News from CRF

November 30, 2010

A SAGE Loan, A Smart Move

By Frank Altman, President and CEO

Great story in Monday's Minneapolis Star Tribune about SAGE Electrochromics and its "green" window technology!

It's even better when you know that four years ago, CRF and its lending partner, Minnesota Community Capital Fund, gave SAGE a $225,000 gap loan, which helped them get a jump-start on their $4.8 million office and plant expansion.

Keep in mind this was long before the state and city stepped up to offer them grants, loans and tax incentives, before the federal government offered SAGE a guaranteed loan and millions in tax credits and before big electric coops came offering low-interest loans.

Our SAGE loan sure was a smart move.

Thanks to the loan, SAGE was able to build its new offices and plant and improve its "smart glass" technology. This technology, which is manufactured only by a handful of companies worldwide, features electronically controlled tinting that cuts harmful sun rays and reduces energy (i.e. air conditioning) costs.

Since CRF and MCCF gave SAGE its initial loan, they have attracted millions in capital from private investors. They also enjoy business subsidies from government agencies that offer incentives to help boost employment and energy conservation. (The SAGE technology is seen as a boon to the nation's power grid because it could dramatically reduce air-conditioning needs when electrical demand is highest.)

SAGE doesn't yet make a profit, but SAGE's founder and CEO expects they will join the list of successful Minnesota window and glass companies like Marvin Windows and Andersen Windows.

We believed in the sagacity of their strategy back then. We believe in them still.

Only now, we have a lot more company.

Posted by: CRFUSA


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