Graceland Buildings Joins Chamber

A ribbon cutting was held Wednesday, July 29th at Graceland Buildings of the Pee Dee celebrating its membership into the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce. Chamber ambassadors joined the celebration. Jody Martin, Owner of Graceland Buildings of the Pee Dee, opened the Graceland dealership in Florence in September 2019 at 2325 S. Irby St. He is joined by his wife, Cindy, in operating the business.

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Orkin Pest Control Joins Chamber

Orkin Pest Control in Florence has joined the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce and celebrated on Wednesday, July 8th with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its location on West Evans Street. Chamber ambassadors joined in the celebrating. Orkin has been in the pest control business for more than 100 years.

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Everest Payment Solutions

Everest Payment Solutions celebrated rejoining the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce on Monday, June 8th with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Chamber office. Chamber ambassadors joined in the celebration.

Everest Payment Solutions is a credit card processing company. Nicole Griggs is a Regional Manager and Tim Griggs is a Support Specialist. They provide processing solutions for all types of businesses providing mobile, e-commerce and brick-and-mortar solutions.

“I’ve been in this industry for 16 years and take pride in serving the needs of our customers year after year, and we have some great partnerships, including First Reliance Bank for 15 of those years,” Nicole Griggs said.

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TAB – Florence/Myrtle Beach Joins Chamber

Lee Freeman, Owner of TAB Florence-Myrtle Beach, celebrated joining the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, June 11th with a ribbon cutting outdoors at the Chamber office. Chamber ambassadors took part in the ceremony.

TAB stands for The Alternative Board. Freeman said TAB helps “forward-thinking business owners grow their business, increase profitability and improve their lives by leveraging local business advisory boards, private business coaching and proprietary strategic services.

TAB is celebrating its 30th year in business.

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Gardner Family Chiropractic Joins Chamber

Gardner Family Chiropractic opened Monday, June 15th with a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce. Chamber ambassadors joined in the celebration of Florence’s newest business and it joining the chamber.

Dr. Chris Gardner’s practice is located at 205 N. Irby Suite B. in Florence. He said his practice is child centered, family focused and community rooted.

Gardner is a native of Bishopville. He is a 2016 graduate of Coker College with a degree in physical education/exercise science and a graduate of the Sherman College of Chiropractic in Spartanburg. He is a candidate for pediatric certification from the Academy of Pediatric Chiropractic Council. He is also a member of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.

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Spann Roofing Joins Florence Chamber

by Ardie Arvidson

The Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon-cutting Tuesday at the chamber office for Spann Roofing and Sheet Metal.

A three-generation, family-owned business, Spann Roofing is based in Conway. The business was started in 1957, said James M. “Jimbo” Spann IV.

He said the company was already doing business in the Florence area when it decided to open an office here about a year ago. Josh Boykin is the territory sales representative for this area. His office is at 6 S. Santiago Drive.

Spann said they do primarily commercial business but have branched out into residential roofing and gutters. They also do service and maintenance work for homes and businesses, all to prolong the life of the roof and gutters.

“We have always done work here in this area and thought it was time to give back to the community,” Spann said. “My wife and I both have roots here.”

Spann said he wants to stress that they are a full-service repair and maintenance business.

Spann Roofing employs about 75 people.

For additional information, visit www.SpannRoofing.com or call 843-283-6115 or 843-656-9808 in Florence or 843-347-2220 in Myrtle Beach area.

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Eggs Up Grill Celebrates Joining the Chamber with a Ribbon Cutting

by Ardie Arvidson

Eggs Up Grill joined the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce and held a ribbon cutting on Monday, March 9 with the Chamber and its ambassadors. Eggs Up is located at 250 N Beltline Drive in Florence.

Dean Patel is the franchise owner. He opened the breakfast and lunch grill in August 2018. This is his second location. He also owns the Eggs Up in Sumter. Patel lives in Sumter.

Patel said he decided to open in Florence because the chain started in Pawley’s Island and has a big following in this direction. The first Eggs Up was started in 1997 by Chris Skodras.

Patel said he chose the franchise because it is family-oriented.

“Our staff is what makes Eggs Up so good,” Patel said. “It is a good workplace.”

He said the staff enjoys the fact that the restaurant is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., and they get to spend the rest of the day with their families.

Patel said he has a staff of 15 employees.

Patel said he is a member of the chamber in Sumter and saw what it did for his business. He wanted to be a part of the community of Florence.

“It is not just about serving breakfast; it is about helping the community,” Patel aid. “We want to get to know the community and to help.”

The restaurant serves traditional breakfast food with its own twist.

“Our new best seller is the Texas Farmhouse omelet,” he said. “It is huge. It takes up the whole plate.”

