Virtual Social Media Workshop For Small Businesses – This Wednesday

Join the Downtown Florence Main Street office on Wednesday, July 17th at 9:00 AM for a primer on social media for small business. Platforms covered will include Facebook and Instagram and attendees will learn best practices, how to develop a social media strategy, tips and tricks, and more! Participation is FREE but limited to the first 100 attendees.

To register, click here.

Florence Shows Up in The Ultimate Staycation Article

The Pee Dee region of South Carolina is sometimes snubbed out of preference for other parts of South Carolina, but the city of Florence offers plenty to do, see, and eat according to a recent article in EATER, an online digital media brand dedicated to all things food and dining. They had a few good things to say about doing a staycation in Florence, SC. “For the last decade, Florence has leveled up with a walkable urban core of restaurants, cultural attractions, and independent lodging, while longtime local favorites still beckon on the periphery.”, For more details on the article click here.

Plans Underway For US-52 City Corridor

Florence City Council’s business development committee is in the beginning stages of developing plans for a Lucas Street/U.S. 52 corridor that extends from the I-95 interchange to one block past the intersection of Irby and Lucas Streets.

It’s one of four main corridors identified in the city’s master plan and could present the biggest challenges and rewards.

The corridor design will have to consider restrictions of a federal highway and a railroad.

It’s an interchange that is home to 5,000 hotel rooms — said to be the most of any other interchange on I-95. The corridor also serves as a gateway for those that live in Florence traveling to and from work and for those that visiting businesses in the area.

To read the full story, click here.

Grand Strand, Pee Dee To See Nearly $90M In State Aid

Millions of dollars in state aid is headed to the Grand Strand and Pee Dee that will help pay for new police gear, improve college campuses and upgrade aging infrastructure systems.

The state’s $40 billion budget, which went into affect on July 1, directs more than $86 million into the region through various line items and programs.

Gov. Henry McMaster and state lawmakers had a $1.64 billion revenue windfall to work with this year, allowing many local needs to be addressed.

To read the full story, click here.

Cypress, The City’s Chatbot Is Now Active

City of Florence’s chatbot, Cypress is now available on the city website to help answer questions, submit service requests, send messages to staff and provide information on city services.

Cypress was developed by the company, Citibot, a technology company based in Charleston that has been implementing AI-driven chatbot technology to municipalities nationwide. They intend to help governments be accessible and accountable in a more effective way.

Cypress uses AI technology only to pull from the city’s website, making sure the information is always accurate and risk-free, Amanda Pope, Marketing, Communications and Municipal service director at City of Florence said.

Cypress is not to be used for emergencies or to report criminal activity.

To read the full story, click here.

MUSC Health Florence Oncology Featured On ChamberLink Radio

Lisa Prather, Tonya Spinks and Ellen Smith, all part the MUSC Health Florence Oncology team, was the Florence Chamber’s guest this past weekend on ChamberLink Radio talking about their work to provide high quality and evidence-based cancer care.. We encourage you to tune-in every Sunday from 12:00-12:30pm on LIVE 95.3FM in Florence, SC.

This program is brought to you by the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce.

Sponsorship Opportunities Available For 6th Annual Jingle Bell Market

Calling all businesses! The 6th annual Jingle Bell Market will be here in just 4 short months! The Florence Center is excited to invite your company to partner with them as a sponsor for the upcoming Jingle Bell Market! By sponsoring this festive event, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with thousands of holiday shoppers eager to support local businesses and enjoy seasonal delights. Your sponsorship will not only ensure a magical experience for families but also prominently feature your brand in their promotional materials, social media channels, and during the event itself. They believe your involvement would be mutually beneficial, showcasing your commitment to community spirit and enhancing your visibility during the joyful holiday season. Please contact the Florence Center at today for more information on how to become a sponsor.

Florence County Council Approves $141 Million Budget

The Florence County Council gave final approval to a $141 million budget for the 2024-25 Fiscal Year during last Thursday’s regular monthly meeting.

The budget, which is nearly $8 million more than the 2023-24 fiscal year budget, includes a 5% pay raise for all county employees. Full-time Florence County Sheriff’s Department officers received an additional amount above the 5% COLA to increase their salaries by $6,000. Basic Emergency Medical Technicians received an additional 10% above the 5%, for a total of 15%. Advanced EMTs received an additional 5% above the 5%, for a total of 10%. Paramedics did not receive an increase above the 5%.

County Administrator Kevin Yokim said the pay increases and funding for recreation were the two primary areas of interest in this year’s budget discussions.

To read the full story, click here.

Landmark Florence Restaurant Handing Operations Over To New Management Team

Red Bone Alley restaurant in Florence will be run by a new ownership team starting next month, its founder announced last Monday.

Dale Barth said he’ll move away from day-to-day operations beginning July 1, with J.J. Leonard and Brandon Collins stepping in to take over management.

Leonard has been a major Red Bone Alley supplier for several years, while Collins is a former employee who’s returning from a Lowcountry restaurant chain.

“Looking forward, I can tell you that J.J. and Brandon have exciting and creative plans for Red Bone Alley. For sure, they will continue to serve many of your longtime favorites, but you will also be offered some new and interesting options from which to choose,” Barth said. “I am totally confident that the entire Red Bone experience will elevate.”

Red Bone Alley is in its 32nd year of business. In February, Barth said he was looking to hand over control of the West Palmetto Street eatery.

To read the full story, click here.

McLeod Regional Medical Center Now A Level II Trauma Center

The trauma center at McLeod Regional Medical Center has been verified as a Level II Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma.

“Recently, McLeod Regional Medical Center underwent successful verification with the American College of Surgeons as a Level II Trauma Center. We are the only facility in this region to have undergone this rigorous verification process. Achieving and maintaining this standard ensures the patients of the Pee Dee region, and beyond, that McLeod Regional Medical Center is at all times prepared and capable of providing quality, peer-reviewed, comprehensive care to every trauma patient,” said Dr. Johnson Walker, Medical Director of Trauma Services at McLeod Regional Medical Center.

To read the full story, click here.