New Markets Development Program Brings Renovations, Equipment To Bastrop, Louisiana Hospital
Advantage Capital Partners provides total of $12 million in loans to Morehouse General Hospital
BASTROP, La., January 8, 2009 – Advantage Capital Partners, a leading venture capital and small business finance firm, today announced that it has provided $4.6 million in financing to a rural hospital in Northeast Louisiana. The funding, raised in connection with the Louisiana New Markets Development program, will allow Morehouse General Hospital in Bastrop to add jobs, bring improvements to the emergency room and buy critical new x-ray, MRI and CT scan equipment. Advantage Capital expects to provide an additional $7.4 million construction loan to the hospital in early 2009.
“2008 was a tough year economically for Bastrop and many other Louisiana communities,” said State Senator Mike Walsworth (R), West Monroe. “This is good news for the hospital and good news for the people who live in Bastrop. I am proud to support the New Markets program, because this is exactly the kind of project the program is designed to finance.”
Morehouse General Hospital (MGH) is a 60-bed community-owned hospital offering a wide range of both inpatient and outpatient care to northeast Louisiana and southeast Arkansas residents. It is the only hospital in the parish, and patients must often drive long distances to receive care since neighboring parish hospitals do not offer all the services that MGH offers. The hospital currently employs 248 people and an additional 13 health care related jobs are expected to be created due to this financing. Approximately 50 construction jobs will be created, following groundbreaking at the facility later this year.
“This funding is critical for our survival,” said Cheryl Faulkenberry, CEO of Morehouse General Hospital. “It will improve our ability to service patients with new medical equipment and technologies that have not previously been available, including the addition of a fast-track area for non-urgent patients. We’re really excited about the new opportunities for the hospital and the rural community patients we serve.”
“The Morehouse General Hospital financing is a prime example of how the state’s New Markets Development program is working in rural Louisiana communities,” said Michael Johnson, managing director at Advantage Capital Partners in New Orleans. “It’s so important to the community to have this hospital and with the improvements Morehouse will make, the hospital should be able to increase revenue in the near future.”
Services currently provided by the hospital include inpatient medical, surgical and intensive care services, outpatient surgery, emergency care, radiology, cardiology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, endoscopy, hyperbaric and wound care treatment and more.
Advantage Capital made its investment in the Morehouse General Hospital through BizCapital, the firm’s small business lending arm and its Louisiana vice president of business development, Richard Pearce. The financing was made in connection with the Louisiana New Markets Development program and the federal New Markets Tax Credit program. These innovative initiatives have facilitated the flow of billions of dollars of private capital into states and communities in need of economic development. In turn, these investment activities help to grow the local tax base, create job opportunities for local residents and develop a base of wealth from which these communities can continue to expand.
About Advantage Capital Partners
Advantage Capital Partners (www.advantagecap.com) 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 has raised more than $1 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 for each tax year. Advantage has participated in the New Markets program since 2003, raising private capital for investment in low-income communities. These investments have spurred economic growth through innovative business ventures and job creation across the United States.
About the Louisiana New Markets Development program
The Louisiana New Markets Development program encourages investment in promising small businesses located in distressed communities throughout the state and particularly those communities in the GO Zone still recovering from the devastation of the hurricanes of 2005. The program enables up to $400 million of capital investment in Louisiana’s small businesses. The state program attracts investment in low-income communities through a state tax credit modeled after the federal New Markets Tax Credit. The goal of the program is to attract large, long-term investors to Louisiana’s low-income communities, promoting new expansion, creating new job opportunities and building on existing growth in the state.