Lowcountry Local First Launches New Services to Help Locals Open and Stay in Business

Lowcountry Local First (LLF) now offers its local business members two different resources to address challenges that may arise when it comes to the physical location of a business. The Commercial Space Services includes:

• Locals Only Space Database: Finding the right space for a business can be a particularly challenging aspect of entrepreneurship, especially in a high-priced real estate market with low vacancy rates. In 2016, a national report was released by the Institute of Local Self-Reliance ranking rising retail rates in 13 cities across the country, and Charleston topped the list with a citywide 26% increase in retail lease rates over the course of a year. The Locals Only Space Database lists unique commercial properties that may not appear in MLS listings, as well as shared-space opportunities. Spaces listed include office, retail, industrial storage, and light manufacturing across these areas: downtown Charleston, North Charleston, James Island, Mount Pleasant, West Ashley

o “The new office space was a great find and we have our friends at Lowcountry Local First to thank. … If you need help finding a space for your business, consider joining LLF and taking advantage of their Commercial Space Services.” – Rooted ID, West Ashley

• Commercial Space Advisory Team: Understanding the ins-and-outs of lease negotiation, a commercial build-out process, and navigating the complex regulatory process are daunting tasks for a local business. Lowcountry Local First has launched a Commercial Space Advisory Team to assist local businesses with the task of answering these questions in a professional and confidential setting. All industries and business types are invited to apply. This service is available to LLF members at no cost. LLF staff reviews all applications, connects the business with resources and determines whether an advising session is an appropriate fit.

o “The advising session offered a lot of valuable insight and was great motivation for us to keep moving forward. We’re getting pretty close to finally taking the plunge! Talking with others who have already done it is very helpful.” – Broom Wagon Coffee

Those interested in learning more or accessing the database or application for an advising session should reach out to Lauren Gellatly, the Community Development Director for Lowcountry Local First, lauren@lowcountrylocalfirst.org or call 843-801-3390.