Chamber welcomes Mariner Finance to Florence

By: Jessica Imbimbo, Morning News

FLORENCE, S.C. – Ambassadors with the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting Thursday morning for Mariner Finance and its employees to welcome them as members of the chamber.

Mariner Finance, formerly known as Pioneer Credit in Dillon, relocated to Florence at 2503 S. Cashua Drive in February. Mariner Finance offers customers a variety of personal, home and auto loans.

Tony Elvington, area vice president of Mariner Finance, said moving to Florence gives the company exposure to a larger, growing market and the business move just made sense.

“It’s been a good move so far,” he said. “It’s only been a few months but we’re getting better every month.”

Elvington said having the chamber ambassadors host a ribbon cutting at the Florence branch is “a big deal” for the new location and he hopes that by joining the chamber, Mariner Finance will be able to reach out into the community and bring in more clients.

“It’s going to give us good advertisement and give us some name recognition because Mariner Finance is new to South Carolina,” Elvington said. “I like this.”

The Florence store is one of 13 Mariner Finance branches in South Carolina and the lone branch in the Pee Dee region. Along with its affiliates, Mariner Finance features more than 450 branches in 22 states throughout the country.

For more information about Mariner Finance and their Florence branch, visit

SCNow Web Article – Chamber welcomes Mariner Finance to Florence

Business After Hours at Florence Ears, Nose and Throat


Florence Ears, Nose and Throat (ENT) held a Business after Hours event on Thursday evening at its office on 1521 McClure Court. More than 50 people attended the networking event including Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce members, business leaders, and Florence ENT staff members.

Florence ENT is affiliated with both Carolinas Hospital and McLeod Regional Medical Center and treats patients of all ages. From sore throats and earaches to breathing problems or hearing loss, the physicians at Florence Ears Nose and Throat are experienced and equipped to handle all of their patients’ needs.

The Business after Hours gathering highlighted the Florence ENT office and featured live entertainment, beer and wine, and food catered from Top Hat Special-Teas. For more information or to schedule an appointment with Florence Ear, Nose and Throat call 843-665-2900 or visit

SCNow Web Article – Business After Hours at Florence Ears, Nose and Throat

Methodist Manor holds ribbon cutting for expanded facilities in Florence


FLORENCE, S.C. — Methodist Manor, a senior living community on Twin Church Rd. in Florence, held a ribbon cutting on Thursday afternoon to unveil its $18 million renovations and expansion.

Methodist Manor’s renovations took more than two years to complete, increasing the building’s size by 69,000 square feet. Teressa Tabor, executive director for Methodist Manor, said the expansion and revamping of the facility was completed in two phases: first with renovating existing areas of the building and second all new construction including an assisted-living facility, a bistro, an auditorium, a gallery, solarium and a dementia unit.

“We have every component that you’ll need for a retirement community,” Tabor said. “It’s just spectacular and a complete change from what it looked like two and a half years ago.”

During the ribbon cutting and open house, Tabor said, she received nothing but positive feedback from both the visitors and the existing 200-plus residents.

“They are blown away. They cannot believe all the services and the amenities we have,” Tabor said. “This is a place you want to be now, not a place you have to come.”

Ribbon Cutting: Family Heritage

By: Jessica Imbimbo, Morning News

FLORENCE, S.C. – The Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday for Family Heritage Life Insurance Company at the Chamber office in downtown Florence.

Family Heritage Life Insurance Company of America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Torchmark Corporation and provides supplemental health and life insurance to its clients.

Family Heritage Life is licensed in 49 states and serves thousands of American families across the nation. It has received numerous awards for outstanding customer service and community outreach.

Gina Gilliard, an insurance agent for Heritage Family Life, had the honor of cutting the ribbon during the ceremony. As a Pee Dee native, Gilliard said she is excited to bring Family Heritage Life into the Florence community.

“It means a lot to join the chamber,” Gilliard said. “It means a lot to work with businesses here in Florence. We’re opening up the doors.”

Elite Tactical Laser Tag holds ribbon cutting in Florence


By: Jessica Imbimbo, Morning News

FLORENCE, S.C. – Elite Tactical Laser Tag held a ribbon cutting Thursday afternoon at its facility at 200 E. South Village in Florence.

The laser tag facility is for participants age 6 and older and features laser guns modeled after authentic military-grade weapons (complete with a recoil and reloadable magazines) and a large field space that will immerse players in a full Hollywood-style battlefield.

Each laser tag session is 90 minutes long. Up to 20 players can attempt a number of Elite Tactical’s 23 missions. Each mission requires different strategies and tactics and puts an emphasis on the importance of teamwork. The facility is open Monday through Wednesday for private sessions and Thursday through Sunday for public play.

