Florence Christmas Parade Returns

Santa and the rest of the Florence Christmas Parade returned Saturday to downtown Florence after a one-year absence.

The 2021 Florence Christmas Parade was held Saturday morning from the intersection of West Evans Street and Sunset Drive to the traffic circle at the intersection of East Evans Street and N.B. Baroody Street.

Winners of the parade include Fitness World gyms (most decorated car), South Florence High School (best JROTC), Kelly Fine Arts (most spirited dance team), The Terrence Carraway Foundation (most unusual float), Varsity Dance Team (most creative dance), Strickland Farms/Pee Dee Towing (best-dressed horse) and the Florence Fire Department (first responders).

To read the full story, click here.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) & Grant Opportunities

Join the South Carolina District Office and our Resource Partners to learn about the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). This is a direct government loan of up to $2 million to small businesses and non profits that were in operation as of Jan 31, 2020.

Interest Rate and Term:

  • Businesses: 3.75% fixed for 30 years
  • Private nonprofit organizations: 2.75% fixed for 30 years
  • 24 month deferment period for repayment
  • Loan applications taken through 12/31/2021 (or whenever funding is exhausted, whichever comes first.)
  • Grant applications should be submitted by 12/10/2021 as they MUST finish processing by 12/31/2021.

For additional information, contact Valerie Torstenson at valerie.torstenson@sba.gov.

S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce Partners with CompTIA to Provide I.T. Training for South Carolina Businesses

The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce has partnered with CompTIA, a national I.T. association. This partnership gives businesses the opportunity to train and certify their employees in one of two programs that will help develop IT proficiency at no cost to the business. This training is offered to South Carolina businesses through the CompTIA Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) Scholarship Program. IWT helps reskill and upskill current employees, and this training will help businesses address current and future tech talent needs.

Governor McMaster Recommends Spending Savannah River Site Settlement Funds in Local Area

Gov. Henry McMaster laid out his recommendations for how the General Assembly should spend South Carolina’s $525 million share of the Savannah River Site settlement, suggesting lawmakers should use it to boost the nearby counties surrounding the site.

In August 2020, South Carolina entered into an agreement with the Department of Energy over the federal government’s termination of the Mixed Dioxide Fuel (MOX) Fabrication Facility at the Savannah River Site (SRS). The agreement resulted in a $600 million payment from the federal government, with $525 million of those funds now available to be allocated by the General Assembly after attorney’s fees.

To read the full story, click here.

Pepsi Carolina Classic is Back

The 35th Pepsi Carolina Classic is back. The basketball tournament annually held during the winter break is scheduled for December 28th through the December 30th at South Florence High School. The classic was cancelled last year due to the pandemic.

For the first time, the event will also add a four-team girls’ bracket (Dillon, Lake View, North Augusta, West Florence) to go with its eight-team boys’ setup (Dillon, Hartsville, Lake City, Lower Richland, Marlboro County, North Augusta, South Florence, West Florence).

Proceeds from the tournament benefit the Pee Dee Area Boys & Girls Clubs, which uses this basketball event as one of its annual fundraisers.

Aroha Afro Latin Dance Named Business of the Quarter

Congratulations to the Greater Florence Chamber and City of Florence’s Business of the Quarter, Aroha Afro Latin Dance, located in Downtown Florence.

The Chamber, along with the City of Florence, were honored to recognize Aroha owner Adalia Ellis during the December 13th meeting of Florence City Council.

Business of the Quarter is a unique partnership of the City of Florence and the Chamber to recognize local businesses for contributions to community development, growth and civic engagement.

We look forward to Aroha’s continued efforts to help promote the arts and inclusion in Florence and beyond.

$35.6 Million Investment Will Create 179 New Jobs

Innovative Construction Group (ICG), a subsidiary of PulteGroup, Inc., announced plans to establish operations in Florence County. The $35.6 million investment will create 179 new jobs and is part of PulteGroup, Inc.’s ongoing expansion of its ICG platform.

ICG is an off-site construction company that offers framing solutions, design services, wall panels and other products with on-site installation to provide a full-frame shell construction process.

Located at 2570 Florence Harllee Blvd. in Florence, ICG’s new facility will increase the company’s production and distribution capabilities to meet growing demand.

The new facility is expected to be operational in the first half of 2022.

To read the full article, click here.

LFB Plasma Opens in Florence on Second Loop Road

FB Plasma center in Florence held its grand opening at 1933 Second Loop Road on Tuesday, December 7th and also celebrated joining the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce with a ribbon cutting. Chamber staff and ambassadors joined in the celebration.

LFB is a global bio-pharmaceutical group that “develops, manufactures and markets plasma derived products and recombinant proteins for the treatment of patients with serious and often rare diseases,” according to its website, https://lfbplasma.com/

To read the full story, click here.

MUSC Florence Earns ‘A’ Grade for Hospital Safety

MUSC Health Florence Medical Center received an “A” Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade for Fall 2021.

This national distinction recognizes achievements in protecting patients from harm and error in the hospital. It is also the ninth consecutive time MUSC Health Florence Medical Center has received an “A” rating from Leapfrog.

To read the full article, click here.

South Carolina’s Employment Situation, October 2021 Data

The seasonally adjusted, monthly survey of households estimated the number of South Carolinians working increased to 2,313,476.

  • That is an increase of 4,156 people over the September 2021 estimate
  • That is an increase of 7,218 people over the October 2020 estimate.

Unemployment estimates decreased to 94,322 people.

  • That is a significant decrease of 4,738 people from the September 2021 estimate and a significant
    decrease of 36,535 over the October 2020 estimate.
  • The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased significantly to 3.9 percent in October from 4.1 percent in September.