January 2016. In this role, he will continue to advise our organization, and work with federal and state leaders on funding and policy issues important to economic development. He will also help shape industry standards and policy positions through his service on the boards of the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Coalition (vice chair) and New Markets Tax Credit Coalition (executive committee). Effective January 1, 2016, I will assume all duties in the recombined roles of President and CEO.  

Vice President of Lending Adam Wezey

Vice President of Lending Adam Wezey

In addition, I am so pleased to announce that Adam Wezey has joined our team as Vice President of Lending. Adam has been a commercial credit and lending executive for 17 years and brings tremendous knowledge of government guaranteed loan programs, creative loan structuring ability and strong credit underwriting skills.

He will focus on accelerating small business lending through Finance Fund Capital Corporation’s (FCAP) Small Business Loan Fund which includes the Small Business Administration Community Advantage Loan Fund, Healthy Food for Ohio Fund, and Community Health Loan Fund. FCAP is a nonprofit certified CDFI and affiliate of Finance Fund. Adam’s banking career includes work for Huntington National Bank, KeyBank, CFBank and FirstMerit Bank.

Together with the entire Finance Fund team, I wish you every success in 2016. Thank you for your interest in our work and support of our mission to bring public and private capital to low-to-moderate income communities to improve the quality of life for people and create jobs.

Jeni’s Honors Finance Fund for “Talent, Hustle and Guts”

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Finance Fund President Diana Turoff (left) accepts the "Talent Hustle & Guts" Award from Jeni Britton Bauer.

Finance Fund President Diana Turoff (left) accepts the “Talent Hustle & Guts” Award from Jeni Britton Bauer.

“In our darkest hours – when we could not yet define our path back – Finance Fund came to our rescue,” said Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams CEO John Lowe. “I cannot overstate how important that immediate capital from Finance Fund was to our survival. Their speed enabled us to make important decisions – saving jobs – and enabling us to dive into fixing the problem.”

This spring, Finance Fund provided emergency loan funding to Jeni’s as they faced a very real threat to their viability after the discovery of listeria and subsequent shutdown of their manufacturing process. At stake, were more than 150 production, fulfillment, retail and office jobs and the life of a growing small business.

We require each of our borrowers to undergo Finance Fund’s formal underwriting, review and approval process, which includes looking at the company’s finances, brand equity and leadership team. Thanks to Finance Fund’s structure and in-house expertise, we were able to quickly approve Jeni’s request and help Jeni’s retain jobs while fixing the problem it was facing. 

Jeni’s has timely repaid the six-month, $1.5 million loan and is now back in full operation. We are thrilled to have helped them in their recovery. Jeni’s Founder Jeni Britton Bauer said, “I willJeni'sMug be forever thankful to Finance Fund, who came through like caped crusaders responding to our beacon call for help.”

For Finance Fund’s speed, commitment and trust, Team Jeni’s presented Finance Fund with “The Golden Jeni’s Mug.” This annual award is usually reserved for the very finest Team Jeni’s members. The mug is emblazoned with the attributes: Talent, Hustle, Guts. “Those attributes were shown in spades by Finance Fund,” Lowe said.

Finance Fund has long been the funder that small business owners turn to when they cannot get the financing needed from the traditional market. Providing access to capital and economic opportunity is why Finance Fund exists. And it’s through Finance Fund that our customers have been able to overcome financial barriers to establish or expand their business and provide jobs for local residents. If you have a small business project to discuss with us, please get in touch with our VP of Lending Tara Campbell at tcampbell@financefund.org

OFN Panel Shares Insights on Healthy Food Access Programs

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Finance Fund EVP Strategic Initiatives

Finance Fund EVP Strategic Initiatives

Ideas were flowing about the challenges and opportunities in healthy food financing at the OFN Annual Summit in Detroit a few weeks ago. Together with Finance Fund Director of Development Valerie Heiby, I participated in an interactive panel discussion with three other CDFIs that operate healthy food financing programs.

More experienced programs were represented by Sajan Philip of the Low Income Investment Fund from the New York Fund, and Olivia Rebenal of Capital Impact Partners from the California Fresh Works Program. We also enjoyed comments from Michelle Mapp from the newly developing South Carolina Community Loan Fund. Our national food access experts were Caroline Harries and Deidre Church from The Food Trust. The topic attracted more than 50 CDFI representatives from around the country who are interested in developing healthy food financing programs.

There were a number of key “take-aways” shared by the panelists and participants:

  • First, there is strong interest in programs that increase the availability of healthy foods in small communities and neighborhoods. This interest is beinggrocery-store-produce driven by an understanding of the role of healthy foods as a community development strategy as well as the impact on healthy living.
  • Second, in addition to interest in healthy food financing, there are also many programs being developed in improving local food systems, incubator kitchens, food trucks, and consumer education programs.
  • Third, grocery stores continue to be critical assets for neighborhood health. Finding the right location, an experienced operator and strong community support go along with the right type of financing.
  • Fourth, regional and national funders have strong interest in supporting healthy food financing programs and have been working in partnership with CDFIs around the country.
  • And fifth, grocery stores need to have flexible funds to meet the needs of each individual neighborhood, including both grant and loan support.

