Portfolio Partner Profile

Appalachian Community Capital

Appalachian Community Capital (ACC) works to provide entrepreneurs in the Appalachia region of the US with the capital and mentorship they need to launch successful start-ups. By increasing the number of successful businesses in this historically disadvantaged area, ACC provides high quality jobs and wealth to areas that most need the economic boost. To ensure that every entrepreneur receives the personalized, local support they need, ACC provides smaller community loan funds with capital that they distribute to promising community start-ups. Since ACC began lending in 2015, it has helped to finance 100 small business loans in Appalachia and has helped to create or retain over 2,000 jobs (more than half of these jobs are occupied by low-income persons). In addition, ACC has served as a ‘pass-through’ for over $5 million in grants to ACC members to use for building their organizational capacity, providing technical assistance to small business customers, and/or providing grants to small business owners hard hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

Featured Impact Story

ACC - Claude Coleman - photo by Robin McKinney

Claude Coleman, Jr., drummer for the alt-rock band Ween and creator of Sound Space, a recording studio and practice space in Asheville, NC. Photo courtesy of Robin McKinney.

Impact Story

Sound Space: Building on Asheville's History of Music and Black Culture

Claude Coleman, Jr. on the former site of Rabbit's Motel.

Asheville, NC has one of fastest growing music scenes in America with several dozen venues and live acts performing every night of the week. But musicians have a hard time finding rehearsal space. Enter Claude Coleman, Jr., drummer for the alt-rock band Ween, and his business partner Brett Spivey. Together, they’re creating Sound Space, LLC, a recording studio and practice space that will breathe new life into Rabbit’s Motel, which was the only lodging available to touring Negro Southern League baseball players and other African-American visitors to Asheville during Jim Crow.

Using financing from ACC, borrower NCIF is providing Sound Space with a loan to renovate the building. Once completed, Sound Space will sell new and used musical equipment, rent practice space, and coordinate lessons and workshops. A local chef (and relative of the original Rabbit’s owners) will open a new soul food café on site. The project will also feature a gallery to commemorate the baseball players who stayed at Rabbit’s Motel during segregation.

Photo by: Robin McKinney

Impact Story

Strengthening Birmingham's food scene by bus

ACC - Joy Entertainment

The small business enJOY Entertainment, LLC is a restaurant tour provider in Birmingham, Alabama. Operating as Eat.Drink.Ride.Food Tours, owner Cassandra “Joy” King introduces her guests to great local restaurants by way of her tour bus. Joy provides her guests with a great opportunity to come together for birthday celebrations, bachelorette parties, corporate events, and various other private gatherings.

Ms. King was raised in Mobile, Alabama and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcasting from Auburn University at Montgomery. The idea to start her company sprouted from her activities as a radio host, interviewing local restaurateurs and creating food blogs. As a food blogger and TV host, she would feature new restaurants, quirky dining spots, and food festivals in Alabama.

Ms. King received financing from Sabre Finance, an ACC member and CDFI located in Birmingham, AL to purchase and rehabilitate three tour buses.  Sabre used proceeds from Appalachian Community Capital for some of the financing. After being introduced to Sabre Finance, Ms. King demonstrated the viability of her business idea by inviting a team member from Sabre Finance on a food tour. After providing her guest with a wonderful experience, she was approved for a loan to finance her very first food tour bus.

Funding for enJOY Entertainment, LLC was important because the pandemic had a negative economic impact on restaurants in Birmingham.  Ms. King has worked to sustain business relationships with each restaurateur she chooses for her Eat.Drink.Ride.Food Tours. She is happy to share that her food tour business has become a reliable source of business for local restaurants, and she is very happy to provide memorable experiences for her food tour guests.

“Sabre Finance is the reason that my company is afloat, the reason I have a company today.” –

–Cassandra “Joy” King

Impact Story

"The Friendliest Print Shop in Town"


The Ideal Print Shop, Inc. (IPS) is a commercial printing company located in Bell County, Kentucky. Bell County has a poverty rate of 38%, about twice that of Kentucky holistically, but IPS employs 9 people and plans to hire 2 additional workers. IPS, dubbed, “The Friendliest Print Shop in Town”, offers a variety of printing services, from process color to screen printing to stamp imprinting to embroidery and engraving. In 2018, IPS approached Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation (KHIC) – an organization within Appalachian Community Capital – for a loan to purchase new digital equipment and replace older equipment that had become outdated. This new equipment purchase would allow the company to turn over sales quicker and reduce printing costs. The Ideal Print Shop first borrowed from KHIC in 2002. At that time, KHIC loaned IPS $151,000, which allowed the company to relocate its business to a larger leased facility located behind the Middlesborough Mall. That loan also helped the company purchase new equipment and provided working capital. The initial relocation added two new employees to the company. In 2012, KHIC provided a second loan of $300,000 to IPS to refinance its outstanding debt to KHIC. In early 2017, IPS was interested in upgrading its equipment again and financed this purchase with a $233,333 loan from KHIC. KHIC’s enduring relationship with Ideal Print Shop is evidence of KHIC’s commitment to local businesses that offer jobs to residents and quality products to their communities.

