Since 2007, AEMI has been awarded $258 Million of NMTC Allocation.

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What we’re about

“Fostering economic development, job creation, and neighborhood revitalization in Atlanta’s distressed neighborhoods”

Atlanta Emerging Markets, Inc. is a certified Community Development Entity that seeks to foster economic development, job creation, and neighborhood revitalization in Atlanta’s distressed neighborhoods by providing flexible financing products to high-impact businesses and real estate development projects.

We specialize in gap financing for businesses or developers with large-scale projects ($5MM-$25MM) in Census designated distressed neighborhoods. We also offer financing for small businesses, medium sized companies, and startups seeking low cost financing or venture capital. Our funding comes from private investors who provide us with low-cost funds for gap financing in exchange for tax breaks facilitated through the Federal New Markets Tax Credits program.


Atlanta Emerging Markets, Inc. (AEMI) was created in 2006 by Invest Atlanta, the City’s official economic development agency, to utilize federal New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) to attract private capital to fund neighborhood revitalization and job creation projects. Formerly known as Imagine Downtown, Inc., the company was initially created in partnership with Central Atlanta Progress to fund catalytic projects to revitalize Downtown Atlanta.

In 2011, the name was changed to Atlanta Emerging Markets, Inc. to better reflect a broader mission to bring increased investment to low-income neighborhoods throughout Atlanta. AEMI is committed to funding community development projects that are part of holistic development initiatives or promote healthy neighborhoods, as well as provide increased access to jobs and services for underserved residents.

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Our Managment Team

Stephen McRae

Vice President

As Vice President of Atlanta Emerging Markets, Inc., Stephen is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the City of Atlanta’s $258 million New Markets Tax Credits loan portfolio. He has prepared four successful NMTC allocation applications, securing $178 million of allocation, and has deployed over $95 million of allocation to catalytic projects throughout the City of Atlanta. Stephen has played a leading role in developing the organization’s strategy, identifying pipeline projects, and building relationships with community and industry stakeholders.

In addition to his role as AEMI Vice President, Stephen has served as an Investment Services Analyst for Invest Atlanta since 2013. In this capacity, he manages public private partnerships to facilitate the City’s foreign investment and energy financing efforts, including the EB-5 Foreign Direct Investment program, Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program and the Westside TAD Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge program.

Stephen graduated from the University of Chicago with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and holds a Master of City and Regional Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Our Board

Atlanta Emerging Markets, Inc. is governed by a nine member Board of Directors responsible for approving all policy and investment decisions. A majority of AEMI’s Board Members are minorities, women, and Low-Income Community (LIC) representatives. All Board members are appointed by Invest Atlanta’s Board of Directors following an extensive vetting and approval process.

Karl Barnes*

Corporate Services Manager, Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council

Michael Cassidy

President and CEO, Georgia Research Alliance

Grace Fricks*

Founder and CEO, Access to Capital For Entrepreneurs (ACE)

Ernestine Garey

Atlanta Housing Authority

Kwaku (KC) George*

Field Director – East Team, National Development Council

Tracy Hankin

CEO - Inside Injuries

Eloisa Klementich

President and CEO - Invest Atlanta

Natosha Reid Rice*

Associate General Counsel, Habitat for Humanity International

Michael Syphoe*

Principal - Michael Syphoe, Consultants

*Low-Income Community (LIC) representative