What is the Waccamaw Market Cooperative?
The Waccamaw Market Cooperative (WMC) is an incorporated 501c3 nonprofit organization responsible for coordinating and managing community based farmer’s markets throughout Horry and Georgetown Counties. Under the guidance of the Clemson Cooperative Extension, WMC has grown to include regional network of markets sponsored in partnership with public and private organizations throughout the region. The resulting structured market network ensures that virtually all communities in the Waccamaw Region benefit from access to fresh fruits and vegetables that farmer’s markets offer.
Public markets are not just places of commerce. Successful markets help grow and connect urban and rural economies. They encourage development, enhance real estate values and the tax base, and keep money in the local neighborhood. Public markets also offer low-risk business opportunities for vendors and feed money back into the rural economy where many vendors grow, raise and produce their products.
The spin-off benefits of markets are numerous. From increasing access to fresh, healthy food to providing important revenue streams, markets positively impact local businesses, governments and residents. But, perhaps most important is the way markets serve as public gathering places for people from different ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic communities. As one of the few places where people comfortably gather and meet, markets are our neighborhoods’ original civic centers.