2018 Administrative Professionals Day Luncheon

Today, nearly 400 employees from local businesses showed for the Florence & Darlington Chamber’s annual Administrative Professionals Day Luncheon at SiMT. The guest speaker was Laura Hamilton as she talked about “Why Are You Looking For The Wizard?”. The program was made possible by SPC Credit Union, Trojan Labor and Duke Energy. More than 80 door prizes were given away from local merchants and attending vendors.

Mark Moore – Business Leader, Philanthropist, Stroke Survivor

Make plans to hear from Mark Moore, business leader and author of “A Stroke of Faith: A Stroke Survivor’s Story of a Second Chance at Living a Life of Significance.”

Mark was a healthy and successful entrepreneur and business leader, having raised $2B in multiple IPOs, including USA Mobil, Premiere Paging, Conxus, and Mindshift Technologies. He was serving as CEO of Segovia, Inc., a leading provider of services to the US Defense Department, when he suffered a stroke in 2007. Remarkably, Mark was able to complete a 5K charity run just one year after his stroke, a testament to his faith in God’s ability to help overcome the many obstacles that everyone experiences in recovering from a major stroke. In 2017, ten years after his stroke, he began acting as the National Ambassador for Empowered to Serve, a major initiative of the American Heart Association, speaking all over the country about his faith, stroke prevention and stroke recovery.

Admission is free. Mark’s book, “A Stroke of Faith” will be available for sale and will be signed by the author following the event.

Lidl to have its grand opening on Thursday, May 24th

Lidl, a German supermarket chain, will celebrate the grand opening of its Florence location on Thursday, May 24.
Lidl, at 2205 W. Palmetto Street, will open its doors at 8 a.m. immediately following a ribbon cutting ceremony at 7:40 a.m. The Florence store will be Lidl’s 12th location in South Carolina.

Customers will be able to take advantage of get-them-while-you-can grand opening special offers at the new store. The first 100 customers to arrive will receive a wooden coin for a chance to win up to $100 in Lidl gift cards.
Shoppers can also sample an array of Lidl’s products and get a complimentary Lidl reusable bag, while supplies last. The store will also host games, activities, prizes, special deals and giveaways through the grand opening weekend.
Lidl prides itself on an “easy-to-shop” layout, award-winning wines, fresh baked good, healthy, sustainable choices, and top-quality products. According to a release, about 90 percent of the groceries at Lidl will be “exclusive brand products.”
The new grand opening comes shortly after a study from the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler School of Business found that Lidl could save shoppers up to 50 percent on their groceries when compared to prices of other nearby retailers, according to the release.

The store will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Sunday.
Lidl operates more than 10,000 stores in 28 countries. Lidl first established its U.S. headquarters in Arlington County, Virginia in June 2015 and currently has stores in six U.S. states.

For more information, visit Lidl.com.
Story from SCNOW.COM

Florence Chamber’s Spring Golf Classic

It’s time to get your team together and join the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce for a fantastic day on the links! The 2018 Spring Golf Classic presented by Raldex,Hospitality, will be bigger and better than ever, lots of vendor, gifts and of course, plenty of golf at Traces Golf Club! The fun starts on May 3rd at 11:00am with a great lunch and follows with a tee off with area business professionals at 12 noon. Contact Mandy Howle at the Florence Chamber to register by calling (843) 665-0515.

Chick-fil-A app provides for curb-side delivery at Magnolia Mall in Florence

By: Rebecca Cross, Morning News

FLORENCE, S.C. – Chick-fil-A inside the Magnolia Mall joined the Florence Chamber and recently opened additional curbside delivery parking spots.

To celebrate, Chick-fil-A employees and representatives from the Florence Chamber held a ribbon cutting on Wednesday afternoon outside Magnolia Mall.

Customers can use the Chick-fil-A One app to order their food and then pick it up at one of the four identified curbside delivery parking spots in the food court parking lot. Sara Black, franchise owner, said this is one of the preparations her store is making to prepare for an influx of customers.

The drive-thru only Chick-fil-A will temporarily close starting April 23 before the freestanding Chick-fil-A outside Magnolia Mall opens later in the summer.

“We’re trying to get the word out to take care of those guests,” Black said. “If they don’t want to get out of the car, we can deliver it to their car. They just use the mobile app.”

The Chick-fil-A app is free to download for Apple and Android devices and is a rewards system. Customers receive treats periodically for using the app.

Black said she enjoys bettering a community. That is one of the reasons she decided to leave the medical field after 15 years of work as a physician assistant and in medical sales.

“I grew up in a family business in Anderson, South Carolina, and just wanted to own my own business and be able to have an impact on lives like I did in medicine but on a longer term basis like helping … people of all ages reach their higher goals and impacting the community,” Black said.

Black became the owner of the Chick-fil-A inside Magnolia Mall during January of 2017.

