Black Business Investment Fund (BBIF) provided $10 million in New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) financing a $14.8 million dollar expansion for The Awning Factory (TAF).

TAF is a premium sun covering manufacturing company located in the economically distressed Orlando area community of Belle Isle. The New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) financing will support the expansion of TAF’s manufacturing operation, as well as bring jobs to the local community.

The expected economic boom post-COVID-19 enticed TAF to expand its current product offerings. This expansion will have a tremendous impact on the local community. Over 66 new full-time positions will be created, and TAF has plans to enact a hiring process that utilizes intentional diversity and inclusion hiring strategies. They’ve decided to dedicate 10 positions to previously incarcerated individuals, and 10 positions to veterans. They also have a goal to ensure that 60% of all new hires are African American, and 62.5% of new leadership positions extend to African Americans as well.

Being an active community partner is a large part of TAF’s mission. As part of this project, TAF is donating $100,000 to minority-impacting nonprofits such as the Orlando Minority Youth Golf Association & Berkeley Housing Initiative.

“Throughout the Pandemic, we experienced an influx of demand that our current facility could no longer support. Unfortunately, traditional lending resources were tapped out, and required us to wait years to gain access to the capital we would need to expand,” said Daniel Gendron, Owner of The Awning Factory. “With the New Markets Tax Credits from BBIF, we are able to move forward with our expansion. This project will help us construct a large addition to our facility, purchase new equipment, and continue to support our diverse employees by paying above Orlando’s livable wages. We are grateful for our relationship with BBIF and appreciate the ability to partner with a local, Orlando-based investment fund that is committed to uplifting the community.

The TAF project also aligns with the overall vision of the East Central Florida Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy: to diversify the job sector, by creating positions outside of the leisure and hospitality sectors.

“This project is extremely impactful for the Black & minority community, with a focus on creating high-quality jobs, paying above the state’s average livable wage, for Black professionals, veterans, and previously incarcerated individuals,” says Duane Lewis, COO of BBIF. “As an organization, it’s important for us to support projects that uplift marginalized communities which are often overlooked and left behind economically.

Since 2014, BBIF has financed 25 projects and loan pools with its NMTC Allocations creating an economic impact of 292 million. These projects have been able to aid in creating and retaining 2,920 jobs in Florida’s underserved communities.

If you are interested in learning more about the New Markets Tax Credit Program, please reach out to

Project Highlights

Jobs Created

  • Over 66 new full-time positions will be created.
    • 10 positions are allocated to previously incarcerated individuals
    • 10 positions are allocated to veterans.
    • 60% of all new hires will be Black applicants
    • 62.5% of new leadership positions extend to Black applicants

Financing for this project was made possible through a $10 million New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) from BBIF and the investment from US Bancorp Community Development Corporation.