Business

Help Wanted: Lexington County launching education-business connection

Lexington County achieved Work Ready Communities status last year after removing some of the employment barriers for job seekers and employers. Staff in the economic development department are now taking the next steps to provide more opportunities for local high schoolers. “Our goal is to align students, educators and employers,” said Chuck Whipple, the county’s director of economic development. Through…

Construction to begin this summer on new student apartments near Williams Brice Stadium

Construction will begin this summer on a new student housing complex near Williams Brice Stadium for students at the University of South Carolina. Dovetail Development, based in Athens, Georgia, is set to build Wildwood Columbia by July 2016. Example of a bedroom in Wildwood Columbia. (photo provided) “We feel Columbia, South Carolina, is one of the strongest student housing markets…

Columbia Fireflies ticket sales for inaugural season begin next week

Fans of baseball can purchase individual tickets for the Columbia Fireflies inaugural season next week. Tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. Feb. 26. The Fireflies play their first game April 7 in Charleston. The home opener at the newly-constructed Spirit Communications Park in the Columbia Commons Development on Bull Street is set for 7:05 p.m. April 14. The Fireflies will…

And the winner is … Lexington Chamber honors local business leaders at Awards Night

One week before acclaimed directors and cinematographers are recognized in the film industry’s biggest night, the Greater Lexington Chamber honored those who are the backbone of the local economy at the 2016 Awards Night. Adam DeLoach picks up his Young Professional of the Year honor. (photo by Rachel Ham) The chamber’s annual banquet brought together small business owners, municipal leaders…

Greater Lexington Chamber names next CEO

A former state-level business leader has taken a new position in Lexington County. The Greater Lexington Chamber & Visitors Center announced the hiring of Otis Rawl Jr. as the next president and CEO. He officially will begin his tenure Feb. 29. Rawl, a Lexington native, succeeds former CEO Randy Halfacre, who retired at the end of 2015. Rawl said he’s…

Natural gas company to make $10 million investment with new Columbia facility

A provider of natural gas throughout the Southeast is moving its headquarters and operations to the city of Columbia, bringing millions of dollars in investment to the Midlands. Dominion Resources Services Inc. is relocating Dominion Carolina Gas Transmission to Columbia, a move that will add $10.9 million in investment to the Columbia area. The existing 120-person staff also will be moved from…

New senior living residence to open in northeast Columbia in early 2017

Construction is underway for a new living community in the northeast designed specifically for residents 65 and older. The Blake at Woodcreek Farms is a 2,300-acre-resort-style community just off Spears Creek Church Road that developers say will provide residences for a growing older population in the Midlands. Current construction on the senior living residences is underway. (photo provided) “We selected…

Lions and tigers and jobs: Riverbanks is hiring

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is hiring. Seasonal positions in the zoo’s food and retail divisions are available, and human resources personnel will be taking applications during a job fair this Saturday in the Zoo’s Discovery Center Theater. Interested candidates must be at least 16 years old and have a flexible schedule. People are encouraged to bring an updated resumé to…

Locally owned steakhouse headed to Lexington

Locals will have a new place in Lexington for date nights and weeknights out starting next month. The former Gilligan’s seafood restaurant on North Lake Drive is reopening under new ownership as Mr. D’s Steaks and Seafood. Steve Deese, owner of Bentley Pontoons, purchased the building in December 2015 and asked Lexington Mayor Steve MacDougall to be his general manager. MacDougall…

Food truck court to roll into West Columbia next month

A new venture on wheels is scheduled to open in West Columbia next month. The highly anticipated food truck court on Meeting Street, which has been dubbed Hemi Food Truck Court, will have its soft opening March 14. Manager Christina Suvarna said excitement has continued to build since the idea was announced last fall. “We’ve been getting a lot of…

Owner of 3 local Liberty Tax franchises sued by U.S. Justice Department

The United States Justice Department is attempting to shut down three local Liberty Tax Service franchises. Justice Department attorneys filed a civil lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court seeking to permanently ban the owner of the franchises, Christopher Paul Haynes of Irmo, from preparing federal tax returns for others. The lawsuit claims Haynes and his employees “deliberately prepare false federal income tax…

Midlands Housing Trust Fund gets $10,000 from Wells Fargo for affordable housing loan program

The Midlands Housing Trust Fund, an initiative of the United Way of the Midlands, will be able to continue to build on its mission of provide quality affordable housing with a $10,000 donation from Wells Fargo. The nonprofit received a $125,000 federal grant last fall from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institution Fund, which supports the development of…

Lexington Medical Center begins construction prep for expansion

Lexington Medical Center is embarking on a large expansion at its main campus in West Columbia, and preparation is underway for construction to begin later this year. Hospital officials are building a new tower to meet the growing needs of the Lexington County community. More than 500,000 square feet of patient rooms and parking spaces will be added. The additional patient…

T.J. Maxx donation boosts Meals on Wheels program

Seniors who rely on the Columbia area Meals on Wheels program got some extra help this week from a group of retail stores. T.J. Maxx Manager Dean Long (right) presents Senior Resources Executive Director Pam Dukes with the donation check. (photo provided) Dean Long, manager of the Harbison T.J. Maxx store, presented a $5,000 donation to Senior Resources, the nonprofit…

Brookland development approved by West Columbia City Council

After several weeks of debate, a major development on West Columbia’s riverfront can move forward. City Council members have been working with local developer Estates & Companies to work out a plan for the proposed multi-use development on 4 acres of land at the corner of State and Meeting streets. Residents in the adjacent Mill Hill neighborhood expressed concerns along…

Fresh Market, Ulta planned for Lexington

Lexington’s Planning Commission members approved a site plan Wednesday for another new commercial center that is expected to bring development to one of the last remaining parcels fronting Sunset Boulevard. The Lever and Outlaw families have sold their land on the 5300 block on Sunset Boulevard, and Columbia Development is planning to bring a long-awaited Fresh Market to Lexington. Developers…

Columbia City Council considers bond options to fund hospitality tax projects

Organizations looking for Columbia hospitality tax money to fund their events will have to wait until the upcoming budget cycle. Columbia City Council refused to take action Tuesday on requests from six groups that sought dollars to fund projects or events. Council members said they wanted to wait until they could get a better grasp of the high demand for…

Study: More organizations should be funded through Columbia’s hospitality tax

Columbia’s hospitality tax program could get revamped to benefit more organizations as the city works to become a tourist destination in South Carolina. A study conducted by the SmartState Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development found that grant funding should be expanded to include more events to continue driving tourism in the area. “It is clear that…

Richland County Business Service Center highlights 10 years of supporting local businesses

Richland County Council decided in 2006 to set up a department to help business owners navigate the process of acquiring permits and licenses, in addition to paying taxes. Ten years later, the Business Service Center is celebrating its successes in helping build the county’s business community. “The first 10 years of the Business Service Center saw many improvements to the…

Spa, yoga studio planned as part of future Five Points development

A future mixed-use development in Five Points is a step closer to becoming a reality. Columbia’s board of zoning appeals approved a parking variance request from developers, which will kick off the construction process. The property at the corner of Harden and Pendleton streets sat vacant for nearly eight years before it was purchased by developer Richard Burts and his…

New Chick-fil-A opens Thursday with focus on community

  A mid-January night with temperatures in the 20s might not seem the best time for camping, but more than 100 people set up tents and rolled out sleeping bags Wednesday night in a parking lot on Killian Road. Why? Free chicken, of course. The Columbia area’s newest Chick-fil-A opened its doors at Killian Crossing, just off Interstate 77, for…