Renewable energy investing energizes healthy food markets

For small businesses committed to acting in an environmentally sustainable way, the cost of energy efficiency improvements can be daunting. One Mercy Partnership Fund investee is helping small, locally owned businesses advocate for healthy communities and reduce environmental impacts.

Established in 1999, nonprofit community lender Partner Community Capital (PCAP) focuses on creating and sustaining small, locally owned enterprises in North Carolina, West Virginia, and Central Appalachian Counties. Since its founding, Mercy Partnership Fund investee PCAP has worked toward a vision of replacing extractive industries with thriving, resilient, locally owned businesses that maintain healthy communities and protect the environment. PCAP has directly assisted more than 150 small businesses to implement energy efficient improvements that help reduce their use of fossil fuels and their energy-related expenses, which improves their financial stability.

Firsthand Foods, a women-owned, mission-driven, and B-Corp certified food hub located in Durham, North Carolina, recently benefited from a PCAP loan. Firsthand Foods works with a network of 22 small farmers to aggregate, market, and distribute humanely raised livestock to businesses who want local meat, but don’t have the bandwidth to buy from local farmers or farmers’ markets for a year-round supply. In addition to bridging this gap in the local market, Firsthand Foods traces every piece of meat sold to its farm of origin and upholds accountability for an ethical standard of non-GMO, animal welfare approved, pasture-raised farming. PCAP’s loan enabled Firsthand Foods to purchase an energy-efficient walk-in cooler to reduce energy costs and amplify their work toward healthier local economies and food systems in North Carolina.

Partner Community Capital is one of more than 60 organizations around the world that has received a loan from Mercy Partnership Fund to support its work. Read more about the work of Mercy Partnership Fund.

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