Freedom Mobility Plan Presentation Recap – February 24, 2021

    Freedom Mobility Plan Presentation Recap – February 24, 2021

    Michael Forman, GSP International Airport

    Thank You Sponsors

    Milliken & Re-Wa

    Freedom Mobility Plan Presentation

    Michael Hildebrand, Executive Director, Upstate Alliance

    Matthew Rehnborg, Transit Planner, Greenlink

    Q & A

    Q: Why not evaluate every neighborhood that has an existing shape file?

    A: Greenlink has an established relationship with the Nicholtown neighborhood leadership which is active in addressing infrastructure components. Nicholtown also has a historical record of community engagement and activities. The committee wanted to use time and resources wisely to produce a successful demonstration.

    Q: Do you see using this as part of a governmental approval process for projects in new and existing neighborhoods?

    A: Hopefully in the future a system can be developed that is beneficial to municipalities and counties. The UMA’s Active and Livable Task Force is currently working on a short trip survey (two miles or less) to determine how community members they take short trips and how these trips may be improved.

    Chat comment: Proximity to schools could enhance opportunities.

    Please provide feedback on the Freedom Mobility Plan to Michael Hildebrand of the Upstate Mobility Alliance at and /or Matthew Rehnborg at

    Upstate Comprehensive Plan Review Update

    Phil Lindler, Greenwood City/County Planning Director

    Kyle Dool, Clemson intern, is working on phase two to include transportation and water/sewer services and will present final findings in early May. Please email Phil at or Justine Allen at with any questions about the comprehensive plan review.

    Next Meeting – March 24 on Spartanburg’s Northside Initiative

    Registration Link

    Greenville’s Future Begins with Early Childhood Investments

    Greenville’s Future Begins with Early Childhood Investments

    Derek Lewis, Greenville County First Steps Executive Director

    Greenville First Steps recently completed a 5-year strategic planning process. The primary goal: to measurably improve school readiness opportunities for children throughout Greenville County. This two year planning process included stakeholder meetings, analysis of local and state data, and a thorough review of evidenced-based programming that has proven effectiveness influencing school readiness indicators.

    The board and staff conducted public meetings, held one on one conversations with community partners, principals, parents, childcare directors, pastors, and met with successful early childhood service providers across the country to help develop a plan for Greenville’s future.

    Anticipating limited funding, the board acknowledged that we need to be more intentional in selecting who we serve, and what we fund – focusing on communities that could best benefit from our investments and focusing on programming that guarantees the best bang for our buck.

    The Board reviewed elementary school data from across the district, looking at kindergarteners in each of our schools, to see where our rising 5K students are most likely to test “ready to succeed” on Kindergarten Readiness Assessments, and which schools have the largest population of 5K students “approaching readiness.”

    The board selected three zip codes with the highest numbers of students “approaching readiness” to focus our energies. For the 2021-2025 years, we will focus on families in the 29690, 29611, and 29669 zip codes.

    These three zip codes include 12 elementary schools and two SC First Steps 4k classrooms such as: Heritage, Hollis, Gateway, Westcliffe, Welcome, Alexander, Fork Shoals, Ellen Woodside, Legacy Charter School, and St Anthony of Padua Catholic school. These zip codes represent 4,300 children under the age of 5 and their families.

    Our Focus:

    Parenting Supports: Using investments in high quality parenting programs including Nurse Family Partnership, Positive Parenting Program (Triple P), Countdown to Kindergarten, and other supports to strengthen the work of churches, childcare centers, and community partners as they invest time and energies in strengthening parents as their child’s first and most important teachers.

    Early Literacy Supports: There is strong data supporting the importance of early access to high quality books. Through evidenced programs like Reach Out and Read, Raising a Reader, and other book distribution programs, we plan to distribute 30,000 books annually over the next 4 years.

    Greenville First Steps will continue to work closely with other community partners including our local churches, private funders, our Head Start, DSS, library partners, and community members. Together we will develop a comprehensive network of support to ensure no student enters school behind her or his peers.

