Resources

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Toolkit to Localize Your Business
Find out how you can take steps to localize your business and office through using local services and suppliers.

How to Open a Business in the Lowcountry
Business license requirements for City of Charleston, North Charleston, Goose Creek, Mount Pleasant, and Summerville.

CMCC’s Local Government Updates 
Important meeting updates from local jurisdictions, including local city, town and county councils.

How to Choose the Best Form of Business Ownership
Use this as a starting point for research when choosing the best form of business ownership or structure.

Capital Access — Debt vs. Equity
What type of financing is best for your business? This brief guide provides an overview of three ways to get capital: debt, equity and crowdfunding.

Climb Fund’s Small Business Loan Information
Learn more about eligibility and application requirements, fill out a New Client Questionnaire, and download a Climb Fund Loan Application.

B Lab’s Antiracism Report and Business Resources
View B Lab US and Canada’s commitment to justice and anti-racism and how your business can take action. View more info online.

Hurricane Preparation and Recovery Tools for Your Business

A list of resources focused on helping you best prepare for hurricane season and potential flood events throughout the year.

SC Commerce Hurricane Guide
A complete guide centered around hurricane preparation, evacuation, zones, as well as links to other resources and contacts you may need to safely endure hurricane season. Their program works to minimize business interruptions to get citizens back to work quickly and safely.

SC EMD Hurricane Guide
South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) helps you understand your zone, find evacuation routes, and access pet and other emergency supplies.

SC Department of Commerce’s Business Development Platform
The website helps connect companies – large and small, new and existing – with funding, local resources, buyers, data and analytics to guide smart and efficient business decisions.

Living Wage Calculator for Charleston Region
The tool provides information for individuals, and households with one or two working adults and zero to three children. The living wage shown is the hourly rate that an individual in a household must earn to support his or herself and their family. This tool is produced by Dr. Amy K. Glasmeier and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

2014 State of Local in the Lowcountry
A summary of two studies commissioned in 2013 showing 1) the economic impact of local retail and food & beverage businesses, and 2) the effectiveness of LLF branding and consumer awareness of the Buy Local movement.

Workforce Resources
Browse a list of job posting sites, training opportunities and other business resources aimed at helping local businesses find and keep happy employees.

Global Wellness Institute’s Workplace Wellbeing Standards 
Review the standards set for organizations looking to develop or expand their focus on wellbeing in the workplace.

BCDCOG’s Vanpool Program for Employers & Individuals
A vanpool is a group of people who are coming to the same workplace from the same community, riding together in a van.
Vanpools typically carry from four to fifteen passengers, and operate Monday thru Sunday, traveling between one or two common pick-up locations (typically a park-and-ride lot where a rider may leave his/her car, or a transit station) and the place of work. How it works.

Small Business Legal Checklist
A helpful checklist created by Wills, Massalon & Allen, LLC that covers topics from ownership and employee relations to trademarks and commercial leases.

Charleston County Public Library – Business Resources
Whether you want to start, improve or grow a small business, CCPL offers resources to help you achieve your goals. All library branches offer affordable printing, copying, and scanning services. Adult Services staff are available at all branch reference desks and can provide basic assistance with business questions. You can also book a one-on-one meeting with the Business Librarian.

Charleston Legal Access
A non-profit law firm serving low- and modest- income individuals, providing quality legal representation at reduced fees calculated on a sliding scale and engage in projects to expand access to justice in South Carolina

Charleston Pro-Bono Legal Services
Providing pro-bono legal assistance for low-income clients.

10 Reasons to Buy Local
When you buy local, three times more money is reinvested into the local economy vs. buying from national chains or corporations headquartered outside the Lowcountry. 

Farm Fresh Food Guide
A regularly updated directory and guide to Lowcountry farms, food producers, distributors and Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs).

Measure What Matters: Using Business as a Force for Good
ASSESS, COMPARE and IMPROVE how your company performs for best practices on employee, environmental and local economic impacts. Free and confidential.

Lowcountry Local First Seasonal Food Guide
Find out what fruits and vegetables are grown in the Lowcountry by using this seasonal food guide.

Farm Service Agency Loans: The Ins and Outs of Growing a Farm with Federal Loans
The National Young Farmers Coalition produced this guide, “Farm Service Agency Loans: The Ins and Outs of Growing a Farm with Federal Loans,” an illustrated guidebook for farmers looking to secure credit from USDA.