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New $40 million fund formed to support South Carolina agribusinesses

Christina Lee Knauss //August 17, 2023//

New $40 million fund formed to support South Carolina agribusinesses

Christina Lee Knauss //August 17, 2023//

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Agribusinesses around South Carolina can now benefit from a new $40 million fund designed to help them expand and improve operations.

The South Carolina General Assembly has appropriated $40 million to launch the new incentive program, known as the Growing Agribusiness Fund, according to a news release. The fund is meant to help existing South Carolina businesses engaged in the processing, packaging manufacturing, distribution, storage and transportation of agricultural products, in turn providing more markets for agriculture producers.

“This fund will be significant in opening up new opportunities for South Carolina farmers and agribusinesses,” said South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers. “I applaud the General Assembly for investing in the future of agriculture in our state in such a meaningful way.”

According to a 2022 study by Darla Moore School of Business research economist Joey Von Nessen, South Carolina currently imports $11.7 billion in agribusiness products annually from outside the state, the release said. If this demand were captured by in-state operations, it would increase the total value of agribusiness by 23 percent, the study said.

Examples of potential products could include increasing the capacity of a vegetable canning operation with additional equipment; expanding an in-state seafood processor to capture more local seafood production; modernizing a poultry processing plant to improve efficiency, in turn increasing demand for locally grown feed and creating opportunities for poultry growers and helping an existing packaging business open a second facility to produce a new line of sustainable food packaging.

Agribusinesses considering expanding and investing at least $3 million in their current location or establishing an additional location in South Carolina are encouraged to contact the South Carolina Department of Agriculture to discuss their project and whether they quality for the Growing Agribusiness Fund or another program, according to the release.

Agribusinesses in Tier 3 and 4 counties (i.e., counties designated by the state’s Department of Revenue as having higher unemployment and lower income) and those that anticipate creating or consuming more agricultural products grown in South Carolina are highly encouraged to apply.

More information about the Growing Agribusiness Fund and other incentives for doing business in South Carolina can be found online at