Berkeley Chamber of Commerce News

2016 Economic Forecast Presentations (Download)

Posted by Berkeley Chamber of Commerce on January 26, 2016 in Event Highlights , Featured
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REAP Grant and Loan Opportunities available for Small Business in SC from the USDA Rural Development

Posted by Berkeley Chamber of Commerce on January 18, 2016 in Announcements , Government Affairs
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Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance

USDA Can Help You Make Your Rural Business, Farm or Ranch More Profitable

USDA is offering grants and loan guarantees to help rural businesses and agricultural producers reduce their energy costs and consumption.

The funding is being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).  Loans and grants are available to install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements.

Renewable energy systems include solar, wind, geothermal, anaerobic digesters, renewable biomass, hydrogen and hydropower.

Energy efficiency improvements include lighting, refrigeration, facility improvements (such as adding insulation or replacing windows), heating and cooling upgrades, motor replacements and automated control upgrades.

Grants of up to 25% of a project’s total costs are available.

  • The maximum grants are $250,000 for energy efficiency improvements and $500,000 for renewable energy systems Loans guarantees of up to 75% of a project’s total costs are available.
  • The minimum loan is $5,000
  • The maximum loan is $25 million

Some areas contiguous with Columbia, Charleston and Greenville are not eligible, call for a determination.

Don’t miss this great opportunity!

For more information, contact: Doug Dunkelberg, doug.dunkelberg@sc.usda.gov  803-765-5330; Shannon Legree 803-253-3150 or Jesse T. Risher,  jesse.risher@sc.usda.gov  803-765-5881

The Three Step Process: Disaster Loans

Posted by Berkeley Chamber of Commerce on January 14, 2016 in Announcements
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The U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest, long-term disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters to repair or replace uninsured/underinsured disaster damaged property. SBA disaster loans offer an affordable way for individuals and businesses to recover from declared disasters.

Businesses and nonprofit organizations have until July 5, 2016 to apply for a working capital loan if they had economic impact as a result of the flooding that occurred in October.

Please click here for information about the three step process to apply for an SBA disaster loan.

Air Quality Conference January 19-20, 2016

Posted by Berkeley Chamber of Commerce on December 17, 2015 in Community Events , Education
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Air Quality Conference January 19-20, 2016

December graduates receive degrees at Southern Wesleyan University

Posted by Berkeley Chamber of Commerce on December 14, 2015 in Press Releases
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image12348165433CENTRAL, S.C. – Southern Wesleyan University awarded more than 300 graduates with degrees during two commencement ceremonies on its campus in Central.
The commencement speaker was Belle S. Wheelan, Ph.D., who is the first African American and the first woman to serve as president of the Southern Association of
Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Her career spans 40 years and includes the roles of faculty member, chief student services officer, campus provost, college president and secretary of education.
Wheelan shared with graduates some of the lessons she said contributed to her success, saying “take time to say ‘thank you’ to the people around you,” and “it’s more important to be respected for the things you believe than to be liked.” read more »

Town of Moncks Corner accepted to Main Street South Carolina

Posted by Berkeley Chamber of Commerce on December 10, 2015 in Press Releases
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The Town of Moncks Corner has been accepted into the Main Street South Carolina Boot Camp program.

Main Street South Carolina, a program of the Municipal Association, is a comprehensive revitalization approach that promotes the historic and economic redevelopment of traditional business districts in South Carolina. Established in 1984, Main Street South Carolina empowers residents, business owners and local officials with the knowledge, skills, tools and organizational structure they need to revitalize their downtowns, neighborhood commercial districts, and cities and towns into vibrant centers of commerce and community.

Each year, Main Street South Carolina accepts applications and selects communities to join the program. These communities receive technical support and training to help restore their downtowns as centers of community and economic activity. Each program determines its own goals, and the training and support they receive may include services such as architectural services, focus groups, training and technical assistance.

“The Town of Moncks Corner is certainly appreciative to the Municipal of Association of South Carolina for selecting us to participate in the Main Street South Carolina program,” said Michael Lockliear, mayor, Town of Moncks Corner, “This public/private endeavor is a much needed component to assist with downtown revitalization. We feel like this is a major step in our quest to make the downtown area one that can make all citizens of Moncks Corner proud.”

Main Street South Carolina provides intensive on and off-site technical assistance and training during the three-year “Boot Camp” for communities competitively selected for the Main Street South Carolina program. At the end of the three-year Boot Camp, the community moves to a second tier where it receives ongoing support based on each program’s individual needs and goals.

Monks Corner joins Georgetown, Sumter, Gaffney, Hartsville, Williamston, Woodruff, and Aiken in the Boot Camp program. Beaufort, Bennettsville, Lancaster, Laurens, Manning, Orangeburg, Pickens, and Summerville are also members of Main Street SC.

