Catalyst Member Spotlight: The Charleston Chronicle

Feb 16, 2017

Founded in 1971, The Charleston Chronicle is a weekly newspaper serving the Tri-county area (Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester). They address and report the news, both national and local, uniquely from the black perspective. They also are an independent and minority-owned small business. We reached out to Damion Smalls, the… Read More

Artist Spotlight: Janie Ball

Feb 15, 2017

Love Where You Paint We are excited to feature local artist Janie Ball today. Many of Janie’s pieces are currently being exhibited at Local Works right now! Visit Janie’s website to see her latest pieces and learn about upcoming shows. HOW DO YOU CHOOSE YOUR SUBJECTS? I am… Read More

So, what are the huge letters all about?

Feb 14, 2017

We’re glad you asked! Lowcountry Local First is celebrating its 10 year anniversary with a community-wide art installation. You may stumble across a large 3D letter and wonder what it is and why it exists. Local ninjas have placed 10 letters all over the Lowcountry that together, spell… Read More

2016 Annual Member Survey results are in

Feb 9, 2017

At Lowcountry Local First, we believe ownership matters, and relationships matter. That’s why we work with businesses, community members and policymakers to build support for local, independent businesses. Here’s our criteria for a “local, independent business:” The business is privately held and not publicly traded. The business is… Read More

City of Charleston Proclamation

Feb 7, 2017

WHEREAS; The City of Charleston is proud to join Lowcountry Local First in celebrating a decade of elevating the people and places that embrace the unique nature of the place we call home; and WHEREAS; by providing a singular voice for the local-independent business community Lowcountry Local First… Read More

Cheers to a Decade of Loving the Lowcountry

Jan 16, 2017

When we started Lowcountry Local First 10 years ago, we did so as a Buy Local Movement geared toward consumers. We engaged our citizens on the impact of their dollar when spent with a local-independent business, and how those businesses are providing individualized service, creating less impact on our… Read More

2017 Creative in Residence: Katie Ashley

Jan 6, 2017

Katie Ashely’s application for our Creative in Residence program was thoughtful and honest; we knew right away she’d be a great addition to Local Works. Her energy and enthusiasm for helping others is contagious and we look forward to see the work she does in 2017 as one… Read More

2017 Creative in Residence: Meet Tyquan Morton

Jan 6, 2017

When we reviewed the applications for our first Creative in Residence program, Tyquan Morton’s stood out to us. Not only is he passionate about his creative pursuits, he is committed to community and giving back in a meaningful way. We asked Tyquan a few questions to help you… Read More

Why 2016 was good to us

Dec 21, 2016

2016 was a banner year for Lowcountry Local First, and we’re beyond jazzed to be entering our 10th year serving as your advocate for locally-owned, independent businesses. Thanks to your support in 2016, we proudly… – formed a Commercial Space Advisory Team, – selected our first Creatives in Residence… Read More

Seven reasons why 2016 wasn't the worst ever

Dec 21, 2016

2016 has been … a year. We lost too many local businesses, crops and music idols to name in one post, not to mention the political and social turmoil that has clouded our nation, and the nightmarish conflicts boiling overseas. The details of these realities can be paralyzing at best,… Read More

Local Works 2016 Wrap Up

Dec 13, 2016

Somehow it’s already December. We’re not sure how that’s possible or where the time went but we’re facing facts and conceding that 2017 is right around the corner. But before we start making resolutions for next year, we’re pausing to reflect on some of the amazing things that’ve… Read More

Local Works Announces Creatives in Residence

Dec 6, 2016

Lowcountry Local First (LLF) is proud to announce Katie Ashley and Tyquan Morton as the two recipients of its Creative in Residence program, a new initiative that awards a six-month opportunity at Local Works, LLF’s non-sector coworking space. Ashley and Morton will begin their residency on January 1st… Read More

VIEWPOINT: Skyrocketing Rents Changing the Local Business Landscape

Nov 28, 2016

The following is reposted from the Charleston Regional Business Journal (Jan 9 – 22, 2017; Volume 23, No. 1): The rising cost of housing regularly grabs local headlines these days, and the subsequent impact to our citizens is the subject of frequent articles, forums, cocktail party conversations and… Read More

A time to be grateful

Nov 16, 2016

I can think of no better time for us to all be still, for just a moment, to take stock of all that we have to be grateful for. Even in times that seem so uncertain, where many are feeling unheard and those who have been disenfranchised for… Read More

Lowcountry Local First wins national growth accelerator contest

Nov 10, 2016

Lowcountry Local First awarded $50,000 to fill gaps in Charleston’s entrepreneurial ecosystem Charleston, SC (November 10, 2016) — Local Works, Lowcountry Local First’s open-sector coworking space for entrepreneurs and start-ups, has received $50,000 for being a winner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)’s annual Growth Accelerator Fund… Read More

