Center wins $50,000 federal grant for Promise Zone training

Better South President Andy Brack spoke last year at a Promise Zone organizational luncheon.

Better South President Andy Brack spoke last year at a Promise Zone organizational luncheon.

AUG. 17, 2016  |  A $50,000 grant for technical assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will allow the Center for a Better South to develop and implement a new entrepreneurial training program in the S.C. Lowcountry Promise Zone.

“What great news this funding is for people who live in the Promise Zone,” said Center President Andy Brack.  “It will help us identify community needs in each of the Promise Zone counties for economic development training and then to target the kind of classes  on entrepreneurship that people want so they can start businesses and improve their communities.”

Between now and the end of the year, the Center will hold about a dozen meetings in Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties to identify and assess needs.  Starting in January, it expects to offer free training opportunities to help communities build economic capacity, Brack said.

The Rural Business Development Grant also will allow the Center to develop a broad database of individuals and organizations that can be shared throughout the Promise Zone to connect people in new ways and to target training activities that will strengthen communities economically.

The year-long project also includes a $5,000 baseline statistical study funded by the Center that will offer economic, educational and other demographic indicators to allow the Promise Zone to measure its progress.

The Center for a Better South was a leading driver of the area’s combined effort to apply for and be successful in winning the federal designation for the region to be a Promise Zone.  You can get updates on the Promise Zone at its website:  http://www.SCPromiseZone.org.

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