Finance Fund Capital Corporation is developing a Healthy Food for Ohio Program aimed at providing flexible funding for food access projects serving disadvantaged rural and urban areas. We expect to have the program guidelines and materials finalized soon and are actively seeking investment and funding partners. Please contact me markbarbash@financefund.org or Valerie vheiby@financefund.org to discuss how you can get involved.

Why Give to Finance Fund on Giving Tuesday

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On Giving Tuesday, December 1st, we all have an opportunity to give generously to nonprofit organizations that are committed to achieving the greater good. In this season of giving and receiving gifts, it’s easy to focus on what’s material to represent our friendship, love and best wishes. We pour our financial resources and countless hours into selecting the right item for each person, and wrapping and transporting it, for the pleasure of seeing the gift opened and appreciated by someone special.

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Giving a generous gift to someone you will never meet or to an important cause or concern requires a different kind of mindset. The rewards are not immediate and results are often intangible.

As you think about making a gift during the outpouring of opportunities coming your way on Giving Tuesday, I ask that you consider Finance Fund. We are a statewide nonprofit organization that moves capital into low-income communities to create needed assets that grow local economies.

Through the generous support of donors, foundations, and our work with investors and partners, we build resources, and carefully manage them to provide grants, low-interest loans and nontraditional financing to projects that provide important goods and services to underserved areas – grocery stores, child care centers, schools, health care centers, affordable housing, manufacturing and community facilities. These businesses and organizations offer area low-income residents good, entry-level jobs that can provide health care benefits, training and opportunities for advancement. These projects contribute to the tax base, improve property values and stimulate additional private investment in neighboring businesses. From a small start, communities begin to grow and eventually to thrive.

This is our vision for the future of Ohio’s disadvantaged rural and urban communities. It is our great privilege to have sprouted or expanded many community and economic development projects since Finance Fund was founded in 1987.  Please take a look at our Success Stories to see our work in action.

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We invite you to be a part of our work by giving generously to Finance Fund on Giving Tuesday. You can use PayPal or our Philanthropy Ohio account with The Columbus Foundation.

Thank you for being a friend of Finance Fund and for making this day of giving last well into the future for so many Ohioans. Please get in touch with me at dturoff@financefund.org or contact Director of Development Valerie Heiby at vheiby@financfund.org with any questions. 

 

Finance Fund Gains Insights From Opportunity Finance Network Conference

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Mark Barbash, EVP Strategic Initiatives

Mark Barbash, EVP Strategic Initiatives

This past week, a delegation of Finance Fund staff participated in the 2015 annual meeting of the Opportunity Finance Network, the premier association of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI).

This year, more than 1,200 professionals from around the country met in downtown Detroit, a community that is showing remarkable signs of resilience coming out of the bankruptcy filing and recent recession.

Finance Fund participants included President Diana Turoff, EVP for Strategic Initiatives Mark Barbash, VP of Lending Tara Campbell, Director of Development Valerie Heiby, and Senior Manager of Development  Amber Seitz.

Throughout the week, we discussed issues of importance to helping citizens build strong neighborhoods and communities:

  • Annie Donovan, the new Director of the CDFI Fund, talked about “supporting the growth, reach and performance of CDFIs” along with need for better data, transparency, and linking future funding with past performance
  • A unique idea exchange, sponsored by the Kresge Foundation, provided insights about how CDFIs can be more responsive to the needs in their communities
  • Discussions with many of the nation’s leading funders and peer CDFIs enabled us to exchange ideas about raising flexible capital that can more effectively support small business development
  • A well-attended panel discussion on Healthy Food Financing Initiatives featured Finance Fund and three other practitioners who compared notes on how to effectively support bringing healthy food retail into underserved neighborhoods

Jefferson-Ave-Detroit-Home1One of the most interesting sessions featured a number of CDFIs that are participating in major initiatives to bring Detroit back from the recent recession. We learned about work being done to support housing, small business, community development and strong neighborhoods; and about major investments from funders like Wells-Fargo, the Kresge Foundation and JPMorgan Chase.

We returned to Ohio with a renewed sense of commitment and fresh insights into Finance Fund and FCAP’s statewide work.

 

 

Grateful for Our Inspired Leaders

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Diana Turoff, Finance Fund President

Diana Turoff, Finance Fund President

Finance Fund and FCAP are deeply grateful for the expertise and service of the many people who volunteer their time to provide us with community insights, business counsel and important connections to other economic development leaders and funding sources. Ninety percent of our Board members are drawn from the low-income communities we serve across the state. This gives us the kind of “frontline” perspective important to shaping our funding decisions.

