Coastal Community Foundation headquarters in North Charleston | Photo credit: CCF Facebook

Coastal Community Foundation (CCF) is now geared to invest in minority-owned and small businesses and provide more resources to develop affordable housing thanks to a $2.174 million grant announced today.

“By expanding opportunities for small and minority-owned businesses and increasing access to affordable housing, we will give people in the region the chance to improve their financial situation,” said CCF President and CEO Darrin Goss. “The three keys to increasing economic mobility are: affordable housing, access to higher paying jobs and opportunity for entrepreneurialism. This grant can improve all three of those areas in the region.”

The donor-advised Truist Charitable Fund of the The Winston-Salem Foundation administered the grant to CCF to expand its Place-Based Impact Investing in its nine-county service area in coastal South Carolina. The fund has connections to Truist Bank, which is headquartered in Winston-Salem, N.C.

“This means we will be actively investing in businesses that achieve a measurable financial return as well as a positive, social impact,” Goss told the Charleston City Paper. “This will focus on programs that expand opportunities for small and minority-owned businesses and give housing developers access to resources they need to build affordable housing in rural and under-resourced communities.”

The new funding will go toward providing education and resources for aspiring business owners, as well as capital to get new businesses off the ground, Goss said, giving people the ability to improve their own financial situation while creating jobs.

“Not every entrepreneur has access to loan opportunities through traditional lenders,” he said. “CCF has supported organizations like CommunityWorks that provide low-cost loans and small business lending opportunities to open the door to entrepreneurialism for more people.”

While the funding hasn’t been allocated to any specific organizations yet, CCF is currently working with its community partner Metanoia to create 30 new affordable housing units in the Liberty Hill neighborhood in North Charleston, Goss said. 

The timeline and scale of investment will be dependent on our community partners,” he said. “Our community partners will have opportunities to apply for grants out of this fund now and into the future — that is the power of endowed philanthropy through CCF.”

CCF is also one of the largest investors in the Opportunity Center in North Charleston, which houses workforce development services, small business support, legal services, housing support and coworking space for low-wealth communities in the Tri-County.  

“It’s no secret there’s an affordable housing shortage in our region,” Goss said. “Creating affordable housing means more people can build generational wealth through homeownership. Plus, when people spend less of their monthly income on housing they have more to spend in our communities.”

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