Book store owner

City business makes local connection

Now, more than ever, people are looking for new ways to connect to each other. The local businesses in Goose Creek may be just the answer.

Valinda Miller, owner of Turning Page Bookshop, recounts the story of a local customer, a young disabled man, who visited the store with his mother. Valinda’s store manager, Arrylee Satterfield, took the time to help him learn how to make change from his purchase. While this brought on tears of gratitude from the mother, it spurred instant loyalty from the young man. Now, he visits at least twice a month to shop and gab with the manager.

Others in the community have visited for book clubs and book signings. Miller has invited the Chief of Police, officers in the sheriff’s department and city council members to read to children. She hopes a teen night for local teenagers to hang out, turn off their phones and connect with each other will take off. During the pandemic, she’s noticed that more people come by just to browse, have a cup of coffee and chat. Other local business owners are stepping up, too. Miller mentions the owners of nearby restaurants who come in and purchase books, and she reciprocates at their businesses. “We support each other,” she said. 

Economic Development Director Matt Brady is encouraged by the resiliency of Goose Creek’s businesses. His department has been instrumental in setting up the Kickstart the Creek Small Business Working Capital Loan Program, specifically designed to offer working capital loans to small businesses in Goose Creek to help mediate the pandemic’s toll. In a partnership with the Lowe’s in Goose Creek, businesses also received free masks and hand sanitizer. “Our small businesses have been impressive with the ways they adjusted to day-to-day operations during Covid-19,” Brady said. “As we emerge from the pandemic, the City is here to be a partner during recovery."

Pandemic aside, the City of Goose Creek takes pride in its local businesses and celebrates them through the Goose Creek Local program of which Turning Page Bookshop is a member. In 2019, Goose Creek City Council also approved facade grants for properties located within an incentive zone. These grants--up to $5,000 with a match required--are for improvement of exteriors, including signage, paint and other aesthetic improvements.

Miller is excited about the city’s vision for local businesses. “They have a Christmas function coming up next month that’s calling for businesses,” she said.

Miller is optimistic that the opening of a Chipotle in the shopping center directly behind her shop will strengthen customer offerings and boost traffic: “It’s still growing. The city wants young business owners and young professionals to live here, work here and shop here.”