Progress Made on the New Florence Sports Complex

Progress has been made on the new Florence Sports Complex. The grass for the Carolina Bank Field, the new home of the Florence Flamingos Coastal League team, has already been placed and construction on the new city track facility is also underway.

The first-ever pitch at Carolina Bank Field is slated for right around 7 p.m. on May 28, as the Florence Flamingos begin their inaugural season in their new friendly confines.

And by all accounts, the 1,400-seat facility will be up and running on time when the home plate umpire shouts “Play ball.”

To read the full story, click here.

Systel Business Equipment Celebrates Chamber Membership with Ribbon Cutting

A ribbon cutting was held Wednesday, December 8th at Systel Business Equipment, 1512 Second Loop Road in Florence. The Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce and its ambassadors participated in celebrating Systel’s joining the Chamber.

Systel is a family owned independent dealer of office automation equipment in the Southeast that is headquartered in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

“We focus our efforts on working with manufacturers who are developing industry leading technologies that are designed to help effectively and efficiently manage businesses,” said Jacqueline Smith, vice president of marketing and business development at Systel. “In addition to being a copier and lease service provider, we have found great success in managed printing services, managed network and IT, as well as document workflow software and solutions. We also have various production devices such as wide format/plotters, digital production print systems, and other office equipment for handling all of your business needs.”

To read the full article, click here.

The Latest on Vaccine Mandate Lawsuits and What Employers Need to Know

As you know, the White House announced sweeping vaccine mandate requirements for large employers over the summer.  The ETS issued by OSHA has been litigated recently in the courts.  Here’s the latest on where those court rulings stand:

  • On December 17, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reinstated the OSHA ETS requiring employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their employees are fully vaccinated by January 4 or allow employees to submit weekly negative test results. This was a reversal of the previous stay by the Fifth Circuit.
  • On December 22, the U.S. Supreme Court scheduled oral arguments for the ETS to occur on Friday, January 7.
  • To account for the litigation uncertainty, OSHA updated their enforcement policy stating that it “is exercising enforcement discretion with respect to the compliance dates of the ETS.” It will not issue any citations before January 10 and will not enforce the vaccine or testing requirement until February 9 “so long as an employer is exercising reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance with the standard.”

To read more about the OSHA ETS, Federal Contractor Mandate and CMS Rule click below.

ArtFields Jr. is Looking for Student Artists

ArtFields Jr. Art Competition submissions are open! The competition is open to SC students in grades 1-12. Select pieces will be displayed during the month of April and final judging takes place during ArtFields. Submissions are open until February 11.

How To Write a Business Plan Workshop

Join us for this FREE Virtual Workshop presented by a certified SCORE Mentor.

  • Tuesday, January 11, 2022
  • 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

This course will take you through the step-by-step process of developing a business plan that is very specific to each business. However, while each business needs a unique plan, the basic elements are the same in all business plans. To complete an effective business plan, you must dedicate time to complete the plan.

Click on the link below to register. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing meeting information.

Florence Chamber, FMU Kelley Center & Grand Strand SCORE Start Collaborative Venture

The Florence Chamber of Commerce (SC), the Grand Strand SCORE and Kelley Center for Economic Development at Francis Marion University entered into a collaborative venture to provide high quality education for small business owners.

There is a clear synergy between the three organizations based on their history of dedicated services for local small businesses. Kelley Center for Economic Development has been dedicated to the economic growth of the Pee Dee Region through small business support/incubation and various regional economic development initiatives since 2016. The Florence Chamber of Commerce is driven by the mission to “promote and enhance a favorable business climate and improve the quality of life to make Florence the best community in which to live and operate a business.”

The SCORE Grand Strand chapter, founded in 1984, provides education and mentoring to over 11,000 businesses with over 400 clients per year in the Myrtle Beach Area. Last year Grand Strand SCORE opened a branch office in Florence at the Chamber offices and expanded its services to nine counties in South Carolina. In 2022, the Grand Strand SCORE, Kelley Center for Economic Development and Florence Chamber of Commerce will offer a strong curriculum of business education for businesses in all stages of developmental growth.

2021-2022 Jr. Leadership Florence County Class Participate in Social Issues and Community Service Day

Our 2021-2022 Jr. Leadership Florence County Class participated in their Social Issues and Community Service Day on Monday, December 20th! Thank you to the Harvest Hope Food Bank in Florence, Lighthouse Ministries, Greater Florence Habitat for Humanity for allowing our students to volunteer today! Also, our students created Holiday Cards to send to our soldiers. There are so many nonprofits in Florence County and our 4-Hers challenge each of you to find a place and use “your hands of larger service” to positively impact our communities!

Special thanks to Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority for providing transportation.

The Junior Leadership Program is a partnership project between the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce, Francis Marion University and Florence County 4-H program. The sessions are similar to the Chamber’s Leadership Florence program but designed for sophomore and Junior high school students.

Florence County Leaders Looking for Community Feedback

As Florence County continues to grow, the Florence Area Transportation Study (FLATS) has begun work on adjusting its transportation plan for the next several years.

So, areas across the county could look a lot different in the future, but county leaders need your help.

Now as for what people are asking for, everyone has an opinion on how roadways, pedestrian areas, and transit should look like around Florence County.

Now you have a chance to make your concerns heard by filling out the Florence Area Transportation Study’s community feedback survey.

The deadline to complete the survey is January 9. After the deadline, FLATS will create the adjusted plan and present it to the county council next fall.

To fill out the survey, click here –…

23rd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration

On Thursday, January 13, The Florence Chamber of Commerce will partner with Francis Marion University and McLeod Health to host the 23rd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. event. The annual celebration will take place at 6:30 p.m. at Francis Marion University’s Chapman Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information call Les Echols at the Chamber at (843) 519-0934.