Help Is On The Way For Small Businesses

By Bob Behanian  bio | email

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Today Mayor Riley and members of SCORE, Service Corps of Retired Executives, announced a new workshop that's in place to help those in need.

"Sit down individually with small business owners and work through questions or challenges, help provide a business plan."

SCORE is a non-profit organization that helps encourage entrepreneurship. New and current small business owners will get free, one on one confidential counseling with an executive. This program is designed to help a wide range of people.

"Whether you are a start up, an existing business, you're a business in trouble or if you're looking to start a franchise" added Charles Wiliams, Chapter Chairman.

If a new business owner wants to set up shop downtown there is plenty of open space but this isn't the only part of town that's available. The Citadel Mall has one hundred and six stores but right now fifteen of them are empty.

Mall officials say the eighty-one percent occupancy rate is below the usual ninety percent but it's not horrible. They also say they have been more flexible on monthly rates and that's helping attract new businesses.

One mall employee we spoke to off camera says they believe stores are leaving because of the crime that surrounds the mall, not the economy. Whatever the reason, there is space available for a new business. Mayor Riley believes Charleston is the perfect spot to open up shop.

"The fact that people are moving here and visiting. The diversified economy that we enjoy. We will whether this storm."