The ordinance in its current form would prohibit formula businesses from including drive-through windows, internally illuminated signs, corporate logos or color schemes on exterior facades or signs, any negative impact to public safety from traffic, or negative impact to the roadway from the loading area.
Ferrini said all current "formula businesses" would be grandfathered and not subject to the ordinance.
Stacy Mitchell, co-director at the institute, said "formula businesses" is used over "chain businesses" because restricting formula businesses doesn't stop a chain from opening but it does require the chain to open a business that's distinct from its other outlets.
Folly Beach's ordinance is focused mainly on restricting formula businesses downtown, and allowing those types of businesses to continue populating the northernmost part of the city.
The gas station and adjoining Subway restaurant are allowed to stay, classified as "legal nonconforming," but Wetmore said if either of those establishments was to close down, it would take an act of City Council to reopen them as formula businesses.
Lewis Dodson, president of the Folly Association of Business, said he likes that the ordinance requires formula businesses in Folly Beach to fit the community's aesthetic.
The idea to restrict formula businesses was brought to Folly Beach by Lowcountry Local First.
More than 20 other communities have passed some type of restriction against formula businesses, including Sullivan's Island, and an appeals court in California ruled in 2003 that because it requires every business to be distinct, it doesn't violate discrimination or interstate commerce laws.
Some municipalities' restrictions allow formula businesses as long as community members are notified and don't ask for a public hearing; others, like Folly Beach, ban them completely.
Gellatly said Lowcountry Local First is in discussions with businesses in the Park Circle area of North Charleston about trying to pass an ordinance restricting formula businesses there.