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, but we refuse to start 2017 stagnating under the power of fear. Instead, let’s focus on the reality that there is real, tangible good in our community and world.

So log out of Facebook, switch off the news, crank up your favorite holiday jams, and enjoy a little goodness. We are jazzed to share a few non-“doom and gloom” stories from 2016, as told by seven of our members and friends:

“The Charleston Chronicle has experienced more ups than downs in 2016. The newspaper has persevered as one of the state’s oldest minority media institutions by evolving with the times. Chronicle founder Jim French handed over the reins to two youthful, but capable leaders after four plus decades of steering the company forward as the preeminent voice of local Black community. His successors, myself and Tolbert Smalls, have weathered the storm of an uncannily brutal news cycle to deliver an enhanced version of our signature brand of hard-hitting and ever-vital content for a burgeoning readership. This year alone, we have hosted our very first community panel with the help of the Charleston County Public Library, produced a special edition publication in honor of Mother Emanuel AME Church, had October 22, 2016 bestowed ‘Jim French Day’ by Mayor John Tecklenburg, celebrated our 45th year in print and even won a City Paper ‘Best of Charleston 2016’ award. We’re not satisfied, though; only motivated to fly higher and stronger in 2017!”
– Damion Smalls, The Charleston Chronicle

“This year has been notoriously rough for just about everyone-regardless of race, socioeconomic class, beliefs, etc. One of the gifts of working with a large number of individuals through the health and wellness sphere is that you get to observe patterns. This year, we learned that we aren’t crazy (ha!). Everybody was going “through it” in their own version and collectively we all felt it. It does bode well for the launch of our company Deliberate Method after a long 2 year creation process. It is incredibly affirming in its own twisted way…this massive global reminder that our power lies within and it’s up to us to know that and harness it. So with that, we will. 2017, we’re ready.”
– Hallie Buchanan & Lyn Tally, Charleston Wellness Group

“Lennon Construction is glad to wrap up another successful year! 2016 was spent teaming up with local restaurateurs, architects and small business leaders to collaborate on new projects to serve the low country. It was very rewarding to have a hand in shaping Charleston’s NoMo community with Butcher & Bee, Lewis BBQ, Goat Sheep Cow North, Ceterus, SGA Architecture and Union Baptist Church’s ‘Raise the Roof.’ We are so happy to see this area coming back to life as well as the west side where we had the great privilege of bringing Harold’s Cabin and 237 Fishburne Street to life.”
– Tom Lennon, Lennon Construction Co.

“2016 was our first full year in business. The relationships and mentorships we solidified in this community have been invaluable. Since Burnt and Salty consists of just Bob and I, the advice we received from other small businesses has really helped us avoid some common mistakes and thrive in our first year.”
– Cris Miller, Burnt & Salty

“2016 was the year that SCCLF received $10 million to loan to community facilities projects in rural South Carolina. In conjunction with this award, SCCLF also received a grant from the Uplift America Fund and a program related investment from Bank of America as a guarantee on the loan. The unique partnership that has been established through the Uplift America Fund and Community Facilities Relending Program will help us provide essential services and improve quality of life in low-income, rural communities by providing much-needed, long-term capital  We are grateful to have partners who share our commitment  to increasing the wealth and health of disinvested communities throughout the state.”
–  Michelle Mapp, SC Community Loan Fund

“In 2016, I survived my first year managing an organic farm, managed organic certification, hosted LLF’s Growing New Farmers Program pilot, my wife had our second son, and we added goats, kittens, ducks, chickens, and rabbits to our homestead. We’re starting a fruit guild and clearing another acre in hopes for spring plantings. It’s been a great year, just a blur really, but I learned a lot.”
– Josh Adams, Middleton Place Organic Farm

“2016 was incredible in one way: compared to the slow-motion car accident that was our presidential election, quitting my stable full-time position to pursue my passions and eventually land my dream job felt like the most logical, rational decision ever made.”
– Kaleigh Hastings, Designer for Sisal & Tow

We are encouraged by our network of local businesses, by our community at large, and by the unwavering power of what we can accomplish when we come together as one voice to fight for the type of place we want to live. A place that is inclusive, resilient and supportive of an economy that works for all. We are honored to be your local movement builders.

We are honored to have you as neighbors.

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