Abilene Revitalization Bolstered with $24 Million in New Markets Tax Credits for Prairie Dog Pet Products Facility

National New Markets Fund Investment will Bring 215 Full-Time Jobs
to West Central Texas

ABILENE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Los Angeles-based National New Markets Fund, LLC has closed $24 million
in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) funding for Prairie Dog Pet Products to
launch a new Abilene manufacturing plant and corporate headquarters.

When it is completed in Spring 2016, the project will transform an
unused 100,000 square-foot industrial building in Abilene’s city-owned
Five Points Business Park into a state-of-the-art facility supporting
215 full-time employees. The new facility will be located in a Texas
Enterprise Zone with a 25 percent poverty rate and income levels that
average just 60 percent of the area median income.

“We are investing in this project because it will create high-quality
jobs that put more than 215 paychecks in the hands of Abilene area
residents,” said Deborah La Franchi, co-founder and president of
National New Markets Fund. “We invest New Markets Tax Credit funding
where and when it can help improve a community, and this project is
poised to serve as a catalyst for Abilene’s economic and community

The Prairie Dog project has received overwhelming support from the State
of Texas, the City of Abilene, the Development Corporation of Abilene
(DCOA) and the Abilene Industrial Foundation.

“The new Prairie Dog manufacturing plant and headquarters will become an
important anchor to grow employment and opportunity,” added Abilene
Mayor Norm Archibald. “This project is a huge win for our community.”

Development Corporation of Abilene CEO Kent Sharp added, “Prairie Dog
Pet Products is one of the larger manufacturing projects we have been
able to recruit to Abilene. Without assistance from the NMTC program,
Prairie Dog’s growth would have been hindered – leaving Abilene without
these much needed jobs.”

Prairie Dog will use the $24 million NMTC allocation to acquire
property, expand the existing facility and purchase equipment needed to
manufacture high-quality “Made in USA” specialty pet treats, as well as
conduct headquarters activities including corporate finance, customer
support and sales. The project represents the fifth major investment in
Texas for National New Markets Fund, which to date has invested more
than $130 million in federal New Markets Tax Credit allocation across
the Lone Star State.

“The $24 million NMTC allocation from National New Markets Fund is
critical to finance our expansion, which we believe will be a very good
thing for the City of Abilene,” explained Prairie Dog CEO Ira Goldfarb.
“We believe in creating jobs, and the NMTC program is enabling us to
create quality pet products sourced and made in the USA.”

JP Morgan Chase is investing more than $8 million in equity for the NMTC
portion of the project.

“We are proud to help Prairie Dog Pet Products expand its operations in
Abilene,” said Benjamin Glispie, vice president for Chase’s Community
Development Banking business. “This is a great example of how the New
Markets Tax Credit program can help a growing company with its capital
needs and generate quality jobs.”

New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs) were established by Congress in 2000 to
stimulate investment and economic growth in designated low-income
communities. They raise investor capital and leverage public and private
funding to provide borrowers, such as Prairie Dog Pet Products, with
financing in the form of favorable rates and flexible below-market terms.

About National New Markets Fund

Deborah La Franchi of Strategic Development Solutions (SDS) and Belden
Hull Daniels of Economic Innovation International, Inc. co-founded
National New Markets Fund to invest in development projects that serve
low income communities across the U.S. The Fund has received $427
million in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation from the U.S.
Treasury’s CDFI (Community Development Financial Institutions) Fund, and
invested in 30 projects to date. As a mission-driven investment fund, it
seeks investments that create substantial economic and community
development impacts. For more information, visit http://www.sdsgroup.com/funds/national-new-markets-fund.

About JP Morgan Chase

JP Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), founded in 2000 and headquartered in New
York City, is one of the leading financial institutions in the United
States; Chase is a worldwide leader in investment banking, commercial
banking, asset management, and financial services. The bank currently
operates in over 60 countries and has more than $2.4 trillion in assets.
For more information visit https://www.jpmorganchase.com/.

About Prairie Dog Pet Products

Prairie Dog Pet Products is a manufacturer of quality pet products
distributed in the United States and globally. Founded in 2007 by Ira
and Claudia Goldfarb, the company is focused on developing innovative
pet treats manufactured in the United States to the highest quality
standards from domestically-sourced raw materials. More information is
available at http://www.prairiedogpetproducts.com/.

About Development Corporation of Abilene (DCOA)

In 1989, Abilene, Texas was the first city in Texas to adopt a ½ cent
sales tax for economic development. Shortly thereafter, the City Council
of Abilene authorized the creation of the Development Corporation of
Abilene to administer the tax for economic development. The DCOA
endeavors to make Abilene competitive in attracting businesses and
industries that create sustainable jobs, while also retaining local jobs
by providing assistance to existing and emerging businesses.


ExcelPR Group
Erik Deutsch, 323-851-2455

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