Through what it calls The Sustainable Logging Initiative, the Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIF) is making loans to qualified loggers who operate in the organization’s core lending area of the Virginias, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia.
NCIF advertises that it will make loans up to $250,000 for new and used logging equipment, for working capital and/or subordinated debt in conjunction with banks and traditional equipment lenders. Loan terms are 5-7 years and rates are said to be competitive.
According to NCIF’s Rick Larson, the fund “actively seeks to work with local lending partners to make the Sustainable Logging Initiative a success. We’ve partnered with banks and community-based lenders of all sizes. Often, we provide ‘equity-like’ capital with a subordinated collateral position, so a senior lender can approve a loan that otherwise would not meets its underwriting standards.”
NCIF promotes itself as a non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and says it has more than 10 years of experience in assisting natural resource-based businesses, including logging concerns, sawmills, and manufacturers of molding, furniture and veneer. It touts itself as having “more flexibility than regulated financial institutions.”
NCIF administers the Sustainable Logging Initiative and underwrites and manages lending. Its parent organization, The Conservation Fund, has protected almost 7 million acres nationwide and for 25 years has helped to conserve the Southeast’s resources and keep its forests working. NCIF’s initiative partners are Coastal Enterprises, Inc., a Maine-based CDFI, and the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities.