Their new company had graduated from a garage to a warehouse, and it had gone from a nights-and-weekends pursuit a full-time endeavor.
So last fall, Jim Luby and Drew Wynne decided to quit their jobs.
Barista Vending had gone from selling iced coffee at the farmers market to distributing kegs of their cold brew to cafes and technology startups. They were doing something different – commercial-scale production of a hip coffee trend – so they decided to make a go of it.
The company was one of about 1,700 businesses in the Charleston area that opened their doors in 2014, census data show, more than making up for the nearly 1,400 that closed. Every year since 2011, the Lowcountry has finished with more firms than it started with.
That’s how it’s supposed to work. The growth of new businesses leads to more jobs and more competition, and the high level of turnover means that newcomers like Luby and Wynne are getting a chance to challenge older players and try something new – like, say, filling kegs of coffee for office workers.
But in that regard, places like Charleston are becoming a rarer breed, according to a study of “economic dynamism” released this month by the Economic Innovation Group, a Washington, D.C., think tank.
By: Thad Moore, The Post and Courier
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