Golden Ticket Contest: Buy Local Month 2016

Oct 24, 2016

Buy Local Month: Nov 15 – Dec 15, 2016 SHOP LOCAL this holiday season and purchase a “Sea is for Caramel” chocolate bar from participating Sweeteeth Chocolate retailers (listed below), and you could win one of FOUR prize packs full of donated items and experiences from your local business community. You have… Read More

Where to Stay for #GoodBiz2016

Aug 29, 2016

As the 2016 Good Business Summit approaches, the team here at Lowcountry Local First could not be more excited about this years’ event. We are thrilled to welcome an evolving list of inspirational guest speakers,  and to offer a diverse session schedule at this year’s Summit. Excitement is in the air… Read More

We’ve Been Busy as Bees!

Jul 22, 2016

The variety of methods for product distribution parallels the diversity of crops. The end goal is the same: to provide quality produce to consumers at a price fair to all parties. However, the method of doing so is where farmers can get creative! While some farmers enjoy pitching… Read More

Catalyst Member Spotlight: Heritage Trust Federal Credit Union

Jun 22, 2016

We’re big believers in the impact that locally-owned, independent businesses have on our local economy and applaud how they protect the uniqueness and livability of our community. But we take that focus a step further by encouraging our local businesses to be the best stewards they can be… Read More

Raise a glass for Dad!

Jun 17, 2016

Celebrating Father’s Day in the Lowcountry. Let’s celebrate the men in our lives who have supported, guided, and loved us through the ups and downs of life. Cheers to all of the fathers and father figures in our lives for being the awesome men that you are. Luckily,… Read More

Does your business have 50 or more full-time employees?

May 31, 2016

As if the changes facing local and small business owners haven’t been daunting enough in 2016 (think business licensing and overtime rules), here’s one more change that you should have on your radar! The Affordable Care Act includes Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions that may affect your business. “Under the Affordable Care… Read More

Catalyst Member Spotlight: Sonitrol Security Systems

May 24, 2016

Sonitrol South Carolina was launched in 1978 strictly dedicated to equipping Tri-County area schools with alarm systems. From installing silent alarms in schools, Sonitrol’s base expanded steadily to include residential and small business clients. Co-owner John Rama says Sonitrol’s client base is now evenly divided between residential and… Read More

A Radishing Bunch of Future Farmers!

May 23, 2016

This week, we welcomed a fresh crop of aspiring farmers into the Growing New Farmers Program! We are so fortunate to have such a diverse group of motivated individuals who are interested in pursuing careers in agriculture. With 70% of our 24 participants being women and the average… Read More

Localist Launch

May 23, 2016

Localists are some of our most avid and vocal individual supporters. They accept responsibility for the wonderful place we call home. They recognize that our choices make it great and without our efforts – together, as friends and neighbors – it won’t be that way forever. Localists might not own… Read More

Start up Businesses Reach Pre-Recession Numbers in 2015

May 17, 2016

The following is reposted from the Charleston Regional Business Journal (May 16 — 29, 2016; Volume 22, No. 11): Young firms are the major contributors to jobs in the U.S., and for the first time since the recession we saw a rise in start-ups in 2015. The Main Street… Read More

Communications and Events Intern – Summer / Fall 2016

May 16, 2016

Organization: Lowcountry Local First Term: Part-time and flexible. Ideal term length June – Dec 2016. Application Deadline: Open until filled Start Date: Flexible start date of June 15, 2016 Lowcountry Local First (LLF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that builds community support for local independent businesses and farmers… Read More

Catalyst Member Spotlight: Celadon at Home

May 9, 2016

In 1994 Steve Lesniak decided he needed to act on his vision and fill the gap he saw in Charleston. The gap? The lack of a furniture and home goods store that carried products with a global flair; a store that celebrated and embraced its local artisans yet exuded… Read More

Sponsor Highlight: Certified South Carolina Grown

Apr 20, 2016

Certified South Carolina Grown knows that local just tastes better. That’s why they have made it their mission to make it easier for consumers to identify, find and buy South Carolina products. The Certified South Carolina program is a cooperative effort among producers, processors, wholesalers, retailers, and the… Read More

All Companies are ‘In the People Business’

Apr 18, 2016

The following is reposted from the Charleston Regional Business Journal (Apr. 18 – May 1, 2016; Volume 22, No. 9): “If you want abundance, give it to other people.” So launched the opening session of Lowcounty Local First’s Good Business Summit in a panel discussion titled “Better Together: Where… Read More

