Lowcountry Local First, a Charleston-based nonprofit that advocates for local, independent businesses, is launching two new services to address the challenges that businesses face when searching for a physical location.
The Locals Only Space Database, available to all Lowcountry Local First members, lists commercial properties that may not appear in traditional listings in the multiple listing service, as well as opportunities for shared spaces. The nonprofit does not inspect any of the listings included in the database, it says.
In a news release, Lowcountry Local First says Charleston’s status as a high-priced real estate market with low vacancy rates makes it difficult for new businesses to find a location. The Locals Only Space Database aims to combat this, offering listings for office, retail, industrial storage and light manufacturing across Charleston, North Charleston, James Island, Mount Pleasant and West Ashley, the release says.
The other service, which is used after a company finds a space, is the Commercial Space Advisory Team. The team includes professionals in real estate, architecture and legal matters that can help businesses understand the ins and outs of lease negotiation, the buildout process and regulation. The service is available to all members, as well.
On its website, Lowcountry Local First says the service is not meant to replace real estate industry professionals; it is intended, instead, to offer unbiased, objective business advice and guidance; offer ideas and solutions to problems; and help with permitting and zoning.