Posts

Due West Community Enrichment Meeting

Sally Caldwell, Communications Coordinator

October 29, 2015

DUE WEST — Last Monday, at the Renaissance LLC Retirement Community, the community of Due West gathered with small business owners and experts to learn how to make Due West successful both in business and in creating community.

After enjoying a dinner catered by The Renaissance, the meeting began with an enthusiastic welcome from Will Ferreira and updates on how the Freshwater Coast Community Foundation (FCCF) plans to enrich Due West.

“Our goal is to promote Erskine College,” Will stated. Due West is a college town, and businesses and community alike must take advantage of this asset.

The town of Due West also plans to eventually build a Community Enrichment Center, a place that will provide everything from education to fellowship.

Will then introduced Rusty Burns, Administrator for Anderson County, who spoke about Due West’s greatest assets and the areas that the town could grow and flourish in. “You really have a beautiful town to start with,” Rusty encouraged.

Rusty sees great potential in even more economic growth through Erskine College and with public-private partnerships. Erskine notoriously sends many students to medical school and should play up this trait, while Due West should focus on creating good locations for buildings that could be used by potential business owners.

Next, Matt Wiggins spoke about opportunities for small businesses. Matt is the Area Manager and Business Consultant for the South Carolina Small Business Development Center (SBDC) stationed at Lander University, and he discussed the different areas of his free consulting services. Business planning, financial options and management, business growth, sales and market strategies, and business seminars are just a few of the areas that Matt and the SBDC serve the communities in South Carolina with.

To close the meeting, Heide Trull, owner of Grits & Groceries in Belton, spoke about her journey to success and how she stays successful by utilizing social media advertising and giving back to the community. She spends 80% of Grits & Groceries’ money within a 100 mile radius, buys from local growers, and has her employees write 25 thank-you notes every day. “We only want to promote what’s great about Due West,” Heide said.

Due West has many areas to improve in, but it has even more areas of success. The community in and around Due West is ready for growth, and the FCCF plans to do just that through promoting small businesses, building a Community Enrichment Center, and promoting Erskine College.

The Due West community gathers together to learn how to enrich Due West through economic development, small business opportunities, and social media.

The Due West community gathers together to learn how to enrich Due West through economic development, small business opportunities, and social media.

McCormick Small Business Night Success

Sally Caldwell, Communications Coordinator

August 26, 2015

MCCORMICK — The town of McCormick was excited to host its first Small Business Night, and even more excited to see its success. Many people gathered together last Thursday night in McCormick Middle School’s cafeteria to listen to speakers, ask questions, and strategize the growth of the town.

The meeting opened up with talk about the need for a central hub for tourism in McCormick, as well as other ideas that could promote tourism.

Small businesses must decide what their market is and understand how rural tourism applies to them.

Visitors look for entertainment, excitement, and education, and McCormick could easily produce all of these for rural tourists.

Southern hospitality was then discussed as the secret to tourism in South Carolina. No other place is known for being as courteous and familial as the communities in South Carolina, a trait that must be continued and embraced by the McCormick community.

Signage was also brought up as a factor that could change the face of rural tourism in McCormick. Signs drawn attention, keep attention, and guide onlookers to where their attention may be transformed into entertainment, excitement, or education.

Lauren Ponder then took over the meeting, promoting SC Great Outdoors, a website that is dedicated to preserving and promoting the historicalness of our counties, facilitating grants, and creating a sense of place. As Lauren said, “Development will happen, you just have to plan it.”

Lauren discussed potential changes that would enhance McCormick, such as new lighting, multimodal transportation, and more.

Next on the agenda was speaker Matt Wiggins. Matt talked about how to put small businesses on the map worldwide, primarily through web services. Matt said that “online presence is key,” and he offered his website skills to everyone at the meeting.

McCormick’s Small Business Night was a smashing success; now, the community eagerly awaits to see the fruits of this productive meeting.

Whether augmenting the structure of the town, creating new local businesses, or putting current businesses on the map, McCormick is on the brink of becoming a successful county of rural tourism.

The community of McCormick County excitedly discusses the potential of local businesses and how to improve McCormick through new local businesses and new strategies of promotion.

The community of McCormick County excitedly discusses the potential of local businesses and how to improve McCormick through new local businesses and new strategies of promotion.