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.
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.
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.