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Florence organization recognized by Main Street SC for its efforts to help businesses during pandemic

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 7:00 PM EDT
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FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - The Florence Downtown Development Corporation has been awarded the Main Street South Carolina Inspiration award for its COVID-19 response.

The organization stood by businesses during the pandemic and pushed them through all of the obstacles they faced.

Development Manager Hannah Davis said the corporation took immediate action after businesses were forced to shut down.

They created an online resource center to link business owners with information on loans and services. Since March of 2020, the downtown Florence social media pages have been packed with up-to-date COVID-19 info, business hours, and reopening schedules.

“We went to an emergency management model for keeping our businesses open, and not only successful but thriving through the pandemic,” Davis said.

Davis said receiving the Main Street South Carolina Inspiration award validates all of their work over the last year.

As the pandemic fades, now they’ve shifted their focus to an even higher award.

“We’re pursuing the Great American Main Street Award which is the highest award you can receive at a national level for Main Street America,” Davis said.

While the organization helped keep businesses afloat, it also oversaw the opening of six new businesses in Downtown Florence.

LilJazzi’ Cafe opened on Dargan Street six months ago.

Owner Andrena Mullins said there are no words to describe what the Florence Downtown Development Corporation has meant to her business.

“They’re there, you can call, they help financially. In every way possible, I’ve never seen something so great to build a downtown area and they’re very much appreciated,” Mullins said.

The corporation also won a second inspiration award for a holiday catalog they designed to help downtown businesses.

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