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Southeast Ohio COVID Recovery Loan Fund

Time to Come Together to Support Our Local Businesses

It’s no secret that the pandemic has hurt our economy in Southeast Ohio. Successful small businesses, the backbone of our rural communities, are working hard to weather this COVID-19 economic climate. Even businesses who took advantage of previous small business loan programs and grants are at risk falling short heading into winter.

In Southeast Ohio, we care about our friends, our neighbors and our community. That’s why the COVID Recovery Loan Fund was created – to connect small businesses in need with funds to help them through this crisis.

The COVID Recovery Loan Fund is now seeking investment and donations from members of our community to provide 0% loans to small local businesses to help bridge emergency cash flow gaps, especially through the winter months. 

Who’s Behind the Southeast Ohio COVID Recovery Loan Fund?

Impact Innovation Group - with representatives from Southeast Ohio like the Athens County Foundation and Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, economic development non-profit Rural Action, family offices, local impact investors and Ohio University – has provided seed funding to build the Southeast Ohio COVID Recovery Loan Fund into a $1,000,000+ social impact loan pool administered by Appalachian Growth Capital, our region’s Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). 

The purpose of this fund is to help our small businesses bridge the gap to a more normal economy. Many previously successful small rural firms lack funds for inventory and payroll needed to rebuild to pre-COVID levels. Rural areas already experience severe shortages of business financing at commercially reasonable rates and terms.

How Does the Southeast Ohio COVID Recovery Loan Fund Work?

Through this fund, businesses will be able to borrow at 0% for 24 months with no closing costs. Loans will go through a vetting and underwriting process administered by Appalachian Growth Capital, a local banking institution which has already distributed more than $10 million in federally-backed business loans into our community during the COVID crisis. 

The Flournoy family’s Athens-based Sugarbush Valley Impact Investments has committed $100,000 as lead investor. The Appalachian Funders Network’s Invest Appalachia Fund is pledging $30,000 towards loan loss reserves. The loan fund will begin to take applications when it reaches the $200,000 level, with at least $50,000 (25%) in subordinate debt or donated loan loss reserves.

How You Can Make a Difference

Your OUCU Financial has partnered with the Impact Innovation Group to make it easy for OUCU Members to participate in the COVID Recovery Emergency Loan Fund.  You can:

Make a Lump Sum Investment

You can invest a lump sum in this social impact emergency loan fund which features:

  • 0% rate of return 
  • 4-year term 
  • Repayment of your investment will begin after 24 months and may be extended beyond 48 months

For more information about making a lump sum investment, please contact Brad Blair, Appalachian Growth Capital at bblair@apppart.org or Eli Flournoy, Sugarbush Valley Impact Investments at eliflournoy69@gmail.com

Contact Brad Blair     Contact Eli Fournoy


Make a Donation

You can also make a charitable donation to this fund towards loan loss reserves, which have been protectively set at 25% of the total fund, through Appalachian Growth Capital, a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. 

To make a donation please contact Brad Blair with Appalachian Growth Capital.

I'm Interested in Making a Donation


Borrow Your Investment or Donation Sum

If you’d like to invest or donate but prefer not to take it out of existing accounts, you can apply to borrow the amount from OUCU.

  • 0% APR*
  • 5-year term
  • $50,000 maximum loan amount

To apply as a consumer, select the button below and choose 'Personal' , then 'Other'. You can add 'Recovery Loan Fund Donation' in the comments.

Apply Online for Social Impact Loan


To apply for the donation as a business, please contact us.

Contact Business Services 


Thank you for making our corner of the world a better place to live. 


*For every $1000 borrowed at 0% annual percentage rate with a 60-month term, the monthly payment would be $16.67.

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