Hampton Inn Hosts Business After Hours

by Ardie Arvidson

The Hampton Inn and Suites Florence -North I-95 was filled with music and a large gathering of Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce members on Wednesday night.

They were attending the chamber Business After Hours hosted by the Hampton Inn and Suites. The hotel is at 1735 Stokes Road.

Chamber members enjoyed food, music and fellowship.

Prizes were awarded at the end of the evening. Julie Cord was the recipient of a new 55-inch television. Other gifts include gift certificates, gift baskets, grill and more. Guests took a tour of the hotel as a way to participate in the prizes.

The hotel is at Exit 164 on I-95, less than three miles from the city center. It has 136 rooms.

For more information about the chamber and its events, contact the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce at 843-665-0515.

To read the full article on SC Now, click here.

Buc-EE’s Store Coming to Florence County

by Matthew Christian

Project Clean is expected to be identified as Buc-EE’s at Thursday’s Florence County Council meeting.

Buc-EE’s is a Texas-based gas station and convenience store chain. It is known for its large-format stores and clean restrooms.

The Florence location would be the company’s second location outside Texas. The first location is near Mobile, Ala.

Three ordinances, two involving Project Clean and one involving Project Squid, are up for third reading at the meeting.

When ordinances involving projects with placeholder name come before the council on third reading, a council member usually makes a motion to change the name from the placeholder to the company involved.

One of the ordinances involving Project Clean expands the joint metaphorical industrial park between Florence and Darlington counties. The other authorizes the development and delivery of a fee-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with the company.

A fee-in-lieu-of-tax agreement between the county, Buc-EE’s of South Carolina LLC, and the Drs. Bruce & Lee Foundation is included in the information provided to the council ahead of Thursday’s meeting.

The foundation owns the land upon which the Buc-EEs location will be constructed.

The land is at the northeast corner of the intersection of Interstate 95 and S.C. 327. For people traveling along S.C. 327 away toward and over Interstate 95, the Buc-EEs will be located on the right.

The ordinance involving Project Squid expands a joint metaphorical industrial park between Florence and Marion counties.

Project Squid is likely MobileFleet’s development of an industrial facility in Marion County.

Information provided to the Florence County Council at the July meeting indicated the Project Squid property is at 2914 Spartan Place in Marion.

The South Carolina Department of Commerce previously announced that property as a new location of MobileFleet Inc., a company that builds custom storage solutions for public service providers, including fire and police departments and government municipalities.

The announced investment in South Carolina by MobileFleet is $6.3 million and will result in the creation of 64 new jobs. The location of MobileFleet will include the company’s manufacturing division and distribution operations.

The three ordinances were approved on first reading in June and on second reading in July.

The council is also expected to hold first reading of another ordinance and the reading of a resolution involving “Project CanCan” at the meeting.

The meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. in the County Council Chambers of the County Complex at 180 N. Irby St.

To read the full article on SC Now, click here.

Jr. Leadership Held Successful Retreat

The Jr Leadership Class of 2020 enjoyed their over night retreat at Camp Bob Cooper. The class has 26 students from not only public and private schools in Florence County, but home school institutions as well. This programs is a partnership between Francis Marion University, The Clemson Extension, and the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce. 

Here’s to a great year of helping to build Leaders!

Chamber Welcomes Nominations for Business Person of the Year

From Staff Reports

The Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for the 2019 Business Person of the Year.

Area business and community individuals can submit names of those individuals who have managed a successful business with a record of responsibility toward employees, customers and members of the community, said the chamber.

“We are extremely fortunate to have so many local business owners and leaders that have previously been recognized as the business person of the year,” Florence Chamber President, Michael Miller said. “They have helped set the standard for our future leaders and business owners. Making this list of noteworthy individuals is an important acknowledgement within our community.”

Last year’s recipient was Schipp Johnston, the owner of Crown Beverages in Florence. The award is sponsored each year by Wells Fargo and presented at the Chamber’s Fall Membership Luncheon. This year’s luncheon will be held on Oct. 10 at the Florence Center. Florence Mayor Stephen J. Wukela will be the keynote speaker.

To be eligible for the Business Person of the Year Award, the person must be an accompanying business member of the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce and be associated with a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or professional practice in the Florence area. Elected officials and employees of government or not-for-profit organizations are ineligible, unless they are also involved in business and meet all other eligibility requirements.

