1201 Main Street, Suite 1600, Columbia, SC 29201
(803) 737-0390 info@ria.sc.gov

A Message from the Chairman

Robert M. Hitt III, Secretary of Commerce

From the Upstate to the Lowcountry, South Carolina’s rural communities are at the very center of the nation’s manufacturing renaissance – playing an integral role in drawing business to our borders.

In the last three years alone, nearly a quarter of the jobs created have gone into the state’s rural counties.  These communities play a vital role in South Carolina’s economic future, and it is important that we continue to drive growth and development into these parts of the state.

One way to build more sustainable rural areas and maintain their quality of life is to provide adequate infrastructure. Connecting to basic necessities like water, waste water, drainage systems and other public facilities is essential to setting the table for economic development.

The SC Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) was created to help close this gap. RIA provides financial resources to support qualified infrastructure projects in areas that are most in need, and helps to spur economic opportunity and long-term community sustainability.

Since 2013, RIA has made several notable contributions across the state, including the approval of grants for 200 projects that total more than $74 million and leveraging $269 million.

Additionally, the RIA worked to establish strong partnerships with other federal and state infrastructure funding agencies to maximize available resources, and target investments to the state’s untapped areas.

As chairman, I am extremely proud of what the RIA and its Board has been able to accomplish. We will continue this focus of creating greater sustainability, boosting economic development and improving the quality of life in state’s rural communities.


Robert M. Hitt III
Secretary, SC Department of Commerce
Chairman, SC Rural Infrastructure Authority

State of Business Podcast

The RIA is helping to build the infrastructure capacity to maximize economic opportunities in rural areas. RIA’s Executive Director, Bonnie Ammons, provides an overview in “The State of Business” podcast sponsored by the SC Department of Commerce.