The U.S. Treasury Department has awarded Coastal Enterprises Inc. of Brunswick $714,000 from its Community Development Financial Institutions Fund for CEI’s community development work, including its focus on Maine’s food economy.

Altogether, the Treasury Department awarded $189 million in financial assistance awards to 284 U.S. community development financial institutions on Tuesday, CEI said in a news release. The awards will enable recipients to increase lending and investment activity in low-income and economically distressed communities.

“We are grateful and honored to receive this award, a sure sign of confidence from the Treasury that CEI’s model of investing in economic equity is one that works,” CEI President Keith Bisson said in the release. “Our investments are designed to catalyze economic opportunity, recognizing that the success of one food entrepreneur has a ripple effect, creating even more jobs and revenue for others. That is our path to shared prosperity.”

CEI said it will use the funds in Maine to provide capital to food businesses that have the potential for high growth and creating jobs for people with low incomes.

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