ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. — Thanks to a $225,000 grant from the South Carolina Department of Commerce, there's a new resource available in Orangeburg County. The Orangeburg Regional Innovation Center offers office space and training for entrepreneurs.
“We think it’s gonna be able to help Orangeburg attract new business. We think it’s gonna be able to help individuals who have good ideas and wanna be entrepreneurs," said Orangeburg Chamber of Commerce president James McQuilla.
Leaders celebrated the opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on December 20. The Innovation Center is established as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and it serves as an economic development collaboration between SC State, Claflin, OC Tech and other community partners.
The center will give entrepreneurs the option to go through a two year program where they will learn how to run and develop a business through one-on-one consulting.
“It’s gonna be able to help them move from idea to product or service, to implementation of that," said McQuilla.
McQuilla says the center is the only business development resource in the county that provides office space for entrepreneurs. Gary Robinson is the Executive Director and says the center will also serve Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Clarendon, Colleton, and Hampton Counties.
“Here in Orangeburg and our surrounding eight county region, there are a lot of restaurants and different types of businesses that are not located here. So we’re looking for people who wanna own a franchise who may be able to take on a franchise and bring it to our local area," said Robinson.
They are currently accepting clients at their location at 1515 Henley Street, but plan to relocate at their new location at 1170 Russell Street when renovations are complete within the next year.