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May 11, 1999

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“We want to provide the economic incentives necessary to create jobs, keep growth going in America, keep inflation low and go into that new century with everyone -- everyone -- walking hand-in-hand together.”

President Bill Clinton
May 11, 1999

Today, at the White House, President Clinton and Vice President Gore held a roundtable with 17 Chief Executive Officers from major American corporations and investment firms to discuss ways to mobilize new private investment in America's most economically underserved communities. The President discussed his New Markets Initiative, a plan to encourage investment in underserved inner city and rural areas. He announced that, in July, he will take a bipartisan delegation of CEOs and Members of Congress on a nationwide tour of economically distressed communities.

Challenging Corporate America to Invest in Untapped Markets. President Clinton's New Markets Initiative builds upon existing programs and helps create the conditions for economically successful investment in underserved inner city and rural areas. Included among the elements of the plan are:

  • The New Markets Tax Credit. To help spur $6 billion in equity capital for investment in America's new markets, President Clinton and Vice President Gore have proposed a tax credit worth 25 percent for investments in a wide range of vehicles serving these communities. Eligible investment companies include community development banks, venture funds and corporations, and the new investment company programs created by this Initiative.
  • America's Private Investment Companies (APICs). Just as America's support for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation helps promote growth in emerging markets abroad, APIC will encourage private investment in this country's untapped markets by leveraging up to $1.5 billion in investments in new development projects and larger businesses that are expanding or relocating in inner city and rural areas. Under the financing structure, private investors' funds are at risk ahead of the government.
  • New Markets Venture Capital (NMVC) Firms. NMVC firms will offer capital and expert guidance to small business entrepreneurs in inner city and rural areas. Ten to twenty NMVC firms are planned. SBA will match the equity and technical assistance of private investors.

Announcing a Nationwide Presidential Tour of Underserved Communities. President Clinton announced today that in July he will take a bipartisan delegation of CEOs and Members of Congress to untapped markets throughout America, touring economically distressed communities and highlighting new opportunities being created in these communities across the nation. As part of the trip, President Clinton will announce new commitments and innovative programs developed by companies, community leaders, non-profit organizations and investment firms around the country.

Building on Six Years of Work to Expand Economic Development. The Clinton-Gore Administration has made community development a priority since taking office. The efforts announced today build on a number of critical initiatives that have helped to expand economic development to communities across the country that need it most.

These efforts include:

  • creating 125 Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities;
  • strengthening and simplifying the Community Reinvestment Act;
  • developing Micro-Enterprise programs;
  • creating the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund; and
  • expanding the Economic Development Initiative and Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program.

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