Spotlight on ACC and Our Members!
On April 4, the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization (Energy Communities IWG) joined senior Biden-Harris Administration officials at the White House to announce billions of dollars in additional investments through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act to support fossil energy workers and spur long-term economic revitalization in energy communities. ACC CEO Donna Gambrell and Peter Hille, President of the Mountain Association, were in attendance, participating in two roundtable discussions with federal officials on challenges and solutions to support economic growth in energy communities.
The recording and other resources from the event are available HERE. 

On March 28, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin signed into law Senate Bill 1320 and House Bill 1411, codifying and recapitalizing the Virginia CDFI Fund. Both bills overwhelmingly passed the Virginia General Assembly in February 2023. The Virginia CDFI Fund has had a demonstrable impact on Virginia communities since it was established, and establishing this impact in statute will drive more resources to communities and expand inclusive economic opportunities throughout the Commonwealth. Congratulations to Virginia CDFI Coalition Board President Leah Fremouw and all the members of the Coalition—thank you for your leadership, vision, and hard work to make this happen! 

On April 11, ACC was awarded a $627,000 CDFI Equitable Recovery Program (CDFI ERP) grant from the U.S. Treasury’s CDFI Fund. The largest CDFI grant program in history, CDFI ERP provided $1.73 billion in grants to 603 CDFIs to spur economic recovery in areas most severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. ACC will use the funds to continue to collaborate with members to ensure that small businesses in underserved parts of Appalachia not only survive, but that they grow and thrive despite COVID-19’s negative impact.
ACC Holds Successful ‘Next Level Biz Lender Training’—Watch for More Training Opportunities!

On February 28-March 1, Jerrell “J” Deaver, ACC’s Business Development Officer, led a
'Next Level Biz Lender Training' for Virginia
CDFI business lenders in Roanoke. The interactive training, designed to meet the
growth needs of individuals with limited or no experience in a business lender role, covered practical concepts including people skills, calling and outreach skills, business organizational skills, and credit skills. Each of the 16 participants left the class with a plan and tactical steps to achieve it; a more structured approach to business and relationship development; a greater understanding of what their underwriter needs from them; and a greater sense of intentionality and confidence in their critical role. Watch for additional training opportunities to come! 
Funding & Technical
Assistance Opportunities
USDA Local Food Promotion Program
This program supports intermediary organizations with the development, coordination, and expansion of local and regional food business enterprises to help increase access to agricultural products. Eligible entities support local and regional food business enterprises that process, distribute, aggregate, or store locally or regionally produced food products. Priority goes to communities located in low-income/low-food access census tracts. Application Deadline: May 2.  APPLY HERE
This $250 million open call focuses on elevating organizations working with people and in places experiencing the greatest need in the U.S.: communities, individuals, and families with access to the fewest foundational resources and opportunities. This initiative will award unrestricted gifts of $1 million each to 250 organizations. Before applying, complete the Organizational Readiness Tool and refer to the Open Call rules to help determine eligibility and to ensure that your organization is a strong fit. Register to apply by May 5 at 4:00pm CDT. Application Deadline: June 12 at 4:00pm CDT. APPLY HERE
EDA Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance EDA has published its FY23 Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). This NOFO sets out EDA’s application submission and review procedures for two of its core economic development programs: (1) Public Works and Economic Development Facilities (Public Works) and (2) Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA). Public Works helps distressed communities revitalize, expand, and upgrade their physical infrastructure.
EAA is EDA’s most flexible program, supporting a wide range of construction
and non-construction projects. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. APPLY HERE
The new Regional Technology and Innovation Hub (Tech Hubs) Program will strengthen U.S. national and economic security by developing clusters of businesses, communities, colleges and universities,
and workers focused on accelerating innovation and technology deployment throughout the country. The first phase will designate promising Tech Hubs across America and provide strategy development awards to accelerate their development. A second phase will provide strategy implementation awards to help Tech Hubs reach their full potential. Additional information will be shared on www.eda.gov as it becomes available.  
Upcoming Events
Oppurtunity Appalachia Invester Convening
May 31- June 1, 2023 at
12:30-5:30 pm ET
Opportunity Appalachia is hosting an Investor Convening to showcase our portfolio of 33 projects seeking $187 million in financing and expecting to create 3,000 jobs.
The Energy Communities IWG is hosting the second webinar in its two-part series highlighting IRA programs that benefit energy communities. Key programs discussed will include: the enhanced Qualifying Advanced Energy Project Credit, bonus tax credits for energy communities under IRA, the U.S. EPA’s environmental justice grant program for community-based organizations and their partners, and the U.S. EPA’s Green House Gas Reduction Fund supporting low-income and disadvantaged communities. The recording and other materials from the first webinar in the series are available HERE.

October 15-18, 2023
Washington, DC
The 39th annual OFN Conference will go deep on issues and opportunities facing CDFIs and our communities, including green finance, economic uncertainty, the future CDFI workforce, post-pandemic capital deployment, and social, racial, and economic justice. OFN invites CDFI practitioners and other experts to help shape the curriculum by submitting a session proposal by the deadline of May 19. 
2023 Rural LISC Annual Seminar: Innovation and Investment in Rural America
December 11-13, 2023
Coachella Valley, CA

Mark your calendars to join Rural LISC for their annual convening full of workshops, conversations with nationally recognized leaders, and networking opportunities. 
News Articles & Reports
Revitalizing Energy Communities: Two-Year Report to the President. Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization, April 2023. READ MORE

Small Business Owners Feel the Credit Crunch. Associated Press, April 10, 2023. READ MORE

Reimagining Access to Capital. Politico, March 27, 2023.
The four Regional Rural Development Centers (RRDCs) across the country have released the findings from their rapid assessment of the critical resources needed to build community capacity and improve quality of life in rural America. Conducted between Fall 2021 to Spring 2022, the assessment is from the perspectives of stakeholders working in the rural development space and identifies the investments those stakeholders view as the highest priorities for rural communities on the immediate horizon. The Executive Summary is available HERE; topical reports include Workforce Development, Training, and Education and Rural Innovation and Entrepreneurship.