The Richmond Fed recently hosted national, regional and local organizations whose influence could help resolve some of the issues rural communities and small towns face when trying to fund their projects.
The Rural Investment Capital Development Expert Convening took place in Charlotte, North Carolina, on May 30–31 and brought together Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, local foundations such as The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and The Harvest Foundation, the North Carolina state agency responsible for pandemic funding, community development finance experts, and regional and local representatives of different types of capital. During their two days of information gathering and sharing of ideas, they tackled how to create easier access to funding for rural communities that are trying to thrive.
“Too often, small towns and rural communities do not receive economic investments that are needed to bring good ideas to reality,” said Jason Smith, the Richmond Fed’s senior community development advisor, who organized the event in collaboration with several participating organizations. “There are issues on the supply and demand side. On the demand side, rural regions have less people who can develop strong project proposals with a business case to attract investment. On the supply side, different sources of capital are not well aligned to finance strong rural proposals.”