7 Things to Consider Before Buying a Small Business

(image courtesy: Getty images, CNBC.com)

Purchases of small businesses are among their highest levels since 2007.

Experts say it’s still a buyer’s market, but it’s starting to shift and even out.

Median revenue of sold businesses on BizBuySell (an industry website that tracks small business purchases) in 2015 grew to $449,462, up from $417,562 in 2014, while the median sales price also increased 7.6 percent to $199,000.

Whether becoming a first-time business owner or acquiring a business to expand your current company, ask the following questions before signing on the dotted line:

CNBC web article: 7 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Business


Leadership Florence Class to Graduate Tuesday; Will Donate $26,000 to Charities

Congratulations to the current Leadership Florence class of students who will graduate on Tuesday evening! Collectively, the group raised more than $26,000 for local charities.

During Tuesday night’s graduation, the group’s leaders will present checks to The Care House of the Pee Dee and Help 4 Kids, and money will also go toward funding scholarships for future Leadership Florence and Junior Leadership programs.

2015/2016 Leadership Florence Class:


Read the full article on the group’s efforts by following the link to the story below from the Morning News:

SCnow.com web article- 2016 Leadership Florence Graduation

Press Release: Florence Chamber Seeking Applicants for Summer Leadership Program

The Florence Chamber is currently seeking applicants for a unique and innovative leadership program. The Emerging Leaders Summer Institute is a program designed to generate professional training and development, mentorship, community engagement and recruitment opportunities. The purpose is to identify, develop and empower “Emerging Leaders,” specifically minorities, small business owners and innovative professionals poised to move into the next level of community and business leadership.


  • Visit with community leaders and businesses
  • Professional and personal leadership development and civic engagement
  • Extensive networking with a diverse group of your peers
  • Discovering your strengths and learning how to apply them as a leader in your business and/or community


Sessions will last from 8 am – 1 pm. Breakfast and Lunch will be provided.  

  • Tuesday, June 14th: Orientation & Reception

            Location: TBA

  • Wednesday, June 15th: Session 1- Retreat

            Chamber offices

  • Wednesday, July 13th: Session 2 – Technology, Innovation and Industry

OTIS, SiMT and Morning News

  • Wednesday, July 20th: Session 3 – Leadership Development

            North Dargan Innovation Center and several local businesses

  • Wednesday, August 3rd: Session 4 – Government/ Civic Engagement

            City Center, Floyd Conference Center at Carolinas Hospital and area Parks & Recreation Sites


Cost includes food and program materials. While many candidates are sponsored by their employer, a limited number of partial scholarships are available.

Non-profit rate: $200

Small/Minority Business rate: $250

Corporate rate: $500

For more information, contact: Les Echols, Director of Community & Minority Enterprise, Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce. (843) 665-0515. Applications and further information available online by following the link below:

Emerging Leaders Registration

How Will the Tropical Forecast Impact Your Memorial Day Weekend Plans?

If you have big ideas for the long Memorial Day weekend, you might want to take a look at the potential impact of tropical weather on the forecast.

According to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski. “We expect the system to track slowly toward the northwest through the weekend and end up near the South Carolina or North Carolina coast sometime on Sunday,”

“Beach, fishing and cruise interests along the mid-Atlantic and southern Atlantic Seaboard may want to monitor the track and strength of the system into next week.

The system is in the very early stages of development. The system could become a depression at any time.

At this time, the biggest threats will be to bathers and boaters in the region.

The latter part of this week and first part of the holiday weekend will bring the best weather for bathing, sunning and boating along the southeastern U.S. Atlantic beaches,” the AccuWeather article stated.

Click on the link below to find out how downpours could affect your weekend travel plans:

AccuWeather web article on tropical forecast impact on Memorial Day Weekend

Darla Moore Foundation Announces $5 Million Gift to Florence-Darlington Tech

(image courtesy: FDTC Facebook)

From the Morning News:

“The Darla Moore Foundation announced a $5 million gift to the Florence-Darlington Technical College Educational Foundation during a ceremony Thursday morning at the Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology Center.

