Warner & Kaine Announce $75,000 in Federal Funds to Boost Economic Opportunity in VA Coal Communities
Aug 15 2018
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) today announced $75,000 in federal funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support small businesses and job creation in rural Southwest Virginia communities affected by changes in the coal industry. The funds were awarded to Virginia Community Capital, Inc., which will provide technical assistance – such as one-on-one counseling, education, and workshops – to a minimum of ten small businesses in order to help them succeed and grow.
“As the nation’s economy continues to recover, there is still a lot of work to do to ensure struggling communities aren’t left behind,”said the Senators. “That is why we’re pleased to announce these critical federal dollars to help small businesses in Southwest Virginia receive tools they need to thrive in a 21st century economy.”
Today’s announcement is expected to result in the creation or retention of 15 jobs in rural communities that were impacted by a shift in coal production. The funding was awarded through the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a competitive grant designed to support targeted technical assistance, training and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small businesses in rural areas.
As Governor, Warner help establish Virginia Community Capital (VCC) as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) with an initial $15 million investment, with the goal of leveraging that initial investment for an economic return to underserved areas. Since its inception, VCC has grown that original investment into more than $1 billion in statewide impact, with VCC-financed projects creating or retaining more than 6,495 jobs across the Commonwealth. In the Senate, Sens. Warner and Kaine have pushed for federal dollars to support rural communities in Southwest Virginia, including fully funding the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Economic Development Administration.