Elite Tactical Laser Tag can host numerous events from birthday parties and church events to corporate team building activities. General admission for players age 13 and older is $30 and group rates of 10 or more players start at $25 when booked in advance.

Specific mission times for players ages 6-12 are set for Thursdays and Fridays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Each mission for younger players is 30 minutes long and costs $10. The laser tag facility also offers deals or rates on certain days such as $20 Thursdays and $10 for 30 minutes on Sundays. All sessions starting at 7:30 p.m. and later are for ages 16 and older.

The facility will also play host to the Apocalypse World Tour set for July 14 – 15 when participants have the chance to kill “live zombies” while trapped in a video-game-style set. Tickets for the event include 150 rounds of ammunition and admission into the zombie attraction. Tickets can be purchased through the Elite Tactical Laser Tag website at

Owners Efrem and Matilda Andrews said Elite Tactical Laser Tag opened for business in February and said they are excited about providing a place for friends and families to have fun and be active together.

“It’s Call-of-Duty-style laser tag,” Matilda said. “This will get the kids out and moving because our generation is missing that. It’s excellent cardio.”

“It’s a step above regular laser tag. It’s more interactive,” Efrem said. “Ninety-nine percent of the people that come in here leave extremely happy. They just have an outstanding time.”

“By the time they’re done they are thanking us that we brought this thing to Florence.”

For more information or to make a reservation, visit the Elite Tactical Laser Tag website or Facebook page.

SCNow Web Article – Elite Tactical Laser Tag holds ribbon cutting in Florence

Cafe at Florence airport holds ribbon cutting


By: Jessica Imbimbo, Morning News

FLORENCE, S.C. – LilJazZi’s Café and Salads, located inside the Florence Regional Airport at 2100 Terminal Drive, held its grand opening and ribbon cutting on Wednesday.

LilJazZi’s is open to the general public as well as airport travelers, offering a variety of salads and sandwiches to hungry patrons. The café also provides real fruit smoothies such as peach, mango, strawberry or any combination of flavors.

The menu features breakfast items, including grits, pancakes, eggs and waffles. LilJazZi’s can also craft a number of gourmet drinks such as cappuccinos, lattes, frappes and macchiatos. Customers who dine at LilJazZi’s receive free parking at the airport for one hour and the café offers discounts for students, seniors, military and law enforcement.

 Owner Andrena Mullins said she collaborated with Robert Norton, the airport’s deputy director, on the idea of starting her own business after she tried to sell vending machines to the terminal. Mullins said she has always wanted to open her own restaurant and she is grateful for Norton and the Florence Regional Airport for giving her the space and the opportunity to pursue her dream.

“I worked for Target for 16 years and I let that go to start something new,” Mullins said. “He (Norton) said, ‘We need something like this.’ And it just happened. I love it.”

The café opened on April 14 and held a grand opening Wednesday afternoon. Ambassadors from the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce attended the ribbon cutting to welcome Mullins and her new business to Florence and congratulate her on her accomplishment.

 Mullins said she has plans to open another location in the near future by the Walmart Supercenter on Beltline Drive.

“That’s kind of where I want to go next, but we’ll see,” Mullins said. “It’s tough because I have three little ones.”

Mullins’ three daughters, Lilly, 7, Jasmine, 13, and Zion, 8, gave her the inspiration to name the restaurant LilJazZi’s.

“My logo is and everything is based all on the girls because this is their future, not mine,” Mullins said. “It’s all about the kids.”

SCNow Web Article – Cafe at Florence airport holds ribbon cutting

B. Nance Fine Gifts ribbon cutting


By: Jessica Imbimbo, Morning News

FLORENCE, S.C. – B. Nance Fine Gifts held a ribbon cutting Thursday morning after moving into its new, larger location at 1939 Hoffmeyer Road.

Ambassadors with the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce congratulated co-owners and mother-daughter duo Jill Blaker and Danielle Nance on their relocation. The retail store moved into the shopping plaza on May 1, just yards from the previous location. Nance said the move has been almost a year in the making, and she is thrilled to be settled into their new retail home.

 “It’s been a long time coming,” Nance said. “We were just waiting for this to be built while we were back there.”

B. Nance Fine Gifts offers a wide variety of products including tabletop items, cookware and glassware from high-quality brands. Gifts for any special occasion line the shelves at B. Nance, including birthdays, weddings, baby showers and more. The store also sells candles, jewelry, sunglasses and other items.

