TWiA: The National Radio Quiet Zone

Whenever I travel to Appalachia, I tell my friends and family to expect few phone calls because the reception is so bad. However my phone problems are nothing compared to those who live in the national quiet zone:

Investing in Appalachia

After the financial crash, I decided to begin looking at smaller and regional banks to handle my day-to-day business. In general I’m not prone to reactionary thinking, I’ve come to believe in that in general big is a bad way to address local.

The Appalachian Regional Commission is approaching business development in Appalachia the same way. The ARC has created a central bank for the region, and its role is to help fund and grow regional businesses.

For growing businesses in Appalachia, finding capital is even more difficult, as a number of systemic factors have limited the sources of available capital. According to recent studies, Appalachian small businesses receive only 82 percent of the loans of their comparable counterparts nationally, while businesses in Appalachia’s economically distressed counties receive less than 60 percent of the loans of their national counterparts.

To address this gap, ARC, along with participating community loan fund partners in the Region, has committed to establishing a new source of funding for development lenders and helping capitalize it with $42 million over the next 24 months. This new central bank is expected to leverage $233 million in private bank capital and help create 2,200 jobs.

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