To submit a nomination or for more information, email or call Susan Farver at sfarver@flochamber.com or 843-665-0515. The deadline for submission is Aug. 23.

To view the full story on SC Now, click here.

Chamber Member of the Month – King Cadillac Buick GMC

by VIP Magazine

39 Years in Business

     Last month King Cadillac Buick GMC celebrated 39 years in business. While the foundation of the business has always been to offer the highest quality vehicles at the best prices, owner Reamer B. King also understood the importance of being an integral part of the community. This included joining the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce where the business has been a member since infancy.

     Back in 1984, when the company was just starting out, there were 26 employees. These days the dealership is a vital part of the community by employing 104 people. Employee’s positions range from the sales department, service department, parts department, and administration. One important observation to note is the lack of turnover within the company. “We invest in our employees, making sure they have the best and most current training to accommodate our customer’s needs,” says Woody Truluck, King’s Vice President, and General Manager. With the demand for service technicians continuing to rise, being a dedicated employer is key. Woody goes on to say that the majority of their employees have been with the company for more than 10 years, many of those being there for more than 25 years. “This also has a positive effect on our customers. When they come in for oil changes and checkups, it’s comforting to them to see the same faces. Our customers have grown to trust the men and women in our service department.”

     Reamer B. King and Woody Truluck believe that they are the best dealership around and they know that’s due to their award-winning team. Every person on the team contributes to their success.

     This month the Florence Chamber chose King as their business of the month because of them being a superior role model in the business community.

For more information on King, visit them online at www.kingflorencegm.com and www.kingcadillacsc.com.

To view the full story in VIP Magazine, find a copy at many of our local Florence businesses or read it online here.

Home-Care Provider Gets Rebranded, Joins Florence Chamber

by Ardie Arvidson

All Ways Caring HomeCare is rebranding and to let people know more about its transition it joined the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce. A ribbon cutting was held on Thursday morning at 960 Pamplico Highway.

Formerly ResCare HomeCare, All Ways Caring HomeCare is part of the BrightSpring Health Services.

Molly Hawkins, branch manager, said All Ways serves 11 counties in the Pee Dee area with nine branches in South Carolina. It provides home care in 24 states.

Hawkins said the health care provider offers private-duty, veterans, and community long-term care, as well as disability and special needs care, workman’s comp and family-support voucher care.

She said All Ways joined the chamber to work in the community and let people know it is in the community.

“The name change reflects the transformation of the home care organization which has been providing services for more than 20 years as ResCare HomeCare,” according to an announcement from BrightSpring. “All Ways Caring HomeCare will offer care for more than 20,000 individuals across the country, delivering quality, compassionate and highly individualized care and support that helps seniors stay at home – all while maximizing their dignity, privacy and independence.”

“We are so excited to introduce All Ways Caring HomeCare,” said Rexanne Domico, president of home health and neurotherapy. “As home health care needs evolve, we’re creating the best operating model in the industry to enhance the quality of care we provide.”

All Ways Caring has the capability to offer short-term care, seasonal help and long-term care, Domico said.

“We care about our patients,” Hawkins said. “They are like extended family.”

For more information, contact Molly Hawkins at 843-629-0794.

To read the full article on SC Now, click here.

Florence Chamber to Hear Health Care Speakers at Breakfast

by Ardie Arvidson

The Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce will host a Community Healthcare Update Breakfast on Friday, September 20, at the Florence Center.

The chamber typically hosts two legislative breakfast information sessions each year at which three representatives are asked to speak about what is happening in their area of government, said Mike Miller, president of the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce.

“We do one in the fall and one early spring,” he said. “This time we decided that we would have the program positioned toward our area’s largest business category: medical and health care.”

“The hospitals employ thousands just in Florence County, not including their satellite locations throughout the region,” Miller said. “Along with their growing services, we also have many other medical service providers in the region that are substantial contributors to our employment base. Altogether we have a very large category of employment that has the responsibility of medical services for most of a seven-county area. It seems logical to ask our health care leaders what is happening today that is critical to health care advancement and what does the future hold in each of their respective operations.”

