Last week, we hosted a meeting to review the feasibility of specific grocery store sites within South Carolina and to discuss creative public-private partnerships to help facilitate the development of these grocery stores. The meeting targeted developers, city officials, grocers and brokers who could assist with identifying specific sites for development.

We partnered with Jeff Brown and UpLift Solutions to help guide the discussion. Jeff is an experienced developer and operator of several large grocery stores in the Philadelphia region, as well as the founder of UpLift Solutions, a national nonprofit that supports underserved communities with full-service supermarket development.

Participants of the workshop discussed challenges to development and viable solutions; explored non-traditional financial assistance available for development (New Market Tax Credits, HFFI, grants); and assessed project feasibility with on-site evaluations in both Columbia and Greenville.

SCCLF is pleased to bring this type of specialized technical assistance to South Carolina. The engagement among participants during and after this workshop supports our position that every community in South Carolina deserves access to healthy, affordable food and that food deserts, a highly-prevalent issue in our state, can be an opportunity for economic development.

For more information on our healthy food financing initiative, please contact Anna Lewin at anna@sccommunityloanfund.org.