We Asked, You Answered
Last month, we put out the call for participation in our community development financing demand survey, and the results are in! We shared the survey far and wide in the hopes that we would receive responses from people and organizations all over the state. We wanted to hear about projects in various stages of completion across our four lending areas (affordable housing, community business, community facilities, and healthy food retail) to learn more about the challenges and opportunities we face when working to build more equitable communities. 

Thanks to the insight from our respondents, we have a few key takeaways:
  • The organizations working to improve our communities are doing so with limited resources, with many respondents reporting operating budgets of less than $400,000 annually. They've struggled to secure adequate financing for their projects, and having insufficient equity creates a cycle wherein these organizations aren't able to finance expansions and grow their assets. 
  • There is a demand for technical assistance services and SCCLF is in a position to offer assistance in this area. We offer technical assistance through conferences, workshops, consulting services, and more because we want to set our borrowers, the people doing the work of community development, up for success.  
  • The community development outlook in our state is overwhelmingly positive. We asked respondents to estimate their capital needs for the near term (through 2020), and the results show a pipeline of over $41MM in demand! Respondents are planning projects across all of our lending areas, in many corners of our state. 
This survey helped us better understand the current needs and obstacles with respect to community development, and what South Carolina's future capital needs might be. We are ready to help build stronger and more resilient communities, but we can't do it alone. Visit our website to learn more about how you can help. Thank you to everyone who took the time to share and complete the survey. Your assistance is vital to understanding and meeting the needs of our cities and towns. 
One Month Left to Apply
We shared our top five reasons to join the two Feeding Innovation courses happening this fall on our blog. If you or someone you know is interested in bringing healthy foods to under served areas, consider applying before it's too late!
Loan Closing Announcement
In case you missed it: the Town of Hollywood is in the process of creating space to serve their town's residents for years to come. Read more about this project on our blog. 
Third Annual Food Access Summit
Join us in Columbia on Monday, October 2nd for our annual Food Access Summit. This year's keynote is Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin, and the summit will focus on practical skills for engaging communities in building healthy food systems. 

Since 2004, we have provided 313 loans for $39 million in financing that facilitated more than $246.3 million in community development projects; we financed 1,410 housing units,  9 healthy food outlets, 10 community facilities, and 16 community businesses, creating or retaining 2,896 jobs and providing a safe, affordable place to call home for 3,525 individuals and families.