Impact Story

The spirit of learning, entrepreneurship, and community in Appalachia

ACC- Cedar Ridge Landscaping

In the heart of Appalachia lies the spirit of learning, entrepreneurship, and community. In Wise, VA, Kimiko Stallard, along with her stepfather, Gary Carter, started Cedar Ridge Landscaping. After learning the skills needed to operate as a successful landscaper from her stepfather and motivated by a desire for independence, Kimiko charged full speed ahead. Ms. Stallard started her business and has worked on many properties in her community, but soon found that the costs for staying in the industry were high. The expense of maintaining the company’s last remaining pick-up truck soon posed a significant challenge to Cedar Ridge Landscaping and Kimiko was forced to sell the asset, making a loan and more fuel-efficient equipment necessary for survival.

Using capital provided by ACC, People Inc. provided the financing to help Cedar Ridge Landscaping purchase a pickup truck, a new lawn mower, and provided the company with working capital. The funding has allowed Cedar Ridge Landscaping to grow its business, and despite the COVID 19 Pandemic, Ms. Stallard has been able to develop a waiting list of customers, eager for the services that Cedar Ridge Landscaping can provide.

Without the funding from People Inc., Cedar Ridge Landscaping may not be here today. No other lender was willing to support a small startup at that time. However, People Inc. is known for supporting new entrepreneurs. If People Inc. did not exist, Cedar Ridge Landscaping would never have been able to grow at all. This funding has changed the lives of Kimiko and her family, and just prior to the COVID 19 pandemic, their income had tripled thanks to this much-needed support. Not only has this helped their own small business, but it has truly impacted the local economy, as Cedar Ridge Landscaping is able to afford goods and services from the local shops, and therefore reinvest those funds back into the pockets of their neighbors and friends.

Impact Story

Kentucky’s culture of care


In 1994, Kelly Upchurch saw a need in rural Kentucky. Families were faced with the following tough decisions when their elderly loved ones lost mobility: (1) leave the job market to provide care, (2) rely on a home health service that provided too few hours of care, (3) spend a fortune hiring someone full-time, or (4) send their family member to a nursing home where the average life expectancy is 8 ½ months. Born and raised in Kentucky, Mr. Upchurch saw an opportunity to extend Kentucky’s culture of taking care of their own to caring for elderly community members by building the first adult day centers in rural Kentucky. Horizon Adult Health Care has been serving Kentucky’s elderly since 1996 when Mr. Upchurch launched his vision.

Nearly two decades later, with twelve day facilities throughout rural Kentucky, the results are outstanding. Two hundred and seventy-five full-time staff serve 1,500 patients a day, including with the attendant care program they added 4 years ago. Patients spend on average 2 ½ extra years of life in an adult day community, cut their daily medications in half, and visit with friends old and new.

Patients are picked up at their homes in wheelchair adaptable vans and attended to in a community space that is designed to feel like a living room with trained staff including nurses and prescription specialists. The facility goes beyond providing for the health and safety of patients, encouraging them to take up activities they used to enjoy but may no longer be doing, and going out to community events or to lunch together. These benefits come at a third of the cost of a nursing home facility.

Impact Story

Keeping the supply chain running

ACC - Tim Tam Logistics (ID 1135591)

Tim Hoss of Tim Tam Logistics has been driving trucks for various companies for over 40 years and hauls everything from scrap metal to large support beams. While Tim runs the heavy equipment and spends long hours on the road, his wife Tammy Hoss oversees the administrative side of the business to keep things running smoothly. Most recently Tim and Tammy have been working to transport circuit breakers across the United States and Canada ensuring that people have access to electricity.

With fewer and fewer truck drivers on the road each day, Tim and Tammy play an important part in the supply chain that affects the local, national, and global economies, all originating from their home in Abingdon, VA. Although trucking is the bread and butter of the business, Tim Tam Logistics is more than your average company. Tim and Tammy take pride in the fact that they offer their employees training and the chance to purchase their very own truck to open a trucking company of their own. Tim and Tammy embody the hardworking and giving spirit of Appalachians. When they started their own company, Tim and Tammy had only one truck and they were not even sure how often they would be able to get paid. People Inc.—using capital from Appalachian Community Capital --provided the financing to help Tim Tam Logistics purchase two used trucks at profitable prices and several dump trucks. This project was designed to support small businesses and People Inc. has helped succeed in that goal. People Inc. has enabled Tim Tam Logistics to purchase enough equipment and expand their business in a smart and lucrative manner.

Funding for Tim Tam Logistics was important because trucking impacts the lives of every person in this country and in many other nations as well. With this funding, Tim Tam Logistics has been able to continue to employ their additional driver who may one day own his own trucking business. Tim and Tammy are also expanding their business and looking to hire an additional employee for more local jobs utilizing their new dump trucks. The COVID 19 pandemic has certainly spotlighted just how important logistics and supply chains are to each and every one of us, Tim and Tammy Hoss are both key players in that supply chain and for that, we can all be thankful.

“People Inc. is named right, they help people…the small-town folks.” – Tim Hos

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Sectors and Topics:

Small Business


North America


United States

US States:

Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia

First Year of Investment: