Duke Energy Inaugural Investor in Business Development Loan Fund
Duke Energy has stepped in as the inaugural investor in Middletown Moving Forward’s new loan fund, committing $500,000 toward the development initiative.
“We are excited about the partnership with an exceptional regional leader such as Duke Energy,” says Calista Smith, Middletown Moving Forward Interim Director. “We want to grow the Fund to $5 million, and Duke’s generous commitment is a huge step toward meeting that goal.”
Modeled after similar successful nonprofit economic development programs such as Cincinnati’s 3CDC and Hamilton’s CORE Fund, Smith says the program was created to finance redevelopment efforts in Middletown’s low- to moderate-income areas that have a critical mass of commercial activity—particularly the downtown area and around Middletown Regional Airport/Hook Field. As project loans are repaid, Middletown Moving Forward will re-invest the funds in additional projects.
“We will be investing in a wide variety of quality mixed-use commercial property developments, ones that are financially suitable and that meet the character and strategy we have to support projects that create jobs and more economic activity for Middletown,” says Smith.
Tim Abbott, Duke Energy Government and Community Relations Manager, says, “Funds such as Middletown Moving Forward’s have played an important role in revitalizing other cities. Middletown is at a critical crossroads to ensuring successful redevelopment in the Fund’s target areas. Duke is committed to the Middletown community and to participating in solid economic development efforts such as this.”
With Duke’s commitment leading the way, Middletown Moving Forward hopes to have the Fund’s team of investors established in the next nine to 12 months. Once the Fund is in place, qualified developers would apply and be vetted. Smith says the organization is looking to make its first investment by the end of 2017.