New Beginning Health and Wellness Center Celebrates New Location

A New Beginning Health and Wellness Center celebrated its relocation with a Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting on Monday, January 10th.

The center offers a variety of services for its customers.

“I study a lot of blood cells to determine what might indicate nutritional insufficiencies, make nutritional suggestions,” said Dr. Diane Chapman, a microscopist.

The center also offers ionize detoxes that pull toxins from the body through the feet, body sculpting, medical massages and nutritional products.

The center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached at 843-621-0194. It is at 1354 Celebration Blvd., Florence.

Barefoot Cuts the Ribbon, Joins Florence Chamber

William Barefoot, surrounded by his family and ambassadors from the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce, cut the ribbon on Tuesday, January 10th for his new business, William R. Barefoot CPA LLC, as he joined the Chamber.

The event took place in the FMU’s University Place Gallery, located in the same building as Barefoot’s practice.

“I worked for a regional firm in the Florence area for over 23 years and last year decided to go out on my own and help small-business owners and individuals with their accounting and tax services,” Barefoot said.

“I offer business advisory services, accounting services, QuickBooks consulting and tax planning and consulting,” Barefoot said.

Barefoot is at 142 North in FMU Place and Kelly Center Incubator and Business Development Center on the second floor. His phone number is 843-823-3602 and his office hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday.

SC Industry Sectors Saw Economic Growth in 2021

Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, at least two major industry sectors in South Carolina saw significant growth last year.

“Despite persistent industry challenges in 2021, consumer demand for our products remained strong,” said Anders Gustafsson, vice president of the Americas for Volvo Cars, which builds the S60 sedan at a $1.2 billion manufacturing campus in Berkeley County.

German automaker BMW, which builds its X-model SUVs in the Upstate, saw a 20.8 percent jump in North American sales in 2021 compared to the previous year, to 336,644 vehicles.

Hotels in the Palmetto State took a hard hit because of COVID-19 in 2020, but they didn’t perform quite as poorly as lodgings in the U.S. overall. Hotel occupancy nationwide that year was 44 percent, and revenue per room dropped 46 percent year-over-year.

But from March through August 2021, South Carolina outpaced the U.S. on occupancy and room rates. The state’s lead was largest in April when hotels in South Carolina were filling about 68 percent of their rooms versus 58 percent across the United States. Revenue per room in South Carolina that month was also more than $20 higher than the U.S. figure.

To read the full story, click here.

Initial S.C. Unemployment Claims Soar for Week Ending Jan. 1

The first week of initial unemployment claims stretching into 2022 in South Carolina saw an increase of more than 2,400 from the previous week.

For the week ending Jan. 1, 3,582 initial unemployment claims were filed in the state, an increase of 2,447 from the week before. Anderson County saw 1,305 claims, the highest in the state by more than 800, according to data from the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce. Richland County had 442 claims.

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Sonoco Recycling Acquires American Recycling of Western North Carolina

Sonoco Recycling, a unit of Sonoco (NYSE: SON), one of the largest sustainable global packaging companies, today announced it has acquired American Recycling of Western North Carolina, a privately owned recovered paper recycler located in Asheville, N.C.

American Recycling of Western North Carolina is a privately owned business that processes approximately 30,000 tons of recovered fiber annually at its well-capitalized Asheville material recovery facility. The business expects to generate approximately $9 million in sales in 2021 and it is strategically located approximately 65 miles from Sonoco’s Newport, TN, uncoated recycled paperboard mill.

To read the full story, click here.

Team S.C. Showcasing State at Worldwide Tech Conference in Vegas

South Carolina is transforming into a hub for technology and innovation, and the best and brightest in ingenuity are representing the Palmetto State at CES 2022. Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association, CES is one of the world’s biggest tech trade shows and currently taking place in Las Vegas.

The Upstate SC Alliance and Charleston Regional Development Alliance, along with S.C. Commerce, have teamed up to once again showcase South Carolina and highlight the latest in innovation across the state.

This influential event, featuring the latest transformative technologies, is an opportunity to meet with top technology companies, innovators and research institutions from across the country and around the world.

To read the full article, click here.

More Townhomes Could Be Coming to Celebration Boulevard

On the agenda for this week’s meeting of the Florence Planning Commission is the approval of a sketch plan for seven townhomes to be located on a vacant lot between Bojangles and the Edward Jones office.

The plan calls for the front doors of the homes to face Celebration Boulevard.

The information provided to the Planning Commission does not indicate how many bedrooms the townhomes will have. However, a drawing of the townhomes indicates that they will be two stories tall and will have concrete parking in front of the units.

In 2020, the Planning Commission approved sketch plans for the construction of two townhome developments: an 8-unit building to be located near where Festival Lane turns toward its intersection with Celebration Boulevard and two six-unit townhome buildings behind the Fire It Up building.

Chamber Ribbon Cutting Marks Talus’ Arrival in Florence

With the quick snip of a pair of scissors the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce celebrated the addition of Talus Pay to the pantheon of Florence-area businesses on Wednesday, January 5th.

Wade Crawford and Raymond Davis, both solution consultants for the company, will work out of Florence to help businesses reduce the cost of doing business and to streamline their operations.

So far, the company has signed up two businesses and is working on others, said Crawford, who previously worked in alcohol sales.

“It was time to find something else to do and these guys took a chance on me and flew me down to Dallas and it was a first-class organization,” Crawford said of his career change. “I’m working for some great people. It’s a new field, a lot to learn, which is daunting but it’s interesting.”

Talus has been around for about 15 years and was purchased by venture capitalists more than three years ago, said Robert M Faias, Regional Sales Leader for the company.

Talus assists businesses through card service solutions, data collection and organization and offers a program to eliminate card fees for merchants, said Faias.

To read the full article, click here.

Slim Chickens Restaurant Coming to Florence

Another chicken restaurant is coming to Florence.

QSR, a magazine serving the food-service industry, recently reported that uncle and nephew Larry and Jody Chandler would be bringing nine Slim Chickens restaurants to the Palmetto State including a location in Florence.

The Chandlers are franchisers of several Firehouse Subs locations in South Carolina and North Carolina.

The article does not list a Florence location for the restaurant or a timetable for construction and opening of it.

Slim Chickens was founded in 2003 in Fayetteville, Ark. It has around 150 locations in the United States with more locations in the United Kingdom and Kuwait. The restaurant specializes in various chicken items including wings, tenders, sandwiches and chicken and waffles.

Florence is home to several chicken restaurants including KFC, Zaxbys, Chick-fil-A, Maryland Fried Chicken, BTJ’s Wings, and Buffalo Wild Wings.

There is also a Wingstop to be located next to Five Guys at the Florence Mall.

To read the full article, click here.

Pee Dee Commerce City Industrial Park to Expand Across SC 327

Development of the area around the intersection of I-95 and S.C. 327 continues to heat up.

Marlboro Development Team, the economic development arm of the jointly managed Marlboro and Pee Dee Electric Cooperatives, recently expanded the Pee Dee Commerce City industrial park west across S.C. 327 to include 174 additional acres. The development team is also expected to complete construction of a 117,180-square-foot class A industrial speculative development in the new part of the park by the fourth quarter of the year.

“Marlboro Development Team has a strategic development plan to construct new speculative product in targeted growing markets and Florence County certainly qualifies,” said William Fleming, President and CEO of Marlboro Development Team. “We focus on communities and willing partners that are fully vested in economic development and in the belief that these type investments result in better paying jobs and opportunities for their citizens.”

To read the full article, click here.