Lowcountry Local First opens co-working space

Lowcountry Local First has opened Local Works, a co-working space, on upper Meeting Street. (Photo/Provided)
Lowcountry Local First has opened Local Works, a co-working space, on upper Meeting Street. (Photos/Provided)

By Andy Owens
aowens@scbiznews.com
Published July 2, 2014

Lowcountry Local First, a local-business advocacy nonprofit, has opened co-working space on upper Meeting Street in Charleston.

Using part of a $100,000 S.C. Commerce Department innovation grant and support from the city of Charleston, the organization opened Local Works to provide low-cost commercial space.

The 3,000-square-foot facility isn’t focused on any one particular sector; instead, it will complement existing space in Charleston that’s primarily focused on technology companies, according to a news release.

Lowcountry Local First Executive Director Jamee Haley said Local Works was created using the group’s buy-local approach.

Tables at Local Works were made by Dan Perrin of Perrin Woodworking using reclaimed wood from the Limehouse Market shed. (Photo/Provided)Tables at Local Works were made by Dan Perrin of Perrin Woodworking using reclaimed wood from the Limehouse Market shed. 
 
Local Works installed a green roof on the building on upper Meeting Street. See a time-lapse video of the installation by Green Roof Outfitters. (Photo/Provided)Green Roof Outfitters installed a green roof on the building. See a time-lapse video of the installation.(Photos/ Provided)

“We started the collaborative process from the beginning by engaging a local architect, craftsmen, local business purveyors, artisans and technicians,” Haley said in the news release. “We have made a concerted effort to show the business community how to localize their businesses.”

Local Works will be run as a nonprofit center with support from the city of Charleston, the S.C. Community Loan Fund and the Commerce Department. Local Works has three pricing options for businesses looking for lower-cost commercial space. The two private offices, which already have been rented, are $550 a month. Full-time space is available for $275 a month and part-time space, three days per week, is available for $150 a month.

Larry Downey, community manager at Lowcountry Local First, said the space will be rented on a first-come, first-served basis and all businesses must be local. Leases are month-to-month, and there is no minimum or maximum time space can be leased.

Downey said a festival that might need an office for a few months could rent space in Local Works, or a contractor who doesn’t expect to grow beyond its current size could be there for the long term.

The organization also expects the co-working space to be used for events and tutorials focused on marketing, access to capital and networking. Local Works said business mentoring, brainstorming sessions with successful entrepreneurs and workshops also will be part of the facility’s ongoing activities.

“When you can reach across the desk and ask someone who specializes in marketing or accounting a question, without having to spend hours on research, it allows you to stay focused on your mission,” Downey said.

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