LEXINGTON, South Carolina (May 28, 2020) – Community leaders and small businesses throughout South Carolina sent a letter calling on Governor McMaster and other state policymakers to preserve access to business-critical digital tools and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic and the long recovery period ahead. Led by the Connected Commerce Council (3C), the letter was signed by 75 South Carolina-based leaders representing a range of digitally empowered small businesses, including Craig Reagin Clothiers in Lexington.
“Access to online tools enables websites, analytics, digital ads, online marketplaces, and e-commerce platforms to empower retailers, restaurants, service providers, and South Carolina small businesses of all types,” wrote South Carolina business leaders. “Now, more than ever, businesses and the South Carolinians they serve benefit from the stability, scale, and security of these tools.”
The letter also cautioned Governor McMaster that controversial campaigns against U.S. tech companies like Google and Facebook create unnecessary instability for millions of American small businesses using these tools and services to run and operate their businesses.
“With storefronts closed across the country, the tools offered by companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon have become vital economic lifelines for countless small business owners and entrepreneurs,” said 3C President Jake Ward. “Governor McMaster and leaders like him throughout the state understand what it takes for South Carolina to compete in the digital economy, and they know that now is not the time to put small businesses at a disadvantage or slow their recovery.”
“During the Coronavirus pandemic, we have become more reliant on our online revenue to help fund our operations.” said Jeremy Reagin of Craig Reagin Clothiers in Lexington.
“Throughout the last 5 years, we had invested heavily in developing a website and advertising through the internet to the point that last year 50% of our total business was done online. In the last 3 months, that number has ballooned to 90% as in store traffic has dwindled to basically nothing and we were forced to close for a few weeks. Since reopening, we are starting to see some walk-in traffic but I expect that it will be several months before it returns back to ‘normal.’ In order to remain viable, we are continuing to push our online business and have adapted in store to best service local customers. I am looking forward to continuing to grow in Lexington and hope that all small businesses can continue to thrive so that our communities can benefit for years ahead.”