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DRCI & Innovator News

Posted on: May 18, 2020

DRCI offers free membership, flex space at The HUB and comprehensive resource guide


As part of the Small Business Economic Resiliency Plan approved by the Bluffton Town Council in April, the Don Ryan Center for Innovation (DRCI) is offering FREE membership for a year.

As part of the Small Business Economic Resiliency Plan approved by the Bluffton Town Council in April, the Don Ryan Center for Innovation (DRCI) is expanding its mission, and taking on an important role in helping to assist small businesses through the economic challenges produced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Don Ryan Center for Innovation, founded in 2012 as a not-for-profit organization providing the business community with the space, resources, experienced guidance and contacts in order to successfully launch and grow their businesses, has been appointed by the Town of Bluffton as the DRCI Small Business Concierge. In this expanded new role, the DRCI will be working to help local businesses respond to the business disruption being faced today, and provide them with the resources they need to help them plan for recovery – including a free annual DRCI membership and free rent at The HUB – the soon-to-open new home of the Don Ryan Center for Innovation that offers flex space and a wide range of business-building services, and which will serve as the center for innovation and economic development in Beaufort County.   

Beginning immediately, the DRCI Small Business Concierge offers local businesses:

  • Waived DRCI membership fee for all businesses in Beaufort County for 12 months during the pandemic-recovery phase, including the more than 3400 companies with a Bluffton business license.  

  • Waived cost of rent at The HUB at Buckwalter Place for 12 months.  In addition to offering a conveniently located community work space with flexible seating, The HUB offers a wide variety of resources for local businesses, including meeting rooms, whiteboards, gigabit high-speed internet, Apple iMAC and Windows Computers, HD large panel monitors and cast-enabled LCDs in meeting rooms and gathering spaces.   

  • Pro bono assistance to help businesses navigate through legal questions and parameters facing businesses today (through partnership with local legal resources) 

  • Walk-in local clinic for local businesses 

  • Assistance in helping businesses prioritize, reshape, communicate and maximize governmental policies and programs in preparing for the new normal of business

  • Other business-building resources, including marketing/PR/branding support

In addition, the Don Ryan Center for Innovation and the Beaufort County Economic Development Corporation have created a comprehensive COVID-19 resource guide – providing business owners with a list of resources and explanations of federal and local programs such as the CARES Act, SBA programs and S.C. Department of Workforce programs.  The resource guide can be downloaded at the Don Ryan Center for Innovation’s website at

“This is an unprecedented time for local businesses, and the Town of Bluffton’s Small Business Economic Resiliency Plan provides businesses throughout the region with a number of key components to help them recover and rebound at this critical time for their business,” says Mike Levine, CEO of the Don Ryan Center for Innovation.  “As part of the Town’s Resiliency Plan, our expanded role as the DRCI Small Business Concierge will enable us to provide local businesses with the resources, partnerships and mentors to help them navigate through the upcoming challenging months for local companies as they work towards recovery, as together we move towards the new normal of business in Bluffton.” 

For more information about the Don Ryan Center for Innovation and the resources now available to local businesses through the DRCI Small Business Concierge, including free membership, free flex space/business resources at The HUB and to access a copy of the COVID-19 Resource Guide, contact the DRCI by phone at 843.540.0405 or email (, or visit the DRCI website at   In addition, to schedule a time to visit and book specific time at The HUB, visit to sign up and confirm your spot.   

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