The city and organization agreed to a two-year effort to use existing resources and business know-how to help Goose Creek’s economy and position as a place for businesses to thrive.
Goose Creek City Council approved the partnership, which begins in Q1 of 2022. Mayor Greg Habib said the partnership represents an opportunity for Goose Creek businesses in the coming year.
Lowcountry Local First has a plan for four specific, business-focused initiatives through the partnership, the organization said, including:
The Good Enterprises Program
Classes through the program provide business planning and management training for existing businesses and new entrepreneurs. Seventy percent of the two Good Enterprise Program cohorts will include low-income participants. Graduates of the program also receive access to Lowcountry Local First’s Business Accelerator Services program.
Existing Business Training
These four workshops are designed to help businesses overcome common and recurring challenges that business owners face, including shifting business climate and workforce skills gaps. Participants will have access to expertise from Goose Creek and Lowcountry Local First business development professionals.
Holiday Season Buy Local Campaign
This campaign will expand on the Goose Creek Local initiative, working with businesses to market an official “Buy Local Pledge,” among other items.
Community Storefront Challenge
The Storefront Challenge is designed to help minority business owners seeking a physical location in the city of Goose Creek by providing economic opportunity and resources. The challenge winner receives a one-year subsidized lease rate after being placed with a property owner who will partner with them.
“These are the types of transformative partnerships we are always looking for at the city,” Habib said in a statement about the partnership. “We are excited for the possibilities that this collaboration presents and can’t wait to get it kicked off.”
Lowcountry Local First Executive Director Jacquie Berger said the organization saw this as a chance to build existing businesses in Berkeley County and provide support for entrepreneurial startups looking for a place.
“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to partner with the City of Goose Creek to take on some highly visible and transformational projects,” Berger said in a statement. “From attracting new businesses to supporting emerging entrepreneurs, this work will build community wealth and enhance the quality of life for Goose Creek residents now and in the years to come.”