“I never look at it as that I’m coming to work because when you own your own business, and you’re working for yourself, you just have I think this internal motivation to always want to be more,” Black said. “It’s just to be able to set the tone of the business.”

Black said she wants to serve guests with excellence.

Chick-fil-A employees will now do table delivery and in-mall delivery for guests who use the Chick-fil-A app. Black said this is helpful for mall employees who may have short work breaks.

“We’re just really trying to think outside the box and be convenient,” Black said. “That’s one of our main missions here is to be surprisingly fast and convenient for our guests.”

Black said a goal for her Chick-fil-A is to grow the catering business. The store’s number is 843-665-9259.

Lunch & Learn Series

Attention local business folks. You should plan on having lunch with us at a Lunch & Learn Program that shares great information on the challenges small businesses face in dealing with compliance and human resources as well as tax credits and how a foundation can serve as a vehicle for Donor Advised Funds, IRA, and 401K Distributions that are mandatory or voluntary. The lunch is provide by First Reliance Bank and Signature Wealth Strategies. To attend, please email or contact Zach Hearne at zhearne@signaturewealth.com or call 843.779.5430.

Jr. Leadership Florence Graduation

Congratulations to the Florence Country Junior Leadership class of 2017-2018. This special group of high school students graduated this evening at Francis Marion University’s Frank B Lee Nursing Building. The program is was made possible by Florence County 4-H, The Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce and Francis Marion University.

Junior Leadership Florence County is accepting applications

FLORENCE, S.C. – The Clemson Extension Service, the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce and Francis Marion University are accepting applications for the 2018-19 Junior Leadership Florence County 4-H Program through Friday.

To apply, students must live in or attend school in Florence County and must be classified as a high school sophomore or junior during the 2018-19 school year.

The program enables students to develop leadership skills while increasing awareness. Beginning in August, selected participants will attend an opening retreat, followed by eight monthly sessions. Sessions focus on leadership skills, successful team work, health care, community awareness, business and industry, agriculture, government, history, art and education.

“The hope is that in learning about what it takes to be a leader and what makes Florence County unique, these young men and women will be empowered to assume leadership positions in their own community as they become available,” said Florence County 4-H agent Faith Truesdale. “We are starting the pipeline of smart, talented visionaries that our area needs for continued progress and growth.”

Chamber President Michael Miller said this is an outstanding program that has resulted in amazing reviews by students and parents.

“The opportunity to participate in this process is priceless and should be promoted heavily within our local schools systems,” Miller said.

Up to 25 students will be selected for the program, which is open to any public, private or home-schooled student who lives in or attends school in Florence County.

“This program has allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone, meet new people and learn more about what is taking place in our county,” said Morgan McManus, a 2016 program graduate.

Applications and information can be found at jrleadershipflorencecounty.com or by contacting high school guidance counselors, the Florence County Extension Office or the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce.

4-H is the youth development program of the Cooperative Extension Service, a nationwide partnership of federal, state and county governments and the private sector.

Signarama of Florence cuts ribbon, celebrates Chamber membership

By: Andrew Boardwine, Morning News

FLORENCE, S.C. — Signarama of Florence, at 2047 W. Evans St., provides anything from the smallest letters that stick on a door to huge signs and anything in between to business owners, as well as banners, magnets and much more that can go on vehicles and other items.

On Wednesday, the store joined ambassadors from the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce to hold a ribbon cutting.

Stephen Heriot, who co-owns Signarama of Florence with his wife, Malissia, said the store has been open since late January, but they wanted to wait until March to hold a ribbon cutting to establish the foundation of the business. “A business with no sign is a sign of no business,” Heriot says.

“We’re a business-to-business type,” Heriot said. “We work with the community, but we do a lot more with businesses. The main reason we came over to Florence was because I knew so many business owners here in the community. Everybody’s been so nice and everything’s been progressing well. We’re very excited to be growing in Florence.”

Heriot said joining the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce has helped the business get into the community.

“Being a member of the chamber has been a great benefit for us,” Heriot said. “The events we’ve been able to go to and the people that we’ve been able to meet have been really helpful.”

In addition to the chamber, Heriot cited the growing nature of Florence, especially in the business community, for the company’s development.

“The economy is heading in the right direction,” Heriot said. “There have been some recent laws passed that help businesses and it’s just an exciting time to be a business owner. We just got lucky and fell into this at the right time.”

Heriot said sometimes it takes a setback to find out what the next chapter in your life may be.

“I was getting kind of burnt out and I got laid off from my job,” Heriot said. “I was talking to Signarama and it was almost like a sign. So, my wife and I made a decision to pursue this and we’ve worked tirelessly to get the store open and we’re just loving it.”

For more information, visit signarama-florencesc.com or follow Signarama on Facebook.