All up in your (small) business

small business stock photo

It’s National Small Business Week.

You’ve probably heard that operating a small business in Charleston is no small feat. Steep startup costs, sky-high commercial rent, + low five-year survival rate present a tough hurdle for entrepreneurs brave enough to start their own biz.

But in spite of our recent ranking as the worst city for small business in the U.S., there are plenty of reasons to stay optimistic. In fact, CHS actually topped Yelp’s list of cities experiencing the greatest growth in local business, based on the number of openings vs. the number of closures.

By the numbers:

  • 50: The maximum number of workers a business can employ in order to be categorized as ‘small’
  • 400,000: The number of small businesses currently operating in S.C.
  • 33,229: The number of small business employees in Charleston
  • 10.76%: The percentage of all workers in Charleston working for small businesses

In recognition of #SmallBusinessWeek, we’re celebrating those across the region who have stepped up to the challenge of starting their own biz, and in turn, have done their part in making the Holy City the vibrant + eclectic place that it is.


Small businesses our readers love

Earlier this week, we asked our readers to fill in the blank: “I would be heartbroken if _____ closed.”

Here are some of the places y’all told us you want to stay open forever:

🍅Boone Hall Farms

🎈Cannonborough Collective

🌿Hyams Garden Center

🍺 Closed for Business

🔨Tony’s Tile

🥙Bon Banh Mi

🐟 South Side Bait and Tackle

🥗Queen St. Grocery

💊 Guerin’s Pharmacy

🍷 Avondale Wine & Cheese

… and the list only goes on. Check out all the beloved businesses (and add your own to the list) here.


Supporting small businesses

Here’s the thing: most people want to back small businesses. In fact, according to a 2017 survey by AT&T, many people are even willing to pay more to support a small biz. Especially millennials– and millennials have a lot of spending power.

Here are a few easy ways you can aid small businesses:

  • Use this American Express tool to map out small businesses near you
  • Find the type of small business you’re looking for with the Lowcountry Local First business directory
  • Make it a point to hit up more small businesses. Eat out three times a week? Aim to make at least one of those trips to a local restaurant.
  • In love with a local business? Recommend it to your friends + family. Word-of-mouth is the best advertising. And it’s free.


Q: What do you call a nosy pepper?

A: Jalapeño business. 🌶

Have a great weekend, Charleston.