Press Release

SouthernCarolina Alliance Assists Communities through Downtown Strategies Program

SouthernCarolina Alliance partners with Retail Strategies/Downtown Strategies

CONTACT: Katelyn Little
Retail Strategies

BIRMINGHAM, AL (November 28, 2023) – Retail Strategies is pleased to announce grant funding from USDA to support the revitalization efforts in two SouthernCarolina Alliance communities, Bamberg and Blackville. These communities will each benefit from a transformative Downtown Strategic Visioning Workshop and specialized training for small business owners, made possible by the grant.

Kathy Rhoad, Director of Strategic Initiatives at SouthernCarolina Alliance, expressed her excitement about this initiative. “At SouthernCarolina Alliance, our mission is to foster economic development, growth, and prosperity in our seven-county region by attracting industries and creating jobs. The Downtown Strategies program will support that mission by enhancing two communities with great industrial sites. We are thrilled to receive USDA funding and partner with Retail Strategies to provide both Bamberg and Blackville with tools to build vibrant downtowns and support local businesses.”

The Downtown Visioning Workshop will serve as a platform for residents, business owners, and stakeholders in Bamberg and Blackville to collaboratively envision and plan the future of their downtown areas. This program aligns with SouthernCarolina Alliance‘s mission to create sustainable economic growth and enhance the quality of life in the region.

Additionally, small business owners in these communities will receive specialized training to strengthen their operations and thrive in the local market. This holistic approach aims to breathe new life into the heart of these communities and promote economic resilience.

As part of Retail Strategies’ commitment to working in rural communities throughout the U.S., customized five-year action plans will be delivered to Bamberg and Blackville and the downtown team will assist in driving meaningful change. The USDA grant will play a pivotal role in helping Bamberg and Blackville realize their downtown revitalization goals.

“Retail Strategies and SouthernCarolina Alliance have been long-standing partners and could not be more excited to receive grant funding for the third year in a row,” said Lacey Bacchus, Senior Director of Community Partnerships at Retail Strategies.

“This investment not only revitalizes physical spaces but also empowers community leaders to shape the future of their downtown alongside our team of downtown practitioners.”

Lacey Bacchus
SouthernCarolina Alliance

About SouthernCarolina Alliance

SCA is the economic development alliance in South Carolina that represents the most rural economic development region of the state. The organization assists existing industries with expansion and new industries with start-ups, serving as a liaison to local, state, and federal governments and allies. SCA’s mission is to sustain and create jobs that will improve the quality of life in the seven counties in its region through the ideals of cooperation and regionalism. For more information visit,

About Downtown Strategies

Downtown Strategies, a division of Retail Strategies, exists to provide realistic, implementable strategies to communities for revitalizing their downtowns. Led by a team of former downtown revitalization practitioners and real estate experts, our combination of real-world experience, plus expertise in real estate and retail uniquely qualify us to assist communities with backfilling vacancies, increasing tourism, and enhancing the sense of place in their downtowns. Serving rural communities in 25 states, Downtown Strategies is the leading national firm for downtown revitalization planning, emphasizing real estate and retail.

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