The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a two-year $789,724 grant to Lowcountry Local First to support the organization’s Good Growth Program. This program will expand upon the organization’s Good Enterprises entrepreneurship training and support program to also include financial literacy, marketing support, Spanish-language support services, access to coworking, and peer networking. The programs offered will specifically address the stark reality of the challenges that minority and low- to moderate-income business owners face and the existing ecosystem gaps.

“The Covid-19 pandemic brought to light and exacerbated many of the inequities that small and minority businesses have been dealing with for years,” said Congressman James E. Clyburn. “This funding will ensure that Lowcountry Local First has the necessary resources to address these issues and build on their work to bridge the entrepreneurship support gap in underserved communities.”

“The Economic Development Administration supports locally-driven efforts to spur economic growth and prosperity,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Administration Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This investment will provide equitable opportunities for small business development while promoting economic resiliency.”

“Emerging entrepreneurs collectively serve as a key economic driver for their communities: building wealth, transforming neighborhoods, creating jobs,” said Lowcountry Local First Executive Director Jacquie Berger. “The investment in Good Growth will make it possible for us to expand our reach, connect businesses to each other to catalyze growth and increase economic resilience, and lift up, support, and sustain some of the most intrepid, but traditionally overlooked entrepreneurs.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester Council of Governments (BCDCOG) which works to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

About Lowcountry Local First
Lowcountry Local First cultivates an economy anchored in local ownership, because local-independent businesses are the cornerstone of our culture, economy, and character.

Jacquie Berger