Connections & Resources

Entrepreneurs in Polk County are in a position to receive financing from a variety of sources. We have numerous partners capable of providing advice, technical assistance and capital resources to help your business ideas become reality. The Business Development Office can connect you with appropriate resources based upon your individual needs.

Carolina Small Business Development Fund

Carolina Small Business Development Fund is a nonprofit and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) with a mission to foster economic development in underserved communities by providing capital, business services and policy research to support small businesses across North Carolina. The CSBDF supports communities by helping entrepreneurs build the businesses of their dreams.

Mountain BizWorks

Mountain BizWorks provides small business loans to help businesses in Western North Carolina launch and expand. Loans provided through this organization range from $1,000 to $150,000. Loans are targeted towards entrepreneurs who have trouble securing funding from banks and other traditional sources. Mountain BizWorks emphasizes cash flow analysis, considers non-traditional collateral, and offers flexible loan structures. The organization also works to ensure clients’ success by offering highly customized, peer-to-peer business coaching by an extensive network of local, successful business owners. This innovative blend of lending and learning helps entrepreneurs overcome obstacles, grow strategically, and create jobs.

Natural Capital Investment Fund

NCIF finances and advises entrepreneurs in underserved communities throughout central Appalachia and the Southeast who create jobs by growing environmentally responsible businesses and providing vital community services. By providing loans and business coaching for small to mid-sized businesses who can’t access traditional financing, we are helping to build thriving communities and diverse economies. NCIF supports enterprises in tourism, energy and water conservation, food production recycling and waste elimination, supply chain sustainability and much more.

North Carolina Rural Center

Our mission is to develop, promote and implement sound economic strategies to improve the quality of life of rural North Carolinians. We serve the state’s 80 rural counties, with a special focus on individuals with low to moderate incomes and communities with limited resources.

Self-Help Credit Union

Founded in 1989, Self-Help CU is one of a family of organizations under the umbrella of the Center for Community Self-Help. It is a non-profit, community development credit union based in North Carolina, a federal credit union based in California, Florida, Chicago and Washington, DC and also a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) with the mission of helping all people build wealth, especially those who have been traditionally marginalized by our financial system. An important arm of Self-Help is the advocacy organization, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), which fights predatory lending practices on a national scale. Self-Help lives its mission by offering fair and equitable loan products and other specialty financial products to help people build or restore credit, jumpstart their savings, or gain equal access to wealth. Any resident of or worker in the mountain counties served by Self-Help can become a member through a $5 joining fee.

Small Business Administration (SBA)

Since its founding the U.S. Small Business Administration has delivered millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses. The SBA offers loans specifically designed for small businesses: 7(a), Microloan Program, Real Estate & Equipment Loans: CDC/504. To learn about these programs and to understand if, and which opportunity might be beneficial to your business please contact the local office to schedule a 1-on-1 appointment or phone call.


VEDIC is a non-profit corporation organized to assist in the promotion, stimulation, development and advancement of business prosperity and economic welfare. The objectives of this program include job creation, job retention, increasing economic opportunity and strengthening the region’s business sector by providing local funds to local small businesses with VEDIC resources, as well as creating partnerships with local banks and other private sector lenders. VEDIC operates loan programs focused on helping entrepreneurs start businesses and existing businesses to expand. VEDIC bridges the gap for those businesses that need funding, but cannot qualify for a bank loan. It is the hope that through this loan program, businesses will prosper and become credit worthy for bank funding in the future. Each business that VEDIC meets with is unique with various areas of need. It is the goal at VEDIC not only to help with the lending need, but also to understand each client’s business fully in order to align other resource partners that can provide assistance as well. VEDIC wants your business to succeed!