CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIFund), a mission-driven small business lender to locally-owned enterprises in the Southeast and central Appalachia, recently partnered with The Positec Group to award $50,000 in grants to help four North Carolina small businesses weather the COVID-19 crisis.  The Positec Group is a Charlotte, NC-based company that manufacturers and markets tools under the name Worx.  The company suggested the partnership upon learning that NCIFund had been chosen by Truist Financial Corporation to distribute $1 million in grants to small businesses in its geographic footprint.

“Positec Group’s willingness to step up and help fellow North Carolina small businesses was well-timed and critical,” said NCIFund President Marten Jenkins. “Small businesses badly needed support at the outset of the pandemic while they waited for COVID-19 recovery loan programs to get underway. Positec’s support helped us give more businesses a chance to bridge that gap.”  

"Small businesses are the backbone of our community. Positec is honored to work with NCIFund to give those North Carolina businesses and communities the support they need in this difficult time,” said Chris Allen, Positec President & CEO. 

The grants helped the businesses cover key expenses – from paying employees and covering utilities to maintaining payments to vendors – as the economic downturn and closures mandated by the State of NC upended their operations. The grantees are: 

  • The ZEN Succulent, a woman- and African American- owned neighborhood plant and gift shop based in Durham, N.C.  
  • Premier Cakes, an African American-owned cake bakery located in Raleigh, N.C. 
  • Looking Glass Creamery, a woman-owned dairy farm and artisanal cheesemaker based in Polk County, N.C that sells to restaurants, distributors and direct to consumers.  
  • End of the Road, a log cabin rental company located near Lake Lure in Polk County, N.C.  

“We lost 90% of our business overnight,” said Jennifer Perkins, owner of Looking Glass Creamery. “But dairy farming doesn't stop. Cows still need to be milked, the cheese needs to be made, you can't take a break or do it later. The grant helped us stay operational while we pivoted to new markets like home delivery, online sales, and were able to reopen our stores. It meant a lot to our business, our employees, and our cows.”      

About Natural Capital Investment Fund  
Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIFund) invests in enterprises that promote a healthy environment and healthy families in North Carolina, West Virginia, and the Appalachian regions of surrounding states. NCIFund has invested more than $72 M in 340 “triple-bottom-line” enterprises that promote equity, protect the environment and grow the economy. Roughly ½ of NCIFund’s borrowers are women or people of color, and ¾ are in rural or economically underserved communities. Founded in 2001, NCIFund is a U.S. Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) affiliated with The Conservation Fund. For more information, visit ncifund.org.  
 
About the Positec Group 
Positec Tool Corporation is a tool company based in Suzhou, China, with North American headquarters in Charlotte, NC. Positec has been designing, engineering and manufacturing lawn and power tools since 1994. Positec makes Worx and Rockwell branded tools, among others, selling the retailers world-wide. Since its founding, Positec has achieved industry-leading growth and employs nearly 4,000 people in 12 countries.  The corporation is committed to converting the world to battery powered lawn equipment to reduce emissions and conserve fossil fuels.  Learn more at www.positecgroup.com and www.worx.com 

Media Contacts: 
Rick Larson, NCIFund, 919-949-4724 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Lauren Gomez, the Positec Group, 704.599.3711, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.