Mission & History

Who We Are

Photo courtesy Bob Wojieszak/Daily Mail

For a community to thrive economically, it requires access to basic financial services, affordable credit, and investment capital. Yet historically, for many individuals in under- invested communities, that access has often been limited.

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.


$15.5 million in seed capital helped start ACC: The Appalachian Regional Commission, foundations, and other partners made a lead investment of $3.5 million in equity and operating support. Bank of America, Calvert Foundation, Deutsche Bank, and Ford Foundation provided $12 million specifically for small business lending in the region.

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 Appalachian counties in Georgia. Since 2015, ACC has deployed $33 million. ACC members report that, to date, they have financed 130 loans for small businesses and have helped to create or retain almost 3,000 jobs (40% of these jobs are occupied by low-income persons).

In 2023, ACC expanded its mission to provide capital, leverage private capital, and provide other forms of financial assistance for the rapid deployment of low- and zero- emission products, technologies and services at a national level. In doing so, ACC established a national class of membership to include aligned organizations focused on creating meaningful economic opportunity in energy communities nationally.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

ACC and its members are committed to 1) providing affordable financial products  and high-quality  technical assistance to  Black, Brown, Indigenous, and woman-owned small businesses in Appalachia , as well as to small businesses in coal-impacted and other distressed rural communities that have been overlooked for too long, and 2) building the capacity of the CDFI ecosystem to support these clients.