South Carolina Community Loan Fund (SCCLF, formerly the Lowcountry Housing Trust) is a regional lender that raises and pools capital from public and private investments to create a revolving loan fund that finances critically needed community development projects. Its mission is to support the development of vibrant, sustainable communities by providing loans, technical assistance, and advocacy for affordable housing, healthy food retail, community facilities, and community businesses. Since its inception in 2004, CLF has infused more than $23.7 million in loans into the community, creating 1,152 units of affordable housing, four healthy food outlets, five community facilities, five community businesses, and 2,685 jobs in the process.
Through its Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), SCCLF finances the construction and renovation of healthy food enterprises including (not limited to) grocery stores, corner stores, farmers markets, food hubs, and mobile markets selling healthy food in underserved communities. SCCLF staff has been specially trained by national experts such as UpLift Solutions and US Treasury on underwriting healthy food loans. Since its healthy food financing initiative began in 2011, SCCLF has underwritten and approved over $3.1 million in healthy food loans.
HFFI Projects and Impacts
SBFO Columbia (Save A Lot Grocery, Honor Capital): Urban supermarket located in Columbia, SC. Developed by Honor Capital, a veteran owned business. The 12,000 SF grocery store is located in a building owned by the Columbia Housing Authority, which leased the space to Honor Capital at a favorable rate. $500,000 in financing used for machinery and equipment to upfit the store. The neighborhood, redeveloped by the Columbia Housing Authority in the early 2000s, incorporates housing and access to community services like a credit union, grocery store, and health center.
Second Harvest: Urban food bank located in Charlotte, NC but serving counties in SC. SCCLF and Reinvestment Fund were leverage lenders on this $13M NMTC deal. Second Harvest expanded its facility, nearly doubling its size. The expansion included two parcels of land, one owned by the City of Charlotte and one owned by Mecklenburg County. Favorable lease rates will be offered for use of both parcels. SCCLF loaned $1M into this project.
Market on Main: Rural market located in Lake View, SC. $75,000 for renovation, working capital, and machinery and equipment. Lake View, where the project is located, has been crippled by losing its grocery store (IGA Supermarket) due to mismanagement. Lake View was once a thriving small town that supported three small grocery stores. After some industry moved out, it is a community in need of jobs and a food supply. The closest store to purchase fresh meats, produce, dairy and dry goods is 10 miles away and in the state of NC. Market on Main, a 2080 sf facility, will provide better quality nutritional options for its customers and community at an affordable price.
Honor Capital (Save A Lot Grocery), Aiken: Supermarket in Aiken SC (population roughly 30k) developed by Honor Capital, a veteran owned business. The 12,000 sf facility was financed with $400k of SCCLF funds and equity from the developer. Funds were used for store update, reset & cleaning, machinery & equipment maintenance, restocking inventory and working capital.
Elijah Craig, LLC (Save A Lot Grocery), Florence: Urban Supermarket. 15,530 sf $500,000 financing for machinery, equipment & fixtures, inventory and working capital. City of Florence gave a $300,000 grant to the project; the Housing Authority owns the land where the grocery store will locate. This project is part of the downtown revitalization strategy, which includes a food overlay district.
Source of money: HFFI CDFI-Financial Assistance Program; Fiscal year(s): 2011