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Choose Local Food Hospitality Grant
Choose Local Food is an incentive program offered by Ace Basin Growers to encourage restaurants and other food service participants for enhancing their menus with locally sourced Certified South Carolina Grown ingredients.  Ace Basin Growers (ACE) is a 501c3 non-profit organization that has created programs to support the South Carolina local food system.  Our goal with this grant program is to facilitate greater utilization of our farmers’ bounty, while making it easier for the food service community to prepare these products for the dining pleasure of their patrons at an affordable cost to the restaurant but fair price for the farmer.  ACE will develop research through this program to create sustainable support for the local food system in South Carolina.  

About the Program: ACE is focused on creating greater demand for the agricultural products of South Carolina small farms and these incentives are based on purchases that directly benefit these stakeholders.  By participating in this program, your business can receive a 25% reimbursement on the product costs for eligible ingredients purchased by you and prepared for your customers.  The award is limited to $1500 per period.   We know one of the biggest barrier for purchasing local foods is cost and hope that this program can encourage exploration and usage of locally grown foods.

You will be encouraged to promote Certified South Carolina Grown within your establishment and through your various marketing channels.  Our staff will be glad to assist in helping you identify more sources for South Carolina grown commodities as we have an extensive network of producers and resources to make it easier for you.  Working with the South Carolina Small Business Development Center (SBDC), we can discuss strategies for gaining customer support for these decisions. 

For Questions email acebasingrowers@gmail.com 

Apply today!  Decisions made on a monthly basis.  Ongoing applications accepted until May 1, 2023.

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Grant Guidelines
Restaurants should sign up for the Fresh on the Menu program, https://freshonthemenu.com/, promise to promote certified South Carolina Grown products, provide evidence of supporting local (menu, social media, promotions) and work with the Small Business Development Center as needed (There are no charges involved for these services) www.scsbdc.com.
Restaurants and other food service participants will be eligible for a 25% reimbursement on South Carolina grown items.  An overview of the category descriptions and examples of eligible products is provided in the next section of the application.
There is a $1500 cap on each funding period.  Funding periods are created on the basis of current funding availability.  Awardees will be notified of future funding availability and offered opportunities to continue in the program.
Participants must complete a pre-program survey, post-program survey and may be interviewed on the impact of the award on the business.  
Eligible applicants for the grant program include:  South Carolina based foodservice businesses who currently purchase or desire to purchase and serve locally grown food products in their establishment.  
Eligible Products:  Any SC produced raw food products meant for human consumption.
Program participants may make purchases directly from local farmers by the end of the grant period June 30, 2023.
All invoices must be legible and include the Vendor/Farmer’s Name, Date of Sale, Business Address, Item Description, Quantity, and Total Sale Amount.
Vendors must be able to substantiate the level of direct farm impact and provide guidance on the processor and/or farms from which the products originated.
Participants may purchase products through wholesalers, food hubs, and other third party suppliers with the requirement that the verification of the local farm is included.
Requests for reimbursements are ongoing but must be submitted by the June 30 ,2023 deadline.  Any purchases made prior to the grant award notification will be ineligible for reimbursement consideration:

o 2023 Period 1 (January-June purchases) due by June 30, 2023.  

All invoices and reimbursement documentation submitted by the Choose Local Food participant will be reviewed quarterly and determinations made by ACE staff on the appropriate payment to all parties.  Documentation can be submitted to acebasingrowers@gmail.com
Products not further prepared by your business as part of your menu offering and simply offered for resale through your gift shop or storefront are not eligible for the program.
Applicants and awardees are encouraged to contact ACE for further clarity.

Ace Basin Growers reserves the rights to approve or deny application requests based on eligibility criteria defined above and availability of funds. 

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