Warner & Kaine Applaud More Than $2 Million In Arc Funding To Boost Economic Development In Southwest Virginia
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine applauded the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) for awarding $2,296,533 in federal funding to communities in Southwest Virginia through its Partnership for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) program.
“We are thrilled to support this economic investment in Southwest Virginia,” the Senators said. “This funding aims to stimulate the local economy by promoting job growth, increasing access to capital, and supporting local businesses.”
The funding will be awarded as follows:
- Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD) in Abingdon, VA will receive $1,250,000 to enhance a multi-state food network across Appalachia through mediation between private industry and small-scale farmers, fostering aggregation and distribution opportunities. It will increase the region’s produce supply, attracting more regional and national buyers to purchase local produce. It is anticipated that the project will improve 238 businesses, create 38 new businesses and 85 jobs, and leverage $732,666 of private investment.
- People Incorporated Financial Services (PIFS) in Abingdon, VA will receive $486,769 for the New Market Tax Credit Project – Growth in Appalachia. This funding will allow PIFS to focus on providing technical assistance and advisory services to start-up and emerging businesses, local government and community based organizations. PIFS anticipates this will create a minimum of 50 jobs and leverage $10 million in new capital into local communities.
- Bland County will receive $459,764 for the Bland County Broadband Deployment Project to construct a 33 mile fiber run that will be used to supply broadband to 37 businesses, Bland County Schools, the Board of Education Offices and the Bland County Health Clinic.
- Friends of Southwest Virginia in Abingdon, VA will receive $100,000 for a multi-state plan that would develop common natural and cultural assets that can boost regional economic diversification. This process will bridge communities in Southwest Virginia with their neighbors in North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Kentucky, to create a community-driven identification and planning process.
The ARC’s POWER Initiative provides grants to communities that have been affected by severe job losses in the coal industry and the changing dynamics of America’s energy production. ARC's mission is to innovate, partner, and invest in the growth of new industries in Appalachia to diversify the region’s economy. Warner and Kaine have been strong advocates for a fully funded ARC so that it can continue to increase employment and economic opportunities for those living in Appalachia.