Gould, Kelley Centers Support Small Business In Florence Area

Justin Mack Sr. started his home health care business, 1st Palmetto Medical Services, in March 2021. He did so while also serving as assistant fire chief at Palmetto Rural Fire Department.

Some of the spaces that suited his needs in Florence would have cost him around $2,500 in rent each month. That didn’t include utilities.

A friend of his, who had grown a business in the Gould Manufacturing and Business Incubator, had a solution to his problem. Mack was put in touch with Tressa Gardner, associate vice president at the Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology, a part of the Florence-Darlington Technical College in Florence, which houses the Gould Incubator.

Now, he runs 1st Palmetto and an ambulance service he purchased, Med Atlantic, out of the building.

“I owe it all to the incubator,” Mack said.

Gould has office spaces, conference rooms and loading bays. It had signed its 104th lease as of Sept. 12. Gardner said there are 15 companies on a waiting list for the incubator as of Sept. 12.

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