​Economic development activities eligible for funding

Professional Services

Professional services including, but not limited to, developing master plans; providing analysis or materials for marketing, branding or promoting cities and their local businesses; or engineering.


Assets including, but not limited to, publicly owned water or sewer projects; wayfinding signage or placemaking projects.


Programs developed by a city or in partnership with others including, but not limited to, downtown development or revitalization; business incubators or small business assistance.


Any city that is a member of the Municipal Association of South Carolina may submit a grant application.

Evaluation criteria listed in order of priority

  • Anticipated economic development impact, including expected return on investment and the need for the proposed project
  • Level of innovation, sustainability, replication and measurability
  • Successful track record of the city for executing similar projects
  • Financial need of the city

The grant award committee will consist of current or former government professionals with local government or grant management experience.

Match requirements

Cities must provide a grant match either in cash or through in-kind contributions. The required match is based on the applicant’s population according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data. Grant funds are disbursed only after a proportionate amount of the required match is invested in the project.

Population          Required Match

1 – 4,999                        5 percent of the grant award
5,000 – 9,999             10 percent of the grant award
10,000 and above    15 percent of the grant award


To ensure grant funds are used according to Hometown Economic Development Grant guidelines, grantees must provide documentation to the Association throughout the project’s duration and at its completion. The Association will provide guidance on documentation at the time the grant is awarded.

Association staff will conduct on-site reviews of all completed projects.

Application guidelines

  1. Each year, the Association’s board of directors determines the total amount of grant funds available to be awarded. In 2017, $250,000 will be awarded. The maximum individual grant award is $25,000. The Association will disburse funds using a drawdown process and after a proportionate amount of the required match is invested in the project.
  2. Applications for grant funds are only accepted online. The deadline for submission is 5 p.m. on September 29, 2017.
  3. The Association may award a grant less than the amount for which the city applied. The city should indicate if it will accept a lesser amount.
  4. A city may be awarded an economic development grant once every two years.
  5. Grant funds must be budgeted to be spent within 24 months of award.
  6. Cities may use the grant funds as a match for other projects. However, the other projects’ funding must be secured or committed within 12 months of the Association’s grant being awarded.
  7. Grant funds may not be used to pay for expenses related to administering the grant.
  8. Cities may apply for funding of a project that incorporates one or more eligible activities.
  9. Grant applications must include all requested information. Omitting an item will disqualify the application from consideration.
  10. Each city can submit only one application each year.
  11. The mayor must sign and submit a resolution of council in support of the application. A sample resolution may be downloaded.
  12. The Municipal Association of South Carolina reserves the right to not award grant funds to any or all cities.
  13. The deadline for submission is 5 p.m. on September 29, 2017. Grant awards will be announced no later than October 31, 2017.

For questions, contact Scott Slatton at 803.933.1203 or