Opportunity Appalachia Investor Convening to Showcase 33 High Impact Projects Anticipated to Create 3,000 Jobs

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Opportunity Appalachia, a project of Appalachian Community Capital, is hosting a virtual investor convening on May 31 – June 1, 2023. Registration is open for investors, funders, project developers, business owners, elected officials, economic development professionals, community members, and others at www.OAConvening.org

Opportunity Appalachia brings new investment to underserved Central Appalachian communities, creating new jobs and businesses that support sustainable growth. The 2023 Project Portfolio includes downtown development, manufacturing, IT, healthcare, education, food systems, clean energy, and heritage tourism and recreation. These high impact projects are expected to provide both robust social return as well as an attractive financial return. 

Gayle Manchin, Federal Co-Chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission notes, “It’s imperative that we work together across Appalachia to transition and diversify the region’s economies.  I commend Appalachian Community Capital for convening and building relationships between investors who share the common goal of putting plans to action in ways that are helping to usher in a new era of prosperity for an often-overlooked but resilient region.”

The Investor Convening will feature 33 Opportunity Appalachia projects seeking to develop relationships with investment partners. The 2023 Project Portfolio is seeking $252 million in financing and is anticipated to create 3,000 jobs – including jobs for individuals in addiction recovery, the long-term unemployed (such as former coal industry workers), minorities, and women. The intended audience for the convening includes banks, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), New Markets Tax Credit CDEs, Historic Tax Credit investors, Opportunity Funds (QOFs), crowdfunding platforms, federal and state grant makers, philanthropy, community and economic development leaders, business owners and developers, and elected officials from Appalachia.

“We’re proud of the work we’re doing with Opportunity Appalachia to breathe life back into these under-appreciated communities,” says Donna Gambrell, President and CEO of Appalachian Community Capital.  “The benefits can be felt not only by the communities themselves but also by our investors – both via the social impact they are having and the financial returns generated.” 

The Opportunity Appalachia Investor Convening will feature remarks from Tom Barkin, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, and participation from the Richmond Fed’s Investment Connection program leaders.  “Our Investment Connection program introduces public and private funders to project proposals from community-based organizations that benefit low- and moderate- income communities,” said Carrie Cook, the Richmond Fed’s Community Affairs Officer and Vice President of Community Development.  “Aligning with the Investor Convening strengthens our shared goals.”

“We’re excited that Opportunity Appalachia has expanded to include North Carolina and that nine high-impact projects from the state will be featured at the upcoming Investor Convening,” adds Matt Raker, Executive Director of Mountain BizWorks. “This is truly a momentous event to expand investment in rural WNC and reflects the strength of the projects and the support from partners including NC Department of Commerce and Dogwood Health Trust.”

Participating projects from North Carolina include:

  • Blue Note Junction – A Community Health and Business Incubator, Asheville, NC
  • Catawba Vale Innovation Market, Eagle Market Street Development Corporation, Old Fort, NC
  • Grier Village, Camp Grier, Old Fort, NC
  • High Country Value-Added Facility, Watauga Meats and Butchery, LLC, Zionville, NC
  • The Hotel Charles, City of Shelby, NC
  • Lake Chatuge Boutique Hotel, Clay County Rural Development Authority, Hayesville, NC
  • Noquisiyi Cherokee Cultural Learning Center, Nikwasi Initiative, Franklin, NC
  • Scott-Griffin Hotel and Rooftop Restaurant, Town of Franklin, NC
  • Sylva Stay, New Jackson LLC, Sylva, NC

For more information about the North Carolina projects listed, contact Lindsey Solomon at lindsey@mountainbizworks.org. To learn more about the Opportunity Appalachia Investor Convening, contact Donna Gambrell at (202) 547-5155 or dgambrell@acc1.org or visit www.OAConvening.org

About Appalachian Community Capital:

Appalachian Community Capital (ACC) operates the Opportunity Appalachia program. ACC is a 33-member CDFI intermediary whose members and their affiliates manage nearly $2 billion in assets supporting economic development in Appalachia. The Opportunity Appalachia program is led by an 8-member steering committee with representatives from five participating states and two national partners, including: Coastal Enterprises Inc, Main Street America, Mountain BizWorks, OhioSE, Opportunity SWVA, University of Tennessee, WV Brownfields Assistance Center. For more information – https://appalachiancommunitycapitalcdfi.org/ 


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