CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Local lawmakers are aiming to improve community relations and help businesses in need. The Charleston Together Initiative will do just that by funding programs and help businesses make repairs after being damaged during the May riots.
Local leaders and community activists are working together to improve underserved communities in the Charleston area as well as helping King Street business owners get back on their feet.
“The people of Charleston are hurting and we need to chart a course forward immediately,” says South Carolina State Senator Marlon Kimpson.
The Charleston Together Initiative is aimed at building relations in underserved communities and small business owners struggling in the aftermath of the riots.
“This fund will enhance community and race relations by providing resources to programs,” says Senator Kimpson.
The initiative, started by Senator Kimpson and State Representatives Wendell Gilliard and Marvin Pendarvis, has raised more than $75,000 in less than two months.
“But we are not done,” says Kimpson. “Our goal is to reach $100,000 or more.”
A seven-member committee made up of activists and leaders will take grant applications and allocate funds to areas of the community in the most need.
“Because I think it’s going to be one that truly repairs and heals our community in a meaningful way,” says State Representative Pendarvis.
Community members and local business owners like Jerry Bias, chipping in to help other owners in need, owners who are more like family to Bias.
“If I can’t help you in the bad times I’m not a good friend,” says Bias. “You know no one needs you in the good times they need you in the bad times and for me leadership shows up, stands up and reaches out and says how can I help?”
Businesses interested in donating to funds or applying for the grant should go to Lowcountry Local First’s website.