It's been a big week for Lowcountry Local First (LLF), the local nonprofit that works to encourage economic development, training, and support for local business owners. LLF won the fourth annual U.S. Small Business Administration's growth accelerator fund competition
, receiving a $50,000 grant for their open-sector coworking space, Local Works.
Local Works was the only accelerator (hot tip: accelerator, coworking space, and incubator are words commonly used to describe work places for entrepreneurs and start-ups) in South Carolina to win, joining 20 other accelerators from 18 states.
Local Works launched in 2014, providing coworking space for local start-ups and offering affordable spaces for local businesses. The space currently hosts over 40 entrepreneurs from 16 different industries.
Interested in joining Local Works (for free)? LLF has extended their deadline to apply to be a creative in residence
until this Fri. Dec. 1 at 5 p.m. If accepted, your residency includes six months of full time access to Local Works, a storage locker, free wi-fi and coffee, access to counselors for business planning and advice, and an opportunity to share your work or story on the Local Works blog. You can apply online.
In addition to Local Works, LLF's Community Storefront project seeks to support businesses, "underrepresented in traditional coworking or accelerator spaces, including Main Street entrepreneurs, women, farmers, creatives and other businesses that create the majority of jobs in the community," according to LLF community manager Larry Downey.
The Community Storefront project is an ongoing project on Reynolds Avenue in North Charleston's Chicora-Cherokee neighborhood. LLF's executive director Jamee Haley says, "We are committed to diverse business development in the North Charleston area, where Reynolds Avenue is a hub of economic and social activities. This project offers residents and stakeholders the opportunity to invest in careers, company, and community through a competition for storefront space. Our goal is to provide support that will produce long-term entrepreneurial success for motivated business owners.”
Learn more about the Community Storefront project online.