ATHENS —Tuesday, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced a grant of $3.75 million from the COVID-19 Emergency Response for Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to Appalachian Community Capital, benefitting Appalachian Growth Capital (AGC) in Ohio. Representative Steve Stivers (R-OH) applauded the announcement as a positive effort to support jobs, businesses, and non-profits throughout this pandemic. 

“Many CDFIs and lenders in our region have ramped up their own efforts to provide relief for borrowers, unfortunately resulting in a loss of revenue for some,” said Stivers. “I applaud ARC for their latest investment in our Appalachian region. This funding will not only stabilize and revitalize financial institutions who have suspended and reduced payments to borrowers, but it will ultimately help drive local businesses and our local economy forward throughout these trying times.” 

ARC is an economic development agency of the federal government focusing on building and strengthening economic growth in Appalachia. Key areas of ARC’s support include entrepreneurial and business development, support for the agriculture industry and for critical infrastructure, including broadband access. 

AGC is a U.S. Treasury-Certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that provides small business financing in the thirty-two Appalachian counties of eastern and southern Ohio. AGC is one of the recipients of this grant along with other Appalachian CDFIs and other community development lenders. 

AGC is one of many lenders who have been forced to make fundamental changes to weather this storm including suspending loan repayments from their borrowers. This funding will help to both partially cover operating expenses and make up for lost revenue. It is estimated that this will serve 400 businesses and non-profits, improve 200 businesses and organizations, retain 200 jobs, and leverage $15 million in private investment.

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