SOURCE: National New Markets Fund, LLC

National New Markets Fund, LLC

August 23, 2012 14:36 ET

San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind Closes $12.7 Million in NMTC Financing for New Manufacturing Facility and Critically-Needed Programs

Latest Investment in San Antonio by National New Markets Fund Will Improve Access to Job Training, Employment and Low-Vision Care for the Blind and Visually Impaired

SAN ANTONIO, TX--(Marketwire - Aug 23, 2012) - National New Markets Fund, LLC has closed its latest NMTC (New Markets Tax Credit) project in the San Antonio area with a $12.7 million allocation for San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind (SALB). The funds will be used to construct a new 60,000 square foot rehabilitation and manufacturing facility, as well as establish the first free low-vision clinic in San Antonio, and the first Blind Youth Education Program in the state of Texas.

"We are thrilled that New Markets Tax Credits are available to help us expand jobs and services for the blind," said Gaye Preston, CFO and vice president of finance for SALB. "The NMTC Program demonstrates how innovative federal investment in low-income communities can help organizations such as ours make their vision a reality."

Congressman Francisco "Quico" Canseco of Texas' 23rd Congressional District added, "Like so many other projects, the SALB expansion is a testament to how public-private partnerships are making a difference in communities like San Antonio."

This is the third NMTC allocation in San Antonio in the past four years for Los Angeles-based National New Markets Fund. The Fund previously invested $15 million to expand the landmark Haven for Hope homeless assistance center, and $14 million to expand the San Antonio Food Bank.

"The investments we have made in San Antonio fulfill our Fund's core mission of providing economic opportunity, services and job growth for low-income residents," said National New Markets Fund President Deborah La Franchi. "San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind is precisely the type of highly-impactful project NMTCs were intended to help finance."

National New Markets Fund CEO Belden Hull Daniels added, "Beyond just creating 100 quality jobs, this project will expand a facility designed specifically to leverage the skills of the blind and severely vision impaired. Best of all, the proceeds from their work will help fund services and rehabilitation programs benefitting all of San Antonio's blind and visually impaired."

Founded in 1933, San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind has grown from a small sewing plant to become one of the nation's largest education, vocational training and rehabilitation centers for the blind and visually impaired. It is also one of the largest manufacturers in San Antonio, and one of the nation's largest employers of the blind and visually impaired. It employs more than 500 workers who manufacture and assemble a range of products -- from office supplies to apparel -- for the U.S. military and government agencies. After the new facility is built, SALB will employ an additional 100 full-time blind workers.

National New Markets Fund is the SALB project's sole NMTC allocatee, while Chase (NYSE: JPM) serves as the tax credit investor, and Crescent Growth Capital serves as the NMTC consultant.

About the New Markets Tax Credit Program
The New Markets Tax Credit Program (NMTC Program) was established by Congress in 2000 to spur new or increased investment in operating businesses and real estate projects located in low-income communities. The NMTC Program attracts investment capital to low-income communities by permitting individual and corporate investors to receive a tax credit against their federal income tax return in exchange for making equity investments in specialized financial institutions called Community Development Entities (CDEs). The credit totals 39 percent of the original investment amount and is claimed over a period of seven years. To learn more, visit www.cdfifund.gov 

About National New Markets Fund
Deborah La Franchi of Strategic Development Solutions (SDS) and Belden Hull Daniels of Economic Innovation International, Inc. co-founded National New Markets Fund to invest in development projects that serve low income communities across the U.S. The Fund has received $237 million in federal New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation and invested in 20 projects to date. As a mission-driven investment fund, National New Markets Fund seeks investments that create substantial economic and community impact. Visit www.sdsgroup.com/funds/national-new-markets-fund/nnmf-projects for more information.

About San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind
San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in the State of Texas. For nearly 80 years, it has provided rehabilitation services, as well as employment in its light manufacturing assembly plant, for the severely vision impaired. Its mission is to help blind and visually impaired individuals live high quality, independent lives. In addition to its core rehabilitation and manufacturing facilities, San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind operates 14 Base Service Centers on 11 military installations in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. These stores operate under the AbilityOne Program, which helps blind and disabled employees nationwide find jobs. More information is available at www.salighthouse.org.

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