For thirteen years, Lowcountry Local First has been the only resource dedicated solely to the local-independent business community. We work day in and day out to ensure the Lowcountry is a place in which local business can thrive and to build an economy where all might have an opportunity to prosper.
We have always believed in having a diverse revenue stream. Our philosophy of a combination of earned revenue and philanthropy has served us well to date. But with our fundraising events now canceled, Local Works (our community coworking space) now closed to new users, and membership revenue virtually nonexistent — we need our broader community to step in at this critical moment. We have heard from numerous people and organizations that there has been no time that our work has been more critical to our community than now and that all eyes are upon us.
Any support you can provide will be spent directly on programming and resource cultivation for the local business community which has the potential to impact thousands of local businesses and their employees. This work will continue until further notice and may mean the difference for a local business to keep their doors open or not.
How we’re responding to the COVID-19 crisis:
- Providing counseling and tools for business community
- Providing digital tools for the community at large on how to support these businesses
- Advocating for critical policy at all levels of government
Tools for Businesses:
- Connecting local business owners with appropriate resources in order to advocate for their best interests.
- Created BuyLocalCHS.com website to allow any locally-owned businesses to promote creative ways they are working to continue service i.e. Gift Cards, delivery, carry-out, curb-side service etc.
- Created social shareable graphics for businesses to use to easily promote their offerings.
- Hosting a series of webinars germane to business preservation in a crisis. These topics include what business owners can be doing now and how to improve your business in the future like ‘Crisis Communications’, ‘How to Apply for SBA disaster loan’, ‘Working on Your Business Now to Prepare for the Future’ and ‘How to Create a Digital Marketing Campaign’, etc.
- Providing individual business coaching services to triage severe circumstances particularly for our most vulnerable businesses like those in our Good Enterprises Initiative.
Tools for the Community:
- Coalescing real-time local business operations and methods to support local businesses.
- Ways to advocate for the business community.
- Virtual business collaboration meetings – Coming soon!
- Social shareable graphic to tag their favorite local businesses and show them love.
Recent Media Coverage:
- Opinion piece by Jamee Haley picked up by both the Post & Courier and the Charleston City Paper
- WCBD News 2 interview – March 18th
- Radio interview airing multiple times on The Bridge 105.5
VIEW OUR POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS (while this is constantly evolving these are as of March 22, 2020)
Online donations can be made at LowcountryLocalFirst.org/donate. While electronic support is preferred during this time, we also accept checks which can be mailed to:
Lowcountry Local First
1630-2 Meeting Street Rd
Charleston, SC 29405