Williamston offering Main Street Challenge grant to open new business

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Envision Williamston is now accepting applications for a grant program for a new or prospective business opportunity in Williamston.
The Main Street Challenge Grant Program is an entrepreneurial start-up competition for the purpose of generating additional retail occupancy in Williamston. It includes an incentive package up to $10,000 to each of two winning entrepreneurs who are selected to open their new business in Williamston. The new business must be ready to open by September of this year.
The grant is being offered by the Town of Williamston, through its economic development partner, Envision Williamston, and in partnership with Innovate Anderson. The Small Business Development Center based at Clemson University is providing hands on assistance to semi-finalists.

Envision Williamston Executive Director Sonya Crandall said the town is seeking to revitalize the downtown historic corridor. While the town has achieved some initial success in attracting businesses, “the continued growth of retail, light industry and residential development is key to the town’s ongoing revitalization,” Crandall said.
“Last year we welcomed 15 new businesses including a Dollar Tree store, a 24-hour fitness center, two pet groomers, a beauty salon, a mobile phone store and an insurance company to name a few,” Crandall said.
To help beautify the downtown area and create a welcoming ambiance, the Town has also added three new welcome signs, four colorful murals, 16 community benches with planters, 42 decorative banners and awarded facade grants that improved over 20 properties, according to Crandall.
The improvements have been under the umbrella of the Envision Williamston program and have been paid for primarily by grants and private funding.

The Main Street Challenge program awarded two grants last year, but both were unable to meet the required conditions and/or timelines for opening a new business. If you or someone you know has an idea for a new business or already has a business in the Upstate but would like to expand by opening a second location, Crandall invites you to consider Williamston as an option and do it with help from the Main Street Challenge.

For more information on the Main Street Challenge Grant Program, go to the Envision Williamston website at www.envisionwilliamston.com and click on the Main Street Challenge or contact Sonya Crandall, Executive Director, Envision Williamston at sonyacew@gmail.com; or call 864-847-7473.