Cool Carolina Cities: Hartsville

April 27, 2017

Hartsville is a vibrant com­munity that has developed a dynamic, yet whimsi­cal downtown. It has a reputation as an innovative business-friendly city. This is an area the Aiken busi­ness community feels needs improvement and Aiken of­ficials have decided to focus energy on making happen. Looking at the processes and programs Hartsville has suc­cessfully implemented can assist Aiken in its endeavors to become more business friendly.

Chamber Board Chair Charlie Hartz and Aiken Chamber President/ CEO J. David Jameson recently led a group of 49 business, government, education and civic leaders on a one-day trip to visit Hartsville. Discus­sions with area officials and citizens included the Busi­ness Navigator, Main Street, the role of private investment in community development and visionary leadership.

A dozen impressions from Hartsville:

  • Build from the inside out – start with the core and grow
  • Grab, Guide, Greet, Gather, and Get people into your downtown
  • Create a downtown experience that people are drawn to and want to be a part of
  • Seize opportunities to grow strategically – Timing is everything.
  • Vision, and passion for the vision, by elected officials and city staff is imperative
  • Use incentives to inspire businesses to take risks
  • Allow the entrepreneurial spirit to thrive
  • Streamline the process of opening a business
  • Create downtown living that attract all ages
  • Create a welcoming environment for college students
  • Use city owned property to foster development
  • Worry less about reelection and more about making a positive change in the community
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