Appalachian Community Capital is a non-profit community development financial institution (or CDFI) that is focused on attracting new sources of capital for small businesses, including minority and women-owned business owners, in underserved places in Appalachia.
Community development financial institutions (or CDFIs as they are commonly called) share a common goal of expanding economic opportunity and by providing access to financial products and services to local residents and businesses. ACC received its CDFI certification from the U.S. Treasury Department in 2016. ACC is committed to providing reliable and sufficient capital for all its members, leading to a growing economy, increased entrepreneurship, higher quality jobs, and increased local wealth in the Appalachian region.
ACC is not a direct lender. Instead, it raises capital for its members who are also CDFIs or other mission-aligned lenders so that they can provide affordable loans, business advisory services, and other types of support to small businesses in the region.
In 2013, the Appalachian Regional Commission and its partners committed to establishing Appalachian Community Capital (ACC) to significantly increase business lending in the region by pooling capital needs, attracting investors at a larger scale, and providing a simplified vehicle for impact investors that reduces transaction costs.
$15.5 million in seed capital helped ACC to start operating and lending in 2015. Since then, ACC has raised an additional $40 million for its members who have used the funds to finance 123 small businesses. Over $18 million in grants have been raised to help build the capacity of ACC, its members, and the small businesses they serve. In addition, over 2,500 jobs have been created or retained; over 40% of these jobs are occupied by low-income persons.
ACC closed its first capital raise in June 2015. Between 2015 and 2017, it deployed $11 million of the $12 million in leveraged debt. The remaining $1 million in capital commitment was tapped in 2017 for making small business loans in rural Georgia. Since 2015, ACC has obtained an additional $40 million in debt capital. ACC members report that, to date, they have used ACC proceeds to finance 123 loans for small businesses and have helped to create or retain over 2,500 jobs (more than 40%of these jobs are occupied by low-income persons). In addition, ACC has served as a “pass-through” for over $6million in grants to ACC members to use for building their organizational capacity, providing technical assistance to small business customers and/or providing grants to small business owners hard hit by the COVID-19 crisis.
Bringing investment to Central Appalachian coal-impacted communities, creating new jobs and businesses that support sustainable growth
What is a success story but a dream turned into reality? At ACC, we’re working hard to ensure that our members are providing loans and technical assistance to small business owners –including women and persons of color- who are seeking to start or grow their businesses.
The small business enJOY Entertainment, LLC is a restaurant tour provider in Birmingham, Alabama. Operating as Eat.Drink.Ride.Food Tours, owner Cassandra “Joy” King introduces her guests to great local restaurants by way of her tour bus.
With fewer truck drivers on the road each day, Tim and Tammy play an important part in the supply chain that affects the local, national, and global economies, all originating from their home in Abingdon, Virginia.