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The Municipal Association of South Carolina has awarded Hometown Economic Development Grants to 10 cities and towns. The $25,000 grants* are intended to support economic development projects that will make a positive impact on a municipality's quality of life. The grant program also promotes and recognizes innovation in economic development practices.

The Municipal Association board of directors created this grant program to fund projects that will produce measurable results, can be maintained over time and illustrate best practices for that can be replicated in other cities.

Anderson —"Shock This Block"
"Shock This Block" is an initiative to use creative placemaking strategies to create a unified, site-specific development plan for downtown Anderson.
Contact: Beth Batson, 864.934.3054

Belton — "Belton and Beyond"
"Belton and Beyond" is a partnership between the city and the Belton Alliance that will develop an exercise area and trailhead near the downtown. This will provide a free, family-friendly environment for residents of all ages to gather together and get healthy. The trailhead will be the entry point to a walking trail connecting the downtown to the Belton Recreation Hub and Leda Poore Sports Complex.
Contact: Eleanor Dorn, 864.940.3913

Estill — Demolition of Blighted Buildings
The Town of Estill will leverage its grant funds with a Community Development Block Grant to demolish 26 vacant, dilapidated housing structures and the 21,000-square-foot former Best Manufacturing building.
Contact: Barbara Johnson, 843.473.3951

Johnston ­— "Revitalizing the Peach Capital"
The Town of Johnston will use its grant to fund the redevelopment of the former police station as a focal point for visitors and residents and revitalize landscaping downtown.
Contact: Frances Quarles, 803.275.2488

Lancaster — Downtown Farmers Market and Open Air Pavilion
The City of Lancaster will pay for professional services related to developing and producing design plans for a multipurpose downtown farmers market and open-air pavilion.
Contact: Flip Hutfles, 803.289.1453

Landrum — Historical and Railroad Museum Additions
The City of Landrum intends to acquire and develop an unused passenger rail car into a railroad and historical museum that will sit next to the restored historic Landrum Depot.
Contact: Rich Caplan, 864.457.3000

McClellanville — Securing the Future of McClellanville's Working Waterfront
Through partnerships that include the Town of McClellanville, the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, the East Cooper Land Trust and Carolina Common Enterprise, the town will develop a master plan to secure the future of the town's working waterfront and seafood industry.
Contact: Michelle McClellan, 843.887.3712

Pickens — #TakeMeToPickens
Building on the success of its Doodle Trail, the City of Pickens will create the Doodle Park Mural and also expand the Turtles on the Town campaign, which promotes Pickens and its small businesses.
Contact: Becky Horace, 864.952.9660

Spartanburg — African-American Business Development Initiative
In collaboration with several partners, the City of Spartanburg will implement a business development initiative that will specifically promote the development and support of African-American-owned businesses and businesses seeking to locate within African-American communities.
Contact: Patty Bock, 864.596.2972

West Columbia — Interactive City Park
In partnership with EngenuitySC, the City of West Columbia will use grant funds to develop infrastructure within its Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible interactive park to allow it to host music performances, art displays, life-size checkers and chess boards, and other attractions to support local artists.
Contact: Brian Carter, 803.939.8600

Each municipality will receive $25,000* to implement a project ranging from community master plans and retail recruitment to downtown revitalization and tourism development. Cities and towns receiving the grant must provide matching funds. Matching amounts, determined by a city's population, will range from 5 percent to 15 percent of the grant award. Cities can use in-kind contributions or other grant funds as their match. Fifty-three municipalities applied for the grants.

An awards committee of former and current local government and state agency professionals evaluated the grant applications. Cities and towns receiving a grant must submit reports about the progress and successes of each grant-funded project and provide financial details of how the grant funds were used.

*The City of Pickens requested and received a $20,000 grant instead of the $25,000 amount.