hub-city-pictureThe SC Community Loan Fund recently approved a healthy food retail loan in the amount of $571,800 to Hub City Cooperative in Spartanburg. Funding will be used to purchase and rehabilitate an abandoned building in downtown Spartanburg that will serve as retail space for the Co-op. CLF’s loan is contingent on the Co-op meeting its fundraising goal of $3.58 million by mid-July; currently, $1.62 million in investments have been committed to the project.

A recent market study concluded that Spartanburg is the perfect location for a co-op, and that the region has a solid foundation to establish South Carolina’s first retail consumer food co-op. Hub City will provide an array of local and sustainable products for sell to its customers.

The new retail market space will provide a grocery store to an area that has been labeled a food desert, a low-income census tract where people live more than one mile from a supermarket or grocery store; in rural areas, the distance extends to ten miles. Initiatives such as Hub City Co-op work to address food disparities by providing healthy, affordable food options to all residents of the community.

“As a community development financial institution, CLF seeks opportunities to invest in innovative projects that not only benefit underserved communities across South Carolina, but are likely to serve as models for community development throughout our state,” states Michelle Mapp, executive director of CLF. “We are excited to partner with Hub City Co-op, the first of its kind healthy food retail cooperative in South Carolina. By leveraging our capital with other stakeholders, this loan will provide community and economic opportunity for the Spartanburg area and access to healthy food for its residents.”

The SC Community Loan Fund’s statewide healthy food retail loan program works to reduce health disparities and improve the health of individuals and children; create jobs; and stimulate local economic development in neighborhoods with low access to fresh, healthy food.

For more information, please contact Anna Hamilton at anna@sccommunityloanfund.org.