    Four years from now, we expect to see gains in 5K school readiness indicators, and hope to demonstrate a successful model of overlapping interventions that can be further expanded to other zip codes across the county. We hope you will join us as we embark on this adventure. Visit to learn more about our plan and to find ways to get involved!

    TATT Chat Recap – February 18, 2021

    TATT Chat Recap – February 18, 2021

    Please see video recording to view comments by Tiffany Tate and Aimee Redick of Upstate SC Alliance.

    Please click here to view the presentation by Tiffany Tate and Aimee Redick of Upstate SC Alliance.


    Q: How can a training and job placement program be promoted on a website?

    A: At this time, Skill Up chose to focus on programs at the four Upstate technical colleges, but do link to some workforce organizations on the website, and can share information on social channels

    Q: Is there a pay minimum for listed jobs?

    A: Pulls in anything that fits key words at a wide range of pay scales. Jobs listed have opportunity for growth.

    Q: Are there metrics on how jobs that have been secured?

    A: There is data on clicks and clickthroughs, more definite data on those who have called.

    Q: Are there scholarships and tuition assistance available?

    A: There are many sources through the state and industry partnerships. Contact the college contact for accurate information.

    Q: Where are you targeting pools of labor?

    A: The Upstate is target to promote the job board, and digital campaigns nationwide through google search. Skill Up is in the Upstate for those searching for a new career.

    Upstate Initiative Update

    Dean Hybl, Ten at the Top

    Connecting the Dots: How Transportation Creates Community Vibrancy on February 23 at 12:00 p.m. Register here:

    UPP Workshop on February 24, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Register here: Updates

    County Updates

    Cherokee County – Pam Cazell, Cherokee County History and Arts Museum

    County Historical Society since 1950s with museum started 11 years ago, Possum Trot Schoolhouse, Fort Thicketty, Revolutionary War sites, and uniquely positioned between three National Parks

    Mission to preserve regional history and cultural heritage Full STEAM Ahead program for students

    Meeting space available

    New building fund campaign to raise funds for increased exhibit, class, meeting spaces and Kids Zone, Sports Zone, Archives, and Research Rooms (including genealogy)

    Oconee County – Annie Caggiano, Oconee County Economic Alliance

    Strategic planning sessions starting tomorrow for budgeting 2021-2022

    Spec building will be number one priority, as this is key to closing deals

    Kick off started for Main Street Walhalla with community input and vision, led by Libby Imbody OEA just issued annual report with last year seeing 52 projects coming through Oconee County

    Proterra to be Publicly Traded; Upstate Investors Provide Support Throughout the Years

    Proterra to be Publicly Traded; Upstate Investors Provide Support Throughout the Years

    Proterra, a leading commercial electric vehicle technology company with manufacturing operations in Greenville, will become publicly listed through a merger with special purpose acquisition company ArcLight Clean Transition Corporation (Nasdaq: ACTC).

    Many in our Upstate region know the story of Proterra’s move to Greenville and subsequent loss of funding.  What may not be known is that over the years VentureSouth and the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) invested over $5,000,000 to support Proterra’s growth.  It was these two groups coming together that helped keep Proterra alive and its manufacturing in Greenville.

    VentureSouth’s investors started propping up Proterra in 2011 through the Upstate Carolina Angel Network (UCAN).  As of today, 95 individual angel investor-members of VentureSouth, plus about 50 angel investors through 2 of the VentureSouth funds, believed in the electric bus company enough to continue investing almost $5,000,000 over the years.  These VentureSouth angels can invest as little as $5000 to support growing companies in the southeast.

    SCRA’s role was more than a funding partner.  When the primary investor did not materialize in 2011, Proterra enrolled in SCRA’s SC Launch Program and became a Member Company in 2011. Proterra continued to progress through the program and became investible in 2011 with a $250,000 loan from SC Launch, Inc., SCRA’s investment affiliate.  SC Launch, Inc. also provided an additional $180,000 in 2012 to help fund new equipment. SCRA stepped in and provided the funding and support Proterra needed to grow to its next phase of success and is considered an early investor on which Proterra’s success is built. Today, Proterra remains an SC Launch, Inc. Portfolio Company.

