Networking in Charleston: Lowcountry Local First
This post is the third in a blog series about some of our favorite networking and meetup groups. Check out last week's post to learn more about the Sea Island’s Chamber of Commerce, and be sure to tune in again next week for our final feature.
If you own a business in the Lowcountry, we highly recommend Lowcountry Local First membership. LLF is a nonprofit advocate for local economic development and an authentic voice for local, independent businesses. The organization has two primary initiatives, Good Business and Good Farming, which provide training and support to business owners and promote awareness among the general public.
“We know that for every $100 spent at a chain store, an average of $14 is reinvested in the community. For every $100 spent at a local store, an average of $45 is reinvested in the community. That money maintains our schools, paves our roads, employs our friends and neighbors and makes the Lowcountry a wonderfully diverse and interesting place to live.”
— Lowcountry Local First
Yes, other organizations in town advocate for local business, but LLF's advocacy is exclusively local. As such, membership is limited to independent, locally owned businesses that meet certain criteria.
Benefits of membership include exposure through the LLF business directory, free admission to monthly Member Mixers and discounted access to other events. Several of LLF’s reasonably priced membership levels include additional perks such as sponsorship opportunities and the ability to bring guests to Member Mixers free of charge. Mixers are hosted by various business all over town, and the events are a great way to meet other locally-minded, well-connected professionals. Nonmembers can attend (usually $10 at the door), but RSVPs are required. And always RSVP early… Mixer events fill up fast!
LLF Member Mixer at the Cedar Room, Photos by Foxworthy Studios
Rooted ID has benefited significantly from connections formed at LLF events, and we recently took advantage of their Commercial Space Services. LLF members now have access to two new resources—the Locals Only Space Database and the Commercial Space Advisory Team. The database includes listings for unique commercial properties (retail, office, warehousing, storage and other single occupancy and shared commercial spaces) and the advisory team provides support to business owners who are new to the lease negotiation process.