Created by a National Rural Economic Development Initiative in 1990, State Rural Development Councils (SRDC) were formed to coordinate rural development efforts among federal departments and agencies and to establish effective collaboration with states, local governments and the private sector. The state councils work to develop strategies for applying available federal, state and private sector resources to achieve long-term rural economic development. State councils serve as forums for identifying issues affecting effective collaboration between the federal, state and local governments in rural economic development. They attempt to resolve those problems that can be resolved at the state level, and they refer issues requiring national legislative and regulatory changes to the National Rural Development Partnership in Washington, DC.

Each State Rural Development Council defines its own mission, structure, operating guidelines and action plan. Headed by a full-time executive director, the SRDC relies upon time and resources volunteered by its partner members.

The South Carolina Rural Development Council was formed in 1991—one of eight pilot states. The 54 Council members include Federal agencies and departments, state agencies, nonprofit and private sector representatives.

The goal of the South Rural Carolina Development Council is to provide an institutional framework within which federal government resources can be used in combination with those of state and local governments, private businesses and nonprofit organizations, to promote rural economic development. An objective is to facilitate the distribution of information and assistance to support rural economic and community development.

A resource directory has been prepared in a joint effort with the Governor’s Office of Small and Minority Business, the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at Clemson University, the South Carolina Department of Commerce, the South Carolina State Budget and Control Board, and the Office of Information Resources. The resource directory is intended to provide information on federal, state and private financial and technical assistance that is available to the citizens of South Carolina.