From the Maine Public Broadcasting Network:
Two years ago, a medical products company from Europe called Molnlycke Healthcare chose to locate its U.S. manufacturing headquarters in Brunswick, Maine, on the site of the former Brunswick Naval Air Station. Molnlycke is one of world’s leading makers of advanced wound-care products. It’s based Sweden but has a global presence, employing about 7,000 people with about $1.5 billion in annual sales. The company broke ground on the Brunswick facility last month, and plans to begin production this fall. Before that can happen, though, there’s some hiring to be done.
But why Brunswick, a former mill town of 15,000 inhabitants, more than two hours north of Boston? One reason is that it already has a presence in mid-coast Maine: The foam used in Molnlycke’s wound-care pads is made in Wiscasset, at a plant it purchased two years ago.
But another factor – and one which was instrumental in luring it to Brunswick Landing, as the redeveloped former naval air station is now called – is a financing package known as the New Market Tax Credit.
“Molnlycke is an excellent example of how New Markets works,” says Charlie Spies, chief executive of CEI Capital Management, a division of Coastal Enterprises Inc., a Maine-based non-profit that works nationally to spur economic development in deprived areas.
Because of the departure of the Navy two years ago, and the effect this had on the local economy, Brunswick Landing qualifies for New Market Tax Credits, a federal program administered by CEI Capital Management.
“The tax credits are used by corporations to reduce the overall cost of their investment in the project,” Spies says. “And by doing that, ultimately the lease rates here and the cost of the building were lower than they would have been otherwise, and that allowed this to be a competitive site.”