Partner Community Capital, formerly Natural Capital Investment Fund, is headquartered in Charles Town, West Virginia and was established in 1999 to lend to enterprises that promote a healthy environment and healthy families in Central Appalachia and the Southeast.
As a certified community development financial institution (CDFI), Partner Community Capital supports enterprises that promote equity, protect the environment and grow the economy. Some of the enterprises that make up their clientele include healthy local food and specialty agriculture, renewable energy and energy efficiency businesses, eco- and heritage tourism, child and adult day care, primary healthcare providers, and small-town redevelopment businesses and projects.
Through 2021, PCAP had lent more than $100 million to 550 enterprises that in turn created or retained over 7,100 jobs, primarily for low- and moderate-income individuals. Over 50% of the businesses PCAP supports are owned by women or people of color, and over 85% are in rural or economically distressed communities.
With the belief that capital alone is not enough to provide the economic boost these communities deserve, the fund provides over 4,000 hours of technical assistance annually to prospective borrowers and portfolio companies, making sure they are well equipped to make the best use of the loan capital received.
Addressing vital health needs in rural West Virginia
Physical therapist Karen Shambaugh specializes in lymphedema treatment — a treatable — but not curable — condition that can occur after cancer surgery or radiation affecting the lymph nodes. She’s the only therapist who does this within 75 miles of Ridgeley, West Virginia.
She also provides a full range of other physical therapy services, including treatment for back and neck pain, headaches, post-operative and sports rehabilitation, and geriatric problems. Her services are certainly needed: West Virginia has the highest rate of Social Security disability recipients in the United States.
After 16 years of ever-increasing responsibilities working for two other rehabilitation services, Karen wanted to enhance the level of care and treatment to people in her community by opening her own practice. She recruited an experienced staff and found a perfect location between Short Gap and Ridgeley. She had a long list of clients who were delighted to keep using her services, along with a growing number of area physicians who knew her work and were happy to refer patients to her.
To cover her start-up costs, Karen turned to PCAP which provided a loan to cover the cost of equipment, building renovations, supplies, and working capital. Karen opened X-Cel Performance Rehab in January 2016, and the clinic’s patient load has grown steadily. Things have gone so well, in fact, that PCAP helped her purchase her building in September 2017.
X-Cel serves about 100 patients per week and has grown to a staff of six therapists and one administrator.
The Praxis commitment
Praxis Mutual Funds supports organizations such as Partner Community Capital through investments in Calvert Impact Capital, an impact-investing institution that helps people around the world through community development financing. It’s part of the Praxis commitment to place approximately 1% of each of its funds to benefit neighborhoods and individuals through community development investments.