Local Business Help

These organizations offer free or low-cost assistance to small business owners in the Charleston, SC area.

Organizations

Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester Council of Governments (BCDCOG)

The BCDCOG is a public agency involved in comprehensive planning programs for the region. It also serves as a resource for research and funding. Contact Ron Mitchum at 843-529-0400.


Charleston County Procurement’s Small Business Enterprise Program (SBE)

The SBE program works to ensure that small businesses in the area can compete effectively in the County’s procurement process. The program assists businesses with becoming certified as a small business and also offers a business workshop series. Contact Susan Hogan at 843-958-4765.


Charleston County’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (DBE)

Fosters fair competition for Charleston County RoadWise transportation contracts by ensuring that minority- and women-owned businesses can compete on an equal basis with other businesses for bids. The DBE also works to help small businesses grow and compete for contracts outside of the DBE program. Contact staff at 843-958-4753.


Charleston Local Development Corporation (LDC)

The LDC provides low-cost financial assistance to small businesses in the Tri-County area and in Colleton County. Contact Cindi Rourk for more information.


Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber offers a comprehensive program covering many aspects of business.  Contact Chamber staff at 843-723-1773.


City of Charleston Division of Business Services

Provides Charleston businesses with the information and assistance they need to grow and succeed.  Contact Amy Barrett at 843-724-7472.


City of Charleston Minority Business Enterprise

This office is responsible for implementing the City’s plan for utilizing disadvantaged and women-owned business enterprises. It also assists with certification and aids small business owners in business growth. Contact Theron Snype at 843-973-7247.


South Carolina Division of Small and Minority Business Contracting and Certification(SMBCC)

The SMBCC provides certification that a SC business is owned by a socially and economically disadvantaged minority for the purpose of competing for state government procurement contracts. Contact Ronald Boone at 803-734-5010.


SCORE

SCORE provides one-on-one counseling and group workshops for current and prospective small business owners.  Contact Julie Fekete at 843-727-4778.


South Carolina Community Loan Fund

The CLF finances the capital needs of community businesses serving and employing low to moderate income individuals located in underserved coastal South Carolina communities. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to, retail stores and service businesses, wholesalers, and small manufacturers. Contact Patrick King at 843-973-7285.


South Carolina Women’s Business Center

An affiliate of the Center for Women, the SCWBC assists women entrepreneurs via individual business counseling, workshops, microloan services, and networking events. Contact 843-763-7333.


Trident Technical College Continuing Education Corporate Training

Provides training and consulting services to assist local firms and individuals with improving their operational processes. Contact Lloyd Kling at 843-574-6491.


U.S. Commerical Service – South Carolina

Part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Center’s mission is to assist small and medium-sized enterprises with exporting. Contact Phil Minard at (843) 746-3404.


US Small Business Administration, South Carolina District Office

The US SBA serves small business owners and entrepreneurs in areas of financial training and research. Contact 843-225-7430 or 803-765-5377.


USC Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

The SBDC provides free, long-term, confidential counseling and seminars to current and potential small business owners. Contact 843-740-6160.


World Trade Center Charleston

Offers international trade services such as market research, WTCA Online, trade education, and group trade missions. Contact Pennie Bingham, 843-805-3073


Websites

CCPL Business Center at CCPL.org


Charleston Regional Business Journal


SBA Small Business Resource


SC Business One Stop


SC Department of Commerce


SC Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation


SC Department of Revenue’s Business Tax Guide


SC Department of Transportation’s Average Annual Traffic Counts


SC Secretary of State


SC Small Business Resource Finder


South Carolina Business Opportunities


South Carolina Business Review