Community Innovation Programs

Focused impact areas supporting entrepreneurs and enhancing quality of life.

Conscious investors, nonprofit foundations, and organizations are always looking for opportunities to have a social and environmental impact in their community. We’re here to help and work alongside you as a partner.

Along with our incredible partners from the public and private sectors, VCC provides resources for businesses to expand and real estate developments to thrive. Some of our community programs have particular areas of focus to help specific communities in need.
See VCC’s statewide impact.

Housing Catalyst Loan Fund

The Housing Catalyst Fund was created to build more affordable rental housing in Virginia. The program is resourced by the Department of Treasury’s Capital Magnet Fund, blending a federal grant and capital from VCC to offer low-cost financing to private investment and other local, state, and federal funds. We offer low rates and flexible terms for short-term construction, bridge financing, or long-term gap financing.

Projects are limited to affordable rental properties only. Eligible borrowers include both for- and non-profit entities, housing authorities, and mixed-use developments.

Thompson Foundation Program

VCC has received a $200,000 grant over a three-year period from the Thompson Charitable Foundation. The funds will help small business owners in two Southwest Virginia counties establish new companies, assist existing businesses in expanding and diversifying markets, and offer specialized management and entrepreneurial skill-development and career transition training to ensure long-term success.

The grant will fund up to 12 small business workshops each year in Buchanan and Tazewell counties, provide free technical advisory services, and host four Small Business Challenges in each county that will award investment grants to existing and startup companies.

Virginia Fresh Food Loan Fund

When communities don’t have access to nutritious foods, citizens can’t function at their very best. More than 1.7 million Virginians lack access to healthy, local, or fresh foods. Many youth also shop regularly in the corner convenience store, consuming high-calorie snacks and beverages because they don’t have stores nearby that offer more nutritional foods and drinks. An unhealthy diet leads to a range of health risks including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

In short: Communities must have access to healthy foods if they are to thrive.

The Virginia Fresh Loan Fund is providing $10 million to finance fresh and local food access across the Commonwealth. Borrowers include food hub operators (locally sourced meats, fruits and vegetables), retail and wholesale distributors, processors and producers, and food business incubators. Loan amounts range from $50,000 to $1 million, with three- to seven-year terms for real estate and annually renewable lines of credit for working capital.

Mapping is an essential tool to use when analyzing access to healthy foods in your community. Our Food Mapping tool utilizes Policy Map’s data to highlight food access and limited supermarket access issues throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.



View VCC’s Food Map



Women and Minorities in Business Webinar: Facing Unique Challenges

Join us for an empowering one-hour Zoom meeting dedicated to fostering success and inclusivity. This transformative session is tailored for women and minorities, offering a unique opportunity to gain vital skills and strategies required to thrive in today’s dynamic workplace landscape, while effectively overcoming the challenges that may arise.

Designed with a focus on the SWVA region, this virtual gathering seeks to identify and support women and minority business owners and entrepreneurs, encouraging their growth and contribution to the local economy. Our aim is to not only bridge gaps but also to amplify the impact of diverse voices. Read more…

Session offered:
Sep 19, 2023
Sep 26, 2023
Oct 3, 2023
Oct 12, 2023
Oct 17, 2023
Oct 24, 2023
Nov 8, 2023
Nov 14, 2023
Nov 28, 2023
Dec 5, 2023
Dec 12, 2023