Business

City of Columbia to host franchise seminar for local entrepreneurs

The city of Columbia’s Office of Business Opportunities is hosting a franchise seminar next week to help educate entrepreneurs about the benefits of starting a turn-key business. The one-day workshop will feature several sessions that will cover topics like franchise coaches, finance and technical assistance. A number of franchise owners from national chains like McDonalds, Marble Slab Creamery and Save-A-Lot will…

Blue Bell Creameries recall to affect Lexington County distribution center

A recall issued by Blue Bell Creameries in recent weeks will affect workers at a Lexington County plant. The company announced Friday that production will be halted longer than expected resulting in cost-cutting measures like layoffs, furloughs and salary reductions. The distribution center on Industrial Drive in Lexington County is among the plants scheduled to be shut down. “The agonizing decision to lay…

Marco’s Pizza adding second Lexington location this month

Marco’s Pizza is expanding its local presence with a second location on U.S. Highway 378 in Lexington. The new location opens this month with a special preview day featuring family-friendly activities and free samples. Officials with JH Development announced Marco’s Pizza is moving to a new commercial building next to the Golden Hills Golf & Country Club. The first day of business is set for…

CEO of Greater Irmo Chamber of Commerce to step down

Big changes are in store for the Greater Irmo Chamber of Commerce, and the staff and board of directors will be pushing ahead without its current leader. Tiffany Boyce Heitzman, president and CEO of the chamber, has announced plans to step down from her position this summer. Her family is relocating to Arizona as Heitzman’s husband, Maj. Bill Heitzman, has been assigned by the U.S….

Smashburger now hiring for new Lexington location

People looking for a summer job or management opportunities can apply to work at one of Lexington’s new restaurants. Smashburger is set to open in June in Lexington. (photo provided) Smashburger is hiring for its Sunset Boulevard location, which is under construction just down from the entrance to the Golden Hills Golf & Country Club community. Public Relations and Marketing Manager…

Photo Gallery: Navy veteran opens grocery store to provide fresh food to low-income residents

  Marcus Scarborough could have taken his skills as a nuclear-trained engineer to secure any position he wanted. But the Columbia native and 13-year Navy veteran chose to return home to fulfill the simple need of food security to an underserved part of the population. Scarborough welcomed customers Wednesday to the new Save-A-Lot on Harden Street. His goal for the…

Business leaders optimistic about renewed interest in North Main Street

The North Columbia Business Association is banking on new interest in the North Main Street corridor to attract businesses and bring economic development to a once blighted community. Elected leaders and North Columbia Business Association representatives celebrate the start of National Small Business Week. (photo by Kelly Petty) “Small businesses employ the majority of the citizens in this country and…

Richland School District Two seeks more taxes from businesses to fund budget shortfall

More taxes from Richland County businesses will be needed to cover a funding gap in Richland School District Two’s budget for next year. School board members unanimously approved a budget for 2015-16 that totals $246.3 million and includes a millage rate increase of 13.5 mills. District Two’s Chief Financial Officer Harry Miley said the rise in the property tax rate…

Richland County to collect data to develop minority business disparity study

A consultant hired by the Richland County suggested that county staff gather a year’s worth of data on the number of businesses certified under the small and local business enterprise program, which would include minority-owned firms, before moving forward with a disparity study. County council wants to develop the study to measure the number of minority businesses that contract for county work….

SCE&G to close business offices in Lexington County this summer

SCE&G customers will have fewer places to pay their bill in person starting this summer. The company announced the closing of several business offices across the state, including some in Lexington County. SCE&G officials said a combination of factors, including low customer traffic and operational inefficiencies, led to the decision. “With nearby payment locations and the relocation of our employees to…

The Deli’s new owner looks to continue tradition of ‘one of Lexington’s best kept secrets’

People in Lexington have been leaving their law offices, government buildings and downtown shops for the past 30 years to grab lunch at a local institution. As the new owner of The Deli, Crystal Smith is looking to keep the tradition of friendly service and quality food going while also eyeing expansion. The Deli is still going strong after 30 years….

City of Columbia taps Greg Davis to chair Minority Business Advisory Council

Columbia’s Minority Business Advisory Council now will be led by 20-year veteran Greg Davis, who is charged with expanding opportunities for minority businesses in the city. Greg Davis has been named chairman of the Minority Business Advisory Council. (photo provided) Davis serves as the director of minority and small business affairs for the S.C. Department of Transportation. As chairman of the…

New business takes aim at USC parking shortage

If a local businessman’s plan is as successful as he hopes, a lot more scooters will be seen in downtown Columbia this fall, and University of South Carolina students will find it much easier to get around town. Scootaway employees posed with a scooter and a four-legged friend at a recent fundraiser for PETSinc. (photo by Allen Wallace) USC alumnus Frank…

Harbison West Elementary student turns bows into booming business

The mother-daughter duo of Rozalynn and Gabrielle Goodwin has turned a common problem into a trendy business venture that’s catching the eye of other moms and daughters around the Southeast. Gabrielle, 8, is the youngest person ever South Carolina Young Entrepreneur of the Year. (photo provided) Gabrielle, a student at Harbison West Elementary School, is the namesake and inspiration behind GaBBY Bows, accessories she…

Entrepreneurs pitch their startups in ‘Shark Tank’ competition during ConvergeSE

More than a dozen entrepreneurs pitched their start-ups Wednesday in a “Shark Tank”-style competition at Music Farm as part of this week’s ConvergeSE conference in Columbia. An entrepreneur pitches his startup to a panel of investors. (photo by Kelly Petty) The 36|86 “Southern Series” pitch contest was developed by Launch Tennessee, a public-private partnership based in Tennessee with a focus…

Guitar Center opens Thursday in Columbia

Commercial development in the Harbison area expands this week with the grand opening of Guitar Center. The newest location is celebrating a grand opening Thursday starting at 7 p.m. on Park Terrace Drive. Guitar Center joins Academy Sports + Outdoors in the new development. The grand opening will feature additional deals and giveaways throughout the weekend. The Charleston-based Luke Cunningham Band…

New Denny’s to open next week in West Columbia

A former Burger King in West Columbia is opening as a new chain restaurant next week. Denny’s has announced a grand opening at 8 a.m. April 14 after several weeks of renovations to the space on Sunset Boulevard near the Interstate 26 ramp. “Our newest Denny’s in West Columbia offers the newest design concept, giving guest an updated, modern aesthetic…

Photo Gallery: Hyatt Place hotel opens in the Vista

  Hyatt Place has made its home in the Vista, becoming the fourth hotel to open in the business and entertainment district. “We are excited to introduce the upscale select service Hyatt Place brand to historic downtown Columbia and the Congaree Vista,” said General Manager Chad Howard.  “Our spacious guestrooms and hotel amenities, along with our prominent location, make us an…

Kaminsky’s brings sweet treats, cocktails for The Vista’s late-night diners

Charleston’s late night spot for a sweet treat has made its way to Columbia. Kaminsky’s Dessert Cafe is serving up desserts, drinks and specialty coffee in its new location in The Vista. “We just want people to enjoy what we have to offer,” said operating partner Mike Evans. “We’re just a cool hang-out space.” Marketed as a “dessert cafe,” Kaminsky’s…

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,’…