Who Is Eligible? NCIF makes investments in companies and projects that promote sustainable economic development, and have a positive impact on human health and the natural environment. Businesses located in North Carolina; Virginia; West Virginia; and the Appalachian regions of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio are eligible to apply. Sectors of interest include:
- heritage and recreation-based tourism;
- value-added and sustainable agriculture;
- water conservation and wastewater treatment;
- sustainable forestry and forest products;
- renewable energy and energy efficiency;
- recycling and integrated waste management;
- natural medicines.
A borrower should call to speak with an NCIF lender before submitting an application, in order to determine whether NCIF funding is a good fit for the enterprise. Potential borrowers must submit the following:
- a completed loan application signed by all business owners;
- three years of personal tax returns and a current personal financial statement for all business owners;
- three years of business tax returns (if available);
- a current profit and loss statement and balance sheet;
- a business plan (for all start-ups);
- three-year financial projections (along with underlying assumptions) showing that the business can repay the loan;
- other documentation as required.
The NCIF application can be downloaded at: http://www.conservationfund.org/what-we-do/natural-capital-investment-fund/apply-for-a-loan
What Activities Are Eligible? NCIF loans can be used to finance equipment, working capital, and real estate. Through partnerships, NCIF offers access to New Markets Tax Credits, long-term real estate financing, and a range of government credit-enhancement programs. NCIF also provides sector-specific and general business technical assistance to its portfolio companies.
NCIF typically does not lend to start-ups; instead, the Fund targets early to expansion-stage companies with market traction and growth opportunities.
How much? NCIF provides $35,000 – $500,000 in patient capital to green businesses in North Carolina; Virginia; West Virginia; and the Appalachian regions of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio.
NCIF investments are typically structured as subordinated debt; the Fund also makes senior loans and some equity investments. Interest rates reflect subordinated debt or equity risk. NCIF’s capital enables traditional lenders, community development funds, and government credit-enhancement programs to participate in financing green businesses, thus increasing the flow of capital to these emerging sectors.
Interest rates depend on the level of risk and are based on the current prime rate, generally up to 3.0% above prime). The key factor in determining the interest rate is the risk assessment of the project. The standard maximum terms for fixed assets are 5 to 10 years and 3 to 7 years for working capital. There is a loan origination fee of 1% of the amount of the loan.
Contact: For businesses in western NC, please contact Anna Tefft, Senior Business Lender, at (336) 734-6902 or email@example.com. Businesses located outside western NC can contact Marten Jenkins, NCIF’s President, at 304-870-2207.