Since 2007, the BEST Coalition has achieved measurable success in improving the financial stability of area residents. Between 2007 and 2014, residents benefited from the free preparation of 9,275 tax returns, where the following amounts were awarded: $3,891,523 in earned income credits, $465,001 in child tax credits, $10,673,741 in total federal refunds, and $1,544,036 in total state refunds. Tax preparation savings amounted to $1,855,800. Refunds and savings totaling $14,073,577 were put back in the hands of families and individuals in the Dan River Region.
Over 400 residents have participated in the 6-week Financial Freedom class series. Upon class completion, survey results indicated that 88% of participants were now tracking their income and expenses, 91% were controlling their spending, 59% were putting money aside for savings, and 94% were taking steps to improve their credit score. Fifty individuals benefited from one-on-one financial management mentoring.
The initiative covers the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County in Virginia as well as Caswell County in North Carolina.