regional investment


Opportunity Appalachia in WNC

The Opportunity Appalachia program provides targeted support for downtown and rural development to build entrepreneurial communities where local business can thrive, creating quality jobs for residents, helping to address the Covid downturn and revitalize local economies.

Mountain BizWorks is pleased to announce that it is the WNC region lead partner in Opportunity Appalachia, a five-state endeavor designed to bring new investment into Central Appalachia. 

The Opportunity Appalachia program is projected to bring $400M of new financing and 3,000 jobs to 40 participating communities through investments in real estate and/or business expansion projects that support community strategies for economic restructuring and diversification

Investment priorities include: i) Downtown Development, ii) Manufacturing, iii) IT, iv) Healthcare, v) Education, vi) Food Systems, vii) Clean Energy, viii) Heritage Tourism, and ix) Recreation

Selected communities will each access $30,000 – $75,000 in technical assistance to support their proposed development projects, to include (but not limited to):

  • Development of investment prospectus, preparation of pro forma financial projections, structuring of project financing,
  • Market research, demand assessment,
  • Architectural and engineering,
  • Business plan preparation, operations planning,
  • Identification of project developers, and
  • Investor outreach.

In 2020-2021, Opportunity Appalachia supported 17 projects which are seeking to raise over $250 million in financing.  For a listing of participating projects – which include manufacturing facilities, downtown development, tech business, agricultural facilities, hotels / housing, broadband deployment, and retail enterprises – please visit the overall program site here.

Mountain BizWorks will provide guidance and support to any interested WNC participants and will work with communities on developing their application and proposals.  All North Carolina ARC counties and communities therein can participate (NC ARC Counties). 

How to Apply:  

Step 1: Review the program guidelines and watch the webinar or review the slides

Step 2: Submit a project interest form. This step is optional but encouraged for you to have a pre-application session to review your project, answer any questions about the Opportunity Appalachia process, and to assist with preparing a well qualified application

Step 3: Submit the Online Application by April 15th, 2022 deadline


January 25
January 25

Opportunity Appalachia Kick-off Event (Virtual)

February 16
February 16

North Carolina Outreach Event

Watch Recording
February 2 - March 31
February 2 - March 31

WNC Projects Work with Mountain BizWorks on Application

Submit Interest Form
April 15 at 5:00pm
April 15 at 5:00pm

Application Submission Date

Apply Here
May 16
May 16

Project/Community Selection Announcement

Have a Potential Project?

Fill out our project interest form to set up a pre-application project review session and to stay up to date on important program announcements.

Questions? Contact the Mountain BizWorks Opportunity Appalachia Project Manager, Steve Lockett, at

Mountain BizWorks is partnering with Appalachian Community Capital and other partners on Opportunity Appalachia, which is funded through a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).  For more information on Opportunity Appalachia, please click here. 

Project Funders