I am so pleased to announce that D.R. Gossett is now serving as Chair, and Jerry Katz as Vice Chair, of the Boards of Directors for Finance Fund and FCAP. Randy Runyon, president and CEO of the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers, will serve as chair emeritus. It was our honor recently to provide Randy with special recognition for his ten years of Board service.

Board Vice Chair Jerry Katz and Chair D.R. Gossett

Board Vice Chair Jerry Katz and Chair D.R. Gossett

D.R. is executive director of the Ironton & Lawrence County Community Action Organization (CAO) which provides services ranging from early childhood education, family health care and nutrition, to emergency heating and cooling assistance, and housing and workforce development. He joined Finance Fund’s Board in 2009, and has served as Vice Chair. His career includes service as the Chief Financial Officer of the Ironton-Lawrence County CAO, and as Internal Auditor with the U.S. Department of Treasury. He also worked for a CPA firm after earning a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Berea College, Berea, KY. He received his CPA in August 1995.

Jerry is now retired from a banking career that spanned 40 years, including 31 years at Huntington National Bank, where he served as Vice President. Jerry is actively involved in the community and has served on Finance Fund’s Board of Directors for the past 25 years.  He has also supported and contributed to numerous organizations ranging from the Better Business Bureau of Central Ohio to the Children’s Hospital Development Fund Drive. He currently serves on the Worthington Resource Pantry’s Board as Treasurer.

I invite you to follow this link for a complete list of Finance Fund and FCAP Board members. We continue to be led by those inspired by our mission to improve the quality of life for people.  If you have questions or comments, please feel free to reach me at dturoff@financefund.org.

Board

Board members (front row from left): Board Vice Chair Jerry Katz, Chair Emeritus Randy Runyon, Chair D.R. Gossett, Carole Grimes (second row, from left): Phillip Smith, Ryan Miller, Ben Kenny, Greg Kiger (third row, from left): Finance Fund CEO James R. Klein, Mary Burke Rivers

Not pictured:  Vickie Eaton Johnson, Finance Fund President Diana Turoff

Finance Fund Accepts OEDA Best Project Award

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Finance Fund President Diana Turoff and Geis Companies General Counsel Kevin Brokaw accept the OEDA Best Project Award

Finance Fund President Diana Turoff and Geis Companies General Counsel Kevin Brokaw accept the OEDA Best Project Award

“Finance Fund showed passion, commitment and leadership,” said Kevin Brokaw, director of development and general counsel for the Geis Companies.  “They put their investment in first and helped draw other investors to the project amounting to $25.5 million in New Markets Tax Credits.”

Brokaw addressed a packed house of economic development and business leaders at the 2015 Ohio Economic Development Association’s (OEDA) Annual Excellence Awards Program held in Columbus. Finance Fund joined the Geis Companies in accepting OEDA’s Best Project Award for “The 9” a $170 million mixed-use redevelopment project in downtown Cleveland.

The award recognizes an innovative project in economic and business development that retains or generates jobs and investment. A key criteria is to demonstrate a unique approach to the project, which can include public-private partnership, local collaboration, innovative financing and/or incentives.

It was Finance Fund’s privilege to provide $7 million in New Markets Tax Credit financing to the Geis Companies to help the project developer close the gap in funding needed to acquire and renovate two of the three buildings in the project. Financing partners included the City of Cleveland, State of Ohio and multiple banks as well as community development entities that provided federal and state New Markets Tax Credits. In addition to housing, retail and office space, the project brought a much-needed Heinen’s grocery store to the downtown neighborhood which lacked access to healthy food.

We  sincerely appreciate the opportunity to work with the Geis Companies on such a catalytic economic development project. Congratulations to all the OEDA award finalists and winners.

 

Finance Fund Awarded $4 Million in Ohio New Markets Tax Credits

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Diana Turoff, Finance Fund President

Diana Turoff, Finance Fund President

Finance Fund has been awarded $4 million in Ohio New Markets Tax Credit (ONMTC) allocation out of the total of $10 million available to Community Development Entities across the state. It is significant that the Ohio Development Services Agency has provided such a large award in recognition of Finance Fund’s demonstrated strength in meeting the goals of the ONMTC program.  

This is the sixth round of ONMTC  allocation authority that Finance Fund has received totaling $14 million. It is a welcome addition to the $55 million in federal NMTC allocation that Finance Fund was awarded earlier this year, bringing our total federal NMTC allocation to $295 million since 2004.

The ONMTC allocation will be applied, in combination with federal NMTCs, to attract private equity investment in impactful and catalytic economic revitalization projects.  NMTC projects are located in communities in severe economic distress with unemployment rates that exceed the national average.  Without these credits, many of these projects would not be possible.

The NMTC program is a unique and effective tool that fuels construction of new community facilities, businesses and commercial real estate projects that serve as economic catalysts to generate jobs and bring needed goods and services to the area. RotundaStreetView

I invite you to read a few of our case studies that highlight the NMTC in action:

If you have questions or would like to discuss a potential NMTC project, would you please get in touch with me at dturoff@financefund.org
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