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Columbia Business Monthly

Doors are opening to new opportunities in Cherokee County

Nov 10, 2021 11:27AM ● By John C. Stevenson

Cherokee County might not be the first place in South Carolina an entrepreneur would think to call home for a new business, but the county chamber’s executive director makes the case that Cherokee County is open and ready to support new businesses.

“I think we’re doing pretty well with attracting new businesses,” said Frannie Stockwell, executive director of the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce. “With the interstate (85) expansion and the new casino that’s come to Kings Mountain (the nearby Two Kings Casino opened a nearby temporary facility in July), it’s kind of opened up some new doors to Cherokee County.”

Also, she said, new property is becoming available for development in the county and the four Cherokee County municipalities – Gaffney, Blacksburg and parts of Chesnee and Cowpens – “are working on infrastructure with water and sewer,” which makes the area potentially more attractive to prospective new businesses.

Stockwell said the county offers a variety of resources tailored to small businesses and startup businesses, including the BGEN business generator in Gaffney. According to its website, the BGEN generator is “a place where entrepreneurs have the opportunity to share ideas, receive individualized training and collaborate while working to promote and build their businesses.” The generator is a part of Know(2), a 501c(3) charitable organization working to promote the quality of life throughout the county.

“You go to the business generator and you can rent a space at a low rate,” Stockwell said. “Then we have someone there who goes over your business plan, your finances, teaches you how to keep a budget, and what are the things you don’t think about needing in a small business to get started, such as licensing and anything you have to buy and keep on hand to run your business. He goes over all of that, and it’s all part of the package.”

Stockwell said the business generator has graduated new businesses that now call Cherokee County home.

“Some people have made it, some people haven’t,” she said. “But we have had several people who have graduated out of there and into their own spaces downtown or other places, and it’s real nice to see that growth and them being successful.”