Business

Grill Marks set to bring specialty burgers to Vista this fall

One of the first retailers in the former City Market antique mall on Gervais Street is bringing the specialty burger concept to Columbia this fall. Grill Marks is expanding into the Vista this August. Grill Marks serves up burgers, fries, milkshakes and an assortment of appetizers. (photo by Larkin Restaurants) “Grill Marks is what we call a ‘sophisticated burger joint,’…

New location brings after-school programming to Art Smart Academy in Irmo

Kids discover creative outlets to express their ideas nearly every day around the Art Smart Academy workroom. The Irmo business, now in a new larger location, is stretching children’s brains with chess and foreign language, too. Katherine Fix, a former art teacher from Sumter, started Art Smart Academy in 2011. She taught art out of her garage at first and brought classes to childcare…

Ballentine Family YMCA, Ballentine Family Practice offer central place for healthcare, fitness

Residents in the Ballentine community can work their core, take a fitness class and care for aches, pains and the sniffles all in one new facility. The Ballentine Family YMCA opens Monday. (photo provided) Palmetto Health and the YMCA of Columbia partnered for a unique venture opening this spring to the public. Hospital and YMCA leaders cut the ribbon on…

Legislators make their case for business license, regulatory reform bills

Two bills moving through the legislative process in South Carolina could mean an easier and cheaper way of doing business for companies across the state. State Reps. Rick Quinn, R-Lexington, and Todd Atwater, R-Lexington, spoke Tuesday to members of the Greater Lexington Chamber about legislation they have introduced to reform the business license fee system and eliminate unnecessary regulations placed…

Mother-daughter duo celebrates expansion of family-owned boutique Just the Thing

Family-owned boutique Just the Thing once again has expanded at its Devine Street location. The store has grown to a 5,000-square-foot space carrying women’s fashions. Just the Thing founder and owner Terri Jackson (seated) and her daughter, vice president Tracy Wright (photo by Kelly Petty) “The opportunity to have our clothing and shoes displayed in what I feel is the…

Lexington County businesses reduce environmental footprint, lower costs with eco-friendly changes

Businesses large and small are going green every day in Lexington County, and the benefits are being reaped by customers and the companies’ bottom line. Business owners can do a number of things to be recognized as an eco-friendly company in Lexington County. They can become a Certified Green Business or a Green Business Member, depending on the level of participation, through…

Midlands’ version of ‘Shark Tank’ ready to invest in big ideas

The television show “Shark Tank” has given numerous entrepreneurs a chance to present ideas to potential investors, but a Midlands group is offering a chance for local business owners to get their big break without leaving South Carolina. Capital Angels is Columbia’s part of the South Carolina Angel Network, recently featured in Forbes magazine. The network is made up of accredited “angel investors,” who provide…

Fashion boutique bevello opens doors at Trenholm Plaza

Trenholm Plaza has welcomed a new store for women in need of trendy apparel. North Carolina-based boutique bevello, has opened a 3,000-square-foot store next to Publix supermarket and J. Crew in the Forest Drive shopping center. bevello offers a large selection of trendy clothing and accessories (photo by Kelly Petty). “We offer something from for all ages, all the way…

Mead & Hunt breaks ground on new facility, begins rebuild after fire

Mead & Hunt broke ground on a new, larger facility Tuesday afternoon. (photo by Rachel Ham) Mead & Hunt Architectural and Engineering Firm lost the use of one of its Lexington offices in December but soon will house all local operations under one roof. Company leaders and employees braved the cold Tuesday to break ground at the corner of South…

BlueCross BlueShield, Lexington Medical Center reach agreement

Lexington Medical Center will remain a BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Preferred Blue provider. BlueCross BlueShield announced Tuesday that it has reached a new contract with Lexington Medical Center and its doctors, replacing the one set to expire Feb. 28. There will be no break in Lexington Medical Center’s network status, according to BlueCross BlueShield, and patients need not take any action…

Photo Gallery: Greater Lexington Chamber honors ambassador, businesses of the year

