Loris looks over feedback on how to improve business, downtown area

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 6:52 PM EST
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LORIS, S.C. (WMBF) - The Waccamaw Council of Governments held a workshop on Wednesday to take feedback from locals on how to improve downtown Loris for their revitalization master plan.

The council received over 200 responses on a survey asking for recommendations. The answers included everything from outdoor dining to the need for more parking.

Mattie Jane’s Bakery owner Sherrie Keen said the most important change is bringing in different kinds of businesses

“We need to work on parking and things like that,” Mattie Jane’s Bakery co-owner Sherrie Keen said. “But just diversity where we can get some clothes shops and just anything.”

Keen is among those pushing for a larger variety of shops downtown.

“There’s so much room for more different types of businesses.”

Keen opened her bakery seven months ago and said before she opened there hadn’t been a bakery in Loris in about 40 years.

“I came to retire, so how I opened a bakery, I don’t know,” Keen said. “But it happened.”

Keen’s son-in-law and bakery co-owner Joshua Franklin said he’d also like to see more store diversity. But he said there’s only so much the businesses themselves can do.

“The city has an opportunity as a larger entity to spread the word out there, and to use the various channels and resources available to them to get people out in droves,” Franklin said.

However, Loris’ mayor-elect Michael Suggs said it’s not a one-person job.

“Well we’d have to work with the city council because council has the ultimate decision on whatever we do,” Suggs said. “Work with the merchants, work with the Chamber of Commerce, and the Merchants Association, and put all those players at the table, and see what they have to offer and move forward from there.”

The council will have another meeting about the plan in January before presenting it to the city council in February.