Contract

U.S. Consults Letterhead Exhibit 10.18 March 3, 2004 Mr. Timothy Bumgarner Chief Operating Officer American Pallet Leasing, Inc. 2031 Northgate Drive NW Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402 Re: ACQUISITION - BLACKSBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA Mr.Bumgarner: As we have discussed, the property at 307 Quarry Road in Blacksburg, South Carolina, is in a qualified census tract (970401). Therefore your transaction to acquire that property is eligible for New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC). Further, that tax credits equal 39% (thirty-nine percent) of the investment that is being made. This letter is to confirm that should you make the investment as we have discussed, you will receive New Markets Tax Credits for that investment. NEW MARKETS TAX CREDITS The New Markets Tax Credit program is an initiative of the United States Department of the Treasury. Fifteen billion dollars ($15,000,000,000) in funding has been approved for the program, which is administered by the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (a part of Treasury). The program provides a federal tax credit equal to 39% of an investment made through a Community Development Entity (CDE) to a project in a qualified census tract. The tax credits are discretionary, and are awarded by the CDE and not by Treasury. In fact, Treasury does not approve of the awards, leaving the decision to the sole discretion of the CDE. US Consults owns several CDE including the National Economic Development Partnership, which has been certified by Treasury to award NMTC nationally. Also, the tax credits are transferable, and thus can be monetized. US Consults is prepared to monetize the tax credits at their present value for American Pallet Leasing. CONFIRMATION OF ELIGIBILITY Eligibility of the property for NMTC has been confirmed through the authorized mechanism of the NMTC program. Figures A and B are image files taken from the website of the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund that are a result of the website's analysis of the Quarry Road address. Figure A is a map that indicates that the census tract is qualified for NMTC. Figure B is a [US CONSULTS LOGO] CONSULTING SERVICES FOR BUSINESS & GOVERNMENT General Offices: 290 East Broadway o Suite 908 o Jackson Hole o Wyoming 83001 Executive Offices: 11 Crooked Oak Road o Belle Terre o New York 11777 o Phone: 631-474-1151 o Fax:: 631-331-9260 http://www.usconsults.com [US CONSULTS LOGO] FIGURE A [GRAPHIC OMITTED] FIGURE B

- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Administrator Log-in: my CDFI-Fund National Economic Development Partnership Paul Khanton - ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Wednesday, March 03, 2004 Home Applications Manage Account Mapping Log Out - ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mapping Home | Saved Target Markets | NMTC Query: New Map 3/3/2004 5:58:03 PM - ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- New Markets Tax Credit Program: Low Income Community Worksheet - ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Organization Name: National Economic Development Partnership - ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Service Area Name: New Map 3/3/2004 5:58:03 PM - ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Qualifies Population % of under Low- Metropolitan Census for which Population Poverty Benchmarked Income Count State Area Name County Tract Poverty is Below Rate Median Family Community Determined Poverty Income Criteria? - ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Greenville- Spartanburg- Cherokee 970401 3637 552 0.152 0.712 Yes 1 SC Anderson, SC County MSA - ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Total 1 3637 552 0.152 0.712 1 - -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2003. The above data is not rounded in order to prevent errors in the computation of Distress Criteria. - -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [US CONSULTS LOGO] - -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- NMTC PROJECT SYNOPSIS AMERICAN PALLET LEASING SOUTH CAROLINA CONFIDENTIAL - -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- NATIONAL HISTORIC TRUST: NMTC PROJECT SYNOPSIS PROJECT SYNOPSIS: AMERICAN PALLET LEASING-SC PROJECT OWNER: American Pallet Leasing PROJECT PRINCIPALS: American Pallet Leasing TRANSACTION PRINCIPALS: American Pallet Leasing Investment Partnership Tax Credit Monetizer PROJECT FINANCING: Project Cash Requirements: $10.0 Million (funding in progress-will be fully funded) Project Cash Source: American Pallet Leasing / Tax Credit Monetizer INVESTOR COMMITMENT: Investor (Investment Partnership) will provide 100% of cash required for investment TRANSACTION FEE TO BE PAID TO Investor will pay the CDE (or as directed) a CDE transaction fee which is to be negotiated. If the CDE desires an immediate cash payment in full, the