Virginia Community Capital awarded $800,000 grant to assist coal-impacted Southwest Virginia

February 13, 2017 | Other

The grant will help our organization support a loan fund with technical and economic assistance to small businesses.

Virginia Community Capital Inc. (VCC) announced today an $800,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). In this 2017 round of funding, the ARC awarded three groups more than $3 million to promote manufacturing, higher education, and workforce development programs in Southwest Virginia.

VCC, a community development financial institution (CDFI), will use its ARC grant to support the deployment of the organization’s New Economy Loan Fund (NELF), a $2 million program created to foster entrepreneurial opportunities, job creation, and assist in the economic restructuring of local economies in coal-impacted regions. These communities include the nine counties which have historically relied substantially on the coal-mining industry as a base for their local economies: Buchanan, Dickenson, Giles, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, Washington, and Wise. The loan fund will provide lending capital and targeted technical assistance to small business owners in these areas.

“Utilizing advisory services and lending capital, VCC has helped turn around communities in Southwest Virginia in need of stronger, more diverse economies,” said Jane Henderson, President and CEO of Virginia Community Capital. “We are thankful the Appalachian Regional Commission saw the value in partnering with us to create jobs and promote vibrant communities in Southwest Virginia.”

The funding comes as part of the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative, a multi-agency effort aligning and targeting federal economic and workforce development resources to communities and workers across the Appalachian region. Overall, the ARC loans are expected to create or retain 450 direct and indirect jobs throughout the region.

VCC was one of three Virginia organizations that received grant funding from ARC; others include the Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing ($1.3 million) and Mountain Empire Community College ($950,000).

“Utilizing advisory services and lending capital, VCC has helped turn around communities in Southwest Virginia in need of stronger, more diverse economies.”

Jane Henderson, President and CEO, Virginia Community Capital

“These investments capitalize on the growing momentum for a diverse economy in Appalachia,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl. “They are strategic, collaborative and impactful plans to make Virginia and the entire Appalachian Region more competitive in technology, manufacturing, entrepreneurship, broadband, health and a variety of other sectors.

Virginia Community Capital launched in 2006 as a CDFI with a $15 million, bipartisan-backed capital infusion from the Commonwealth. The bank has leveraged the initial investment with private and public sources of capital and created more than $915 million impact in Virginia.

About Virginia Community Capital

Virginia Community Capital (VCC) is dedicated to the prospect of building wealth for all through our lending, deposits, and advisory services. As a community development financial institution (CDFI), our mission is to offer innovative, flexible financial products designed to support housing and community development ventures, increase jobs, and encourage sustainable communities. A state-wide organization, VCC has offices in Christiansburg, Richmond, and Norfolk, Learn more at:

VCC: Leah Fremouw, 804-939-6167