New regional bank aims to grow Appalachian economy

Written by The Associated Press | Jun 14, 2013 10:20 AM
Appalachian Trail

(Morgantown, W. Va.) -- Non-traditional lenders across Appalachia are getting a big boost when it comes to finding money for small businesses often considered not quite bankable.

The Appalachian Regional Commission is announcing the formation Friday of a new central bank called Appalachian Community Capital.

The pool of money is going to certified community development funds.

The commission is investing $3.4 million and firming up commitments for another $39 million. In two years, it's expected to help create 2,200 jobs in 13 states, including Pennsylvania.

Counties across the commonwealth considered a part of Appalachia include Columbia, Juniata, Mifflin, Northumberland, Perry, Schuylkill, Snyder and Union.

Martin Jenkins runs the Natural Capital Investment Fund in Shepherdstown. He says big banks often don't want to lend to businesses in small towns and rural areas, but someone has to.

He says Appalachia is full of smart, passionate people who can do a lot with just a little help.

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