Building Appalachian Businesses

Collaborative and inclusive economic development approaches are essential to building Appalachian businesses and industries, which in turn create opportunities for residents. ARC investments help our partners develop economic strategies that prioritize the growth of existing industries and home-grown entrepreneurial ideas that capitalize on communities’ unique assets.  

ARC grants also provide the tailored technical assistance, access to capital, and capacity-building resources needed to help businesses and industries launch, succeed, and even expand into national and international markets.  

Investment Impact

Fiscal Year 2023
Invested in 63 Projects
Fiscal Year 2023
Jobs Created or Retained
Fiscal Year 2023
Businesses Created or Improved

Providing Financial and Technical Assistance for Businesses

Behind successful entrepreneurs and small businesses are strong support systems.

From Fiscal Years 2018-2022, ARC invested $112+ million in projects that strengthened Appalachian entrepreneurship by facilitating access to capital and credit; growing entrepreneurial ecosystems to support local businesses; providing technical assistance and training; and addressing physical infrastructure needs through incubators, makerspaces, retail space, and more.  

To help communities work toward sustainable and diversified economies, ARC investments support ventures in high-growth sectors such as manufacturing, technology, health, the arts, recreation and tourism, local food and agriculture, and energy.

Investments in Action

Supporting Businesses of All Backgrounds

For over 20 years, Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE) has empowered entrepreneurship in Appalachian Georgia through small business loans to women, people of color, and low-to-moderate income business owners.

Pursuing Development Strategies to Grow Existing Industries

While business attraction is an effective development tactic, ARC stakeholders have emphasized the need to promote economic diversification from within the region by strengthening existing industries. Place-based strategies that leverage regional assets, engage a diverse array of partners, and encourage creative collaboration are central to this approach.

To help these efforts succeed, ARC investments convene partners around shared goals, encourage best practice exchange, facilitate access to financing, and support economic development-related technical assistance and capacity-building for communities.

Building Economic Resilience in Appalachia

Preparing a community to absorb, resist, and recover from an economic shock—such as an economy-wide recession, industry restructuring, or  COVID-19—is the definition of economic resilience. ARC’s study Strengthening Economic Resilience offers quantitative analysis exploring factors that increase a community’s ability to buffer an economic shock, and a guidebook of case studies and suggested strategies for economic resilience at the community level.