Communities Unlimited consists of 4 primary program areas:
- Community Sustainability partners with communities to create vibrant, sustainable economies
- Entrepreneurship works alongside small business owners to grow their businesses
- Environmental Services works with rural communities’ water and wastewater treatment facilities
- Healthy Foods works with small-scale farmers and promotes healthy eating
These program areas create economic opportunities and solutions for communities in our seven-state service area to grow and thrive.
We seek new partners who further support economic development to touch more aspects of each community.
We grow as the communities and clients we work with continue to grow.
What People Say
We are very thankful for Communities Unlimited's support and hard work. As first time business owner's we really appreciate the time to explain and help us.
I’m really grateful for Communities Unlimited, for what they have done and what they have provided us, so we were able to access resources needed to continue to provide for our community.
Since our engagement with CU we finally have a plan in place on how my wife and I can work more ON the business instead of working IN the business. Communities Unlimited has helped us develop a framework to properly grow and we are excited about where we are headed.
I was intimidated initially, but (CU's Lending Officer) Debra Williams was amazing; she made everything easy
Working with Communities Unlimited has been an eye opener. I’ve learned so much, but I think the most beneficial were the marketing plan and the menu cost analysis. Both have given me so much clarity and direction on how to move forward in business.
Their consulting has help us set a solid foundation, a specific plan each month, ways to advertise effectively, and use competition to our advantage. So many ways they have help us and we are grateful.
The fact that Communities Unlimited is still with us is so reassuring. There has been so much prep work, and I know we have the tools needed to not only be successful, but to keep growing.
Our experience with Communities Unlimited has been incredible! Sergio has been managing our account since day one, helping us with marketing strategies and even loans to get through rough times during COVID. Thank you guys for keeping our dream alive!
We appreciate the Communities Unlimited staff for their outstanding support with various aspects of operating a small business from financial forecasting to marketing strategies.
A Year Of Growth
From Camper to Camp Manager
Herb White ran the system for more than 20 years. Herb’s duties were not limited to just the water system. He managed and performed maintenance all over the camp. In 2020, Herb decided he was ready to retire. He began working with his replacement, Ben Copely. Herb mentored Ben to take over all of his responsibilities, a place Ben has known since his childhood. Indian Creek was referred to Communities Unlimited for assistance in regaining compliance. Ben said he was skeptical that such an organization could provide so much for no cost to the water system.
REVISITING D'SERV HEALTHY HAIR CARE
Angela H. Brown is the President and CEO of D’Serv Healthy Hair Care. She has been a cosmetologist for more than 40 years and started D’Serv by utilizing her many years of experience to develop products for her clients dealing with hair loss. Originally Angela came to CU for a small business loan. She worked with CU to develop and execute a comprehensive business plan with financial projections and a marketing strategy, which took her from a concept to a professional product in hand. As Angela says, D’Serv, “grew up fast”.
More From 2022
GETTING STARTED IN EAST TEXAS
Partnership with T.L.L Temple Foundation
The T.L.L. Temple Foundation was looking for ways to serve small businesses in the 21 counties in East Texas. When the foundation realized there was a lack of CDFIs in the area. So, they created the Rural Opportunity Catalyst for East Texas (ROC-ET) Initiative. The foundation chose two CDFIs, one of which is Communities Unlimited.
Nacogdoches, TX Office Opens
The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Nacogdoches office was held on October 11th, 2022. Loan Officer Chris Ranniger staffs the office.
First Loan Processed
Barrion Johnson and his restaurant, Olde Tyler Road Cafe, were the recipients of our first loan in Nacogdoches. Barrion was born and raised in Nacogdoches and grew up with three other brothers. “We were taught, at a young age, to cook. With a house full of boys, my mother insisted we learn how to prepare meals,” Barrion said
Plans For The Future
We're excited to expand our East Texas footprint. CU will expand additional services to Environmental, Entrepreneurship, and Community Sustainability in East Texas.
CU is currently looking to hire a Management Consultant to begin our Entrepreneurship assistance in the area. Know someone great?
New Area Housing Director
Audra Butler is the new Area Director of Rural Housing. She has a background in Housing from her time at Fayetteville Housing Authority. Housing is her passion. She is also in the process of finishing her Executive Master’s degree in Public Service from the Clinton School. Audra is excited to help expand CU’s impact within communities and get people into permanent housing
Plans For The Future
While the exact plan to address housing needs in rural communities is in its early stages, we're already taking action. Step 1 is gathering data for a comprehensive needs assessment for our service area. A portfolio of impactful resources for the communities will follow shortly after.
We're excited to see our Mi Casita program launch in early 2023. Incremental, modular housing built off-site with community partners in Pine Bluff, AR has the potential to transform rural communities. 2023 is going to be an exciting year for Housing at Communities Unlimited!