    Proterra’s move to become publicly listed provides a financial return on the risk all those investors took in 2011 and over the years.  When local investors support local companies, as those businesses grow and realize a return, the proceeds flow back into our Upstate and provide even more investment funds for growing companies.  This is an all-around win for our entrepreneurs.

    While most of Proterra’s electric buses have been deployed in California and other parts of the country, there are already several on the road here in the Upstate. In 2015, the town of Seneca became the world’s first all-electric bus fleet when they purchased six Proterra buses. The City of Greenville added four Proterra buses to their fleet in 2019.

    In 2020, because of the generosity of local funders such as Michelin and Hollingsworth Funds, Greenlink received funds from the Federal Transit Administration to purchase 6 additional Proterra battery electric buses. When these buses arrive Greenlink will have a total of 10 Proterra buses, giving citizens all over Greenville cleaner air, additional transportation options and the smooth, quiet ride of a Proterra bus.

    Proterra’s journey reflects our region’s growing understanding of the importance of supporting high-impact companies and other entrepreneurial ventures. It exemplifies what can be accomplished by collective investment and shared risk.

    An Upstate Thank You to all of the UCAN, VentureSouth and SCRA investors.

    Second Draw PPP – What’s New

    Second Draw PPP – What’s New

    Earl Gregorich, CBA
    Area Manager & Business Consultant
    Greenville Area Small Business Development Centers
    In partnership with Clemson University

    On January 11, 2021, the SBA and the U.S. Treasury Department reopened the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for First Draw PPP loans. Second Draw PPP Loans were made available on January 13, 2021. Interested borrowers can apply for both PPP loans through participating lenders but, you may want to check into the details first.

    It is recommended you work with your local SC Small Business Development Center and your business banking professional.  The website has a Lender Match tool and a lender mapping tool if you need help finding a lender.

    As part of the second draw, there is a $25 billion set-aside for borrowers who meet specific criteria like, having a maximum of 10 employees and need a loans of $250,000 or less. Borrowers considered for the set aside program must also be located in low or moderate income neighborhoods.

    The Second Draw PPP loans can be used for payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent, utilities, worker protection costs (PPE), and uninsured property damage costs due to looting or vandalism occurring in 2020. Other supplier and operating expenses may also be acceptable uses of funds as outlined on the website.

    Borrowers may qualify for a maximum loan amount of 2.5x average monthly 2019 or 2020 payroll costs up to $2 million. Businesses in the Accommodation and Food Service industries may qualify for 3.5x average monthly payroll costs in 2019 or 2020, up to $2 million. Your business NAICS code must begin with “72” to qualify for the 3.5x multiplier. See your tax returns or contact the SBDC for assistance finding your NAICS codes.

    In order to qualify for the Second Draw PPP, you must also have received and used the full amount of a First Draw PPP.  You must have 300 or fewer employees and must show at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between two comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.

    If you are interested and meet the qualifications, it is recommended you act fast.  The period to apply for a Second Draw PPP will only be open until March 31, 2021 or until funds are exhausted. Borrowers should obtain an application from their lender or download Form 2438SD from the website. This form will outline specific requirements and list any other documentation that may be needed.

    Similar to first draw loans, Second Draw PPP Loans made to eligible borrowers may qualify for full loan forgiveness if, during the 8-to-24-week covered period following loan disbursement:

    • Employee and compensation levels are maintained in the same manner as required for the First Draw PPP loan (typically no more than a 25% reduction)
    • The loan proceeds are spent on payroll costs and other eligible expenses and at least 60 percent of the proceeds are spent on payroll costs

    Keep in mind the rules and regulations surrounding stimulus legislation are constantly being adjusted. For the latest information on PPP loans and other small business related stimulus, consult the website or contact your local SC SBDC office.

    The SC SBDC advances South Carolina’s economic development by providing entrepreneurs throughout the state no-fee consulting, affordable training programs and access to an array of resources that can help them expand or create a thriving small/medium-size business. Contact the Greenville SBDC office at 864-370-1545.