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Local leaders celebrate investment in one of the only minority-lead paving and asphalt companies in the country
CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH – Cuyahoga County, Arctaris Impact Investors, and the Cleveland Foundation celebrated today the first investment from the Arctaris Cuyahoga Impact Program—the acquisition of Specialized Construction Incorporated (SCI), located in Cuyahoga Heights, by local African American business owner Brian Hall. Local leaders and community partners celebrated this acquisition during a special press event this afternoon.
Launched in early 2021, the Arctaris Cuyahoga Impact Program is a $10 million commitment to invest equity and lend capital in growing companies across Cuyahoga County located in Opportunity Zones and low-to-moderate income census tracts, respectively. This program aims to support existing businesses, helps to attract new businesses to Cuyahoga County, and works to address the racial wealth gap by facilitating minority business ownership.
Cuyahoga County and the Cleveland Foundation funded $1.5 million of catalytic capital, which secured $8.5 million of external investment commitments from Arctaris to assure a minimum $10 million program. These strategic partners and Arctaris are looking to expand the program size from $10 million to $25 million by increasing their commitments to the program and by partnering with other like-minded foundations and institutions.
SCI provides paving, repair, and maintenance of asphalt in Cuyahoga County and surrounding regions. Brian Hall, SCI’s new majority owner, is a local entrepreneur and investor. As the first investment in the Arctaris Cuyahoga Program, Arctaris provided debt and equity capital to help finance Hall’s acquisition of SCI. This investment is expected to retain over 40 construction jobs with living wages substantially above the industry average, and create 15 new jobs in the next five years.
“Cuyahoga County is constantly looking for innovative ways to support our diverse businesses, and attract new ones to Cuyahoga County,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. “The Arctaris Cuyahoga Impact Program does just that, while also creating jobs and building access to capital for companies looking to grow. Our inaugural investment in SCI has helped create one of the few minority-lead paving and asphalt companies in the country. We look forward to additional investments into our business community in the future.”
The majority of this impact program will be invested to support existing businesses and attract new businesses in target industries, particularly manufacturing, industrials and healthcare. This partnership leverages Cuyahoga County’s existing competitive strengths, which include a substantial manufacturing base, central location and extensive logistics network, and world class educational and medical facilities.
“Arctaris is excited to partner with Cuyahoga County and the Cleveland Foundation to invest in Specialized Construction, Inc.,” said Arctaris Impact Investors Managing Director Uche Osuji. “This investment helps to retain 40 living-wage jobs with quality benefits in Cuyahoga County, to drive future growth that project 15 hires in the medium term and to bridge the racial wealth gap by financing the acquisition of the company by Brian Hall, an African American entrepreneur.”
Cuyahoga County, Arctaris, the Cleveland Foundation and its strategic partners formed a Community Advisory Committee that assesses, evaluates and approves investments based on their social and community impact.
“The Cleveland Foundation has been proud to support the Arctaris Cuyahoga Impact Program because we recognize its potential to foster transformative and inclusive economic development in Greater Cleveland,” said Greater Cleveland Foundation Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Rosanne Potter. “It’s important that we work intentionally and collaboratively to ensure new investments have a beneficial social impact in our community.”
“We are very excited to have acquired such a strong and growing company anchored by an outstanding team of associates and experts in the road asphalt surface industry,” said SCI President and CEO Brian Hall. “This was a complex transaction and the Arctaris Cuyahoga funding filled an important equity and debt gap that supported our senior lender KeyBank and allowed us to close the deal.”