Canaan Land Community Development Center


Community Facility Loan
Marion County

Their Story

A wave of emotions came crashing down on Dessie McKelvy after receiving the phone call that her community facility loan from South Carolina Community Loan Fund had been approved.

For the past nine years, Dessie and her husband, Jimmy, had been working toward their dream of opening a community center in their hometown of Marion, South Carolina.

Unfortunately, the duo experienced setbacks and challenges while trying to secure funding for their minority-led business, the Canaan Land Community Development Center.

“It seems like every time we applied for a loan, they would take us up the mountain just to drop us all the way down,” said Dessie. “I’ve lost count of the number of people, banks and organizations we went to trying to get funding for this project.”

The McKelvys first learned of SCCLF at a Borrowing 101 workshop in Dillon, SC. They soon connected with their regional Community Development Loan Officer, who saw beyond the center’s startup status and helped them navigate the process of financing the center’s development.

Canaan Land Community Development Center will serve as a community center as well as an adult daycare and after school program, and Dessie hopes it will become a centerpiece of Marion.

“Growing up in this area, I knew that there was so much more to life then what resources were currently available to us in this community,” she said. “I’m hoping this center will help change some of the issues this community faces.”

The center anticipates completing construction in the spring of 2020.

"This has been a dream come true,” she said. “The good news of our loan getting approved came at just the right time. All the waiting was worth it and I can’t wait for this project to all come into fruition.”

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