Giving Back to Small Business Community Makes Goose Creek a True Hometown
There’s a feeling in Goose Creek as unmistakable as it is exciting. It’s a feeling of excitement, of growth and of potential. It’s a feeling that is wrapped in a “hometown” feel that South Carolina’s eighth-largest municipality has retained.
In a region of the country filled with economic success stories, Goose Creek stands out – and the nation is noticing.
In the fall of 2020, the City was named one of the Best Places to Live in the entire country. Money Magazine’s “Best Places to Live in America” list for 2020 includes the City of Goose Creek at #38. Evans, Ga., garnered the publication’s no. 1 ranking.
In its description of Goose Creek, the magazine pointed to a number of factors that went into its ranking: “Life in Goose Creek is pretty sweet … home prices are in the $200,000 range, almost half as much as in Charleston. Meanwhile, Berkeley County’s economy is growing at a steady clip, with the county GDP almost doubling since the 2008 recession, thanks to industry giants like Google, Volvo Cars North America and DuPont building outposts in the area.”
For Goose Creek Mayor Greg Habib, the magazine’s honor was gratifying, though not surprising.
“Money Magazine’s accolades showed the entire nation and indeed readers around the world what we have known well: Goose Creek has arrived,” Habib said. “Safe streets, high quality public services, dependable fire protection and economic growth are but some of the factors playing a role in our recognition.”
“Accolades are nice, and I do want Goose Creek to be a great place to read about. But above all I want it to be a great place to live for the folks who call it home.”
That livability goal includes many things, including the City’s growing and region-leading Recreation Department, its Department of Public Works, and award-winning Fire and Police Departments.
It also includes Economic Development.
“Economic Development includes recognizing your success, and paying it back during times of need,” the Mayor said. “I know, in Economic Development, support for existing businesses, particularly during tough times, is paramount. Keeping a business is certainly easier than getting new ones.”
Over the past 12 months, “tough times” meant, in particular, dealing with a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. To that end, and with the leadership of City Economic Development Director Matt Brady, the City formed a unique partnership called “Kickstart the Creek.”
“Our Kickstart the Creek Partnership with the LowCountry Development Corporation provides small, low interest loans to businesses that may have fallen through the cracks of the Federal and State programs,” Habib said. “Successful businesses that without the effects of the pandemic would still be thriving, need help to navigate a new reality. I am proud for us to participate in their success, because their success is our success.”
In March of 2021, the City’s first two Kickstart the Creek recipients were announced. Turning Page Bookshop and Acute Heating & Cooling are two of the City’s Black-owned businesses, and both received $25,000 from the Kickstart program.
The fact that the good news about the Kickstart the Creek program came in March was significant: March 2021 marked the 60th anniversary of the City of Goose Creek’s incorporation in March 1961. The City will celebrate the milestone throughout 2021 as one of the state’s greatest success stories continues to be told.