Other items include steak and eggs, buttermilk pancakes, French toast, waffles, eggs benedict and more. Lunch menu items include salads, pimento cheese burger, bacon cheddar burger, BLT. reuben, wraps, soup and other sandwiches.

The restaurant has a seating capacity of 98.

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Woodforest National Bank Celebrates Opening in Florence

by Ardie Arvidson

The Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce welcomed Woodforest National Bank into its membership on Friday, March 6 with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The bank is located within the Walmart Supercenter on North Beltline Drive in Florence. Chamber ambassadors joined the staff for the celebration.

Woodforest opened its first account on Thursday, February 13. Friday, March 6 was its official debut for the Florence and Hartsville locations, said Takiyah Sheppard, Branch Manager of the Florence location.

“We are a full-service bank,” Sheppard said.

Sheppard said the bank offers seven-day-week banking. The bank is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. It has two ATMS with one full service ATM that accepts deposits.

Sheppard said the bank offers direct deposit with pay a day earlier.

The bank has a staff of four.

Sheppard said plans are to open a branch in the Walmart Supercenter on Irby Street in March 2021.

Woodforest is also in Dillon, Marion/Mullins, Cheraw, Conway and Myrtle Beach, she said.

The bank is based in Texas and operates in 17 states with more than 800 locations, Sheppard said. There are 46 branches in South Carolina. Sheppard said all are located in Walmart except for some in Texas.

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Mailroom Barber Co. Joins Chamber

Staff Reports

The Mailroom Barber Co. hair studio in downtown Florence downtown has joined the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce.

The company is expanding and is expected to soon cut the ribbon for their West Palmetto Street location, which will be more of a barber shop.

The downtown location at 116-B S. Irby St.will be a full-service hair salon and cosmetology studio.

The company also is going to open a shop in Taylors in Upstate South Carolina.

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American Cancer Society Joins Florence Chamber

by Ardie Arvidson

The American Cancer Society celebrated joining the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce on Monday at the chamber office.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held with chamber ambassadors and three members of the American Cancer Society: Chinel Boateng, Senior Community Development Manager for five counties, including Florence, Darlington, Dillon, Marlboro and Marion counties; Sundi Herring, Senior Manager Community Development/Southeast region/North Charleston; and Becky Eaddy, Program Manager, mission delivery/ Southeast region/Myrtle Beach.

The mission of the American Cancer Society is “to save lives, celebrate lives and lead the fight for a world without cancer.”

“Having cancer is hard,” Boateng said. “Finding help shouldn’t be.”

The American Cancer Society sponsors Relay for Life. The 26th Florence County Relay for Life will be from 1 to 10 p.m. on April 25 at Freedom Florence.

“Every survivor in Florence County is invited to participate,” Boateng said.

It is also for caregivers and family and friends. Everyone is welcome to join in the celebration, she said.

The Florence Relay was started in 1994. One of the originators was Kaye Floyd-Parris.

Boateng said she joined the chamber after discussing the benefits to the American Cancer Society with Jay Lavrinc, director of membership relations with the chamber.

She said the exposure in the community and getting information about the ACS out to chamber members will benefit them.

Boateng said she doesn’t have an advertising budget, and having that outreach will be beneficial to the organization.

“This will mean more folks to share the word,” she said.

Boateng doesn’t have an office in Florence. She works from her home at the beach.

Boateng started as a volunteer and team captain with Relay for Life. She said her mother, father and a sister died of cancer, and she has two brothers who are prostate cancer survivors.

When people asked her why she volunteered before becoming an ACS employee, she said, “The life I fight for could very well be my own.”

Herring has worked for ACS for 16 years.

“I think it is important to let folks know that we appreciate all the investment they has put into the American Cancer Society,” she said.

She works closely with the Hope Lodge in Charleston. She said it was the first one of its kind. There are now 33 across the country. These are places for cancer patients and family to stay free of charge while taking treatment.

“It was started in 1970,” Herring said. “This is its 50th year.”

She said it is completely free. The facility in Charleston has 18 rooms.

Eaddy said ACS needs volunteers, especially with the Road to Recovery program. Through this program the ACS provides free rides to cancer treatments.

“This is one of the biggest requests when people reach out to the American Cancer Society,” she said.

There is some good news about cancer.

There has been a 29 percent decline in the cancer death rate from 1991 to 2017, Herring said.

She said it is due to the investment of the communities and their support.

The largest single-year drop occurred from 2016-2017 at 2.2 percent, she said.

Every month except August and December, Boateng said, brings awareness to a specific cancer. There is a “colors of cancer” calendar with some months bringing awareness to more than one type of cancer. She said most people are aware of the “pink” for breast cancer awareness, but there are others that receive less exposure but are no less important.

Through their membership in the chamber of commerce, Boateng hopes to make more people aware of cancer. She said so many lives can be saved through early detection and screenings.

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