Making a difference

2022 Impact

Our work impacts people most adversely affected by persistent poverty and social inequity. We serve 45% of the persistent poverty counties in the country coupled with high minority populations across our service area, including the Mississippi River Delta, Alabama Black Belt, Tribal Country and the Rio Grande Valley.


People Served


Dollars Lent


Dollars Leveraged






Jobs Created & Sustained

Program Areas

Communities Unlimited offers Community Sustainability, Entrepreneurship, Environmental, Healthy Foods and Lending services.

· Community Sustainability partners with communities to create vibrant, sustainable economies.

· Entrepreneurship works alongside small business owners to identify and implement solutions to grow their business.

· Environmental Services works with rural communities to construct, operate and maintain safe drinking water and sanitary wastewater treatment facilities.

· Healthy Foods works with small-scale farmers in the Mississippi River Delta and offers programs to promote healthy eating habits in food deserts.

· Lending provides a variety of lending products for small business, water and wastewater systems and rural residents.

We combine these services through strategic blending to create solutions and opportunities for communities across our seven-state service area to grow and thrive. We seek out 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.

Stories from our year

Indian Creek Youth Camp

Tennessee Camp prepares for the future

Herb White ran the system at Indian Creek for more than 20 years. 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.

D'Serv Healthy Hair

Small business owner makes loan request, but gets much more

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”.

Looking forward to 2023

East Texas Expansion

In partnership with the T.L.L. temple Foundation, CU opened it's East Texas office in October of 2022. T.L.L. Temple was looking for ways to serve small businesses in it's 21 East Texas counties and realized there was a lack of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) in the area. Currently the office is staffed by Chris Ranniger, CU Small Business Lender, and there are plans to expand additional services to the region to provide Environmental, Entrepreneurship and Community Sustainability assistance in East Texas.

East Texas Office

Housing Comes To CU

Communities Unlimited welcomed a new Area Director of Housing in 2022. Audra Butler has a background in housing initiatives from her time at the Fayetteville, AR Housing Authority. Volumetric modular housing created with strategic partners will be part of CU's 2023 plans. Audra is excited to help expand CU's impact within communities and get people into permanent housing. 2023 will be a busy year for Rural Housing at Communities Unlimited!