Assisting Diverse Small Farms and Non-Profits Under Kentucky’s Soar Program

In October 2023, Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation (KHIC) was awarded a $50,000 grant from Appalachian Community Capital  to further support the SOAR ((Shaping Our Appalachian Region) Small Farm Loan Fund. The focus of the award is to increase  emphasis on providing resources to woman-owned and minority-owned farmers through dedicated technical assistance and financing to support their ventures. Of the grant amount, a total of $45,000 was to be used for lending and $5,000 was designated for KHIC to bring our technical assistance resources to agricultural borrowers. KHIC made seven loans. Six of these were to women-owned businesses/farmers and one was with a non-profit supporting persons of color heritage and programs. The loan amounts were up to $7,500 at a fixed interest rate of 1% for a term of five years. Each of the loans was in a different KY  county, illustrating the widespread need for this type of financing

June 2024

Supporting Diverse Small Businesses in the Appalachian Region, a report by Appalachian Community Capital, summarizes how members have used grants provided by ACC and the Truist Foundation to assist diverse small businesses throughout Appalachia.

May 2023

Appalachian Community Capital: Investing in the Investors

An article by the Appalachian Regional Commission, notes that access to capital is one of the biggest obstacles to small business and entrepreneurial growth Appalachia. In 2013, with seed money from ARC and other partners, Appalachian Community Capital (ACC) was founded to increase business lending opportunities and new sources of capital via community loan funds and Regional Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). As a lending intermediary, ACC raises capital for its member Regional CDFIs. By growing the net capital base and program capacity of participating loan funds, these CDFIS are making it possible for Appalachian businesses and entrepreneurs to create high quality jobs, retain local wealth, and improve the quality of life in the Region.

January 2023

A Study Assessing Investment Capacity for Appalachian Community Capital and Its Members

Prepared by Palladium Impact Capital and Woodstock Institute

September 2021

Rural Opportunity Zone and Recovery Playbook: A Resource for Economic Developers and Community Champion

Sorenson Impact Center, University of Uta, and Utah Association of Counties

August 2021

Impact and Implementation Report: Appalachian Community Capital/Business Assistance Response Program

In partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), Appalachian Community Capital (ACC) developed the emergency Business Assistance Response (BAR) grant program to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Appalachia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the program, 31 lending organizations were awarded funds totaling $3.56 million. The funds were intended to support operations for lending organizations and/or direct technical assistance to small businesses and/or nonprofit organizations. This report distills the key findings about and recommendations for the BAR program.

June 2021

Interviews with Former Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) CEOs: Reflections on the Succession Experience

Conducted by Stepping Stone Partners, LLC

June 2021

Getting Rural Projects Ready for Investment

At Opportunity Appalachia, we are working with a group of 16 projects in rural Central Appalachia (OH, VA, and WV) to provide technical assistance and structure financings with social and financial returns, bringing new investment and jobs to hard hit rural communities in federally designated Opportunity Zones.

Opportunity Exchange, May 20, 2021 (Opportunity Exchange) – After a year-long effort to provide design and architectural support, complete market assessments, develop business plans and prospectus, and facilitate investor introductions, 7 projects have identified financing sources and are anticipated to close on +$100M in 2021-22, creating more than 745 jobs in coal-impacted communities. An additional 6 projects are likely to be financed later in 2022 at +$140M resulting in the creation of +270 quality jobs. As part of our efforts to maximize impact, many of these jobs target persons in recovery from substance abuse in our Appalachian coal communities.  These projects were drawn from a group of 42 applicants, and were selected for participation based on factors such as level of community support, anticipated community impact, and sponsor capacity. In all cases, the selected projects were missing critical components required to move forward, but all had substantial promise to transform their communities.

Go to Top