Irby Street Improvements Continue to Impact One of Florence’s Busiest Areas

If you’ve recently driven down Irby Street, you’ve seen all the construction on the sides of the road.

The $9.4 million paving project consists of work that’s mostly taking place during the overnight hours but it’s still pretty noticeable on one of the area’s busiest streets.

So what exactly is going on and when will it wrap up? Click the article below from WBTW News13 for some answers.

WBTW web article: Irby Street Paving

Chamber Holds Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Huntley Chiropractic

The Florence Chamber was proud to welcome one of its newest members this afternoon with a ribbon cutting ceremony! Huntley Chiropractic is owned and operated by Dr. Taylor R. Huntley, D.C. and is located at 1451 W. Palmetto Street, in the heart of Florence.

Huntley Chiropractic offers many services including DOT Physicals. You can get complete details on their services by stopping by or giving them a call at (843) 319-2518. Welcome to the Chamber family, Huntley Chiropractic!

To view the full ribbon cutting album, click on the link below:

Facebook Photo Album: Huntley Chiropractic Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

City Center Farmer’s Market Opens Each Saturday Downtown


(images courtesy: City Center Farmer’s Market Facebook Page)

Looking for something fun to do tomorrow? Check out the City Center Farmers Market downtown! The market provides Florence residents, visitors and tourists with the freshest produce, dairy, artisan food and crafts that the Pee Dee has to offer! Get more info by following the link below to their Facebook page:

City Center Farmer’s Market Facebook Page

Florence County Council Moves Forward with East Palmetto Improvement Study

(images courtesy: Google Maps and Toole Design Group)

From the Morning News:

“After months of mulling, the Florence County Council voted Thursday to move forward with an improvement plan for the Highway 76 corridor from the Florence City limits to Francis Marion University.

The council unanimously authorized Florence County Administrator K.G. “Rusty” Smith Jr. to negotiate a contract with Toole Design Group to study the section of East Palmetto and present options to revamp the area.

Ideas for the plan were started when the county and city teamed up last year in an effort to address an eyesore on the same stretch – the dilapidated Palmetto Inn. An attempt to obtain a grant to clean up the site failed and talks of an overlay district sprouted.”

To read the full article and get all the details on the project, click on the link below: web article- East Palmetto Improvement Study


Florence Officials Break Ground on $7 Million Soccer Complex

(image courtesy:

Officials broke ground Wednesday afternoon for a $7 million, 14 field soccer complex that will sit on property formerly owned by U.S. Congressman Ed Young near the intersection of I-95 and West Palmetto Street.

“This is yet another example of the collaboration between the city and the Drs. Bruce & Lee Foundation,” Florence Mayor Stephen Wukela said of the effort.

Construction on the complex is underway and officials expect for it to be complete in December.
Click below to read the full article from the Morning News: web article- City of Florence Breaks Ground on $7 million Soccer Complex

Carolinas Hospital Medical Staff Receive Prestigious Lewis Blackman Award

Dr. Zebian, courtesy: Carolinas Hospital System

Dr. Zebian, courtesy: Carolinas Hospital System

Brian Greig, courtesy: Carolinas Hospital System

Brian Greig, courtesy: Carolinas Hospital System

Carolinas Hospital System is proud to announce that Dr. Rami Zebian, Director of Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine and Brian Greig, RN, Director of Critical Care Services have received the 2016 Lewis Blackman Award.

Every year,  South Carolina’s hospital community joins together at the Transforming Health Symposium to share best practices and learn about the ways individuals and organizations are working collaboratively to transform health and health care. One of the major highlights of the event is the presentation of the Lewis Blackman Awards to honor champions of patient safety who go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure quality care.

The awards are named in honor of Lewis Wardlaw Blackman, a bright, gifted, 15-year-old who died following an elective surgical procedure in 2000 due to complications related to a medical error. Helen Haskell, Lewis’ mother, has provided inspiration for the awards through her tireless and meaningful work to promote patient safety and quality improvement not only in South Carolina but throughout the country.

Dr. Rami Zebian, Director of Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine at Carolinas Hospital, was recognized for overseeing a sepsis collaborative focused on implementing treatment guidelines that led to a dramatic decrease in sepsis mortality and established the facility as a mentor to other health systems. “I was very humbled to receive the Lewis Blackman Award. Our oath as physicians includes “Do No Harm” and the message that Lewis’ mother conveyed allows caregivers, such as myself, to be reminded of our oath. I am honored to be a part of creating a safer medical environment for patients and caregivers,” Zebian said.

