GRANITEVILLE, S.C. (WJBF) — The Midland Valley Chamber of Commerce is working to make businesses know about the hidden gem that is Graniteville, South Carolina. It starts with a sign welcoming people in.
“Something needs to be done with the plaza down the street right here and they took the Dollar General away, so,” Shenna Toole told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk when asked about stores in the area.
Toole has been living in Graniteville for nearly 15 years. She says that options closer to home would be better for her. She shared where she has to travel just to get to a nearby store “Up there by Walmart off of Richland or the Dollar Tree up the road or we have to go all the way to Bettis Academy,” she added.
“There’s space, there are people here who don’t want to have to drive 20 minutes to Aiken or North Augusta,” Board member of the Midland Valley Chamber of Commerce Colen Lindell said.
The Chamber is working to let businesses know they are here. “It’s all about unifying the community and coming together for the betterment of our future,” Board member Kurt Mueller added.
Thursday, September 12, members held a ribbon-cutting for a new welcome sign that replaced the previous one. That sign — signaling the area is open for business. “Open up your restaurant, open up shops, open up grocery stores because we have a lot of citizens,” Lindell shared.
As one of the fastest-growing areas in Aiken County and several new projects completed like the new elementary school, Chairwoman Kay Benitez shared how the Chamber is working to attract business and industry. “We work very closely with economic partners and economic development to see how we can make Graniteville more attractive from businesses here,” she said. “Residentially we are growing by leaps and bounds and so we also know that’s going to help attract businesses,” she added.
There are a lot of businesses in the area, just ask Benitez about them. “We have a lot of big industry, Bridgestone and MTU [America] are here. We also have a lot of mom and pop stores. We have restaurants that have been here since the ’50s and we have floral care and hardware stores that have been here for years. We also have brand new places off of exit 11 so we have a lot of things here in the Graniteville area,” she said. The Aiken YMCA and USC Aiken are also a part of the Graniteville area.
So, Chamber members are planning to build on Thursday to continue to win over more folks to add to that list. “We are looking to really start emphasizing that we are open for business and keep that mantra going. We are going to be doing a lot of marketing campaigns in the next few months,” Lindell said.
Toole already knows what she would like to see. “A grocery store, some stores where we can get some household essentials from and maybe some more eating places,” she said.
The offices for the Midland Valley Chamber of Commerce is now located at the Megiddo Dream Station.
For more information on what products and services businesses in the Graniteville area offer, you can stop by their office at 103 Canal Street.