Beckley, W.Va. – Candice Meade, owner of Posh Manna Cake Art & Bakery in Shady Spring and a client of the West Virginia Hive, is participating in the May 31-June 1 Investor Convening being held by Opportunity Appalachia, an Appalchian Regional Commission funded project led by Appalachian Community Capital. Meade is working with the New RiverGorge Regional Development Authority (NRGRDA) and its WV Hive program to expand her business operations to the former Chase Building at 600 Neville Street in Beckley and develop a50-plus room boutique hotel.
“We worked with Candice to determine that this building had a considerable amount of potential and Candice’s vision was infectious,” said Jina Belcher, NRGRDA Executive Director. “All of us at the WV Hive and NRGRDA wish Candice the best of luck in making connections and landing investors at the investor convening.” Meade’s innovative project, which started as a dream, is advancing. Through grants and technical assistance from the WV Hive, Downtown Appalachia, and Opportunity Appalachia, project plans are near completion. A support team of subject matter experts from across the U.S. is working collaboratively to produce a feasibility study, architectural renderings, capital access projections and much more for the boutique hotel with a full-service restaurant, retail space and the bakery that started Meade on this journey. This project will be the anchor for Beckley’s downtown revitalization. Meade said the project would create more than 75 new jobs and be a considerable investment into downtown Beckley.
The Investor Convening will feature 33 Opportunity Appalachia supported projects seeking to develop relationships with investment partners. The 2023 project portfolio is seeking $252 million in financing and is anticipated to create 3,000 jobs – including jobs for individuals in addiction recovery, the long-term unemployed (such as former coal industry workers), minorities, and women. The intended audience for the convening includes banks, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), New Markets Tax Credit CDEs, Historic Tax Credit investors, Opportunity Funds (QOFs), crowdfunding platforms, federal and state grant makers, philanthropy, community and economic development leaders, business owners and developers, and elected officials from Appalachia.
Gayle Manchin, Federal Co-Chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission, said “It’s imperative that we work together across Appalachia to transition and diversify the region’s economies. I commend Appalachian Community Capital for convening and building relationships between investors who share the common goal of putting plans to action in ways that are helping to usher in a new era of prosperity for an often-overlooked but resilient region.”
The Opportunity Appalachia Investor Convening will feature remarks from Tom Barkin, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, and participation from the Richmond Fed’s Investment Connection program leaders. “Our Investment Connection program introduces public and private funders to project proposals from community-based organizations that benefit low- and moderate- income communities,” said Carrie Cook, the Richmond Fed’s Community Affairs Officer and Vice President of Community Development. “Aligning with the Investor Convening strengthens our shared goals.”