Advantage Capital Awarded $56 Million Federal Allocation In New Markets Tax Credit Program

Firm drives investment capital into economically distressed communities

NEW ORLEANS, February 24, 2011-Leading venture capital and small business finance firm Advantage Capital Partners has been awarded a $56 million allocation in the highly competitive federal New Markets Tax Credit program. This latest allocation brings the firm’s total awards since 2002 to $444 million.

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund Director Donna Gambrell and Congressman Elijah Cummings announced the 2010 New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program allocation awards at a ceremony in Baltimore. “The New Markets Tax Credit continues to be a tool for job-creation and economic revitalization in areas that struggle to attract investment because of poverty, unemployment and a lack of opportunity,” said Director Gambrell.

The New Markets Tax Credit program is administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. It is designed to stimulate economic growth and job creation in low-income neighborhoods by providing much-needed investment capital, financial counseling and other services. Successful applicants are selected only after a highly competitive and rigorous review process. Advantage Capital was one of 99 organizations selected out of a total of 250 that applied for the eighth round of allocations in June 2010.

“We are gratified by the Treasury Department’s long-standing confidence in our firm’s ability to foster entrepreneurship in low-income communities,” said Steven T. Stull, president of Advantage Capital. “This latest allocation round will allow us to deploy capital where it is needed most, enabling new and existing businesses to create and retain jobs, driving economic recovery and revitalizing neighborhoods.”

To date, Advantage Capital has invested private capital in 126 businesses through the federal and state New Markets programs, thereby retaining and creating thousands of jobs. The Advantage Capital Community Development Fund will focus its most recent New Markets allocation in geographic areas in which the firm has previously invested, and will also consider opportunities to serve distressed communities in other markets.

Advantage Capital’s allocation was among $3.5 billion in total awards announced this week by the Department of the Treasury. Since the program’s inception, the Treasury has awarded $29.5 billion in allocations.

About Advantage Capital Partners

Advantage Capital Partners is a leading venture capital and small business finance firm focused on early stage companies and other investments supporting state and local economic development efforts. With offices and partners in New Orleans, St. Louis, Austin and other U.S. cities, Advantage Capital has raised more than $1.3 billion in capital since 1992 and invested in companies located in geographic areas underserved by traditional venture capital.

About the federal New Markets Tax Credit program

The federal New Markets Tax Credit program, administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, encourages private-sector investment in economically distressed communities through tax incentives. In a highly competitive allocation procedure, the Treasury Department awards the tax credits based on applications submitted each year. Applications are evaluated based on the submitting organization’s experience investing in capital; experience in and strategy for raising capital; strength and depth of management team; and expected community impact of the business plan.

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