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Community Development Finance Authority awards $700,000 to Boys & Girls Club

The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Concord has received nearly $700,000 in tax credits for a much-needed expansion of its Suncook branch, though the nonprofit was the only regional applicant to the statewide program this year.

The state’s Community Development Finance Authority awarded nearly $6 million in tax credits yesterday to 14 projects across New Hampshire. The tax credits will support the new Suncook Community Center, an 8,500-square-foot facility to be built in Whitten Park as a partnership between the club and the town of Allenstown.

Chris Emond, the executive director of the Boys & Girls Club, said the award is important to fundraising for the $1.8 million project.

“This is huge,” Emond said. “This award is a sign to other donors that there’s a strong level of interest (in the project).”

The nonprofit hopes to build the new center in the next year. It will replace the two outdated mobile classrooms where the Boys & Girls Club hosts after-school programming for about 75 children.

“It will double the number of kids we serve,” Emond said of the new building.

The CDFA awards these tax credits annually. If a business buys a tax credit from a local project, the project keeps that money, and the business can deduct 75 percent of that amount from what it owes the state in business taxes. So if a business buys a $10,000 tax credit from the Suncook project, then the club would keep $10,000, and the business would translate that donation to a $7,250 deduction on its tax bill.

At yesterday’s announcement, CDFA Executive Director Taylor Caswell called that program “a key financial resource for community development projects, while at the same time providing a unique and meaningful way for New Hampshire businesses to make a sound investment in local community projects.”

Concord nonprofits like the Red River Theatres, Friendly Kitchen and the Capitol Center for the Arts have paid for projects by selling these tax credits. The city of Concord received the largest grant from last year’s round; Concord could put $560,000 in tax credits toward the cost of the Main Street project. But this year, the CDFA did not receive any applications from the capital region other than the Boys & Girls Club.

Matt Walsh, the city’s director of redevelopment, downtown services and special projects, said several projects in the Concord area have benefited from tax credits in the past several years. It’s not unusual to see a quiet period after “a glut of projects,” he said.

“There’s the natural ebb and flow of those types of project cycles,” Walsh said.

City Manager Tom Aspell agreed, saying he would expect Concord-area nonprofits to apply for tax credits again in the future.

“I’m sure in the next two or three years you’ll see probably half a dozen projects,” Aspell said. “Who they will be, I don’t know.”

(Megan Doyle can be reached at 369-3321 or mdoyle@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @megan_e_doyle.)

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