Business

Damon’s restaurant demolished to make room for future USC alumni center

A demolition crew on Friday tore down the old Damon’s restaurant at the corner of Senate and Lincoln streets to make way for a new alumni center for the University of South Carolina. My Carolina Alumni Association members and school officials were on hand to see the walls come down to start construction on the new building. “We’ve waited 160…

Greater Columbia Chamber CEO retires; board urges support of strong-mayor referendum

Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer Ike Mcleese announced his retirement Wednesday after 19 years at the helm of the business organization. McLeese suffered a heart attack in September and had been away from the Chamber since. McCleese plans to remain a consultant for military affairs within the Chamber. The board of directors now must find someone to…

Amazon to hire thousands of seasonal workers in South Carolina

Applications are now available for new jobs being offered by Amazon this year, and many are open to local residents. According to a news release issued Tuesday, the company is set to create more than 70,000 positions across the United States. The jobs are said to be full-time seasonal positions at the fulfillment centers. Amazon representative Nina Lindsey confirmed that…

Stone River celebrates successful first month with Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting

Stone River Co-owner Chris McCutchan and General Manager Jay Beneventano get a little help from their families to cut the ribbon on Thursday. (photo by Rachel Ham) After sitting empty for nearly four years, the former New Orleans Riverfront Restaurant has been given a facelift and new life. This summer, the space was transformed into the Midlands’ newest restaurant and…

Chicken Salad Chick to open second South Carolina location in Lexington

After a successful launch in Greenville, Chicken Salad Chick is coming to Lexington next. As announced by company President Kevin Brown, the Southern fast-casual restaurant is slated to open its doors in the Midlands in October. “We are so excited to add this new location to the growing Chicken Salad Chick community throughout the Southeast,” he said. “It has been…

Local business brings new take to bow ties

A local business got its start thanks to a special request from a 7-year-old.   Jenny Kinsey of Tight Lines Y’all shows off a “3N1” tie. (photo by Allen Wallace) Tight Lines Y’all launched this summer, and its clothing line centers on locally made, patent-pending “3N1” bow ties. The inspiration came when Terry Jones’ son asked to have dinner at…

West Columbia business recognized as top specialty retailer

Sewing machine experts agree: A West Columbia shop is one of the best in the business when it comes to customer service and industry knowledge. At the annual Baby Lock Dealer Convention in St. Louis, the gathering of hundreds heard the announcement that Creative Sewing Machine Center of West Columbia had won the award for the top Single Location Retailer…

Bi-Lo buys 22 Piggly Wiggly stores, 6 in Midlands

Several Midlands Piggly Wiggly stores soon will become Bi-Lo locations. Bi-Lo announced Thursday that it’s buying 22 Piggly Wiggly stores in South Carolina and Georgia. Local stores included are 4711 Forest Drive in Columbia, 760 U.S. Highway 378 and 4360 Augusta Road in Lexington, as well as stores in Prosperity, Bamberg and St. Matthews. All employees at the existing Piggly Wiggly stores…

465 laid off at Savannah River Site

More than 450 employees at Savannah River Site were laid off Thursday by the company that manages radioactive waste programs at the site. The company, Savannah River Remediation, sent a memo to all employees reading in part “I regret that we have to take this step, but I encourage you to avoid the distractions that these workforce changes can cause.”…

Marco’s Pizza now open in Cayce

An Ohio-based pizza chain opened its fourth Midlands location this week, and hundreds of people already have enjoyed the fare. Marco’s Pizza in Cayce celebrated its grand opening Monday. To mark the occasion, the eatery gave away 100 free pizzas Monday and Tuesday. Trey Boyd, manager for the new location, said people couldn’t wait to taste the made-from-scratch slices. “People…

Irmo hotel expansion to include new Zoe’s Kitchen

A third Zoe’s Kitchen location is coming to the Midlands as Irmo’s Residence Inn by Marriott expands. The hotel recently broke ground for the construction of the Hotel Shoppes next to the Residence Inn at 944 Lake Murray Blvd. Zoe’s Kitchen is the first business to sign on to occupy the multi-unit building. Zoe’s already has locations on Main Street…

S.C. Chamber announces 2013 Manufacturer of the Year award recipients

An international company with ties to the Midlands was named one of the state’s top manufacturers at the annual South Carolina Chamber of Commerce awards banquet. As announced at the 2013 Manufacturer of the Year gathering on Aug. 27 in Columbia, Michelin North America, Graniteville Specialty Fabrics and Cox Industries were named the best in their class. In the large…

South Carolina farmers eligible for federal aid

Financial help from the federal government soon will be available for Columbia-area farmers suffering from this summer’s frequent rain. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack on Wednesday officially approved Governor Nikki Haley’s request for a disaster declaration for Richland and Lexington counties, in addition to many others in the Palmetto State. Vilsack’s decision means farmers can apply for USDA Farms Service…

Lexington County unemployment rate remains lowest in state

One month after seeing its rate of unemployed workers jump by nearly a full percentage point, Lexington County still boasts the best number in the state. The county’s percentage of people without steady work declined in July after increasing from May to June. In comparison, South Carolina’s rate didn’t fluctuate much and landed at 8.1 percent for July 2013. The…

Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center earns second national accolade in months

A local recreational complex didn’t just receive recognition as the best in the state – it earned praise as the top facility of its kind in the country. The United States Tennis Association announced Aug. 22 that the Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center has been named the 2013 Featured Facility Award winner. The award is the highest given annually by…

S.C. Chamber of Commerce announces results of legislative scorecard

Thirty legislators were granted a perfect score by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce this August as the organization released its annual Legislative Year in Review and Scorecard. The scorecard outlines the results of a tallying system set up by the Chamber. During the most recent legislative term, decisions pertaining to business issues, infrastructure funding, expansion of 4-year-old kindergarten, the…

Cayce hospitality tax on prepared meals postponed

A new tax on dining out is off the table for now in Cayce after City Council decided against implementing the change last week. Council members reviewed feedback from local citizens and restaurant owners at a special called meeting Aug. 21. After discussing the input and financial figures, they agreed to not utilize the tax option to create revenue. “We…

500 new jobs coming to Fairfield County

Element Electronics is moving into Winnsboro, and the new business in town promises to bring with it 500 new jobs in a television assembly facility over the next 5 years. Fairfield Co. Economic Development Director Tiffany Harris accepts congratulations after the big news (photo by Allen Wallace) The announcement was made Thursday in a very unusual way: dozens gathered at…