The pace has begun to pick up on Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Appropriations. On April 22nd, the House Appropriations Committee approved the 302 (b) allocations for the 12 appropriations subcommittees. For the Financial Services Subcommittee, the total available is $20.25 billion, which is $1.6 billion less than the FY 2015 rate and almost $4 billion below the budget request that includes a $2 billion increase for the IRS. For those interested in CDFI Fund, the good news is that compared to the IRS and the Consumer Protection Bureau, as well as financial services reform (which could creep into the bill), the Fund is a relatively non-controversial item. However, it is still the case that at this point the Subcommittee will have less money to work with than FY 2015. In our meetings with House subcommittee members, staff and Committee leadership, no one raised substantial concerns and there appears to be a general recognition of the success of the CDFIs in working hard to serve communities. The House subcommittee will be marking up in June and, in advance of that, we will be starting another round of House meetings soon. In the Senate, the process is not as far along.The earliest possible date for subcommittee allocations in May 17th. Credits: CDFI Coalition
Three members of the House Ways and Means Committee, including Congressmen Pat Tiberi (R-OH), Tom Reed (R-NY) and Richard Neal (D-MA), introduced a bill to permanently extend the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program. New Markets Tax Credit Extension Act of 2015 would ensure that rural communities and urban neighborhoods left outside the economic mainstream have access to financing to grow their economies and create jobs. The legislation would also provide an annual inflation adjustment and allow the NMTC to be taken against alternative minimum tax liability. Click here to read more.
President’s 2016 Budget Requests $233.5 million for Treasury's CDFI Fund. This funding would extend the CDFI Fund’s efforts to spur economic development and job growth in underserved communities. The requested amount includes $157.5 million for the Community Development Financial Institutions Program, a $5 million increase from FY 2015. The Budget also proposes permanently extending the New Markets Tax Credit Program at $5 billion per year and extending the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program through FY 2017. To read more click here.
Today the U.S. National Advisory Board on Impact Investing (NAB) named Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, as the new Chair, joining the leadership team that includes Matt Bannick, Managing Partner at Omidyar Network, and Tracy Palandjian, CEO of Social Finance US. The NAB aims to catalyze the development of the impact investment market. "As a society we are facing enormous challenges and through impact investing we can create sustainable, scalable solutions for the public good. Impact investing is a win-win, generating beneficial social or environmental impacts alongside financial returns, "said Walker. "I am honored to take up this position at such an exciting time for impact investing and the NAB." With Darren as Chair, the NAB will continue to shape policy, to evolve alongside the challenges and opportunities of the impact investing sector, and to guide the impact investing community towards a collaborative and successful future. Click here to read more.
New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) gets one year extension with $3.5 billion in annual credit authority provided for 2014 as a part of the one-year retroactive tax extender bill. The NMTC had expired at the end of 2013 and passage of this bill would allow the CDFI Fund to consider pending NMTC applications for 2014.
CDFI Fund programs received $230.5 million in appropriations as President Obama signed into law the FY 2015 Omnibus spending bill. The CDFI Fund programs appropriation has $152.4 million set aside for Financial and technical Assistance grants and $22 million for the Healthy Foods Financing Initiative. Remarkably, the bill waives the match requirement for FY '15 FA awards made to small and/or emerging CDFIs or Native CDFIs and both the match and the three-year grant cap are waived for HFFI applicants. This has been the largest appropriation for the CDFI Fund in five years.
Optoro Inc., a cloud-based technology company that enables retailers and manufacturers to increase their revenue from returned and excess inventory, today announced that it has closed a $50 million Series C funding. The funding round was led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) joined by Generation Investment Management (Generation) with participation from existing investors Revolution Growth, Grotech Ventures and SWaN & Legend Venture Partners. KPCB Partner Daniel Oros will join the board. Optoro Inc. is a portfolio company of SJF Ventures II, an investee fund of CDVCA's Central Fund Fund-of-Funds portfolio. For more information please click here (Business Wire).
NewBank, a portfolio investment of East Coast Capital Holdings, a CDVCA member investment fund, received the FY 2014 Pinnacle Award by the Small Business Administration for making the most '7a/504' loans.
Bill Gates has made an investment in Unitus Seed, an impact investment fund that focuses on Indian social enterprises, taking for the first the equity route to help drive social and economic change in India. The co-founder of Microsoft, who has been directing millions of dollars in grant capital to the country for years, has joined Indian origin investor Vinod Khosla and a group of Seattle-area techies in backing Unitus Seed. "Impact investing is a powerful model with the potential to build markets and drive change for the people who need it most," said Gates. Read more about it here.
Coastal Ventures’ portfolio company, SmartPak, saw a successful exit through acquisition by Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ: HSIC), the world’s largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, animal health and medical practitioners. Its U.S. Animal Health business, Henry Schein Animal Health, has entered into an agreement to acquire an approximate 60 percent ownership position in SmartPak, the leading provider of equine supplements and horse supplies across the United States. SmartPak had sales in 2013 of approximately $105 million and expands Henry Schein’s product and service offering to the equine community. Henry Schein Animal Health is a leading companion animal health distribution company in the United States. Over the past decade, SmartPak has been recognized at both the national and local levels, including ranking on the Inc. 500 /5000 lists of America’s Fastest Growing Private Businesses for nine consecutive years; being ranked as #249 on the Internet Retailer 500 and #35 on the Internet Retailer Social Media 500; selected as one of only 66 companies nationally to earn Bizrate’s Circle of Excellence Award (Bizrate powers Google’s reviews); earning StellaService’s highest possible service rating: Elite; ranking among the Boston Globe’s annual Top Places to Work in Massachusetts; and receiving the Innovation Award from the Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE). Mr. Gisholt received the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for Consumer Products in the New England Region and has also been named one of the “Best Bosses” by Fortune Small Business and Winning Workplaces. Read more about ...