What are the barriers to adequate financing? What do prospective borrowers need in order to bring their projects to market? We set out to answer these questions (and more) by conducting our demand survey last month.

We launched the survey on June 1st, and enlisted the help of partners across the state in spreading the word about the survey. We received 67 responses, and we believe they are a fair reflection of our state. Respondents came from organizations across the state who were in various stages of their community development projects.

Download the one-page South Carolina Community Development Financing Report.

Here are few things we found when we asked about community development in SC:

Community development financing is a challenge for the organizations working to make our cities and towns better. Respondents reported operating on limited budgets, and nearly half said they haven’t found adequate financing for their projects.

Technical assistance is in demand! You can read more about what types of technical assistance we offer here, and when we asked what types of assistance respondents are likely to request from SCCLF, this is what we found:

We love hosting workshops and getting to meet people who want to do the work of investing in community. So, we were excited to see a continued interest in workshops and Feeding Innovation. The interest in webinars presents an exciting opportunity for us to embrace technology, especially when it comes to better serving rural communities.

These survey results indicate a bright future for community development financing. We asked what types of projects respondents are considering in the near future, and this is what they reported:

Interest in projects across our four lending areas (affordable housing, community business, community facilities, healthy food access) means we can look forward to a variety of projects that will help build stronger, more resilient communities.

One thing we know for certain is the desire to finance community development projects isn’t going anywhere. We asked about borrowers financing needs for the next few years, and this is what we found:

We won’t be able to meet this demand alone. To help SC’s communities reach their full potential, we will need to work together with donors, investors, and stakeholders from the public and private sectors to ensure that the needs of our community are met. Learn more about how you can help here.

We couldn’t have conducted this survey without the help of some of our partners, and we are grateful for their support in this effort. Thank you to Bunnelle Foundation, Coastal Community Foundation, Municipal Association of SC, NC / SC CRA Bankers Collaborative, Rural Resource Coalition, SC Association for Community Economic Development, SC Community Capital Alliance, SC Office of Rural Health, Together SC, and United Way Association of South Carolina for their assistance in gathering this critically important data.