The state of South Carolina has seen a steady rise in economic development over the past few decades, with a 71.7% homeownership rate that is higher than the national average. This growth has been driven by a variety of initiatives and programs, from grants to non-profit organizations to the South Carolina Small Business Development Center (SBDC). These efforts have been aimed at creating a stronger economic environment for rural South Carolina and providing resources, tools, education, and support to build prosperous and sustainable rural communities. The South Carolina Association of Community Development Corporations (SCACED) was created in 1994 by four local community development corporations to promote the interests of their industry. SCACED offers a variety of ways for funders and other stakeholders to engage the CED sector in South Carolina.
The organization has since been renamed the South Carolina Community Economic Development Association (SCACED).The South Carolina SBDC facilitates the food innovation program created by a partnership between the South Carolina Community Loan Fund and Clemson Extension to bring healthy food to underserved communities. Grants to encourage community economic development, support construction, non-construction, technical assistance, new ideas and creative approaches to promote economic prosperity in struggling communities. The Babcock Foundation asked SCACED President and CEO Bernie Mazyck to reflect on 25 years of promoting social and economic justice in South Carolina. From CDC customers to the board members who govern some of South Carolina's largest companies, everyone speaks with one voice about the need for accessible capital and capacity in low-income communities. These initiatives have been successful in improving economic development in South Carolina's communities. The state now has a higher homeownership rate than the national average, and there are a variety of programs and initiatives aimed at creating a stronger economic environment for rural South Carolina.
Grants to non-profit organizations, government agencies, neighborhood associations, beautification groups, and garbage control organizations are helping to create a more prosperous future for generations to come.