In the Zone | March 2016

A monthly newsletter of what’s happening in the S.C. Lowcountry Promise Zone


PromiseZone_logo_80wEvery week or two, the S.C. Lowcountry Promise Zone website highlights lots of new grant opportunities, educational opportunities related to grants and resources that are helpful to grant applicants. Some recent highlights:

2/25: HUD offers new starting resource for funding: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has compiled a list of funding and technical assistance opportunities of the Promise Zone partner agencies. The list includes 90 different entries on programs that provide priority points or consideration or help further the Zone’s goals. Learn more.

2/16: CommunityWINS program may be good fit for some in Zone: Launched in 2015, the CommunityWINS grant program includes a $3 million investment by the Wells Fargo Foundation over three years. CommunityWINS grant program is administered by The U.S. Conference of Mayors and funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation. Deadline: March 18. Learn more. The link also provides info on several other grant programs.

2/4: Treasury opens funding for Capital Magnet Fund: This CDFI Fund provides competitively awarded grants to CDFIs and qualified non-profit housing organizations.  Deadline: March 16. Also in this post are funding opportunities with EPA, USDA and more.


Solar producer to invest $85 million in Allendale County

National Renewable Energy Corp., a leading renewable energy independent power producer, announced Jan. 27 that it was on track to invest more than $85 million to establish solar power operations in Allendale County. Read more.

Italian company to establish operations in Colleton County

BUSCOT LLC announced Feb. 3 that it would establish manufacturing operations in Colleton County of specialty bearings. The company’s $1.15 million investment is expected to create 10 new jobs over five years.


National leaders provide critical input on Promise Zone

A dozen leading thinkers and analysts from across the South met over the weekend to learn about the S.C. Lowcountry Promise Zone and make suggestions to broaden the impact of its collaborative efforts to reduce poverty.

“The ThinkBIG conference was an important step in our planning process in realizing our Promise Zone goals,” said Danny Black, president and CEO of SouthernCarolina Alliance, the lead organization of the Promise Zone.  “We were fortunate to have guidance from and discussion with experts from around the country in rural economic and community development, who joined us to share fresh ideas and innovative approaches to our challenges.” Read more.

National radio profiles Promise Zone

16.02.marketplacelogoNPR’s Marketplace profiled the S.C. Lowcountry Promise Zone in three February stories:

  • 2/24: Promise Zone to bring change: The story highlights how the designation will help the area get priority consideration for federal grant and loan packages for the next 10 years.
  • 2/8: Fighting poverty one house at a time: This story profiles Allendale County Alive, an affordable housing agency seeking to use the area’s new Promise Zone status to fight poverty.
  • 2/8/16: Can fixing infrastructure solve rural poverty? In this story, Marketplace reporter Caitlin Esch profiles an $8.3 million grant/loan package to Lowcountry Regional Water System of Hampton County that will pay for adding more capacity to two wastewater treatment systems, which is expected to  help make the Promise Zone county more attractive to potential businesses and industries.

Promise Zone is already helping

In a Jan. 17 editorial, The (Walterboro) Press and Standard outlined how the Promise Zone has already attracted several new regional industries to make capital investment. An excerpt:

“In a nutshell, free money attracts industries. Promise Zone money is a huge opportunity for the Lowcountry and Colleton County. County officials, go for it. Bring more of that free money to Colleton.”


Promise Zone funding to date: $11,645,952.69, as of March 1, 2016

Capital investment: $402,450,000, since Oct. 1, 2015

New jobs: 239, since Oct. 1, 2015

Check out our numbers

Number of Promise Zone supporters and partners: 39 organizations, as of March 1, 2016, including EdVenture, our newest partner.

Click here to see the list of partners and supporters.


You can follow us online, sign up to get free email news or share with us through our Facebook page.


As we continue to develop the Promise Zone and achieve its goals, we encourage you to:

  • Continue to communicate and collaborate with your regional partners and peers on initiatives that can benefit both your organization and the region.
  • Request Promise Zone endorsement for any federal grants that you submit.  Instructions and forms can be found on our
  • Sign up on our website to receive ongoing email updates which include new grant opportunities, newsletters, announcements and other information.


Overview of the Promise Zone grant process

Promise Zone grant opportunities — a look at the 12 federal agencies and the 40+ programs that provide applicants with Promise Zone incentives to make grant applications.

Other grant opportunities — a look of various grant opportunities that may be available to groups working with the Promise Zone that are outside of federal grant programs. We post new information to this page on a rolling basis. Deadlines often are short:

Funding resources: Visit this page of different educational resources that Promise Zone partners and supporters might find interesting or helpful.


This monthly newsletter of the S.C. Lowcountry Promise Zone is produced by a supporting organization, The Center for a Better South. If you have information that you’d like to submit, please send an email to Andy Brack. Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.

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