“Moncks Corner is a beautiful South Carolina small town with many assets,” said Beppie LeGrand, manager of the Main Street South Carolina, “Geographically the town is uniquely positioned in the Lowcountry, and the timing is right to grow and revitalize the local economy. We look forward to working with them to plan for their continued success.”

Main Street South Carolina follows the National Main Street’s Four Point Approach – Organization, Promotion, Design and Economic Restructuring. Each year, Main Street South Carolina recognizes members’ achievements and successes in downtown revitalization through its Inspiration Awards. For more information about Main Street South Carolina, visit the Municipal Association’s website at www.masc.sc.

Youth Tour

Posted by Berkeley Chamber of Commerce on December 3, 2015 in Announcements , Community Events
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PrintOver 1,500 students from all across America take part in the Youth Tour experience each year in June, and so can you! Travel to Washington, D.C., where you will meet your United States Representative and Senators. This unique trip will give you the opportunity to watch history come alive as you explore the museums, memorials and monuments with students from your state. You will meet student leaders from nearly every state and hear dynamic leaders on Youth Day. Bottom line, you will make friendships that will last a lifetime and be part of a group that has over 50,000 alumni in every walk of life including U.S. Senators and CEOs.

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Berkeley County Bird House Competition

Posted by Berkeley Chamber of Commerce on October 27, 2015 in Announcements , Community Events
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BIRDHOUSE COMPETITION

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Red Ribbon Proclamation Signing

Posted by Berkeley Chamber of Commerce on October 13, 2015 in Announcements , Community Events
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THE KENNEDY CENTER

On Monday October 12, 2015, the Berkeley County Prevention Board was joined by the Berkeley County Council, the Sheriff’s office, and area Mayors and Police Chiefs representing the various town and city governments.

Berkeley County Council, the Sheriff’s Office and each city in Berkeley County signed a proclamation which declared October 23 – 31 as Red Ribbon Week throughout the county. The proclamation represents the 25th year the Berkeley County Prevention Board has made a visible and unified commitment toward the creation of a safe and drug-free Berkeley County.

The Berkeley County Prevention Board is sponsored by the Ernest E. Kennedy Center and its Prevention Department.

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PICTURED: A photo of the signing and a copy of the proclamation.

BACK ROW-LEFT TO RIGHT:

Kenneth Gunn, Caldwell Pinckney, Maj. Jeremy Baker, Joshua Whitley, Major David Brabham, Steve Davis, Phillip Farley, Chief Deputy Mike Cochran, Lt. Mark Fields, Tommy Newell, Wade Arnette and Chaplain Danny Johnson.

FRONT ROW-LEFT TO RIGHT:

Mayor Rembert Wrenn, Chief Franco Fuda, Chief Randall Timmons, Sheriff Duane Lewis,  Lt. Josh Battista, Mayor Mike Locklear and Jean Guerry.

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FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT:
WEHME A. HUTTO, PH. 797-7871, ext. 114
SAUNDRA BROWN-WIGFALL, PH: 797-7871, ext. 113 

South Carolina Department of Insurance Catastrophe Claims Center

Posted by Berkeley Chamber of Commerce on October 13, 2015 in Announcements , Community Events
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Event Photos

Posted by Berkeley Chamber of Commerce on October 6, 2015 in Photo Galleries
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Our photo galleries have been relocated. Please go to http://berkeleysc.org/chamber/photo-galleries/

South Carolina Chamber of Commerce Announces Award Winners At Annual Gala

Posted by Berkeley Chamber of Commerce on September 15, 2015 in Press Releases
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Columbia, S.C. – The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce announced recipients of awards at the annual Palmetto Vision Awards Gala held on Thursday, September 10. Awards were given to those South Carolina companies that have excelled in manufacturing and workplace diversity. Additionally, the Human Resources Professional of the Year recognition and a special award for Excellence in Community Diversity were given. The awardees are vetted and chosen by steering committees for Manufacturing, Human Resources, and Diversity, and the South Carolina SCHRM State Council.

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Trident Technical College Offers A New Charleston Artisans Series

Posted by Berkeley Chamber of Commerce on September 8, 2015 in Press Releases
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Sept. 4, 2015… Trident Technical College Division of Continuing Education and Economic Development is pleased to announce a new series of workshops, The Charleston Artisans Series, to be offered from Sept. 15-Dec. 2, 2015 featuring local musicians, writers, poets, storytellers and artisans. Each workshop costs $19-$29 to participate and take place at Trident Technical College’s Main Campus in North Charleston and Palmer Campus in downtown Charleston.

“The Charleston Artisans Series is our way of showcasing local talent and providing them a venue to share their story and the inspiration behind their work to the Charleston community. We provide a copy of the artist’s work and want people who enroll in the presentations to feel a sense of community as we offer free coffee and tea to provide a casual and collaborative atmosphere to the presentation,” said Dr. Daphne Holland, youth and personal enrichment program manager for the Trident Technical College Division of Continuing Education and Economic Development.

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White House Drug Policy Office Awards $125,000 to Local Coalition to Prevent Youth Substance Use in Berkeley County, South Carolina.

