99 Degrees Custom is a light manufacturing company specializing in customized clothing and textile production. Based in Lawrence, 99 Degrees Custom seeks to grow good manufacturing jobs in a region once known for its thriving industrial economy. Having made an initial loan to 99 Degrees Custom in 2014 to help secure a major contract, BII provided a second loan to support business growth.
Advoqt designs and implements vendor-agnostic IT services. They aim to become one of the country’s largest minority-owned companies and are focused on creating career opportunities for individuals from underserved communities. BII provided a convertible debt investment to support implementation of key growth strategies.
CERO, Cooperative Energy Recycling and Organics, is a worker-owned cooperative that collects waste from local businesses. CERO increases reclamation and sale of clean paper, plastics, metals, waste vegetable oil and organic food waste, reducing customer trash by 50 percent or more. This is now our third investment in CERO: in 2013, we partnered with Cooperative Fund of New England to provide an early-stage loan to help get CERO started; in 2014 we purchased CERO’s Direct Public Offering shares; and now in 2016 we’ve made an additional loan for working capital and equipment.
Co-op Power works as a network of community energy cooperatives across Massachusetts, Southern Vermont and Rhode Island. Co-op Power is focused on creating a consumer-owned sustainable energy cooperative operating within a regional network, promoting a multi-class, multi-racial movement for a sustainable and just energy future. BII provided a bridge loan to support some immediate cash needs.
Wellspring Harvest is part of Wellspring Cooperative, a community-based cooperative development organization with a mission to create a network of worker-owned companies in Springfield, MA, that provide on-the-job training, employment and wealth-creation opportunities for low income and unemployed residents of the city. BII purchased Direct Public Offering shares to help support Wellspring Harvest in building the first commercial greenhouse in Springfield.