South Carolina Chamber of Commerce Announces Honorees for 2021 Business Leader of the Year, Public Servant of the Year and the Sgt. William Jasper Freedom Award

The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce has announced the honorees for the 2021 Business Leader of the Year, Public Servant of the Year and the Sgt. William Jasper Freedom Award.
Howard Coker, president and CEO of Sonoco, has been named the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce Business Leader of the Year. The South Carolina Chamber’s Business Leader of the Year is chosen based on leadership in South Carolina and the embodiment of personal success. Other criteria include a business record based on ethical conduct and corporate responsibility, public service, contributions to the preservation of South Carolina’s government and commitment to creating a positive business climate to improve the state’s economy. Congressman James Clyburn, representing South Carolina’s 6th Congressional District, and majority whip, was named Public Servant of the Year.

The Sgt. William Jasper Freedom Award will go to Brigadier General Milford H. Beagle Jr., U.S. Army.

To read the full story, click here.

The Emerging Leaders Summer Institute participates in Education and Leadership Development Session

The Emerging Leaders Summer Institute held their Education and Leadership Development session on July 21st. The class started the day with a dementia simulator and breakfast at The Carolinian before visiting the FMU Performing Arts Center. The group later heard an informative presentation from Hannah with Downtown Florence and a presentation on community leadership by Doris Lockhart of Spherion Florence South Carolina. The day ended with a presentation from Coker University and lunch with Interim President Ed Bethea at Florence-Darlington Technical College.

South Carolina Tax Free Weekend

South Carolina’s Tax Free Weekend is coming up August 6 – 8. This annual Sales Tax Holiday was established to help families prepare for the school year and includes a variety of items for school, home, and personal use. During the Sales Tax Holiday, consumers can purchase a variety of items like computers, clothing, and school supplies – online or in a store – without paying the state’s 6% Sales Tax and any applicable local taxes. The South Carolina Department of Revenue is encouraging shoppers to buy local, both online and in stores, during Tax Free Weekend.

Buc-ee’s Taking Shape

The exterior walls and more are up as construction continues on Buc-ee’s, a travel center at exit 170 on Interstate 95. The building of a Buc-ee’s in Florence was announced in August 2019. Ground was broken in November 2020. Now, eight months later, look at the progress of construction. Located on the northeast corner of Interstate 95 and North Williston Road, Buc-ee’s Florence will mark the first Buc-ee’s travel center in South Carolina. The company is investing $35 million in Florence County, and it will create nearly 200 new jobs. The store is projected to open early in 2022. Buc-ee’s will occupy more than 53,200 square feet and offer 120 fueling positions.

RE/MAX in Florence Celebrates Chamber Membership and New Location

RE/Max Professionals in Florence held a ribbon cutting on Thursday, July 22nd at its new location, 601 W. Palmetto St., celebrating joining the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce. Chamber ambassadors joined RE/MAX agents, staff and friends for the celebration.  Owner/CEO Mandy Fulford acquired the Florence franchise Jan. 1. She owns six RE/MAX offices, including ones in Charleston and the Grand Strand area.  Fulford said she employs 15 agents in Florence and 189 total and 20 employees.

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South Carolina Chamber Announces the “2021 Best Places to Work in SC”

The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce has announced 81 businesses named the “2021 Best Places to Work in South Carolina.” Four of the businesses are represented here in Florence County. They include ACS Technologies Group, Edward Jones, First Reliance Bank, and Travel Nurse Across America. All are Greater Florence Chamber Members.  To identify the state’s top-notch employers, the SC Chamber partnered with the publishers of SCBIZ and the Best Companies Group for the 16th consecutive year to conduct the state’s most thorough, comprehensive selection process. The full list of winners, and comments by SC Chamber President, Bob Morgan click here.


Florence Chamber Accepting Business Person of the Year Nominations

The Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce is now accepting nominations for the 2021 Business Person of the Year. Area business and community individuals can submit names of people who have managed a successful business with a record of responsibility toward employees, customers and members of the community. Last year’s recipient was Vera Beasley Herbert of Carolina Bank. This award is sponsored each year by Wells Fargo.

To view the nomination application, click here.

Chamber Announces Date & Speaker for Annual Membership Luncheon

You’re invited to join the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce for our Annual Membership Luncheon to be held on Thursday, September 9th at Florence Center.  The featured speaker will be David Beasley, Executive Director of The World Food Program. The Business Person of the Year award will also be presented by Wells Fargo.  Please mark your calendars to attend. Doors open at 11:30 AM; program begins at Noon.  Tickets for this event are $30 for members, $40 for non-members and $450 for a reserved table of 8.

To reserve your seat for the event, click here.

Florence and Hartsville Chambers partner to present Grassroots Tour

The Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Hartsville Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the 2021 SC Chamber Grassroots Tour Luncheon on Wednesday, September 29 at SiMT (1951 Pisgah Rd, Florence). Doors will open at 11:30am and the program will begin at 12 noon. Bob Morgan, President & CEO of the SC Chamber of Commerce, will be leading the program discussion and legislative review.   Each year, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce partners with regional chambers of commerce throughout South Carolina to present the Chamber’s Alliance Grassroots Tour along with a legislative update. The interactive luncheon offers the state and local chambers to hear from local business and industries on the issues they are faced with in today’s business environment. The feedback received will help shape the state Chamber’s 2022 Competitiveness Agenda and set the Chamber’s priorities for the next legislative session.  The Grassroots Tour Luncheon is made possible with support from SiMT and Sonoco.

To register online, click here.

Floor Boys Opens in Florence with Ribbon Cutting

Floor Boys held an official opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, June 15th at its Florence location, 2001 Elijah Ludd Road (next to Schofield’s). The Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce assisted in the ribbon cutting, along with its ambassadors. “We do all types of flooring – hardwood, carpeting, vinyl, anything you put on floors,” co-owner Robbie Norris said.

To read the full story, click here.