July 21, 2017
Genuine excitement in Georgetown
After receiving 14,000 nominations for towns to put in the spotlight during season two of “Small Business Revolution,” we hit the road to visit eight inspiring towns that made our short list of potential finalists. Throughout summer, we’re looking back and sharing the stories of what made each town special – including guest posts from local leaders and some profiles of businesses in these communities. This post, written by Michele Overton, President, Georgetown Business Association, is the third in our weeklong focus on Georgetown, South Carolina.
Here in Georgetown, we have always known that our beautiful, friendly, and historic waterfront town is a true hidden treasure along the coast. Thanks to the Small Business Revolution featuring us as one of the towns on their short list for their Main Street series, Georgetown is no longer a hidden gem! The citizens of Georgetown have always had pride in our town, however, when the Small Business Revolution recognized us as a special place, it boosted our spirits to receive national recognition.
Probably the biggest asset from working with the Small Business Revolution has been that it has brought the community closer together. We have always been a compassionate, caring community – banding together in times of need. We know how to help and support each other, as witnessed by the outpouring of love and encouragement offered to the citizens and business owners affected by the 2013 fire that destroyed a large portion of our historic downtown area, and again after the 2015 “1000-year flood.” It’s common for community support and engagement to dwindle after crisis periods like the ones we experienced have passed. This has not been the case in Georgetown.
Recently, the city held an economic development meeting that was attended by around 70 people, a huge number for a meeting of that type. Businesses, non-profits, city and county government officials, the chamber of commerce, school district representatives, colleges and technical colleges, museums, tourist attractions, the hospital system, retirees, and numerous other groups were represented. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss how we can all work together for the future of a united Georgetown. This group will meet quarterly to set obtainable goals. The momentum from our participation with the Small Business Revolution played a big part in this meeting being so successful.
Some of our recent achievements include: membership in the Georgetown Business Association (GBA) has more than doubled, four new businesses have opened on Front Street, real estate sales in the city have increased, and our ‘Music in the Park’ events, held monthly from May through October, are drawing huge crowds. Survey information tells us visitors are coming from all over the state, the country, and even from foreign countries!
Our community was so excited to be included in the Small Business Revolution campaign. When we greeted Amanda and her film crew, we probably had 100 people turn out to welcome the team. Everyone wanted to be involved and to help promote Georgetown. Businesses posted pictures on their Facebook pages showing employees holding signs that they had voted for Georgetown, the schools sent home flyers sharing how to vote, and businesses and restaurants distributed flyers to their patrons. That enthusiasm is continuing.
Everyone is recognizing that we can accomplish great things when we all work together for the common good of our beautiful city. Thank you, Small Business Revolution, for reminding us that we are special!