NEWS

Brown Launches Community Development Financing Firm

Strategic Partnership with Essential Capital Announced

Jacksonville, FL – Tony Brown, former Bank of America banker, announced the launch of his new national consulting firm, T. Brown Consulting Group, LLC (TBCG), with the completion of $300 million in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTCs) applications for two leading community development entities. TBCG will be headquartered in Jacksonville and will partner with Essential Capital Finance on NMTCs and community lending initiatives.

Tony gained a national reputation for excellence in the field of community development when, as Director of the CDFI Fund, he led the implementation of the federal NMTC program and directed its initial allocation of $6 billion in tax credit authority. He most recently led a $400 million redevelopment initiative in his hometown of Cincinnati and announced plans to relocate to Florida at the end of his contract term. “We are pleased to attract the caliber of talent and experience that Tony brings to community development lending,” commented Cleve Warren, president & CEO of Essential Capital. “Tony will bring an element of community development knowledge sorely needed in Jacksonville and will help our organization grow as a leading community development financial institution.”

The American Bankers Association (ABA) and The Kroger Co. selected TBCG to lead their development of private equity funds leveraging New Markets Tax Credits. ABA’s effort leverages NMTCs with loans from community banks to create loan pools that will be used to make loans at below market rates with flexible underwriting terms to small businesses, not-for profit organizations and government entities in order to create jobs in low income communities. ABA’s initial offering will also be $150 million and Jacksonville is targeted for a $50 million investment. Essential Capital will provide origination services to ABA should it be successful in its NMTC application. The NMTC program permits individual and corporate taxpayers to receive a credit against federal income taxes for making qualified equity investments in investment vehicles known as Community Development Entities (CDEs). The CDE uses the equity proceeds to make qualified low-income community investments in the form of loans, equity investments or financial counseling and other services provided to low-income community businesses. The application period for the current round of NMTC allocations ended June 2, 2010 and announcements are expected to be made by December.

T. Brown Consulting Group designs community development financing strategies and manages private equity products using the NMTC Program to help organizations devise capital solutions for real estate and small business initiatives across the country. For more information or to contact TBCG, visit their website at www.tbrownconsultinggrp.com.

Essential Capital Finance, Inc. is a local Certified Development Company (CDC), authorized by the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) to make commercial loans to small businesses for capital improvements and fixed asset acquisitions under the SBA 504 program. ECFI also has an application pending to be certified by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s CDFI Fund as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). For more information or to contact ECFI, visit their website at www.essentialcapital.net.

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