Construction underway for center to aid minority, women-owned businesses in Charleston

The City of Charleston says an entrepreneurial resource center will be dedicated to minority and women-owned businesses.
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 5:25 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2022 at 6:51 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of Charleston says an entrepreneurial resource center currently under construction on the peninsula will be dedicated to minority and women-owned businesses in the area.

Ruth Jordan, the manager of the city’s Office of Minority & Women Business Enterprise department, said because of the pandemic, minority and women-owned businesses have struggled the most because they didn’t have access to capital or grants.

They’re hoping to change that with the new center on the corner of Lee and Hanover streets, near Martin Park, consisting of around 8,000 square feet of space.

Jordan said over the past 20 years, the city has seen a decrease in businesses owned by minorities and women on the peninsula.

The center will have a corner store, two retail spaces, open office space and private offices on the first floor and 64 affordable housing apartments on the upper floors.

Jordan said the center’s purpose is to help these businesses as much as possible.

“Our goal is to shore up our minority business population here on the peninsula because I believe, and we believe, that entrepreneurship is a community sport,” Jordan said. “When they win, we win. When they’re able to be successful, our tax base improves. Our school systems improve. Our community improves phenomenally.”

The city said they are contributing around $870,000 to outfit the center. They will be renting the space from the developer for what officials call a nominal fee.

The city hopes the center and apartments will be built by next fall and hold the grand opening in the beginning of 2024.