Posted by Berkeley Chamber of Commerce on July 26, 2015 in Press Releases
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Grants Support Administration Efforts to Emphasize Public Health Approaches to Drug Policy, Reduce Demand for Drugs through Education.

(Washington D.C.) – Michael Botticelli, Acting Director of the Office National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), announced 680 Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program grants, totaling $84 million, to communities across the country. The grants will provide local communities funding to prevent youth substance use and support the Administration’s National Drug Control Strategy, which treats our Nation’s drug problem through a balanced public health and safety approach. The Berkeley County Prevention Board from Berkeley County, South Carolina was one of the grant recipients and will receive $625,000 over five years in DFC grant funds to involve and engage their local community to prevent substance use among youth.

” We know the best way to reduce youth drug use is to stop it from ever beginning,” said Acting Director Botticelli. “Today, I congratulate prevention advocates for their continuing hard work and dedication to young people many of whom are struggling with peer pressure and other challenges in today’s society.”

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Berkeley Country Club is proud to announce the 56th Annual Berkeley Invitational ~ September 4th-6th

Posted by Berkeley Chamber of Commerce on July 9, 2015 in Announcements , Community Events
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We will be hosting 2 divisions this year.

The Championship division will play all 3 rounds from the Blue tees at approximately 6800 yards.

The Men’s Division will play the White tees at approximately 6200 yards.

Make sure you indicate which division you would like to compete in.

Field will be limited to the first 120 PAID entries. Please make sure to sign up early.

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Berkeley County Becomes First Certified Connected County in the Lowcountry

Posted by Berkeley Chamber of Commerce on June 26, 2015 in Announcements , Press Releases
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Berkeley County receives Connected community certification, releases Technology Action Plan

Berkeley County, SC – Today, Connect South Carolina, joined by Berkeley County Community Partners, Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, and Home Telecom, announced Berkeley County’s certified Connected community status and released its Technology Action Plan. It is the first county in the Lowcountry and the eighth certified Connected community in South Carolina.

Screen Shot“One of the goals in completing this assessment has been to identify areas of the county where the digital divide still exists,” shared Donna Worden, community champion and Director of the Berkeley County Library System. “As we undertake the projects in the county’s recommended Technology Action Plan, community partners will join together to extend broadband throughout the county and increase access to digital literacy resources.”

Berkeley County has been working with Connect South Carolina since February 2013 on the Connected Community Engagement Program. This initiative assesses the local broadband landscape, identifies connectivity gaps, and establishes technology-driven goals and objectives to increase broadband access, adoption, and use for families, organizations, and businesses throughout the community.

“Broadband is no longer a luxury, it is essential in our daily lives,” said FCC Commissioner and Charleston native Mignon Clyburn. “Broadband is a gateway through which many Lowcountry residents and businesses obtain critical information, find jobs, stay connected with teachers and healthcare providers, and keep up-to-date with family members and friends. We all benefit when everyone is connected.” Commissioner Clyburn shared her remarks on a video that can be seen HERE.

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Southern Wesleyan University Announces a New Graduate Business Program

Posted by Berkeley Chamber of Commerce on June 18, 2015 in Announcements , Education
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GoogleFest 2015

Posted by Berkeley Chamber of Commerce on June 10, 2015 in Announcements , Community Events
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St. James, Goose Creek Chapel of Ease Site Commemorates Tricentennial

Posted by Berkeley Chamber of Commerce on June 9, 2015 in Community Events , Press Releases
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GOOSE CREEK, S.C.—JUNE 8, 2015—The ground-breaking ceremony for the St. James, Goose Creek Chapel of Ease Historical Site is scheduled for Saturday, June 13, 2015, marking the 300th anniversary of a pivotal battle fought there.

The event will begin at 10 a.m. with introductory comments by Goose Creek Mayor Michael Heitzler. Diane Turner, President of the CSS David Chapter #2656, United Daughters of the Confederacy will speak. Guests will hear speakers detailing the history of the Yemassee War and its significance to the historical site, as well as the history of the cemetery since the Yemassee War.

Jack Lynes will dedicate the site, followed by a ceremonial ground-breaking under Mayor Heitzler’s direction.  Self-guided tours will be available until 2 p.m. Refreshments and Chapel of Ease merchandise will be available for sale. The public is invited to this free event, which will take place at Avanti Lane, off Old Highway 52 in Moncks Corner, SC. Look for the banner and the split rail fence.

Contact Justin Lynes, 803.500.1371, or visit www.chapelofease.org for more information. Tax-deductible donations assist in grave restoration and battle site preservation; mail to St. James, Goose Creek Chapel of Ease, P.O. Box 1156, Moncks Corner, SC 29461. A percentage of any Amazon sale, made through the chapel website, goes directly to the nonprofit at no cost to the buyer.

2015 Legislative Report

Posted by Berkeley Chamber of Commerce on May 17, 2015 in Government Affairs
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