Wm G Roe & Sons’ (“Roe Fresh Fruit”) mission is to provide healthy, wholesome food products to its community. Roe Fresh Fruit’s specialty is tangerines, but the company also offers oranges, blueberries, clementines and a variety of citrus juices. In 2013, Roe Fresh Fruit identified a significant opportunity to grow its packing and reconditioning business by 150%, adding employees and growing revenues; however, the Company did not have the capital to pursue the opportunity. Hampton Roads Ventures provided $7.7 million of New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) financing to assist Roe Fresh Fruit with this new endeavor. NMTC financing allowed Roe Fresh Fruit to pursue this opportunity, providing the capital needed to purchase additional equipment as well as working capital to hire new employees to support expanded operations.
With the new equipment and employee hiring facilitated by NMTC financing, Roe Fresh Fruit was able to process the additional fruit supply in the region, retain 270 permanent full time employees, and created 12 new full time positions. The creation of an additional 30 positions is expected over the next five years as processing volume continues to grow.
Roe Fresh Fruit supports the broader community surrounding its facility even beyond its job creation. The Company is committed to making a difference and has a long history of supporting the local community through product donations, financial contributions and sponsorships. Some of its most recent philanthropic highlights include sponsoring two schools, product donations to local non-profits, sponsorship of a local 5k and a partnership with a community group to produce a cookbook. The Company also supports local business by providing construction contracts to local businesses.
This transaction would not have happened without NMTCs, as the Company’s leverage ratio would have been much too high for a traditional lender. Significantly below-market rates have increased cash flow availability, accelerating growth efforts.