The creation of a culinary and hospitality program at FDTC’s Lake City site is the primary focus of the gift, but portions of it will be used for other areas for the college.

Darla Moore Foundation President and CEO Marion Fowler said FDTC has played a vital role in providing educational opportunities to students in the Pee Dee for over 50 years.

“The magnitude of this gift demonstrates our foundation’s recognition of the important role that Florence-Darlington Technical College has played in the economic development of Lake City, Florence, Florence County and the Pee Dee,” Fowler said. “Not only does Florence-Darlington Tech help provide basic job training, it is also on the cutting edge.”

To read the full article, follow the link below:

Darla Moore Foundation Announces $5 Million Gift to FDTC

Florence Downtown Newsletter Highlights Upcoming Weekend Events

Have plans for the weekend? Want to know what to plan for in the week ahead?

Take a look at the Florence Downtown Development Association’s Weekly Newsletter for information on the featured band for this week’s Florence After Five concert, find out what’s going on at the FMU Performing Arts Center and much more!

Just click on the link below for more details:

Florence Downtown Newsletter

McLeod Health Announces Affiliate Partnership with Clarendon Health System

McLeod Health announced a new partnership this afternoon- to affiliate and operate Clarendon Health System in Manning.
According to the Morning News, “the plan, approved by trustees from both hospitals, is effective May 25. Clarendon is licensed for 81 beds. In 2013, it completed a $22 million, 47,000 square foot expansion and renovation that included new operating rooms, an emergency department, a same-day surgery center and larger patient rooms.”
You can read all of the details about the agreement and what it will mean for McLeod and healthcare in Clarendon County, by clicking on the link below and reading the article from the Morning News:
(image courtesy: Patricia Burkett Photography)

Young Professionals to Make Special Announcement at Chamber Offices June 2



Interested in the Young Professionals of Florence group? Then make plans to join us on Thursday, June 2nd from 5:30-7 pm at the offices of the Florence Chamber for a very exciting announcement and the opportunity to check out the Chamber’s downtown space!

Enter the Chamber’s front door at the corner of Dargan and W. Evans and then make your way to the Community Room in the back for a larger space to network together. (Don’t worry, there will be plenty of people to guide you!)

For more information on how you can sign up to take part, visit the event’s Facebook page by following the link below:
Young Professionals of Florence/ Florence Chamber Event FB Page

Small Business Owners: Cloud-Based Software Could be Big Time-Saver

Want to spend more time going after new business and less time struggling with invoices, bills and receipts?? Well, there’s good news for small business owners like you, thanks to an ever-growing suite of cloud-based accounting tools.

What, exactly, is the cloud? Cloud-based software, or software as a service (SaaS,) offers users access to technology on a subscription basis. The software provider securely hosts all necessary databases and servers, and small-business owners access their data anytime, anywhere via internet connection.

Click below to find out more in this article from Entrepreneur magazine:

Entrepreneur Magazine web article: 3 Benefits of Cloud-Based Accounting Software for Small Businesses

Junior Leadership Florence County Program Receives Rotary, ArborOne Grants

From the Facebook Page of Junior Leadership Florence County:
“Junior Leadership Florence County wants to offer our sincere thanks to the Rotary Club of Florence and ArborOne, who have just recently announced grants that will enable us to keep doing what we started- helping to develop the future leaders of the Pee Dee! We simply wouldn’t be able to deliver such a fantastic program if it weren’t for our generous sponsors, volunteers and community leaders. Thank you again to Florence Rotary and ArborOne and for the continued support of Clemson Extension, FMU and the Florence Chamber. We can’t wait for you to meet the newest class of Junior Leadership Florence County!”

For more information on Junior Leadership Florence County or how you can help sponsor the program or participate, visit:

Junior Leadership Florence County website