Resurgence of Businesses in Bishopville

Columbia, SC (WLTX)- Marita and Demoine Kinney moved to the small town of Bishopville without much of a plan.

"When I first got here, I looked around the town and I thought wow theres really nothing going around here, and that's why I was wondering why god would send us here to an area like this," Demoine Kinney said.

However, after the move, Demoine Kinney said that God told him to open up a business in Bishopville, a town that shut down their Chamber of Commerce in 2012 due to lack of businesses.

The Kinney's said within three weeks, they established a business and named it "Vertical Lounge." It's a shop with a ministry center, bounce house for children, and a coffee lounge area.

Vertical Lounge is just one example of new businesses that have popped up in Bishopville within the last six months. A bakery, event planning business, and used furniture shop are among the others.

The Lee County Chamber of Commerce that opened back up in January 2014, now has 73 members.

Executive Director Jina Williams said the resurgence of new businesses has increased the morale of the community.

"It's not just businesses, but people that live here and they're starting to take pride in their city again," Williams said.

Marita Kinney said the response to new businesses in the community has evolved as well.

"The conversation has changed," Kinney said. "Then other businesses started opening up and you can tell that their perspective on their hometown is changing."

Within the next couple of weeks, a couple more businesses are planning to open up in town, including an outdoors sporting goods store called Crossroads Outdoors with all things hunting, fishing and camping.

The Lee County Chamber encourages community members to get involved.

They have a free community egg hunt this Saturday at 1 p.m., with over 2,000 candy-filled eggs hidden around the town.


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