DuraComm uses New Markets Tax Credits to brighten Kansas City
Benny Lee, Chairman and CEO of DuraComm lights up Kansas City while his boundless energy lights up the room. His work lights the iconic Sky Stations that top Bartle Hall, City Hall, Union Station and many of the fountains in Kansas City.
In an effort to scale, DuraComm sought assistance from AltCap to spark the Kansas City-based custom power supplier’s growth. He needed room to grow his Troost Avenue location, to hire more local workers and create space to innovate on his products. The company expanded to LED lighting for commercial and industrial warehouses, as well as architectural lighting visualization—a service unique to DuraComm.
Benny Lee, the owner of DuraComm, immigrated to the United States from Taiwan more than 20 years ago. A serial entrepreneur, Benny trained as an electrical engineer and then moved to sales and has founded and scaled over five businesses. Benny understands the power of community and service. He was the co-founder of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce and after meeting Ruben was asked to sit on the AltCap board. Benny was honored to serve, and create cross cultural connections for AltCap.
After Benny left the AltCap Board of Directors, DuraComm was in a position to grow and being familiar with AltCap’s financing capabilities, he knew where to go. AltCap assisted DuraComm with New Markets Tax Credits, a federal program that incentives community development and economic growth. “The reason is to encourage people to develop a company, business, or factory in a distressed area,” explained Benny.
The tax credits helped DuraComm develop a new power supply product, establish the lighting division, and hire more local talent. “AltCap provides an opportunity so we don’t pressure our finances so we can spend the money for development.”
He believes minority-owned businesses would especially benefit from working with AltCap. “The (loan) process becomes very, very quick and easy. I think that is very helpful. The knowledge that the people at AltCap have is amazing.”