Supporting Homegrown and Independently Owned Businesses

April 11, 2017, 11:15 pm EST | Share:

CHARLESTON, SC (FOX 24 NEWS NOW) — Lowcountry Local First is a non-profit organization that exists to support the local independent business community. “We take great pride in being able to help that part of our community thrive,” said Jordan Amaker, Director of Marketing and Communications with Lowcountry Local First. “We do that because we know our local businesses are really the soul and cornerstone of our local economy.”

While large companies do play a large and important role in our local economy, Amaker says as long as local and independent businesses have a fair chance and have a level playing ground to succeed, that is the recipe for a stronger, successful economy.

So where does the seed start? “It starts with supporting the mom and pop shops,” she said. “It starts here in the backyard and getting to know your neighbors. There is something romantic about that, but beyond the romantic side, it’s shopping at your farmers markets and at your local coffee shop, it is really a huge part of what makes our economy tick. We exist to make sure they can thrive and succeed and are connected.”

Amaker says Lowcountry Local First believes relationships matter at the core of everything, and they take great joy in connecting people to providers. “Not just retailers or food and beverage, but payroll companies, marketing companies, plumbing services – anything you could ever possibly need here, owned locally.”

But to those who may argue buying local is a little more expensive, Lowcountry Local First believes it’s all about balance. “There is definitely things that are going to be more expensive here, but we believe it’s all about balance and making a shift in your spending habits where and when you can, and doing it as much as you can.”

Amaker says in getting to know the source of those products, you’ll often learn you are getting a better product whether food or clothing. “You will ultimately find it is going to last longer and have more value.”

Often times high rent is a driving force behind local shops closing down. Lowcountry Local First is a voice for local owners and meets with city and county representatives about issues they are facing whether hiring and retaining employees or finding affordable commercial space. “We are working to find creative solutions and talking regularly to the city about fast track permitting processes for local businesses.”

For more information about Lowcountry Local First, please click here.