Georgetown County Economic Development is excited to announce the recent launch of its Minority-Owned Small Businesses Initiative Enterprise.
The initiative will help businesses across Georgetown County with tasks such as registering in the county’s procurement program, so they can take advantage of bid opportunities. The Economic Development Department will also assist with promotion of these local businesses.
The program is the first of a many steps Georgetown County Economic Development has in the works to help ensure minority-owned and small businesses are being recognized and have a better shot at not only surviving, but thriving.
“Our main priority with this is to make sure our minority owned businesses know they are being heard and they are supported in Georgetown County. We are committed to the growth of businesses of all sizes here, and recognize that small businesses are a vital part of our community,” said Brian Tucker, director of Georgetown County Economic Development.
Collaborating with the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce and the Gullah Geechee Chamber of Commerce, Georgetown County is looking to make this a lasting initiative.
As one of the fastest growing categories nationwide, minority-owned businesses can be significant for bringing additional economic growth to the county. According to the U.S. Census website, “Approximately 18.3% or 1 million of all U.S. businesses were minority-owned and about 19.9% or 1.1 million of all U.S. businesses were owned by women. Blacks or African-Americans owned approximately 124,511 businesses.”
With the impact of the pandemic, many small businesses have been hit hard, but minority-owned businesses have suffered tremendously. Many global brands and advertisers are spending money to gain support from audiences of different backgrounds, but rarely does that money or recognition reach minority-owned and small businesses themselves.
“The pandemic’s disproportionate impact on minority-owned small businesses is further evidence of systemic inequalities in our country. Even more concerning, the pandemic could exacerbate and elongate the economic struggles already facing minority-owned businesses and families,” said Suzanne P. Clark, the president of the U.S. Chamber.
“In Georgetown County, there are many minority owned and small businesses that have gone unnoticed in the past,” Tucker said. The county wants to help shine a light on these businesses. To jumpstart this initiative, the county is looking to establish a database of all minority-owned and small businesses in Georgetown County. This will help promote businesses to residents and tourists. Georgetown County Economic Development is also working to establish workshops for small business owners and those who are interested in starting a business. Workshops on how to participate in the county’s procurement program are also in development.
For more information on the initiative, visit seegeorgetown.com, or contact Brian Tucker or Maya Morant at (843) 655-2312 or (843) 461-6871. They can also be reached via email BTucker@gtcounty.org and MMorant@gtcounty.org.