Raldex shows off new corporate quarters in Florence at Business After Hours

By: Andrew Boardwine, Morning News

FLORENCE, S.C. – Raldex Hospitality unveiled its new corporate facilities Thursday evening with a grand-opening and Business After Hours event.

Starting at 5:30 p.m., business and community leaders began arriving at the group’s offices at 780 Woody Jones Blvd. for an evening of fun, food and networking.

Chad Patterson, vice president of Raldex Hospitality Group, said it was exciting to see the business community come out to support Raldex.

“We are so excited to have as many people as we do tonight,” Patterson said. “The Florence community has been great partners with us. We love being a part of it and being able to have this new office right here in the hospitality district. To see the support from the local businesses means a lot.”

The event featured live music, food and drinks as Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce ambassadors and members of the public toured the new facilities, including offices, a warehouse and meeting rooms.

Patterson said the company is invested in the Florence community and looks for ways to take care of its team members, guests and the local community.

The office will provide several services to its team members, including payroll, human resources, corporate sales, upkeep and much more.

Raldex Hospitality owns and operates the Holiday Inn Express, Hilton Garden Inn and two Hampton Inn & Suites, one near the Florence Center and one on S.C. 52 in Florence.

For more information, visit www3.raldex.com.

Florence Tax Service celebrates grand-opening weekend

By: Andrew Boardwine, Morning News

FLORENCE, S.C. — Gloria’s Perfection Tax Services celebrated a grand opening for its new office this past weekend with the hopes of helping the Pee Dee community get the best tax services and consultations as possible.

Gloria’s Perfection Tax Services joined ambassadors from the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce to hold a ribbon cutting Friday.

Gloria Jones, a proud graduate of Wilson High School and owner of the business, said she was excited to join the chamber.

“I wanted to get familiar with other areas around the community,” Jones said. “It’s a great way to network and help out with my community. I wanted to be able to encourage black women and small business owners who may be on their own to be successful in their fields.”

The office, at 1509 West Evans Street, is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will extend its hours during tax season.

For more information, contact Gloria’s Perfection Tax Services at 843-702-2593.

Hofler Law Firm holds ribbon cutting in Florence

By: Andrew Boardwine/Morning News

FLORENCE, S.C. — The Hofler Law Firm joined ambassadors from the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce Wednesday afternoon to hold a ribbon cutting.

The Hofler Law Firm, at 183 S. Coit St., Suite C, was founded by Jack Hofler in Florence about a year ago.

Hofler said the law firm serves people in the areas of personal injury and family law.

“I enjoy the opportunity to work directly with the clients,” Hofler said. “I look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve the people that I interact with on a daily basis.”

Hofler said joining the chamber will help his business establish contacts throughout the Pee Dee area.

“I’m lucky to live in Florence because of the thriving business community we have,” Hofler said. “I think that being a member of the chamber is going to help my business by fostering relationships with other successful businesspeople. I feel lucky to be a part of this group.”

Hofler said he grew up in Florence and, after graduating from Wake Forest University School of Law, he began a clerkship with Circuit Court Judge William H. Seals, Jr. in Marion. He then spent years practicing law with an established defense law firm in Florence before deciding to open his own practice.

Hofler said he couldn’t be in business without his the support of his family.

“I feel very fortunate to have a close family,” Hofler said. “I would not have been able to have the success that I’ve had opening this new law firm had it not been for the support of my family. I want to especially thank my wife Laura Anne. She has been and continues to be one of the people that is really instrumental in helping the business to flourish.”

For more information, visit HoflerLawFirm.com.



Coronal Energy announces plans for the construction

Coronal Energy, a leading independent solar power and energy storage provider, today announced plans for the construction of a new solar project — the Rankin Solar Center — in Florence County. The new development is projected to bring approximately $15 million of capital investment.

The Rankin Solar Center will generate 10 megawatts of clean, renewable solar power, which is enough to power approximately 2,000 homes annually. With world-class capabilities in development, financing, engineering and construction, Coronal Energy owns, operates and manages a 333-megawatt portfolio with a multi-gigawatt development pipeline.

Located off Corrie Farm Road in Florence, S.C., Coronal Energy’s new development is expected to come online in the fourth quarter of 2019.


Traffic circle planned in Florence


FLORENCE, S.C. – The city of Florence will soon have something it has never had: a traffic circle.

A one-lane traffic circle is planned to be placed at the intersection of N.B. Baroody Street and East Evans Street as part of a redesign of the intersection funded by tax increment funds from the city of Florence. The redesign will also include some on-street parking and beautification efforts.

N.B. Baroody was a Lebanese-American business and community leader in Florence.

City Manager Drew Griffin said the traffic circle would create a more continuous flow of traffic through the intersection to and from the McLeod hospitals nearby.

The intersection would also allow hospital workers easier access to downtown for lunch and dinner, which should increase the viability of the downtown market and create more growth in that area of Florence.

Currently, traffic flow through the intersection is awkward and made difficult because of the nature of the intersection as it is “off center” in the words of Griffin.

Tax increment funds arise from the downtown development district. When a business opens downtown, the tax revenue in the district increases in increments, and those tax revenues are used to fund infrastructure building in the redevelopment area including road paving, parks, and plazas like the planned Cultural Gardens Plaza that will feature a fountain.

Griffin said the project either was out to bid or was about to be out to bid. He added that the city had budgeted $450,000 in tax increment funds for the project.

Traffic circles, also called roundabouts, are circles of roadway placed at the intersection of two or more roads designed to allow continuous flow through the intersection as no stop signs or traffic signals are needed for traffic control. Instead, a driver yields then enters and exits the interchange.

The traffic circle is expected to be complete around the time of the opening of the Hilton downtown.


Junior Leadership Florence

Junior Leadership is off to a great start with our opening retreat at the beach for the 2018-19 class. This year’s group of 24 high school students from around Florence County will participate in this great community program to explore leadership skills, successful team work, community awareness, business and industry, agriculture and natural resources, history and art as well as education and healthcare availability in our area.

The Junior Leadership Florence County (JLFC) Program is presented by The Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce, the Florence County Extension Service and 4-H Office and Francis Marion University in collaboration with the JLFC Advisory Board and community sponsors. The program is offered to high school sophomores and juniors from each private and public school in Florence County, as well as home-school students who qualify.