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BCDCOG Chips In to Fuel Growth of Lowcountry Kettle

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The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments (BCDCOG) continues to fuel business growth and job creation in the region as evidenced by the $250,000 in business development funding provided to Lowcountry Kettle, a popular local potato chip company. 

The funding allowed Lowcountry Kettle to expand its North Charleston production facility, resulting in the company adding two new flavors to its product line, Bulls Bay Sea Salt and Carolina Reaper, and is expected to create 25 new jobs.

“The BCDCOG exists to connect businesses, communities, and individuals to critical resources in order to help them succeed,” said BCDCOG Executive Director Ron Mitchum. “We’re excited to chip in and provide funding to local businesses to help fuel their growth and create jobs right here in the Tri-County.” 

Since being awarded the funding, Lowcountry Kettle has been picked up in 45 Whole Foods locations throughout the Southeast and recently entered into a partnership with Danny McBride’s Rough House Pictures production company.

“We couldn’t be happier with the support BCDCOG has provided our company,” said Lowcountry Kettle Co-owner Andrew Trumbull. “When we needed a loan to accelerate our business, BCDCOG was there for us when it mattered the most. We highly encourage any small business to speak with BCDCOG about their financial needs.”

Funding is still available for area businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the recently extended CARES Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) that has provided critical support to additional local businesses. In addition, the BCDCOG has hired a loan administrator to assist applicants throughout the entire funding process from application to closing.

Local food truck owner and operator, LaToya Gardner received funding through the RLF to help with operating expenses and job creation and retention during the pandemic. 

“We were looking to expand our Food Truck business and we were made aware of the BCDCOG CARES: Revolving Loan Fund,” said LaToya Gardner, owner, Gardner Gains, LLC. “The loan application process was easy and efficient with BCDCOG. Our Loan Administrator Melanie was responsive and proactive in walking us through the paperwork and the loan was funded in a timely fashion. We highly recommend BCDCOG as a resource to small business owners in the local community.”

The BCDCOG extended the award flexibilities to the CARES Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) until June 30, 2022. The RLF was created via an award from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) and is aimed at stimulating long-term, private-sector investment and employment in the region.

Eligible businesses seeking assistance should operate in Berkeley, Charleston or Dorchester counties and be able to provide evidence of revenue loss since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Business owners may apply for a loan ranging from $10,000- $100,000, with the option to defer interest for up to one year. Applications will be accepted through the award end date of July 24, 2022, or until the funds are exhausted.

“Thankfully, the world looks a lot different than it did a year ago,” continued Mitchum. “As business owners reopen and seek to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are here to assist with funding needs to help create and retain job opportunities in the region via the Revolving Loan Fund program. This fund is fully in line with the BCDCOG’s regional economic recovery strategy and allows us to effectively assist in the private-sector recovery.”

EDA is offering award flexibilities in response to the impact of COVID-19 and the need for RLFs to provide credit quickly and efficiently. These include:

  • No minimum interest rate
  • No requirement to leverage additional capital
  • No requirement to demonstrate credit is otherwise not available 
  • Deferment of accrued interest
  • Reduced or eliminated collateral requirements

Loan considerations and reduced associated costs include:

LOAN CONSIDERATIONS

  • Evidence of loss in revenue (strongly suggested)
  • Years of business operation
  • Employee retention plan
  • Business sector

ASSOCIATED COSTS

  • $25 application fee (may be waived)
  • Up to 1.5% origination fee
  • 0.5% annual service fee

BCDCOG Loan Administrator Melanie Pasheluk can be reached at (843) 529-2573 or melaniep@bcdcog.com. To learn more about BCDCOG Cares Revolving Loan Fund or to begin the application process, visit www.bcdcog.com/bcdcogcares.

ABOUT BCDCOG:
The BCDCOG is a voluntary association of, by and for local governments, and was established to assist Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester county leaders in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit, and coordinating for sound regional development. BCDCOG’s purpose is to strengthen the individual and collective power of local governments and to help them recognize regional opportunities, eliminate unnecessary duplication, and make joint decisions. For the latest on BCDCOG, visit www.bcdcog.com, like us on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @BDCCoG.

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