News Column

Memes the Word for State Agency

Jan. 2, 2013

Meghan Foley

A state agency focused on supporting community development projects is turning to pop culture imagery to draw attention to its business tax credit program.

The Community Development Finance Authority has embarked on a Facebook-based campaign in which it uses memes to promote the 75 percent state tax credit businesses can receive for investing in projects approved by it.

A meme is an image, video or piece of text that is copied and spread rapidly on the Internet. A meme is usually humorous and spread with slight variations between users.

CDFA Communications Director Kevin P. Flynn said this week the memes started appearing about two weeks ago, and are part of a larger outreach effort by the agency.

"We felt it was really time to tell our story because we have a great story to tell," he said.

The memes were the result of the agency trying to come up with something a little different that people would respond to on a social level, he said.

"Hopefully some people will get the joke, and some people will be exposed to our programs that hadn't been before," he said.

About a dozen memes were made for the campaign, including one that focused on the "most interesting man in the world" from the Dos Equis beer television commercial. The caption on the image stated, "I don't always donate to N.H. community development projects, but when I do, I get a 75 percent business tax credit from CDFA."

Flynn said that meme has been the one the agency has received the most feedback on, and the one that has been shared the most on Facebook.

"People understand the image of the most interesting man in the world," he said.

Flynn said the tax credit program has been around in different forms since 1983, and the current program has been in place since 1999.

Under the tax credit program, also called the Community Development Investment Program, businesses can invest cash, securities or real property in a development project approved by CDFA. In exchange for the investment, businesses receive tax credits that can be applied to state business profits, business enterprise and insurance premium taxes.

Flynn said the tax credit program in place in the early 1990s was instrumental in revitalizing downtown Keene.

"Downtown Keene would look completely different than it does today without the CDFA tax credit program," he said.

Projects the CDFA has financed in Keene involve the Colonial Theatre, the Hannah Grimes Marketplace, the new Cheshire County Courthouse, the Monadnock Community Market, Keene Headstart and the Lane Hotel.


Distributed by MCT Information Services

Source: (c) 2012 The Keene Sentinel (Keene, N.H.)

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