Hollywood stars will be walking the red carpet this Sunday, but Thursday night was time for Lexington County businesses and volunteers to shine. The Greater Lexington Chamber and Visitors Center recognized two businesses from its more than 1,000 members and two individuals from among its hundreds of volunteers during the annual awards banquet. Added to the group of honorees for…

Walmart to boost employee minimum wage to $10 per hour

All Walmart employees in the Midlands will earn at least $10 per hour by Feb. 2016, the company announced Thursday. Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon said all hourly associates at Walmart and Sam’s Club stores who are not already making $9 per hour will get a raise to that level by April 2015, and to $10 per hour by…

Pura Wellness Spa combines traditional spa services, medical treatments

The Vista continues to grow with another business making its home in the business district. Pura Wellness Spa opens this month and touts a total-body wellness experience in a unique spa setting. Pura Medical Director Dr. Debra Mitchell (photo by Molly Harrell) “Pura is a game changer for aesthetic wellness. We take a comprehensive approach to treating skin, body, and mind. Our…

Buddy’s Saucy Dogs dishes up flavors for every ‘breed’

A brand-new business in Lexington is asking one simple question to help you decide what to order: “What’s your dog?” The first customers decide which dog to choose. (photo by Rachel Ham) Owner Jeffrey Zona cut the ribbon on Buddy’s Saucy Dogs on Friday and immediately had a line of people ready to taste one of his kitchen’s gluten-free hot…

Walmart Neighborhood Market coming to Knox Abbott Drive in Cayce

Cayce residents soon could have a new option for grocery shopping on the city’s main thoroughfare. Walmart has proposed to bring a Neighborhood Market store to Cayce as a way to expand its brand with a smaller footprint. The store won’t carry the full selection found at Walmart Supercenters but will still have everyday necessities.   A Walmart Neighborhood Market is…

New Starbucks set for spring opening at Saluda Pointe in Lexington

Officials at Starbucks Coffee Co. have confirmed a new location is coming to Lexington in a matter of weeks. Starbucks will be a part of the Shops at Saluda Pointe at the Interstate 20 and Sunset Boulevard interchange. Neighboring restaurants and businesses include Chick-fil-A, Moore Center for Orthopedics and Chili’s. The location follows a Starbucks that opened on Sunset Boulevard in…

S.C. Small Business Chamber President tapped for SBA regional regulatory board

The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce’s president and CEO has been selected to serve on a regional board to assist owners with compliance issues. The Small Business Administration selected Frank Knapp Jr. to serve on the Region IV Regulatory Fairness Board. “As a small-business owner for more than 20 years and co-founder of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber…

Panera Bread in Columbia’s Vista scheduled for spring opening

A trio of franchise owners are expanding the Panera Bread brand into downtown Columbia, and people won’t have to wait much longer to pay the restaurant a visit. Panera Bread is moving into the former Bluestein’s Wholesale Dry Goods, a landmark in the Vista for decades where people could buy items ranging from socks to souvenirs. Franchise owner Bo Gdovin said he…

Lexington Medical Center CEO announces retirement

Lexington Medical Center won’t have its veteran leader at the top when the calendar changes to 2016. President and CEO Mike Biediger has announced his retirement after 25 years of senior leadership at the hospital and plans to step down in December. He is just the third CEO is hospital history. Lexington Medical Center President and CEO Mike Biediger is…

New orthopedic urgent care center opens in northeast Columbia

Midlands residents now can access a new clinic to treat sprained ankles, muscle pulls, fractured bones and skin lacerations. Moore Center for Orthopedics has expanded its services in the northeast with the opening of one of South Carolina’s first orthopedic urgent care centers. Moore Convenient Care will treat and diagnose bone and muscular injuries and conditions without an appointment. Moore…

Lexington County-based signage company to build new plant in Gaston, create 105 jobs

A South Carolina-based company is expanding its operations with a new plant in Gaston. Officials with The Fitts Co. Inc. announced they are investing $4.2 million into the Gaston area with an office and manufacturing facility. Officials anticipate hiring 105 people during the next five years. The Fitts Co. was founded in 1998 in Lexington County and provides businesses with specialty items…