At the last Committee of the Whole meeting, I mentioned that the Municipal Association of South Carolina (MASC) would soon be announcing economic development grants, which is one reason I think a strategic plan for economic development is critical.
Well, just recently we received information from MASC that those grants are now available, and they’re accepting applications through September 30th. So it’s very timely that tonight we’re voting to get started on a strategic plan for ongoing community and economic development.
Here’s some more information on the types of activities eligible for funding through the MASC grants (courtesy of the MASC website):
Professional services including, but not limited to, developing master plans; providing analysis or materials for marketing, branding or promoting cities and their local businesses; or engineering.
Assets including, but not limited to, publicly-owned water or sewer projects; wayfinding signage or placemaking projects.
Programs developed by a city or in partnership with others including, but not limited to, downtown development or revitalization; business incubators or small business assistance.
Here’s another key point: matching funds are required. Until recently, we have not had any funds dedicated to economic development. But, as you, know, recently, a group of business and community leaders changed that by donating the first funds to be devoted to economic development in Simpsonville. We hope to grow those dollars. Doing so will set us up for future success in securing grants like this. And make no mistake: this is only one example of funding that we could be eligible for if we have a commitment to economic development and a strategic plan in place for ongoing community and economic development.
Read previous posts on economic development here.