Georgetown businesses face new beginnings with community help

Brian Heins (WCIV)

By Stacy

GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WCIV) -- As the sun set on another night on Front Street, spirits were raised in a city that had quite a long week.

"This community has supported us and we're going to continue to support this community," said Jeanette Ard, who lost her home and business, Colonial Florist, in the fire.

Ard's granddaughter Courtney Cagle also lost her business in the fire and joined hundreds of others at the Francis Marion Park on Front Street Thursday evening.

The bi-weekly Music in the Park event was dedicated to raise money for the Front Street Fire Relief Fund.

Cagle grew up visiting her grandmother's Front Street business and fulfilled her dream of opening her own retail store one month ago.

"I was in the back. You could enter through the boardwalk or through her store. It was just my way of getting my start and following my dream," Cagle said.

Ard and Cagle have found new locations right next to some of their old neighbors. The new locations are only one block away and remain on Front Street. Business owners said they knew they wanted to stay on the town's historic main street.

"One of the positives that's coming out of this, a couple blocks down the street we've had a lot of vacant stores. Those are being taken up by some of the businesses that had to close," Mayor Jack Scoville said.

Like so many others, Ard and Cagle watched their businesses go up in smoke.

But, the fire didn't destroy their dreams. This small town is making sure of that.