FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - The Florence Downtown Development Corporation is help small businesses move forward after they were heavily-impacted by COVID-19 closures.
Development Manager Hannah Davis said one of the ways they are assisting downtown businesses is by providing them with a one time Downtown COVID-19 Small Business Recovery Grant ranging from $2,500 to $5,000.
This grant program is currently underway to help provide reopening assistance to retailers, restaurants and close contact businesses in downtown Florence.
Downtown development has also launched a large social media campaign on Facebook and Instagram to assist residents in determining which businesses are open.
Davis said they are also in the process of a marketing campaign that centers around reopening businesses safely. She wants these businesses to know the Florence Downtown Development Corporation and they are there to help.
“We’ve been sending out governor reopenings and governor mandates and all of the things that folks might need,” said Davis. “We’ve helped lead people to funding and webinars that other communities have done to help bring people together. Show people they are not alone as we enter this reopening process.”
Davis believes the future is bright for downtown Florence as several projects are ongoing.
The projects include Lost Cajun Restaurant on North Dargan Street and the Save-a-Lot grocery store on Darlington Street.
“We are here to help them get through the hard times,” said Davis. “We’ve done everything we can possibly do to help them stay here, be here. We’ve actually had new business opportunities come in since COVID-19 started. We’ve actually had two new businesses open during the crisis with two more on the way,” said Davis.
Owner of Mosaic Clothing, Leah Norwood, said the Florence Downtown Development Corporation has posted on social media to update the community on her store’s reopening.
Norwood said they’ve also run marketing campaigns to advertise downtown businesses, so they don’t have to spend their own funds.
“It’s scary enough when you open your own business, and you are alone when you do it, but they’ve done this awesome thing as far as downtown and the support,” said Norwood. “With the chamber and downtown development everyone wants everyone to be successful and nowadays that’s a rare thing, so it’s great to have their support and know they are doing everything they can to help you,” said Norwood.