2020 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 educational campaigns like Eat Local Month and Buy Local Month.

► Promote an alternative to state and local economic development subsidies for national corporations with the focus on investment in our homegrown businesses.

► Promote opportunities for local minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses to compete for municipal contracts.


Expand Community Well-Being

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

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

► Provide tools and best practices to companies on supportive worker policies and other ‘high road’ business best practices to help them compete for talent and to create good jobs.


Grow Local Ownership and Entrepreneurship

►Bridge the gaps in entrepreneur support through Good Business, Good Farming, and Good Enterprises initiatives, because we believe ownership matters and every entrepreneur deserves access to opportunity.

►Provide business education and coaching in both English and Spanish that is specifically tailored to underserved entrepreneurs and located in the communities that need it most.

►Advocate for improvements to the permitting process that local businesses must navigate when opening or expanding a business.


Build Local Character and Culture

► Advocate for land-use planning, zoning, and policy to help local businesses thrive, including: bike, transit, and pedestrian-oriented improvements; street and façade improvements; 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.

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