Chamber Spring Golf Classic Set For Thursday, May 4th

Join us for a day of golf at the Florence Chamber of Commerce’s Spring Golf Classic at the Traces Golf Club on Thursday, May 4th. This year’s event is sponsored by Raldex Hospitality.  Lunch begins at 11:00 a.m. and tee off at noon.  Each registered golfer will be entered into a drawing to participate in a $25,000 cash shoot out!

For more information, click here.

Save The Date: Chamber’s Building Bridges Diversity & Inclusion Summit

The Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce’s 2023 Building Bridges Leadership and Diversity Summit will take place from 9:00 a.m – 3:00 p.m. on Monday, March 20th at the Florence Center.  The cost is $30 per person or $25 per person for groups of 5 or more, which includes continental breakfast and lunch.

For more information, click here.

24th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Held at Francis Marion University

On Thursday, January 12th, The Florence Chamber of Commerce partnered with Francis Marion University and McLeod Health to host the 24th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. event.  The annual celebration took place at 6:30 p.m. at Francis Marion University’s Chapman Auditorium. This year’s speaker will be Rev. Norman Gamble of New Ebenezer Baptist Church.

To read the full story, click here.

Small Business Session: Protecting & Growing Your Business

The Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce, along with Francis Marion University’s Kelley Center for Economic Development, have partnered to present a small business session for individuals looking to network among local entrepreneurs and gain useful insight on protecting and growing a business. The in-person event will take place on Wednesday, February 15th from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM in the Community Room at the Florence Chamber office (100 W Evans St) This workshop will offer advice on intellectual property law and details to understand about how digital marketing is used to grow business. You would be surprised at you need to know to protect your intellectual property of your business and avoid areas of trouble. This session will discuss what your business needs to know about trademarks, copyrights, patents and more – yes, even in small businesses. You will also hear about how to do compete and competitive digital marketing for small business.

Join this small group of individuals for a free lunch sponsored by First Citizens Bank and information you never knew you needed to know about managing a small business. Speakers include Douglas L. Lineberry, a licensed attorney that practices at Burr & Forman, LLP in South Carolina. He practices in the intellectual property practice group with representation including patent, trademark, copyright protection, as well as intellectual property litigation. Josh Richardson is the Sales Director at Influence Digital Agency, LLC in South Carolina and has more than 25 years of experience in building brands and driving revenue through innovative strategies, excellent leadership skills, and meticulous project execution.

For more information, click here.

Consistently HR To Host Free Webinar

Join Dashonda Foxworth of Consistently HR as she hosts a webinar on Saturday, January 21st via Zoom at 12:00 noon.  The topic of this free webinar will focus on how to attract, engage and retain employees.

For more information, click here.

Young Professionals of Florence To Host Their First Networking Social of 2023 – THURSDAY

Join Young Professionals of Florence for their kick off social event of the year on January 19th from 5:30 – 7:30 PM at Wholly Smokin’ Downtown! What better way to kick off the new year than by networking with new friends!

For more information, click here.

FDTC’s Early Childhood Development Program Receives Donation

Florence-Darlington Technical College has received a $16,500 donation from SC Endeavors for the college’s Early Childhood Education program, which educates students interested in a career working with children as child-care workers in private and public centers, school systems, community and state agencies, as well as religious institutions.

“The donation is incredibly generous and greatly appreciated,” FDTC early childhood instructor Elizabeth Crow said. “With this funding, our program will be better equipped to educate our current students, connect with alumni and recruit new students in our service area. SC Endeavors has always been a dedicated supporter of Florence-Darlington Technical College, and the size of this donation is a testament to the mission of the agency. I cannot thank SC Endeavors enough for the opportunities that this funding will provide.”

To read the full story, click here.

McMaster’s Executive Budget Calls For $300 Million Investment Into I-73

Gov. Henry McMaster (R-S.C.) is urging the start of construction of the long-awaited Interstate 73 project.

In the new executive budget released Friday, the governor’s office recommended a $300 million investment to jumpstart the project, providing “an important boost to start work on a project that will serve as a catalyst for local and federal government partners to finalize their own investment plans.”

The proposed interstate would run through parts of the Pee Dee along I-95 as a new route to Myrtle Beach.

Friday’s update mirrors a proposal McMaster made in 2021 for $300 million in state funds for the project. He added that the state would come up with half of the total $1.6 billion cost of I-73, while local and federal governments would be responsible for the other half.

To read the full story, click here.

Real Estate Agents Optimistic About Housing Market Despite Rising Interest Rates

Some real estate people in Florence are optimistic about the market despite rising interest rates.

According to an article by the Associated Press, the average long-term U.S. mortgage rate has climbed over 6%, which is the highest in 14 years since the housing crash of 2008.

In South Carolina, the average mortgage rate for a 30-year fixed loan is 6.36%. The highest mortgage rate in history was in October 1981 with an interest rate of 18.45% and the lowest mortgage rate was in 2020 at 2.68%, according to Mortgage Buyer Freddie Mac.

Real estate broker Joey McMillan, who has 20 years of experience, said not to panic over the rise in interest rates. The rates are not usually high but are higher than what most are used to with the housing market.

When he first started in the business, McMillan said, interest rates were slightly higher than the current rate at 7½ percent. He said several people working in his office could attest to their interest rate being as high as 18% on their first home.

“Today the interest rates are at 6½ percent,” he said. “That is definitely up from six months ago, but in the early ‘80s, interest rates were as high as 18 percent. Historically, rates are pretty good. We are just used to extremely low rates.”

To read the full story, click here.

Junior Leadership Florence County Now Accepting Applications

The Junior Leadership Florence County Program, sponsored by the Florence County Clemson Extension Service/4-H Office, The Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce, and Francis Marion University, is now accepting applications for the 2023-2024 School Year. This program is a tremendous opportunity for select Florence County youth.

Students must be classified as high school sophomores or juniors during the 2023-2024 school year. The program is open to public, private, and home-schooled students who live and/or attend school in Florence County.

For more information, click here.