#PickPageland campaign hopes to revitalize the city’s downtown

Pageland applying to be on reality show

PAGELAND, SC (WBTV) - The Town of Pageland has launched a new campaign #PickPageland in hopes of revitalizing downtown.

The Chamber of Commerce launched the campaign after learning about a show on Hulu called Small Business Revolution.

“They pick 6 businesses and they give them 80,000 to 100,000 to help market and revitalize their business,” Chamber of Commerce President Timothy Griffin said.

It’s an opportunity Griffin and others in the community are jumping at. They see the potential Pageland has to thrive, but need the funds to carry it out.

“We’ve got the buildings, we just don’t have the financials to make it go,” Longtime Pageland resident Catherine Williams said.

Williams and other longtime residents remember the good times in Pageland. According to local attorney Adam Foard, it was a railroad boom town between Lancaster and Cheraw, SC. Then became known as the Watermelon capitol of the world.

“I love this town. I always tell people it’s like my church,” Williams said. “You are not going to take me away from my church and you won’t take me away from my town. That’s how important it is to me.”

Phillip Melton grew up in Pageland. The local hardware store is the oldest business in Pageland and one of his favorites growing up.

“I ran around in here as a kid and loved coming here because of all the cool stuff,” Melton said.

He couldn’t bear to see it close down in 2014, so he bought it. But much like other small businesses in Pageland, they are on hard times.

“It’s heartbreaking, it’s just so heartbreaking to see all these shops empty,” Melton said. “Businesses shutting down, you hear people saying ‘well I can go to Monroe or Lancaster.”

“I came back here because we believe in this community and we want to see it thrive and be the best it can be,” Foard said.

Getting on Hulu’s Small Business Revolution is one way they hope to jump start Pageland’s come-back.

Griffin says many old buildings that have history and architecture are not up to code. The money it would take to bring those businesses up to code is too much for a small business owner to shell out before opening up shop.

He believes Small Business Revolution could help with that.

And for businesses in Pageland that are hanging on, and even doing well, seeing the rest of the community thrive is even better.

“I’m looking for walkability, the more things we have to offer the more people will come uptown,” New Creations Embroidery Owner Elizabeth Smith said.

To get picked for the show, the town needs to receive the most nominations. To nominate the Town of Pageland click here.

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