Our Programs
The Community and Economic Development Department provides resources to help local governments and their agencies to boost the local economy. The COG administers and/or provides technical assistance for federal grant programs for the Economic Development Administration, Community Development Block Grants, and others. It also administers the Lowcountry Regional HOME Consortium (LRHC) program to promote and increase affordable housing in the region. LCOG has joined the South Carolina Revolving Loan Fund (SCRFL) to assist start-up and existing small businesses. Lowcountry Regional Development Corporation (LRDC) is a 501 (c)(6) organization used to support economic development and community development activities in the region. 

Our staff provides technical assistance to local governments with carrying out activities that address community, economic, and housing development needs that benefit low to moderate income (LMI) persons, aid in the prevention or elimination of slum and blighted conditions, or meet other urgent community needs that pose a serious and immediate threat to the public health and welfare. The C&ED staff works as a liaison between the unit of local government, funding sources, citizens, and other community based organizations to bring together resources to improve communities.

Our staff assistance includes project planning, development, grant writing, and grant administration. The C&ED staff also assists with meeting regulatory compliance such as Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA), the Fair Housing Act, environmental review, ADA/Section 504 Rehabilitation Act, and other requirements.


Our Services

Needs Assessments
We meet at least annually with staff and the community in a formal public hearing process to facilitate a prioritization of community and economic development needs for our each of our member governments which results in a prioritized list of projects that a community wants to pursue. We will then match the needs of the community to the grant funding available to maximize the opportunities.

Project Development and Potential Funding 
We meet with our localities to discuss short and long term goals for the community. We consider the needs assessment priorities, comprehensive plans, sales tax initiatives, and other information to see where we can identify project oppurtunites and partner with other funding agencies to maximize the use of local funds. 

Grant Writing and Management
Once we make decisions on where to pursue funding, we will help you do just that by writing grant applications on the localities behalf with assistance from key staff at the locality. If the project is awarded we will manage the grant on their behalf.  Most of the time this is at no direct cost to the locality.  There are funds budgeted in the grant to cover the cost of writing the application and managing the grant.  We currently have about $15.7M in grant funds that are used in grant projects in this region.

Resources, Community and Economic
HOME Consortium
The HOME Consortium was established in 2006 by MOU and now includes all localities. Beaufort County is the lead entity. This consortium allows direct allocation of housing funds to be managed locally. The primary activities are single family rehab, new construction (through CHDOs) and down payment assistance. There is an 8 member committee that makes recommendations to the full board related to projects, reviews and approves the annual action plans and CAPER. A 5-year consolidated plan governs the program. The annual allocation requires a 25% match provided by our four counties.

Lowcountry Regional Development Corporation (LRDC)
LRDC is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit organization that was established in 1989 as an economic development tool to assist in financial packaging of economic development projects. It has acted primarily as a shell corporation in landlord /tenant arrangements on behalf of the local governments in the region.  The Executive Committee serves as the board for the LRDC. Sabrena Graham is the Managing Agent and Michelle Knight serves as the Recording Secretary. 

Small Business Revolving Loan Fund (RLF)
The Small Business RLF was funded by the Economic Development Administration and SC Budget and Control Board. It is still active in our region, but is run by our sister agency, Catawba COG. We can make referrals and facilitate meetings on your behalf.

Lowcountry Economic Development District (LEDD)
The Lowcountry Economic Development District was established in 1975 and is responsible for the development of the now called CEDS which places the region in a position to pursue Economic Development Administration funds to support things like business expansion, infrastructure expansion for business, industrial park development where there are company commitments to locate in play. All EDA projects are recommended to go through the LEDD because applicants have to get a confirmation that their projects are consistent with the current CEDS documents.

 
We Strive To Meet The Community's Needs
Lowcountry Council of Governments does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or familial status in the admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its federally assisted programs or activities.  If you feel you have been discriminated against, contact Rhonda Davis, Citizen Participation Coordinator at 843-473-3972 TTY 711 or rdavis@lowcountrycog.org for more information.

 If you need additional assistance:

Fair Housing Act –  prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (famililes with children) or disability.
Section 504 (Americans with Disabilities Act) Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
Limited English Proficiency  Act Executive Order 13166 (EO 13166) challenges federal agencies to and those receiving assistance from the federal government must take reasonable steps to ensure that LEP persons have meaningful access to the programs, services, and information those entities provide.   LEP Fact Sheet     
Title VI - Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits
discrimination based upon race, color, and national origin.  

Accessibility
LCOG strives to make all of its web resources accessible to anyone with disabilities in accordance with federal law. If you have a problem accessing the content on this Web site, please click on the "Contact Us" link at the top of any page on this Web site. We will then work to make the Web page or feature accessible, or to provide the information in a format that is accessible.

Banner Photo: St. Helena Library, Beaufort