Empowering Neighborhood-Serving Businesses

The rapid growth of the Charleston region has presented important new opportunities for economic development. Yet the associated rise in land value has translated to higher commercial rents. This has created market pressures for more businesses to cater to the tourism industry and presents the risk of displacing businesses that serve more permanent residents.

The advisory body consulting on the most recent update to the City’s Tourism Management Plan developed the “Charleston Charter for Sustainable Tourism.” Among the principles set forward is that

tourism must be based on the diversity of opportunities offered by the local economy. It should be fully integrated into and contribute positively to local economic development while respecting the authenticity and heritage of the city.

Charleston’s neighborhood-serving and long-term businesses offer its urban environments intangible values by providing a sense of continuity and community. We have a history of pressing for policies that recognize and empower these operations as a key link for sustaining our vibrant city.


Lowcountry Local First

Entrepreneurial Resources from the Charleston Regional Development Alliance

City of Charleston Business Services

Charleston’s Minority & Women-Owned Business Enterprise Office