Mount Pleasant offers program to help businesses thrive

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - The Town of Mount Pleasant is hoping for an economic boom with a new business development program in place.

In a slow economy Katherine Fishburne's furniture sales job just didn't cut it.

"It was a bad time to be in sales and that company folded, so I was out of work," the owner of InnovInk said.

Then the commercial interior designer started taking on projects from home, until she heard about Mount Pleasant's Business Incubator program, and landed the job of designing it.

"It really helped me decide I was going to make a business out of this and not just a project here and there. I probably would be searching for a job right now instead of being an entrepreneur," Fishburne said.

The town opened space for six start-up businesses, and the small business owners pay just $250 a month in rent for an office at town hall. The leases for these business run for at least one year. After that the town hopes to see them venture out on their own in the community.

"It's obviously an economic driver. If you have people that were not a business beforehand then they leave here and can actually stand on their own, that will have a significant impact on the local economy," Mt. Pleasant business development coordinator Quin Stinchfield said.

Resources to help the businesses succeed include a furnished office, meeting space, printer and fax machine, and the other entrepreneurs in the program.

The Business Incubator has been in the works since February. The town opened it earlier this month.

All the spots are taken right now, but start up businesses interested in a spot in the future can call the Mount Pleasant Business Development office at (843) 884-8517.

The town got a grant of $45,000 to fund the Business Incubator program.

The City of Charleston has a similar program for businesses known as "The Flagship." It's funded by the non-profit Charleston Digital Corridor.

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