ON THE RADIO: Zone to bring change

16.02.marketplacelogoIn a Feb. 24 story about the S.C. Promise Zone, NPR Marketplace reporter Caitlin Esch takes a look at how the region’s new designation will help it to get priority consideration for federal grant and loan packages for the next 10 years.

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An excerpt:

South Carolina was one of 123 communities to submit an application for the designation. … A total of 13 communities have been designated Promise Zones. That means they have a better chance of winning federal money for affordable housing, education, job creation and more.

“What it does, it opens the door for opportunity … and gives us a little bit of a leg up,” said SouthernCarolina Alliance President and CEO Danny Black. “If we’re competing with a county that has 3 percent unemployment — and we have 12 — we should get the nod. But it’s certainly not a handout.”

That’s an important talking point in South Carolina, says Bernie Mazyck, CEO of South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development in Charleston.

“There are folk in the state that definitely don’t believe in a handout and we never promote a handout,” Mazyck said. “Communities have the ability to bring about change for themselves. But we need you to invest in us.”

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