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City of Goose Creek announces partnership with Lowcountry Local First

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The city of Goose Creek is partnering with Lowcountry Local First to develop a series of courses, workshops and resources centered around business management and planning. File/Brad Nettles/Staff

GOOSE CREEK — Aspiring business owners in the city are expected to receive more tools in the coming year to move their ideas forward. 

The city of Goose Creek has finalized a two-year partnership with Lowcountry Local First, which supports the economic development of local businesses. 

With the partnership will come a series of courses, workshops and resources centered around business management and planning. The goal is to create a pool of resources for local business owners in the Goose Creek area. 

"We think this is an excellent opportunity for folks," said Matt Brady, the city's economic development director. 

In the coming year, the city and Lowcountry Local First will launch two training programs — one in English and one in Spanish. 

There, attendees will receive hands-on training on how to take their existing businesses or ideas for a business to the next level.  A minimum of 70 percent of the participants will be low-income community members. 

The reason for offering Spanish courses and prioritizing low-income residents is to make sure that everyone gets help. They are also demographics in the most need of resources and advice, Brady said.

Brady gave an example of a local artisan. That person could have the right idea and create an amazing product to be sold. But they've likely never thought about something like navigating a commercial lease. 

"That's a topic we could address," he said. 

The same could go for things like marketing or attaining a loan.

Lowcountry Local First will also develop four workshops through its Good Business Workshop Series. Those courses will be for local business owners and is expected to help them connect with experts, the city and resources in general to help with their business development.  

Other programs in the works with the partnership will include a community storefront challenge where the winner will be given a one-year subsidized lease rate through a property owner working with the city. 

They will also be working with business owners in developing their own buy local campaigns. 

In a news release, Jacquie Berger, the executive director of Lowcountry Local First, said they were excited about launching the projects with the city. 

"This work will build community wealth and enhance the quality of life for Goose Creek residents now and in the years to come," she said.

Over the years Berkeley County has been one of the fastest growing counties in South Carolina. Goose Creek is its largest city.

With all of the growth, Goose Creek staff members said the purpose of putting so much attention on local businesses is to help maintain the city's unique charm. 

The city is expected to push the new resources throughout the month of January. Those interested are advised to be on the look out for additional information at businessinthecreek.com as well as the city's social media accounts. 

Reach Jerrel Floyd at 843-937-5558. Follow him on Twitter @jfloyd134.