Meredith Village Savings Bank (MVSB) recently purchased $25,000 in tax credits through the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) in support of the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire (BHTNH). The Bank’s investment supports the Black Heritage Trail’s mission to interpret and share NH’s African American history through exhibits, programs and tours.
“We’re very thankful for this generous contribution from Meredith Village Savings Bank,” said JerriAnne Boggis, Executive Director, Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire. “Contributions like this one make it possible for us to continue our valuable work. Our organization works hard to honor and share a truer, more inclusive history through exhibits, educational programs, curriculum development and tours that can change the way we understand human dignity when it’s free of historical stereotypes.”
Portsmouth, NH has been home to Africans and African-Americans for more than 350 years, and the Black Heritage Trail was founded from the examination and study of their stories. The state of New Hampshire has an African heritage dating back to the arrival of Europeans. Much of that history centers on the state’s only port in Portsmouth, where as many as 700 blacks were brought to NH by way of the American Revolution, while others were part of a little-known free society. Against the odds of early enslavement and subsequent marginalization, Africans and their descendants built communities and families, founded institutions and served their town, state and nation in many capacities.
“One of the great joys I’ve experienced as President of the Bank is the ability to support a multitude of worthy nonprofits,” noted Rick Wyman, President of Meredith Village Savings Bank. “Supporting the Black Heritage Trail was an easy decision for us. The organization ensures everyone has the opportunity to learn about the full history of the people of NH. Both the BHTNH and MVSB have new offices in Portsmouth – and both have presence throughout the state and a rich history that is decades, even centuries, long. We hope that lots of people participate in their many programs, tours and visit the Trail throughout NH.”
CDFA tax credits allow businesses to fund qualifying economic or community development projects in exchange for a tax credit that can be applied against state business tax payments. The tax credits are administered by the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA). Any business with operations in NH that contributes to a CDFA tax credit project receives a NH state tax credit worth 75% of their contribution. The credit can be used over a period of five years to reduce the business’ state tax liability (business profits, business enterprise or insurance premium taxes). The tax credit program allows NH businesses to use their state tax dollars to support local projects that they care about. CDFA reviews many project applications each year and awards tax credits to those they determine are feasible and will make the biggest impact on economic development in the state. For more information, visit nhcdfa.org.
Building on the 20 year success of the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail, the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire connects stories of the state’s African heritage by documenting and marking many of the important sites that testify to its rich history. The Black Heritage Trail provides education and public programs for adults and children, including school programs, guided tours, traveling programs, lectures and workshops. For more information, visit blackheritagetrailnh.org.