fee will be calculated using the net proceeds of the NMTC tax credits monetized NPV. PROJECT SUMMARY: American Pallet Leasing plans to acquire a lumber yard in South Carolina which it will expand to include a sawmill. The expansion of the lumber mill will result in the retention of approximately 35 employees and the creation of over 50 additional jobs. The company has signed a $35 million, five-year contract to supply lumber to BroyHill Furniture. The lumber mill is located in a Qualified Low Income Community. Planned investment commencement: immediate PROJECT TIMING: Planned project completion: July 2005 AMOUNT OF QUALIFYING INVESTMENT: $10,000,000 NMTC TAX CREDITS REQUESTED: NMTC based upon 39% of the full Qualifying Investment ($10 million). LOCATION: Blacksburg, South Carolina. This project is located in a QLIC (Census Tract 450219704) [GRAPHIC OMITTED] [US CONSULTS LOGO] CONFIDENTIAL [US CONSULTS LOGO] - -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- NMTC PROJECT SYNOPSIS [SEAL] NORTH CAROLINA PROJECT NC 001 CONFIDENTIAL [US CONSULTS LOGO] - -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- NATIONAL HISTORIC TRUST: NMTC PROJECT SYNOPSIS PROJECT NC 001 PROJECT OWNER: NYSE Listed Public Company: $700 MM annual sales PROJECT LOCATION: North Carolina, Census Tract 37079950100 TRANSACTION PRINCIPALS: Project Owner Investment Partnership Tax Credit Monetizer PROJECT FINANCING: Project Cash Requirements: $5.0 Million (fully funded) INVESTOR COMMITMENT: Investor (Investment Partnership) will provide 100% of cash required for investment TRANSACTION FEE TO BE PAID TO Investor will pay the CDE (or as directed) a CDE transaction fee which is to be negotiated. If the CDE desires an immediate cash payment in full, the fee will be calculated using the net proceeds of the NMTC tax credits monetized NPV. PROJECT OWNER The project owner is a global leader in providing BACKGROUND: innovative merchandising systems to retailers and apparel manufacturers. It has global manufacturing operations and a worldwide distribution network. The company was founded in Ohio in 1890, and today has manufacturing operations in North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia. The project owner plans to spend $5 million to PROJECT SUMMARY: purchase new manufacturing equipment for an existing facility. Planned start date: August 2004 PROJECT TIMING: Planned completion date: August 2006 AMOUNT OF QUALIFYING INVESTMENT: $5,000,000 NMTC TAX CREDITS REQUESTED: NMTC based upon 39% of the full Qualifying Investment ($5 million) LOCATION: THE PROJECT IS LOCATED IN A [GRAPHIC OMITTED] QUALIFIED CENSUS TRACT (CDFI FUND MAP). CONFIDENTIAL [US CONSULTS LOGO] - -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- NATIONAL HISTORIC TRUST: NMTC PROJECT SYNOPSIS [GRAPHIC OMITTED] PROJECT FUNDING STATUS: Project is fully funded. TYPE OF INVESTMENT: Equipment and other project related costs. 5% above current base. The company plans to recruit extensively from the Green County Low JOBS TO BE CREATED IN LIC: Income Communities. LIC RESIDENTS TO BE Green County residents will receive preference EMPLOYED: for employment. CDE INVESTMENT STRUCTURE: There is flexibility in the investment structure to comply with IRS and Treasury rules and regulations. A proforma transaction flow chart will be provided upon request. HISTORIC DESIGNATION: CARR, TITUS W., HOUSE SR 1244, Walstonburg COWARD, EDWARD R. AND SALLIE ANN, HOUSE NC 1405, 0.2 mi. E. of jct. with NC 1400, Ormondsville GREENE COUNTY COURTHOUSE Greene and 2nd Sts., Snow Hill SNOW HILL HISTORIC DISTRICT Greene, Harper, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Sts., Snow Hill SPEIGHT-BYNUM HOUSE NC 1231 W side, 0.4 mi. N. of jct. with NC 1232, Walstonsburg ST. BARNABAS EPISCOPAL CHURCH SE 4th St. and St. Barnabas Rd., Snow Hill THE NATIONAL HISTORIC TRUST The National Historic Trust will be paid a fee FEE: for the transaction based upon the NMTC tax credits awarded. The fee can be paid in cash from the monetization of the credits. As the credits will be monetized NPV, the fee also can be made available in full contemporaneous with the tax credit monetization (as The National Historic Trust prefers). The National Historic Trust alternatively can receive a percentage of the tax credits as its fee rather than cash - at The National Historic Trust's option. CONFIDENTIAL [US CONSULTS LOGO] - -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- NATIONAL HISTORIC TRUST: NMTC PROJECT SYNOPSIS CLOSEST HISTORIC LANDMARK: GREENE COUNTY COURTHOUSE ** (added 1979 - BUILDING - #79001712) Greene and 2nd Sts., Snow Hill [GRAPHIC OMITTED] CONFIDENTIAL [US CONSULTS LOGO] Blacksburg, South Carolina: Pallet Manufacturing - -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PROJECT LOCATION: Blacksburg, South Carolina TYPE OF INVESTMENT: Land, lumber mill, equipment and other project related costs. JOBS TO BE CREATED IN LIC: 100-150 high paying