Brian Greig, RN, Director of Critical Care Services implemented regular meetings and led efforts to improve care for sepsis patients and reduce other hospital-acquired infections. “It was an honor to receive the Lewis Blackman Award, not only for me, but for our entire staff in the Intensive Care Units. Our goal is to make patient care as safe as we possibly can. We are proud to be recognized for our change in processes that increase patient safety in the Intensive Care Units at Carolinas Hospital System,” Greig said.

“Dr. Zebian and Brian Greig are champion leaders whose guidance and support play a critical role in patient safety and quality improvement. Their dedication is instrumental in creating a culture of safety and quality care as they continue to initiate best safety practices,” said Costa Cockfield, Chief Nursing Officer at Carolinas Hospital System.

Carolinas Hospital System congratulates these champions of patient safety for receiving this prestigious award.

3 Types of Grants For Your Small Business to Consider



“A grant must sound too good to be true for small business owners—it’s free money, plain and simple. No repayments or interest rates, no credit scores, no haggle, no hassle… Right?

Unfortunately, funding your small business with grants isn’t that easy. Otherwise, every small business owner on the block would cash out on them—and nobody would need to look for a loan, search out crowdfunding or investing, or ask their relatives for favors. There are two main obstacles to landing those grants:

  1. Grants are notoriously hard to locate. Sure, there are a few websites you can use to search—like BusinessUSA or—but they’re generally either paid services, difficult to parse, or poorly updated. Many grants and contests are outdated by the time they make it onto these lists, or else their links have changed. Regardless, looking for small business grants can frustrate even the most patient business owner.
  1. Grants are often hyper-specific. While some are wide-ranging enough to apply to plenty of small businesses, especially among the corporate programs, many target a very narrow selection of categories only. (For example, how many businesses can actually qualify for theMinnesota Emerald Ash Borer Community Preparedness Forest Protection Reserve Appropriation grant program? Odds are, probably not yours.) And whether it’s specific to certain industries, locations, demographics, or all of the above, you can bet that grant is also limiting in how you can use its funds. Unlike with a loan, with a grant you’ll have a set of guidelines to follow—or you risk having to pay it back.

Click the link below to see some of the most popular grants and programs (the folks over at have found—hopefully your business will qualify for one, and you can be on your way to financing your business.” web article: 3 Types of Grants for your Small Business to Consider

Sign Up Now for the Chamber’s Emerging Leaders Summer Institute

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.
Program Strategies:
– Visit with community leaders and businesses
– Professional and personal leadership development and civic engagement
– Extensive networking with a diverse group of peers
– Discovering your strengths and how to apply them
as a leader
Program Dates:
– Tuesday, June 14: Orientation & Reception –
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
– Wednesday, June 15: Session 1 – Retreat
– Wednesday, July 13: Session 2 – Technology, Innovation & Industry
– Wednesday, July 20: Session 3- Education & Leadership Development
– Wednesday, August 3rd: Session 4 – Government/Civic Engagement
– Graduation – TBA-6 pm – 8 pm
Program Sponsorship and Cost:
Cost includes lunch and materials. While many candidates are sponsored by their employer, a limited number of partial scholarships are available.
Non-profit $200
Small/Minority Business $250
Corporate $500
For more information, contact:
Les Echols, Director of Community & Minority Enterprise, Florence Chamber: (843) 665-0515 or visit:

Francis Marion University Names McNair Scholarship Recipients

(image courtesy:

From WBTW News13:

Francis Marion University has named three students as recipients of the prestigious McNair Scholarship for the 2016-2017 school year.

The McNair Scholarship is FMU’s highest academic scholarship award. It’s based not only on scholarship, but on community involvement. It seeks students who desire to serve their community, and who have already exhibited a willingness and ability to do so.

McNair scholars are selected by a special committee made up of FMU faculty and administrators.

To read the full story on the winners, click on the link below:

WBTW web article: FMU Names McNair Scholarship Recipients

School Foundation to Award More than $114 Thousand in Grants to Florence Schools

From the Morning News:

“The School Foundation will distribute $114,006.36 in grant awards to schools in Florence School District One for the 2016-2017 school year.

The grant writers were able to share their new programs and ideas with each other Monday afternoon at a reception held at the Floyd Conference Center.

The TSF Grants committee reviewed 10 applications that requested a total of $181,354.38. Five requests for mini-grants – projects up to $500 – were funded for the upcoming year and will benefit classes at North Vista Elementary School, Royall Elementary School, Lucy T. Davis Elementary School and Delmae Elementary School.

Four of the five applications received in the major grants category – projects of $10,000 or more – were funded.”

To read the entire story, click on the link below: web article- School Foundation Grants