The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments (BCDCOG) Economic Development Department is dedicated to driving equitable and sustainable economic growth throughout the entire region. The BCDCOG has a range of roles and multiple tools to assist in regional economic development, including:
- Economic Development District
- Revolving Loan Fund
- Local Development District
- One Region Roadmap
- Community Development Block Grants
Success is cultivated through collaboration with an extensive network of partners, including local governments, businesses, nonprofits, educational institutions and more. By working together with these stakeholders, the BCDCOG aims to create a thriving, equitable economy that not only benefits our residents today but also ensures a prosperous future for all.
For questions or assistance contact Ryan Wilcox, Regional Economic Development Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 843-529-2709.
Economic Development District
The BCDCOG is the Economic Development District (EDD) for the region as designated by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). In this role the BCDCOG works with partners to provide support and develop projects to obtain EDA funding. The BCDCOG creates and maintains the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) as required by the EDA. The CEDS is developed by utilizing a regional planning process that results in a five-year strategic plan for regional economic development. The strategy is then used to develop, qualify and prioritize projects that are eligible for EDA funding.
The EDA has a wide variety of programs and funding opportunities available ranging from the annual Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance programs to regional funding opportunities. Click here for a full list of EDA funding opportunities.
Revolving Loan Fund
The Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) is for businesses looking to create or safeguard jobs. The RLF offers low-interest, essential funding to businesses for working capital, equipment, land, real estate, and facility improvements. Its impressive track record includes $6.3 million in loans to 51 local businesses, resulting in 2,300 jobs retained or created. Click here to learn more about BCDCOG’s RLF program.
Local Development District
The BCDCOG was designated as the Local Development District (LDD) for the Southeastern Crescent Regional Commission (SCRC) in October 2023. The SCRC is an economic development partnership agency of the federal government and seven state governments. SCRC’s mission is to build sustainable communities and strengthen economic growth across the Southeast Region. Similar to EDDs, LDDs assist in the planning, developing and implementation of projects seeking SCRC funding.
Annually, the SCRC designates counties and isolated areas into four categories: Distressed Counties, Transitional Counties, Attainment Counties, and Isolated Areas of Distress. These designations are based on economic criteria such as poverty rates, unemployment rates, and outmigration trends, utilizing an index-based county economic classification system.
Eligible projects for SCRC funding must originate from distressed or transitional counties or isolated areas of distress within attainment counties. Berkeley and Dorchester counties fall under the classification of transitional counties, making projects throughout these counties eligible for SCRC funding. Charleston County, although classified as an attainment county, has specific isolated areas of distress that could qualify for SCRC support. Click here for a full list of funding opportunities.
One Region Roadmap
The One Region Roadmap (ORR) is an economic recovery and resiliency plan for the region. The ORR was created through extensive engagement with a diverse range of stakeholders, including residents, businesses, academic institutions, nonprofits, and government entities. Through surveys, focus groups, and discussions, key priorities emerged in the form of six action areas: Affordability, Global Fluency, Infrastructure, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Talent, and Quality of Place. These action areas were guided by two overarching themes, Equity and Economic Momentum, which resonate through each of the action areas.
The implementation of the plan is now underway, with various organizations in the region taking a lead role in each action area. The BCDCOG is one of the three founding Joint Venture Partners, alongside the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce and Charleston Regional Development Alliance. Additionally, it serves as the co-lead agent for infrastructure focused on roads, highway and transit needs. Click here to learn more about the ORR and get involved in its implementation.
Community Development Block Grants
The BCDCOG plays a role in applying for and distributing funds allocated by the S.C. Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, with a focus on enhancing employment opportunities, especially for the economically disadvantaged in Dorchester County. Berkeley and Charleston counties, the Town of Summerville and City of North Charleston are “entitlement” communities and receive CDBG funding directly from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Like community development projects, CDBG economic development projects must meet one of the three national objectives. They must:
- Benefit low-and-moderate income persons
- Aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight
- Meet other urgent needs that pose a serious threat to a community’s health or welfare and cannot be resolved through other financial means
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Regional Economic Development Specialist
( 843 ) 529- 2709
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