Sponsor Highlight: Summers Corner

Apr 15, 2016

Summers Corner, nestled in amidst the azaleas and wisteria of Summerville, is one of our area’s most welcoming developments. They boast a firm belief in community, education, family, gardening, and philanthropy – and above all, that “local” generally means “better.” At their Corner Cafe, you’ll find fresh fare inspired by… Read More

State bill makes it easier to renew your business license

Apr 14, 2016

We are excited to see a new bill introduced in the South Carolina state legislature to standardize business licensing across municipalities in South Carolina. From architects to food trucks, many of Lowcountry Local First’s 500+ members companies work in multiple jurisdictions, yet are disproportionately impacted by cumbersome and… Read More

A Year for Redemption

Apr 14, 2016

Six months after the 1,000-year-flood, recovery is still a long way off for farmers By Nikki Seibert Kelley written for the Charleston City Paper; Ran in April 13, 2016 printed issue With the sun shining, bright green plants popping up, and baby animals frolicking in the fields, it… Read More

Strawberry Banana Bread Recipe - #HowIEatLocal

Apr 13, 2016

This recipe was submitted by Eat Local Challenge Blogger, The Citrus Mistress, using fresh, local strawberries. Follow her on Instagram for more fresh, local food ideas and share your own tips and tricks by using hashtag #HowIEatLocal or tagging @LowcountryLocal! 2 Cups Coconut or Almond Flour 1 Tsp… Read More

Easy Southern Cooking

Apr 13, 2016

Saturday was the kick-off of The Charleston Farmers Market downtown. After hanging with my LLF buddies at the Plow to Chow tent, I decided to browse the market to pick-up a few items for myself. I ran in to my friend, Will Altman of Altman Ranch and we… Read More

Gourd Vibes

Apr 12, 2016

As you are browsing your local farmers’ market, or receiving your weekly CSA share, you are likely to see gourds of all kinds. They are staples of the spring and summer season, and common table and plate fillers throughout the year. You might not even notice how many gourds… Read More

Why we love Limehouse Produce

Apr 7, 2016

Lowcountry Local First is thrilled to once again have Limehouse Produce as the presenting sponsor for Eat Local Month. From the time they first started business in 1945, Limehouse has continuously gone the extra mile in sourcing and delivering fresh, local produce throughout the Lowcountry. Their approach of building… Read More

Local businesses to give 5% back on Sat, April 30

Apr 6, 2016

Support these amazing local businesses giving 5% Back on Saturday, April 30th. When you shop or dine, YOU are making an impact and supporting Lowcountry Local First’s grassroots programs to implement a new model of local economic development – integrating advocacy, education and training, and relationship-building toward a… Read More

So Much Green - Recipe Ideas

Apr 6, 2016

April in the Lowcountry is a beautiful time. Spring weather is here and the bounties of local produce are numerous – arugula, asparagus, chard, bok choy, spinach, kale, kale, and more kale. If you signed up for a CSA or you are shopping at area farmers markets as… Read More

Eat Local Challenge Bloggers to Follow

Apr 4, 2016

These local experts are taking the Eat Local (and Drink Local) Challenge and will be sharing their experiences along the way. Check back here each week for updated links to their stories, photos and more! EAT LOCAL BLOGGERS: The Citrus Mistress – Follow Joanna, aka “The Citrus Mistress” on… Read More

Eat Local Challenge Supporters

Apr 1, 2016

Have you already signed up for a local CSA, been visiting the local farmers markets and getting to know your local farmers? You deserve a night out! Thanks to these local restaurants and purveyors for making the Eat Local Challenge fun and easy! Check this page often as… Read More

Lowcountry Farmers' Markets

Mar 31, 2016

Farmers’ Markets provide excellent opportunities to meet farmers directly and learn more about their products, practices, and methods of sale, while also allowing you to stock up on fresh groceries! Fortunately for us, the Lowcountry is full of great markets that are located all over, allowing locals to find ones… Read More

Befriend Stress to De-Stress

Mar 30, 2016

The phrase “work-life balance” has now become rooted in our lexicon. For many it has become the elusive leprechaun at the end of the rainbow, impossible to obtain. Life contains multitudes that can overlap and overwhelm. Careers, commutes, family, financial hurdles and even carving out time to ‘relax’… Read More

#HowIEatLocal Instagram Contest

Mar 29, 2016

We want to see how you eat local throughout April! Participate in our fun Instagram contest beginning April 1 to showcase your shift in habits to support local farmers and fishermen. Once the challenge is complete, the local habits that you develop will be important to continue supporting… Read More

Support Your Local Farmers with a CSA Membership

Mar 28, 2016

There’s nothing better than filling your plate with farm fresh foods harvested by your local farmer – so why not do it all season long? Becoming a member of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a great option to not only support your Lowcountry farmers, but to ensure… Read More

Lettuce Challenge You

Mar 24, 2016

LET THE CHALLENGE BEGIN! #eatlocalchs #howieatlocal The Eat Local Challenge officially kicks off on Friday, April 1st, and that means it is time for you to begin shifting at least $10 of your weekly food budget towards our local food system. We look forward to hearing all about your journey… Read More

Small Talks, Big Ideas - Episode 2

Mar 2, 2016

This episode originally aired on November 11, 2015. One of the many perks of springtime in Charleston means that we will soon be able to get out and enjoy local farmers markets across town. Shopping at farmers market allows you to enjoy fresh, local produce, but it also… Read More

Small Talks, Big Ideas - Episode 1

Feb 29, 2016

This episode originally aired on October 9, 2015. As members of the Lowcountry, it is easy to boast of the beautiful city we call home. However, as Charleston is experiencing more growth than ever, we also have a responsibility to ensure that we don’t lose the things that make… Read More

The Story of John Warren: A Mentor Farmer

Feb 26, 2016

The path to farming is looking more and more different than it has in the past. Many people enter the profession citing lifestyle change and value-based career shifts as their primary motivations. As newcomers circumvent the traditional inheritance model of yesteryear they are often faced with challenges in… Read More

The 'Unchained Borough': Regulating Formula Businesses

Feb 25, 2016

In our quest to keep Charleston a unique place with extraordinary quality of life and to build community wealth by supporting local independent businesses, we’ve come across some impactful tools being utilized in other communities. One of those tools allows communities to create a checks and balances process… Read More

Local Works Companies Thrive from Bustling Cowork Space

Feb 4, 2016

One and a half years after launch, Lowcountry Local First announced the annual revenue of the 42 entrepreneurs in the organization’s Local Works coworking space exceeded $16,000,000. The space is anticipated to be at capacity within the first quarter and will begin to operate on a waiting list… Read More

Love Local this Valentine's Day

Feb 2, 2016

You can’t buy love, but you can buy local and that’s kind of the same thing. Show your sweetie the Local Love and support locally-owned businesses this Valentine’s Day. Not sure where to start? We have you covered with our Local Business Directory. We’ve also heard about these great specials… Read More

Announcing our 2016 Board of Directors

Jan 28, 2016

As advocates for a local living economy, we at Lowcountry Local First rely greatly on individuals who recognize the importance of choosing local and working to keep the Lowcountry’s economy strong and its culture unique. That is why we are so proud to welcome our 2016 Board of… Read More

Opportunities exist in outdated commercial centers

Jan 15, 2016

The following is reposted from the Charleston Regional Business Journal (Jan. 11 – 24, 2016; Volume 22, No. 1): As we continue our series on exploring innovative strategies for economic development, commercial affordability remains a significant hurdle for small and local businesses as real estate prices continue to climb… Read More

The Needle is Moving Toward LOCAL in 2016

Jan 5, 2016

When I pause and reflect back on 2015 and our accomplishments for the year – it’s not necessarily the number of businesses involved, the impacts made or partnerships developed that come to mind – but rather the stories that have come my way either directly or through the… Read More

5 Amazing Things

Dec 21, 2015

#1. We Shouted the Value of Local from Rooftops (and Op Eds and Mayoral Forums and…) Through our Buy Local and Eat Local initiatives, we connected consumers, policymakers and media to our more than 500 businesses, representing 16,000 employees.   #2. We Grew More Farmers 131 graduates launched their… Read More

Winter Preparation for Dirt Works Incubator Farm

Dec 9, 2015

As we welcome in the winter and holiday season here in the Lowcountry, we prepare ourselves for the colder, shorter days with extra layers and hardier meals. Much like we ready ourselves for these changes, our farmers and growers in the area are making the necessary preparations to get their… Read More

Sponsor Highlight: American Automated Payroll

Dec 7, 2015

American Automated Payroll knows the value of local business relationships, as evidenced in this “Relationships Matter” video. As a “one-stop shop” for businesses, AAP assists customers with everything from HR products, workers compensation insurance and employee health benefits, 401K and retirement solutions, time and labor solutions as well as payroll and… Read More

Sponsor Highlight: South Carolina Federal Credit Union

Dec 3, 2015

Managing finances may not exactly be fun, but here in the Lowcountry it doesn’t have to be hard. South Carolina Federal Credit Union has been offering financial services to the city of Charleston since 1936, when it was first chartered as the Charleston Navy Yard Employees Federal Credit Union. Since then… Read More

Sponsor Highlight: Limehouse Produce

Dec 2, 2015

Along with its beautiful landscape and famous hospitality, Charleston is a city that prides itself on its booming food scene. Chefs all over the Lowcountry are working to prepare delicious food with local flare – and fresh, homegrown ingredients are a big part of this. Limehouse Produce recognizes this, and has… Read More

Dear Future Mayor of Charleston

Nov 24, 2015

The following is reposted from the Charleston Regional Business Journal (Nov. 16 – Nov. 29; Volume 21, No. 24): Dear Mayor of Charleston, We applaud you for taking on the challenge of filling the shoes of one of America’s most beloved Mayors. We know this is a daunting… Read More

Hiring and retaining talent tops list of concerns for local business community

Nov 3, 2015

At Lowcountry Local First, we believe ownership matters, and relationships matter. That’s why we work with businesses, community members and policymakers to build support for local, independent businesses. Here’s our criteria for a “local, independent business:” The business is privately held and not publicly traded. The business owners… Read More

Golden Ticket Contest: Buy Local Month 2015

Nov 2, 2015

Buy Local Month’s Golden Ticket Contest Nov 15 – Dec 15, 2015 SHOP LOCAL this holiday season and purchase a “Sea is for Caramel” chocolate bar from participating Sweeteeth Chocolate retailers or the Buy Local Block Party on November 21 for your chance to win one of three prize packs!… Read More

Local Farmers Assess Devastation & Ask For Your Help

Oct 6, 2015

As the waters slowly recede, residents of South Carolina will begin to assess the damage caused by the incredible amount of rain, severe winds, high tides and ultimately the record breaking flooding. For farmers across the state of South Carolina hard decisions will have to be made as… Read More

Time to Reimagine Our Economic Development Model

Oct 5, 2015

The following is reposted from the Charleston Regional Business Journal (Oct. 5 – Oct. 18; Volume 21, No. 21): $2,454,695,931. That is the amount of money given in subsidies to large corporations in South Carolina since 1992, according to Good Jobs First. What if we reimagined this regressive… Read More

Support Innovative Initiatives to Create Affordable Commercial Space

Sep 25, 2015

The following is reposted from the Charleston Regional Business Journal (Sep. 21 – Oct. 4; Volume 21, No. 20): Lowcountry Local First is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization working to build a strong economy by increasing community support for locally-owned, independent businesses. Our local economy development strategy focuses on… Read More

What "Good Business" Can Do for Charleston

Sep 23, 2015

Communities across the country are in a race to become the “best”; “best tech town”, the “top city for young entrepreneurs”, the “best place to start a business”, the “friendliest city”, the “best place to visit” and on and on. At Lowcountry Local First we feel that the… Read More

Heritage Trust Opens Student-Run Branches at Local Area High Schools

Aug 19, 2015

Heritage Trust Federal Credit Union will unveil the greater Charleston area’s first two student-run high school branches next week at the official grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremonies at both schools. The branches, located inside Goose Creek and Summerville High schools, are staffed by students participating in business… Read More

Sponsor Highlight: Workplace Benefits

Aug 19, 2015

When it comes to the complicated world of health insurance, finding the best coverage for yourself or your business can be nothing short of daunting. Thanks to Workplace Benefits, however, businesses and individuals now have a slew of helpful options at their fingertips. With six years in the… Read More

Sponsor Highlight: Striped Pig Distillery

Aug 19, 2015

According to Prohibition History, state militia units frequently gathered on parade grounds to practice drills; thus attracting many local onlookers as well as vendors. On one particular instance, a rum seller raised a flag of a hog “disguised in paint”, advertising to locals that they could find a… Read More

Sponsor Highlight: Nelson Printing

Aug 19, 2015

From brochures and business cards to coupons and menus, The Nelson Printing Corporation offers an evolving medley of beneficial printing options for businesses of all sizes. Dating back to 1844, the company, who once focused primarily on printing newspapers (read more about their roots here), has evolved into… Read More

Sponsor Highlight: Vincent Chicco's

Aug 19, 2015

Vincent Chicco’s is the newest member to Holy City Hospitality’s Hutson Alley trio. Joining Victor Social Club and Michael’s on the Alley, this Italian restaurant is catching the eyes (and appetites) of many locals and visitors to Charleston’s historic downtown area. Vincent Chicco’s “serves up Italian American fare,… Read More

Sponsor Highlight: Charleston City Paper

Aug 18, 2015

  From their comprehensive DISH Dining guide to their infamously entertaining police Blotter, Charleston locals have counted on the Charleston City Paper for all the juicy local happenings since 1997, and we’re thrilled to have them as a GOODBusiness Summit sponsor this year! Behind the free, weekly paper… Read More

Sponsor Highlight: Verde

Aug 18, 2015

We’re thrilled to have Verde back as our lunch sponsor this year! The great minds behind Verde saw an important need for the Charleston community: a quick-service and healthy dining option that is green inside and out. With compostable bowls and the push to recycle everything they can,… Read More

Sponsor Highlight: South State Bank

Aug 18, 2015

While South State Bank has experienced considerable growth since opening its doors in 1934 (its small town roots have since spread over three states with employee growth up to 600 and counting), its client-centered core values have remained the same since day one. Widely known for its top-notch… Read More

Sponsor Highlight: EventHaus

Aug 10, 2015

EventHaus serves up the widest selection of stylish materials needed for any Charleston event whether it’s furniture, tableware, bar needs, tents, lighting, flooring, catering, and linens. It all started back in 2009 when entrepreneur Matthew McKeown saw a need in the rental marketplace. He had the crystal stemware,… Read More

Sponsor Highlight: King Charles Inn

Aug 10, 2015

Living in one of the world’s most coveted travel destinations has its benefits. For starters, when it comes to comfortable hotels, tourists and locals have the option to handpick their accommodations, bouncing from one charming location to the next. As for the King Charles Inn? It’s certainly no… Read More

Sponsor Highlight: Charleston Museum

Aug 6, 2015

A HUGE thank you to our 3rd Annual GOODBusiness Summit host, Charleston Museum! Known to many as “America’s First Museum,” the Charleston Museum was first opened to the public in 1824 but was actually founded in 1773 by the Charleston Library Society on the eve of the American… Read More

Lowcountry Local First Earns SBA Growth Accelerator Funding

Aug 4, 2015

On August 4, 2015, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced 80 winners of the second annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. The purpose of the competition was to draw attention and funding to parts of the country where there are gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The recipients represent 39… Read More

Charleston Residents: A Victim of Our Own Success?

Aug 3, 2015

Is the current real estate boom a bust for local business owners? Through the contacts I am fortunate to have through Lowcountry Local First with the business community I hear numerous stories of absentee landlords who are unresponsive to tenant needs and business owners battling escalating rental rates…. Read More

Sponsor Highlight: Tanya Boggs Photography

Jul 29, 2015

Take one look at Tanya Boggs’ work, and you’ll note that her photos go beyond the average corporate headshot. Tanya’s love of photography stems from her years spent training as a modern dancer. She eventually went on to receive her MFA in Photography, and now, along with creating… Read More

GOODFarming Starts with Land Access

Jul 27, 2015

Launching a new business is an overwhelming endeavor, especially when the industry requires making a large investment in real estate and infrastructure. In agriculture, accessing land and infrastructure has become such an incredible challenge for new and beginning farmers across the nation that it is listed as one of… Read More

Sponsor Highlight: Buist, Byars & Taylor, LLC

Jul 27, 2015

With a focus on real estate law, Buist, Byars & Taylor, LLC has served the Charleston community since it was founded by Thomas G. Buist in 1958. Rooted in tradition, attorneys assist clients with a number of real estate issues, including land acquisition and development, residential and commercial… Read More

Growing a Superfood: Sweet ‘Taters

Jul 24, 2015

Sweet potatoes, or as locals refer to them, ‘sweet ‘taters, have risen from the dirt as a ‘superfood’ due to their high levels of vitamins A&C, antioxidants and low glycemic impact . These easy to grow root vegetables can be stored for months in a cool dry pantry… Read More

Sponsor Highlight: Coastal Coffee Roasters

Jul 24, 2015

In 2010, Coastal Coffee Roasters came to the Lowcountry with a simple idea. The thought? Share their passion for fresh, organic coffee with the rest of the world. Fast forward to today, and after setting up shop in at 108 E 3rd N Street in downtown historic Summerville,… Read More

Sponsor Highlight: The Beach Company

Jul 24, 2015

A big thank you to all of our GOODBusiness Summit sponsors, including Lowcountry Local First Enthusiast Member, The Beach Company! Established in Charleston in 1945, The Beach Company has set out to improve the long-term economic life of the Lowcountry and the rest of the Southeast region. The company’s core business… Read More

A #Local Case Study: The Spectator Hotel

Jul 20, 2015

Monday blues got you down? We felt that way, too, until we took a gander at the newly opened downtown boutique hotel, The Spectator Hotel. What a beauty! Locally-owned by Charlestowne Hotels (and one of our GoodBusiness Summit sponsors), The Spectator Hotel is just one lovely example of… Read More

Sponsor Highlight: Heritage Trust Federal Credit Union

Jul 17, 2015

A big thank you to all of our GOODBusiness Summit sponsors, including Lowcountry Local First Catalyst Member, Heritage Trust Federal Credit Union! Credit unions are a great option when financing any local business. Why? Because their mission is to serve its members, not maximize a profit. Businesses still have access… Read More

#CharlestonStrong

Jun 29, 2015

Graphic by Gil Shuler. On June 17, 2015, our community lost nine lives who had gathered in weekly prayer at the Mother Emanuel AME Church. We continue to be in awe of how our community has responded to the horrific incident and we maintain our hope that love ALWAYS wins. Our… Read More

Learning from our Neighbors: Sustainable Agriculture in NC

Jun 29, 2015

Where do the mentors go for mentorship? For Eat Local program staff and participants at Lowcountry Local First, the answer lies just across the border in North Carolina. Despite the close proximity, the local food system in our neighboring state to the North is a more matured landscape… Read More

Choose to Love the Place You Choose to Live

Jun 22, 2015

The following is a response from Jamee Haley, Executive Director of Lowcountry Local First, on the mass shooting that occurred in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17th, 2015, claiming the lives of nine community members. Donations can be made to support the families of the victims and the… Read More

70 Years of Farm Fresh Food from Limehouse Produce

Apr 23, 2015

As the presenting sponsor for Eat Local Month, which was founded by Lowcountry Local First to raise awareness on the positive societal impacts of eating local food and supporting local farmers, Limehouse Produce enables LLF’s Eat Local Initiative to reach thousands of consumers across the Lowcountry. For 70… Read More

Eat Local Challenge Potluck

Apr 14, 2015

Hosting or attending an all-local potluck will get you 2 points in the Eat Local Challenge, buts it’s also a fun way to try new local fruits, veggies and meats. Team Local Works hosted an all-local potluck on Friday as part of the Eat Local Challenge. We had quite… Read More

Put Down Roots with A Family Friendly Vegetable Garden

Apr 13, 2015

“Mama, look at our potatoes!” Nothing makes my heart sing as much as those words shouted by my six year old son. We planted the tubers a few weeks ago and they have finally emerged from the soil. In a few more weeks we will begin “grubbing” or… Read More

A Charleston Easter Feast Done Local

Apr 8, 2015

I like to pretend I’m on Iron Chef after coming home with my bounty of local produce and meats from the farmer’s market each week. I rarely go with a set list of items that I’m looking for but instead enjoy walking around seeing what’s in season and… Read More

Lowcountry Local First Awarded for Business Advocacy

Apr 7, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 7, 2015 Media Contact: Misty Lister, Marketing Director, Lowcountry Local First, misty@lowcountrylocalfirst.org, (843)740-5444   LOWCOUNTRY LOCAL FIRST AWARDED FOR BUSINESS ADVOCACY Lowcountry Local First selected as 2015 South Carolina Small Business Ally of the Year   Charleston, SC (April 7, 2015) – The South… Read More

The Eat Local Challenge Dining Out Guide

Apr 6, 2015

We are almost 1 week into the Eat Local Challenge. We hope everyone is having a good time navigating the waters of local eating. We have an abundance of local eats here in the Lowcountry –  CSAs, farmers markets, the local section of your grocery store, and a… Read More

Let the Eat Local Challenge Begin!

Apr 3, 2015

The Eat Local Challenge officially kicked off on Wednesday, April 1st, and that means over 450 people have started shifting at least $10 of their weekly food budget towards our local food system. Eating local is for everyone, and the ways you can shift towards eating local are endless. Don’t forget to… Read More

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Farmers Market Launch Time

Mar 30, 2015

The Charleston metro area has a wealth of resources to connect consumers with locally-sourced food and other products. The saying goes, “Know Your Farmer” in order to really know where your food is coming from. Farmers Markets provide an incredible community resource for doing just that – providing… Read More

2015: Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) in the Lowcountry

Mar 27, 2015

This post is outdated. Please refer to this map now that is continually being updated and browse by CSA options. Click on a map icon for full details and contact information.    Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a way for consumers to buy local, seasonal produce directly from… Read More

Density, Diversity, and Shared Ownership

Mar 20, 2015

While attending a recent Urban Land Institute annual Carolinas conference in Charleston, SC, I was intrigued by commercial real estate guru and marketer Gunnar Branson’s update to the well-worn real estate mantra: “Location, Location, Location.” Branson shared his 21st century update to the slogan as “Density, Diversity, and… Read More

Cultivating Community through Growing New Farmers

Mar 4, 2015

*** NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2015 GROWING NEW FARMERS APPRENTICESHIP AND CERTIFICATE IN SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE. APPLY BY MARCH 13TH *** On a cold day in March, I stand bundled up outside the birthing pen at Jeremiah Farm and Goat Dairy on Johns Island while goats of all… Read More

Local Business Owners Connect to Capital

Mar 3, 2015

On February 5th, as part of the GOODBusiness Series, Lowcountry Local First held a workshop for local business owners to learn about different funding opportunities and to have an opportunity to connect directly with the people behind those institutions. The 2nd Connecting to Capital workshop provided a platform… Read More

So what is a Community Membership anyway?

Feb 19, 2015

By Larry Downey | Community Manager, Lowcountry Local First As lovers of the Lowcountry, we understand that we have a choice in what we buy and from whom we buy it. We have a choice in what we eat, and from where and by whom it’s grown. Collectively,… Read More

Sowing the Seeds for a Successful Farm Business

Feb 3, 2015

By Nikki Seibert Kelley, Director of Sustainable Agriculture, Lowcountry Local First In farming, winter means business. Farmers and their supporting organizations are reflecting on the end-of-year, evaluating what worked, and planning on how to make the next year even better. Production has slowed down, seasonal markets are closed,… Read More

Charleston Forums on Hospitality, Upper Peninsula & Nightlife Regulations

Jan 30, 2015

By Lauren Gellatly, Community Development Director, Lowcountry Local First   The City of Charleston is holding several upcoming public forums on topics that may impact local businesses and residents in the peninsula area. We encourage our members to attend, share with your networks, or contact your city council… Read More

Make Things Happen With a Mentor

Jan 15, 2015

By Larry Downey, Community Manager @ Lowcountry Local First larry@lowcountrylocalfirst.org I am a huge proponent of mentorship. I had a mentor from sixth grade through high school who helped me navigate the treacherous waters of being a teenager. This experience actually led me to become a mentor for… Read More

Announcing our 2015 Board of Directors

Jan 6, 2015

We can’t do our work without champions in the community. As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Lowcountry Local First is governed by a Board of Directors. These folks are business owners and leaders, and tirelessly spread the good word on supporting local businesses to build a strong economy. They… Read More

Survey: Local Businesses Weigh in on How They're Doing

Dec 19, 2014

By Lauren Gellatly, Community Development Director @ Lowcountry Local First lauren@lowcountrylocalfirst.org As the only organization in the Lowcountry solely focused on providing resources, advocacy and training for locally-owned, independent businesses and farmers, we like to check in with our community to take a “temperature check” and gauge the… Read More

Why think local? It's simple really.

Dec 15, 2014

Originally printed as a Letter to the Editor in The Post and Courier on Saturday, December 13th, 2014. Each year Lowcountry Local First shouts from the rooftops about the importance of shopping locally during the holiday season. This year-round advocacy effort has the biggest push during the holidays… Read More

South State Bank Loves Local

Dec 8, 2014

2014 Buy Local Month presenting sponsor South State Bank loves the local businesses that make the Lowcountry the place we love. We recently sat down with Bill Medich, Executive Vice President and Charleston Regional President to find out WHY South State Bank Loves Local. LLF: Can you tell… Read More

Let's level the playing field for local business #eFairnessNow

Dec 4, 2014

By Lauren Gellatly, Community Development Director @ Lowcountry Local First lauren@lowcountrylocalfirst.org Local businesses need YOUR help right now. We have a very critical and very brief window of opportunity NOW (or over the next few days) on passing internet sales tax fairness to level the playing field for… Read More

Local businesses were the stars at Buy Local Block Party

Dec 4, 2014

The first ever Buy Local Block Party held on Saturday, November 22 was a success, to say the least. My best guesstimate (and a Post and Courier journalist agreed) is that we had over 1,000 attendees here at 1600 Meeting and Local Works. I’m sure the perfect fall… Read More

Top 10 Customer Service Tips For the Holidays

Oct 30, 2014

Some great tips from LLF member Katie Wells of K.E.W. Solutions for getting you and your employees ready for the holiday rush! With the holidays quickly approaching, it is many small business owners most profitable AND stressful time of year. A few quick customer service reminders can take… Read More

Where are you spending your Friday?

Sep 12, 2014

Watching collaborations happen is the most rewarding part of being the Community Manager at Local Works. We’ve only been up and running for a few months, but we already have a strong community and everyone in the space enjoys a sense of comradery. The environment is prime for organic collaboration… Read More

2014 GOODBusiness Summit

Sep 2, 2014

You came. You learned. You caffeinated. Models for success and innovation were explored. With nine different topics and a more than 150% increase in attendance from the founding event in 2013, the 2014 GOODBusiness Summit was a successful gathering of entrepreneurs, local businesses and community advocates. As moderator… Read More

Top 5 Ways to Keep it Local this Summer

Jun 19, 2014

Looking for ways to embrace the onset of the summer season? Look no further! We are fortunate to have an array of options here in Charleston to enjoy the summer in style. This Saturday (June 21st) marks the beginning of Summer! Yay! In celebration of my favorite season… Read More