NPFT, a 509(a)(3) nonprofit subsidiary of Ecotrust, provides financing and makes investments in qualified buyers, community organizations, quota entities, and businesses that share and meet strong community equity, ecosystem conservation, and economic development goals.
The trust supports:
- Fisheries that are sustainable and conservation-based
- Business that keep money local and uphold local traditions and culture
- Opportunities that maximize the socioeconomic benefits of small-boat independent fishing and local processing
The trust helps community members acquire and manage the assets necessary to support these goals; those assets include licenses, permits, quotas, and distribution rights. The trust lends capital at favorable rates and terms to help communities thrive.
At the heart of the trust’s strategy is pursuing long-term funding relationships with qualified Community Quota Entities (CQEs) in the Gulf of Alaska. Due to the start-up nature of the CQE program and its participants, access to capital for the purchase of individual fishing quota (IFQ) is fairly limited at this time. The trust intends to bring its sizeable financial resources and its success in similar markets to bear on the CQE marketplace as an avenue to spur market development.
The NPFT has a flexible designed the program for CQEs. The program offers:
- An overall focus on creating and retaining economic opportunities within local communities
- Low down-payment requirements
- Below-market interest rates
- Long-term loan amortization
- Ability to secure financing with wide range of collateral types
- A proven track record in working with multiple groups (CQEs, village corporations, municipalities, etc.) to structure successful community-focused financing
- The financial skills required to structure funding approaches that work within constraints (high prices) of the current IFQ market
- Technical skills required to structure financing that include tax-advantaged strategies for selling entity