[image-1] Lowcountry Local First, the Charleston-based small business advocacy group, announced this week that they have been awarded $50,000 grant from Bank of America’s Neighborhood Champion program.

Raquel Padgett, program director for LLF’s Good Enterprises initiative, says that they are “elated” at the partnership. “We’re looking forward to all of the resources they will provide our staff and our students to move forward.”

According to the non-profit, their mission is to cultivate an economy centered around local ownership.
[content-2] The Neighborhood Champion grant is an extension of Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders program, which strives to provide non-profits with tools to develop strong strategic plans. This is the first year that Bank of America has held its Neighborhood Champion program, making LLF the inaugural grant winner.

“Lowcountry Local First was chosen by the committee based on their efforts toward cultivating an economy anchored in local ownership and fostering a better environment for creating and sustaining local businesses,” a press release from Bank of America read.

LLF launched their Good Enterprises Initiative in February this year in the hopes of providing equitable opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs in the Lowcountry. The Community Business Academy, a 12-week program that gives business lessons to prospective and established entrepreneurs, was established in September as part of the initiative.
[content-1]According to Padgett, the grant money will go to support the Community Business Academy. “I think the most important focus in all of this is the students,” she says. “When we engage funders and partners, like Bank of America, it helps us provide this class for students who need it most. That may be in underserved areas where there needs to be some economic equity.”