Nance said being able to open a retail business with her parents and husband combines her passion for retail and love for her family into one. Now after moving into their new space, Nance hopes she can offer Florence residents an enjoyable place to shop.

“We just saw an opportunity and saw a need in Florence,” Nance said. “We just have a fun space to host events and make it fun for our customers.”

SCNow Web Article – B. Nance Fine Gifts ribbon cutting

South State Bank holds After Hours event, celebrates downtown relocation in Florence


By: Jessica Imbimbo, Morning News

FLORENCE, S.C. – South State Bank held a ribbon cutting and Business After Hours event Thursday evening celebrating the opening of its newest Florence location at 265 S. Irby St.

More than 50 people including bank employees, executives and ambassadors with the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce joined in the celebration. Guests enjoyed an evening of food, beverages and mingling with fellow business and community leaders inside South State Bank’s newly renovated building.

The two-story office building has been under construction for more than a year after being fully renovated inside and out. The branch was open to customers throughout the renovation process and now that the renewal is complete, South State Bank held a ribbon cutting courtesy of the chamber.

The opening is the result of the consolidation of South State Bank’s branches, according to Stephanie Rodriguez, assistant vice president and branch manager. The bank closed its location at 6200 West Palmetto and moved that branch into the Legacy Bank of America office at 265 S. Irby St.

Rodriguez said the move was beneficial not only to spread on the location of their three Florence branches but to also extend the reach of the bank into the downtown historic district.

“It means a lot to me to get consolidated into one but being downtown with the revitalization going on means a lot to us,” Rodriguez said. “It means a lot to me to work for a company that is interested in being so involved with the community. We’re excited to be in downtown Florence.”

SCNow Web Article – South State Bank holds After Hours event, celebrates downtown relocation in Florence

Spa de Vie celebrates opening of new location in Florence


By: Jessica Imbimbo, Morning News

FLORENCE, S.C. – Spa de Vie Salon and Spa held a ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration Thursday afternoon at its new location at 1330 Celebration Blvd. in Florence.

The salon doubled in square-footage after moving from its former location at 1800 W. Palmetto St. It offers a wide array of salon services and spa treatments. Women, men and children of all ages can enjoy a day of relaxation at Spa de Vie.

The staff of 22 professional stylists and colorists gives clients a fresh new look with fresh cuts, styles and dyes. Spa de Vie also offers extensions and straightening treatments as well as professional makeup application for any special occasion.

The spa portion of the business offers guests massages, facials and waxing, as well as spray tanning, manicures and pedicures. Clients can also purchase spa packages that include couple’s massages, body scrubs and lunch.

Ambassadors with the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce celebrated alongside the staff at Spa de Vie during the grand opening on Thursday and welcomed the business to the chamber. Lindsey Bazen, owner of Spa de Vie, said the salon has been in business since March 2010. For Bazen, the idea of moving locations and having her own salon space has been years in the making.

“I always wanted to have something where I could do it my own way and have the building set up how I want it set up,” Bazen said. “I love it.”

For more information about Spa de Vie or to book an appointment, call 843-669-4333 or visit

SCNow Web Article – Spa de Vie celebrates opening of new location in Florence

First Heritage Credit holds grand opening in Florence


By: Jessica Imbimbo, Morning News

“FLORENCE, S.C. – First Heritage Credit, located at 960 Pamplico Highway, celebrated its grand opening Wednesday morning alongside members of the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce.

First Heritage Credit is a community-based lender that provides personal and consumer financing to local merchants for items such as furniture, appliances, electronics, ATVs and more. Founded in 1995, First Heritage Credit serves over 116,000 customers through more than 100 offices operating in Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina and Alabama.

Chamber ambassadors joined First Heritage Credit staff members and administrators for a ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony to congratulate and welcome them to the chamber. The company has two Florence locations. The second, on Woody Jones Boulevard, will host its own grand opening ceremony in the coming weeks.

Larry Mixson, vice president of First Heritage Credit, said the business has opened 10 new offices since the start of the year and he is happy to have two locations serving local residents.

“We’re super excited,” Mixson said. “We’re going to be all over South Carolina and we looking forward to a great relationship in the Florence area.”

Vicki McLeod, district manager for First Heritage, oversees the Florence offices as well as three other surrounding locations. McLeod said both she and the three-person staff at First Heritage are looking forward to not only helping the Florence community but also being an active member of the chamber.

 “I am really excited about being a part of the chamber and being involved with the community,” McLeod said. “There’s a real positive energy with this company.”

For more information about First Heritage Credit, visit”

SCNow Web Article – First Heritage Credit holds grand opening in Florence