The speakers for the program:

  • Kyle Baxter, chief operating officer at MUSC Health-Florence Medical Center.
  • Donna Isgett, senior vice president at McLeod Health.
  • Carl M. Humphries, chief executive officer at HopeHealth.

Each will touch on what’s new on the health care horizon and discuss today’s trend in area health services.

Doors will open at 7:30 a.m. The program will begin at 8 a.m.

The program is open to the community and all area business leaders. It is being made possible by First Reliance Bank and Signature Wealth Strategies.

Breakfast tickets and registration are $20 per person and available by calling the Chamber of Commerce at 843-665-0515 or by using the registration link on the chamber’s website at flochamber.com/events.

To read the full article on SC Now, click here.

AirMedCare Network Joins Florence Chamber

by Ardie Arvidson

An air ambulance crew from AirMedCare Network landed its helicopter Tuesday afternoon at the Florence Airport at the FBO station, 500 S. McCall Blvd. for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate AirMedCare Network joining of the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber ambassadors showed their support by participating in the event.

Pastor Eugene Park Sr. of Mullins and the Rev. Steven Curry Gallego of Cross and Crown Lutheran Church in Florence spoke and prayed.

Chris Frye is the base manager of the air ambulance medical transport located in Sumter. He said they have been in this area for 3½ years. The medical transport has been in operation for 36 years, he said. The transport has seven helicopters and one airplane in South Carolina. They are spread throughout the state in Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Sumter, Mullins, Charleston and Walterboro.

In Sumter there are four pilots, one full-time mechanic, three nurses and three paramedics, he said.

Frye said they are in the business of transporting people to trauma surgery units to help save lives.

They arrived in Florence in a Bell 407.

Lionel Grant, the membership sales manager for AirMedCare Network, cut the ribbon. He said they have a membership plan where a household can join as one to take care of out-of-pocket expenses when being flown by an AMCN provider. You don’t have to be a member of their plan to be transported by the service. A yearly or monthly fee is charged. With a membership, members of a household receive ID cards and stickers for their drivers’ licenses.

“Their first job is to save lives,” Grant said.

AirMedCare Network is one of the largest air medical membership networks in America. It provides coverage across 320 locations in 38 states, including Alaska and Hawaii.

To view the full article on SC Now, click here.

Barber Shop Celebrates Joining Florence Chamber

by Ardie Arvidson

Barbers and Blades Barber Shop, LLC was joined by Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce ambassadors for a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday morning, denoting its membership into the chamber.

The barbershop opened in April 2018 at 352 W. Palmetto St.

Owner Shkari Deon Ham said his step-father is a member of a chamber of commerce and encouraged him to join, and his cousin, a barber in Hartsville, is also a chamber member.

“I thought it was a good idea,” he said.

Ham said he learned to cut hair at the feet of his grandmother and practiced on his grandfather, starting around the age of 13.

Ham said owning his own shop was a dream of his.

He served in the military before deciding to pursue his dream by attending Thompson & Son Barber College in Florence.

Ham previously worked at Thompson Master Hair Care.

He said he is located on a very business street, where they accept walk-in traffic.

Business has been good, he said.

There are two barbers at the shop other than Ham. Joining in the celebration on Monday were Dion Grant and Robert Tozzi.

Ham said each has his own specialties.

Stylists Jamela Broaddus-Franklin and Vicki Moore were also on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“I was born here in Florence but raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina,” Ham said.

Cuts vary in price depending on styles and services. Hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Visit the shop’s Facebook page for individual phone numbers and to make appointments.

To read the full article on SC Now, click here.

Ribbon Cut at New Convenient Store in Florence County

From Staff Reports

With much celebration, a host of supporters and a live radio remote broadcast, On The Go cut the ribbon and joined the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce Thursday morning.

Owned and operated by Johnny and George Rishmawi, the shiny new convenience store is on Alligator Road near the intersection with Knollwood Road.

“We like the location and we thought it was a nice place to put a nice store for the community,” Johnny Rishmawi said.

In addition to gas, a spacious parking lot and other features usually found at convenience stores, there is more.

“Our kitchen is breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day from 5:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.,” Richmawi said. “We cook home cooking country food — fried chicken and pork chops and barbecue ribs and meatloaf. We cook different food every day.”

The store is open 24/7.

To read the full story on SC Now, click here.