ArtsGrowSC offers savings and loan programs for artists

The South Carolina Arts Commission and CommunityWorks, a community development finance institution based in Greenville, are collaborating on a program designed to increase opportunities for artisans to develop and grow arts-based business ventures that contribute to the $9.2 billion generated by the state’s core creative industries. The ArtsGrowSC program will combine the strengths of both organizations to offer resources for qualifying artists, including a savings program, micro-loans, business venture loans, matching grants, personalized coaching and workshops.

ArtsGrowSC is comprised of three components targeted to artists based upon their locale and business readiness:

Individual Development Account (IDA) for Artisans – This matched savings program will initially focus on Spartanburg-area artisans. Those who qualify will commit to saving an agreed-upon amount of money over six months. CommunityWorks will then match the savings at a 3:1 rate; an artisan who saves $1,000 will receive a match of $3,000. Funds may be used to purchase long-term assets such as equipment or to open a small business. The Chapman Cultural Center is a partner in the IDA program. 

IDA to Artists Ventures Initiative (AVI) – Artisans who take part in the initial IDA program may then qualify for the IDA to AVI program. Artisans receive personalized coaching from the Arts Commission and may apply for an Arts Commission matching quarterly grant to receive business training from a recognized business development source. Additionally, the Arts Commission will help in preparing the Artists Ventures Initiative grant application.

Artists Ventures Initiative Business Builder Loan Program – Artists are invited to expand their ventures with a business loan of up to $15,000 from CommunityWorks. The micro-loan could be leveraged with an IDA account. Previous Artists Ventures Initiative grantees receive priority; however, any artist may apply. (Previous AVI grantees may apply for an Arts Commission AVI-Expansion matching grant of up to $1,500 to help with application and closing costs.)

Find out more online or contact Joy Young, 803.734.8203.

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