As a private foundation, Dogwood can do more than make grants. We can also use our assets to help other organizations acquire access to capital – which they can then use to create beneficial opportunities for the region, such as affordable housing or jobs in businesses that contribute to improving the health and wellbeing of communities. Our support can take the form of bridge loans, loan guarantees, start-up capital or an equity investment.
In July 2020, our board approved impact investments in local companies totaling $5 million to create new lines of COVID-19 testing at Sanesco Health, an established lab, as well as to expand permanent mask and gown production at local manufacturers.
These impact investments not only ensure that our region has a greater capacity for processing tests and a dedicated supply of PPE but also provide new jobs and a new permanent industry for the region.
Although investments like these may deliver modest financial returns (which we can then redeploy into the region for charitable purposes), our primary focus is on the social returns each investment delivers.
Bridge Funding for Paycheck Protection Program loan applications to help small business and nonprofit employers during COVID-19. In partnership with Mountain BizWorks, we helped 380 area nonprofits and businesses access funds immediately instead of waiting for SBA loan approval, which helped sustain more than 2,100 jobs across our region.
Line of credit guarantees to help local laboratory Sanesco Health, operating as CommunityLab, create a COVID-19 testing resource dedicated to Western North Carolina. Sanesco will make WNC its top priority for all COVID-19 testing.
A family-owned company headquartered in Arden, Sanesco has been providing lab services to roughly 900 physician practices and distributors across the United States and Canada for 15 years. “When we arrived to Asheville for the very first time, there was an immediate connection”