Low income communities have long had the burden of not having investors want to put any sort of amount of money into the community at all. You can think of this as various investors, who may be interested in putting their money into various businesses in random locations, as wanting to avoid low income areas, as they likely are not going to pay out well for them. In the end, those people that have money do not want to get burned by investing in a low income area, as the chances have a lower propensity of paying out well on their initial investment, meaning that these poorer areas simply get poorer.
This has been a long standing problem, which is why states such as Maine have developed a means to get investors interested in investing in these sort of areas. The New Markets Tax Credit program in Maine is modeled after the federal program that does the same basic thing and follows the same overall concept, and there is no doubt that it has been quite successful. The way the program works is essentially the government puts an extra bonus out there for potential investors to see when they are looking for places to invest their money. If they invest in low income communities, the government will give them tax credits, which are basically a break on tax liabilities that they will incur at some point in the future, meaning that these investors are getting money put back in their pockets.
In the end, it is a way for these low income communities to get investors to put money into them, as they have less of an overall risk. This type of system benefits everyone that is involved, which is why they have gotten so much praise as being a great way of sparking growth for low income communities. There are certain qualifications that must be met if an investor wants to go through this process, but in reality, it is a great thing for any type of investor to consider getting into. Not only are they getting money that is basically put right back into their pockets, leaving them with a very low risk investment, but they also get to know that they are providing the seeds and some of the foundation that is absolutely necessary to get some of these low income communities back on track and progressing.