lumber mill positions AMOUNT OF INVESTMENT: $10,000,000 PROJECT SUMMARY: The company is acquiring a lumber mill in South Carolina for the purchase of expanding capacity that will create a significant number of new jobs. The expansion of the lumber mill will result in the retention of 35 employees and the creation of 100-150 additional jobs. The plant has signed a $35 million, five-year contract to supply lumber to BroyHill Furniture. The lumber mill is located in a Qualified Low Income Community. The company is a significant employer of the handicapped. The NMTC benefit enables the project to meet or exceed the company's required IRR in order to proceed with the project. Without the NMTC, the project would not meet these minimum requirements and would not occur. Further, the NMTC benefit enables the project to move forward at a larger, more optimal scale, maximizing its job creation and economic contribution to the local economy. Without the NMTC involvement, the project will not proceed. The NMTC helps assure that the project locates in the LIC and benefits LIC residents. Without the NMTC benefit, the advantages and development incentives of other locations would outweigh those of the LIC. Thus the project would not be able to be located in the LIC without the NMTC. COMMUNITY IMPACT 100-150 jobs created (most lower-skilled, some office - all consistent with the community labor pool) $600,000 - $900,000 annual public cost savings $10 M investment yielding $50 M multiplier effect benefit PROJECT TIMING: Planned investment commencement: immediate LOCATION QUALIFICATION: [GRAPHIC OMITTED] CONFIDENTIAL - -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- NATIONAL HISTORIC TRUST: NMTC PROJECT SYNOPSIS [GRAPHIC OMITTED] PROJECT FUNDING STATUS: Funding for the project is in progress and the project will be fully funded. TYPE OF INVESTMENT: Land, lumber mill, equipment and other project related costs. JOBS TO BE CREATED IN LIC: Over 50 high paying lumber mill positions LIC RESIDENTS TO BE EMPLOYED: Approximately 75 from QLICs. CDE INVESTMENT STRUCTURE: There is flexibility in the investment structure to comply with IRS and Treasury rules and regulations. A proforma transaction flow chart will be provided upon request. HISTORIC DESIGNATIONS: ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE 38 CKI Address Restricted, Gaffney ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE 38CK44 Address Restricted, Gaffney ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE 38CK45 Address Restricted, Gaffney CARNEGIE FREE LIBRARY 210 N. Limestone St, Gaffney COOPERSVILLE IRONWORKS SITE (38CK2) AND SUSAN FURNACE SITE (38CK67) Address Restricted, Gaffney COWPENS FURNACE SITE (38CK73) Address Restricted, Gaffney COWPENS NATIONAL 2 mi. E. of Chesnee at jct. of SC 11 and 110, Chesnee DAVIS, WINNIE, HALL 1115 College Dr., Gaffney ELLEN FURNACE SITE (38CK68) Address Restricted, Gaffney GAFFNEY COMMERCIAL HISTORIC DISTRICT GAFFNEY RESIDENTIAL HISTORIC DISTRICT Roughly bounded by Floyd Baker Blvd., Johnson and Thompson Sts., Rutledge and Fairview Aves., and Limestone St., Gaffney HICKS, ZENO, HOUSE US 221 and Mill Gap Rd., Chesnee IRENE MILL FINISHING PLANT W side of Buford St. between Liberty and Logan Sts., Gaffney JEFFERIES HOUSE 306 S. Grannard St., Gaffney KING'S CREEK FURNACE SITE (38CK71) Address Restricted, Kings Creek KINGS MOUNTAIN NATIONAL MILITARY PARK NW of Bethany on SC 161, Bethany LIMESTONE SPRINGS HISTORIC DISTRICT [US CONSULTS LOGO] CONFIDENTIAL - -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- NATIONAL HISTORIC TRUST: NMTC PROJECT SYNOPSIS O'Neal St. extension and Limestone College campus, Gaffney MAGNESS-HUMPHRIES HOUSE 101 Grassy Pond Rd., Gaffney NESBITT'S FURNACE SITE (38CK72) Address Restricted, Gaffney NESBITT'S LIMESTONE QUARRY (38CK69) Address Restricted, Gaffney ROBBS HOUSE 310 W. Burford St., Gaffney SARRATT HOUSE 217 Marion St., Gaffney SETTLEMYER HOUSE 915 N. Limehouse St., Gaffney THICKETTY MOUNTAIN ORE PITS (38CK74) Address Restricted, Shady Grove Church VICTOR COTTON OIL COMPANY COMPLEX W side of Frederick St. Between Hill and Johnson Sts., Gaffney WEST END ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Floyd Baker Blvd. And Broad St., Gaffney CLOSEST HISTORIC LANDMARK: CARNEGIE FREE LIBRARY 210 N. Limestone St., Gaffney CLOSEST HISTORICAL [GRAPHIC OMITTED] LANDMARK IN 10 MILES. THE NATIONAL HISTORIC TRUST The National Historic Trust will be paid a fee FEE: for the transaction based upon the NMTC tax credits awarded. The fee can be paid in cash from the monetization of the credits. As the credits will be monetized NPV, the fee also can be made available in full contemporaneous with the tax credit monetization (as The National Historic Trust prefers). The National Historic Trust alternatively can receive a percentage of the tax credits as its fee, rather than cash - at The National Historic Trust's option. [US CONSULTS LOGO] CONFIDENTIAL