Lowcountry Local First (LLF) has launched a “Community Storefront Project” on Reynolds Avenue located in the Chicora-Cherokee neighborhood in North Charleston. The goal of this project is to build on the existing assets of the community and the foundation built by Metanoia’s work over the past 15 years. The objective is to add to the vibrancy of the neighborhood and expand on the economic opportunities that support local-independent businesses.

“We are committed to diverse business development in the North Charleston area, where Reynolds Avenue is a hub of economic and social activities,” says Lowcountry Local First’s Executive Director, Jamee Haley. “This project offers residents and stakeholders the opportunity to invest in careers, company, and community through a competition for storefront space. Our goal is to provide support that will produce long-term entrepreneurial success for motivated business owners.”

“Metanoia’s vision statement has always contained the hope that “Reynolds Avenue will become a hub of community activities.” We see this partnership with Lowcountry Local First as a significant step in making that vision a reality for Reynolds Avenue,” says Metanoia’s CEO, Bill Stanfield. “We are particularly excited that we will be looking to locate businesses in the neighborhood that complement the existing community.”

To enter the competition, hopeful entrepreneurs must submit an application and a business plan, reflecting the well-thought out idea for their business. A group of stakeholders and business owners from both Metanoia and Lowcountry Local First will review the applications. Selected businesses will receive membership with LLF, mentorship, marketing and accounting support, as well as subsidized rent for up to three years.

The two organizations will be host an information session at The Macon Café on Reynolds Ave on Wednesday, August 23rd from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Applications closed Nov 15, 2017. Stay tuned for an announcement of the winner of the Community Storefront Competition!



What is the square footage of the building?
The building is 1,400 square feet and can be divided into (2) 700 square foot spaces depending on the applicants needs.

What is the rent?
– Year 1: 1,400 square feet – $1,167 per month // 700 square feet – $583 per month
– Year 2: 1,400 square feet – $1,385 per month // 700 square feet – $693 per month
– Year 3: 1,400 square feet – $1,604 per month // 700 square feet – $802 per month

What does rent include?
– Year 1 – Electric, water, property taxes and build out of the space
– Year 2 – 1/2 of the electric bill, water, property taxes
– Year 3 – water and property taxes

What is LLF including as part of the incubation?
– Subsidized rent for 3 years
– Electric bill payment in full year 1, and partial year 2
– Accounting support
– Marketing support
– Mentorship
– Membership with LLF
– Promotion of store opening
– Ongoing revitalization efforts on Reynolds Avenue

Do I need to submit my business plan with my application?
– If you have a business plan please submit it along with your application to Reynolds@lowcountrylocalfirst.org.
– If you don’t yet have a business plan and need some help in getting started or completing one please complete the application and we will find a mentor for you.

When are applications due?
November 15th, 2017

When will the building be complete so I can launch my business?
March 1, 2018 is the target launch date

Will I have any say in the build out of the space?
Yes, our partner Metanoia will work with you on that.

What types of businesses will you consider?
We seek businesses that will add to the vibrancy of the community, can hire from within the community and have a solid financial plan. We cannot consider full-service restaurants due to the buildout needs required. 

Jordan Amaker
Director of Marketing & Communications
Director of Marketing & Communications