The LDC is a not-for-profit organization whose history began in 1979 with it serving as a conduit for funds for large federally-financed projects in the City of Charleston. Over the years, the organization’s focus transitioned into fostering economic development of the greater Charleston region, and today, the LDC serves as a funding resource to small businesses in Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, and Dorchester Counties – including the rural areas. Through its many partnerships with funding resources, the LDC is able to provide a variety of loan programs that can assist with most needs small businesses could have.
The LDC does not compete with the traditional commercial lending sector; it works with banks and other financial institutions. A business can only qualify for a LDC loan if conventional financing is not available. However, the LDC does have minimum credit criteria and enjoys a very low default rate with its borrowers.
Small businesses in the greater Charleston region have used the LDC’s loan programs for start-up, expansion or business continuation financing. Also with the LDC, minority-owned, women-owned and other disadvantaged businesses are able to access funds they would not normally have available.
LDC loans are used for virtually any business purpose, including inventory and equipment purchases, leasehold improvements, working capital, the improvement of real estate and, in some cases, the purchase of real estate.
Timing means everything in the business world and the same is true with the LDC. Every loan request is considered by the LDC Board of Directors, which meets the first week of each month. Applications are accepted through the first business day of each month for review at the following month’s meeting.
If you are a Small Business Owner in the Charleston area and need funding sources to start your business or help your business grow, the LDC can help guide you through the process. In addition to alternative lending, it also offers technical business planning assistance. Staff will review your business plan, make any suggestions necessary and help you find the appropriate lending source.
It is the LDC’s mission to be an economic development organization with a strategy for offering economic opportunity combining human needs with revitalization (economic and physical) needs within defined service areas; to strive to eliminate blight; to maintain the identity of Charleston and the surrounding service areas.
Annual Report for Fiscal Year Ending September 30 2010
(Adobe PDF Format)