The Richland County Foundation Board of Trustees recently approved funding for a number of economic development projects.As part of the Foundation’s $1.1 million, five-year economic development plan, the board approved two scale-up projects to be managed through Braintree Business Development Center.The Phoenix Brewing Company received funding to purchase additional equipment and supplies to maximize the productivity of its brewing systems. Market Brothers, a local brokerage firm, received funding to add an executive sales director to its team.The scale-up evergreen fund is a pool of money to help minimize a local company’s risk by fronting part of the cost of external services. Scale-up companies typically are at least 3 years old, make $2 to $50 million in annual revenue and employ 10-99 people. Target outcomes for the funding include increasing jobs, payroll and fixed asset capital investment in the region.In addition, the board approved a grant request for a business attraction plan from the Richland Community Development Group. The plan includes training for the RCDG staff, data collection, architectural master plans of high priority business sites and fees to display at business attraction trade shows and events.“Richland County is at a pivotal point in its economic evolution," Foundation President Brady Groves said. "The groundwork has been laid, key people have been hired, organizations are working together and we are now posed to make significant strides.”A Strategic Review Committee comprised of Foundation board members and community leaders are tracking the progress and monitoring metrics of the economic plan to ensure positive outcomes in the county. The project will evolve and be adapted as the plan’s objectives are met, or not, over the next couple of years.* The Foundation, Richland County Jobs and Family Services and private donors funded a director of workforce development and a director of business retention and expansion to work for the Richland Community Development Group.* A scale-up evergreen fund provides resources to companies that meet certain growth criteria to fund projects such as product development, improved manufacturing processes and talent recruitment.* An Entrepreneurial Alliance was formed and is led by the Braintree Business Development Center in cooperation with numerous other organizations. The alliance’s mission is to assist entrepreneurs in our community.* A new website, was launched to track the economic health of the local community. The goal of Richland Vital Signs is to inform and inspire economic growth and opportunities. It is a dashboard to provide data and statistical analysis to track outcomes.

* The Foundation published a Richland County Resource Guide for Entrepreneurs. Links to and the resource guide are available on several community websites including Richland County Foundation, a not-for- profit 501(c) (3) organization, was established in 1945 as a way for individuals to pool and invest their gifts for the long-term good of Richland County and its residents.The Foundation helps people in Richland County give back to their community by investing their gifts for charity wisely so that grants can be made to improve the quality of life for all of the county’s citizens. Working together with donors, the Foundation meets important needs today and plans for a strong future.For more information contact Maura Teynor, chief advancement officer at 419-525-3020

Source: Richland County Foundation making strides on 5-year economic development strategy. RCDG, Braintree play roles URL: