2019 Advocacy Priorities

Lowcountry Local First’s PURPOSE is to provide a singular voice for locally-owned businesses and to foster a community which empowers them to well and good.

As a 501c3 non-profit organization, LLF is non-partisan and we do not endorse political candidates. Along with direct services and relationship-building, advocacy is a powerful component of our work to cultivate an economy anchored in local ownership. Our advocacy work combines awareness-building, public education, as well as direct and grassroots policy activism on local, state, and occasionally federal issues that impact our local business community. For more info, please contact Lauren Gellatly. You may also view these priorities in PDF format.

Keep Dollars in the Local Economy

– Increase public awareness of the benefits of local businesses through campaigns including Eat Local Month, Buy Local Month, and Move Your Money Week.

– Promote a level playing field through economic development practices that support our homegrown businesses.

– Strengthen ‘Local Preference’ policies to encourage municipalities and institutions to award contracts to local businesses 

Expand Community Well-Being

– Educate citizens, media, and policymakers on the civic, economic and environmental benefits of supporting locally-headquartered businesses.

– Launch Good Enterprises to provide a tested and successful entrepreneurship program for low-income residents and create a path to increasing household wealth.

– Help businesses implement triple bottom line models of people, planet, and profit.

Grow Local Ownership and Entrepreneurship

– Bridge the gaps in entrepreneur support infrastructure with programs including the Good Business Initiative, Good Enterprises Initiative, Growing New Farmers, and Local Works.

– Address workforce hiring and retention issues through education on supportive worker policies and other ‘high road’ business best practices.

– Encourage local developers to proactively incorporate space that is “right-sized” and affordable for local businesses in commercial development. 

Build Local Character and Culture

Provided by Gotcha

– Advocate for land-use planning, zoning, and policy to help local businesses thrive including: bike, transit, and pedestrian-oriented improvements; street and façade improvements; flooding mitigation; and affordable housing/commercial space.

– Grow the presence of ‘Formula Business’ districts to ensure our communities are aesthetically unique and economically diverse, while preventing homogenization by chain businesses.

– Work with key partners to preserve small farms, including heirs’ property, and create opportunities for new space dedicated to small farms.