SBA Grant Provides Tools to Launch or Grow Local Businesses along I-95 Corridor
ECI-Find New Markets is looking to help companies along the I-95 Corridor identify new markets to strengthen their business and create or sustain jobs.
ECI received a grant through the Small Business Administration to work with 10 companies along the I-95 corridor to strengthen or develop their business. The grant was provided through support from Rep. Jim Clyburn, whose 6th Congressional District involves many of the counties along the I-95 Corridor.
In addition to market research, ECI also will provide technical assistance to additional companies where possible and refer companies to other resource providers that can help them with a range of challenges from business plans to export markets.
The grant does not require any matching funds from the company and is not limited to manufacturing companies.
“One of our goals with this grant is to help companies to diversify their business in this challenging economy,” said Fred Monk, president of ECI-Find New Markets. “We are very interested in helping businesses in rural areas where preservation of jobs is as important as creation of new jobs. Of course, where possible we hope the outcome is both.”
“We will be working with local economic development groups to identify companies that can best use our services,” said Monk, who also chairs the South Carolina Coalition for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
ECI works and partners with a number of key service providers that can be a resource to South Carolina companies, such as the S.C. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the South Carolina Small Business Development Centers, the South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Service Corps of Retired Executives, the Center for Entrepreneurship at Francis Marion University as well as the Small Business Administration to name a few.
ECI-Find New Markets is a Columbia-based non-profit organization that was established in 1997 to help small to medium-sized companies across the state to identify new domestic and international markets. It is an affiliate of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, which helped develop the ECI concept of drawing on the talented graduate students at the University of South Carolina Moore School of Business to perform research for the companies. Over the past 15 years, ECI has worked with more than 1,500 companies.
For more information contact Fred Monk at 803-255-2623 or visit ECI’s website at