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JUNE 2019




Tourism: The Lowcountry’s

SC Legislative

Celebrating Your Success!

Economic Powerhouse

Session Wraps up Chamber Business Monthly . June 2019


IN THIS ISSUE COMMUNITY FOCUS: Island Time Hilton Head Island gets Gold-level designation for bike friendly community.

CHAMBER NEWS: A Week of Celebrating You Small Business Week highlights.



COMMUNITY FOCUS: Bluffton Briefing Kroger opens on Buckwalter. Bluffton in the national news.



LEARN & GROW: Prepare Your Business Hurricane Season is here. What should you do to prepare your business?


ON THE COVER WINGS & WHEELS: Tourism as Economic Development

CONNECT: June Chamber Events

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: 5 Questions For... A home-rental company GM weighs in on the local market.


Save the date for Conversation & Cocktails, GETSmart & More.


When it comes to economic development and doing business in the Lowcountry, all roads lead to tourism.


Chamber Business Monthly . June 2019



FEATURED: Tourism & Our Economy


hen it comes to growth and doing business in the Lowcountry, all roads lead to tourism.

Economic development in southern Beaufort County comes in the form of heads in beds, feet on fairways, and on wings and wheels. Strong tourism creates jobs and business opportunities across multiple sectors, and nurtures a holistic economy. Consider the impact for the county in 2018: • Accommodation and food service jobs account for 20 percent of employment, and retail trade is responsible for 16 percent, according to the South Carolina Department of Employment & Workforce. • Of the 20 largest employers in Beaufort County, six are tourism or retail businesses. • The number of visitors we see each year is around 2.6 million. • The economic impact of tourism totals $1.4 billion. When the number of visitors grow, so do the number of places to eat, sleep, play, and shop. Those businesses not only need employees but also professional and support services, and opportunities for their families. This creates jobs for healthcare professionals, Realtors™, bankers, lawyers, doctors, educators, and more.


Visitors don’t just open their wallets to resorts, restaurants and retail outlets. Tourism generates resources to better the community. The accommodations tax dollars used to market Hilton Head Island and Bluffton is a necessary and worthwhile investment that locals don’t spend a penny on. For every $1 spent on marketing, $17.63 is returned to the local economy in net local government revenue. This money also funds community projects such as beach renourishment, large festivals - such as the Hilton Head Concours d’Elegance, St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival and other cultural programs and non-profits that enhance the quality of life here for residents and visitors alike. The Lowcountry has a magical lure that turns visitors into locals. It’s a familiar story told in real estate and mortgage lending offices: We came for a vacation and left with a new home. Bluffton and Hilton Head Island are complimentary, close-knit, unique, and nurture entrepreneurs. So, while there might be a longer line at the grocery store from Memorial Day to Labor Day, or if your commute between Hilton Head Island and Bluffton might get more congested on Saturdays, you can still thank tourism for the hundreds of opportunities to work and play here in the Lowcountry.

Wheels Up! Airline traffic to Lowcountry has expanded over the past few years as local airports and airlines have introduced non-stop routes to big cities across the U.S. The Savannah Hilton Head International Airport has welcomed direct flights from Allegiant Air, SunCountry, JetBlue, and Air Canada – just to name a few – to destinations across the country and Toronto. It also renovated its terminal. The airport had nearly 2.8 million passengers come through its runways in 2018, a 14 percent increase from the prior year. Since the Hilton Head Island airport extended its runway last year, it has welcomed direct flights to Washington DC, Atlanta, New York and Chicago from United and Delta Airlines, joining American Airlines flights to Charlotte and Washington. Compared to the same time last year, passengers have more than doubled. The airport also announced a $10 million federal grant to modernize the terminal. Easier access to the Lowcountry is not just for visitors. It attracts business investments and more residents. The airline growth in the Lowcountry is certainly a bellwether of more success and growth to come.

The Big Picture: Tourism’s Impact in the U.S. Last year, travel generated a total of $2.5 trillion in economic output that supported 15.7 million American jobs. Here’s how that breaks down across multiple sectors: (Source: U.S. Travel Association)


Economic Output

created by Travel and Tourism in the U.S.

created by Travel and Tourism in the U.S.

Other Industries 1.59M Administrative & Waste Services 628.60k

Other Industries $317.96B Health & Social Services $89.26B

Information $80.38B Travel Industry $1.26T

Professional Services $86.82B


Wholesale Trade $109.39B

Trillion in Output

Health & Social Services 662.80k

Professional Services 539.90k Wholesale Trade 420.30k Manufacturing 784.40k

15.68 Million U.S. Jobs

Finance & Insurance 421.80k Manufacturing $426.97B

Finance & Insurance $134.62B

Travel Industry Chamber Business Monthly . 10.62M June 2019



The Chamber Asks:

Why does tourism matter for business in the Lowcountry? Dr. Al Panu, chancellor at USCB “Tourism is the principle economic engine for Beaufort County, responsible for more than 13,000 jobs and $1.4 billion in annual revenue. As a community, continuing and increasing this kind of success is absolutely contingent upon our ability to generate highly-skilled, best-in-class employees for our best-in-class resort and tourism businesses. Further, a key factor in USCB’s ability to prepare students for successful careers is our emphasis on experiential learning. An added strategic advantage for USCB students - especially those majoring in Hospitality Management - is the rarefied opportunity to work and learn locally in world-class business environments. These experiences are pivotal to preparing students for the managerial and entrepreneurial careers they will launch after graduation. For USCB, tourism and higher education are true partners with limitless collaborative potential.“

Lili Coleman, executive director at Second Helpings “The nonprofit organizations in the Lowcountry greatly depend on tourists in many ways. For Second Helpings, a nonprofit that rescues food from grocery stores and other sources, surplus foods at our local grocery stores and restaurants are donated to us daily to fight hunger. … It also offers tourists the opportunity to donate unopened food at the end of their visits, instead of throwing the food away. They come to our island because of its eco-friendly environment. They appreciate our local resources and join us in enjoying all our island and the Bluffton area offers. Many make Hilton Head their permanent home and become lifelong supporters of Second Helpings and other local nonprofits.”


Alan Wolf, director of operations at SERG Restaurants “Tourism is the backbone of our businesses on Hilton Head Island. Meeting and exceeding the expectations of tourists lays the foundation for employing our workforce year-round and carrying our commitment to quality forward for the residents of Hilton Head Island. The effect of tourism in the Lowcountry has led to increasing business opportunities for our organization as we grow into Bluffton and throughout Beaufort County.” Jean Beck, executive director at Hilton Head Area Association of Realtors “Tourism showcases our community. Once a visitor falls in love with the Lowcountry, they start to envision themselves living here. Almost every resident’s story starts with, ‘I came on vacation and didn’t want to leave.’”


by the Numbers In 2018, the economic impact of tourism on Hilton Head Island was $1.4


15.1% of all jobs in Beaufort County

Whether you are planning a family gathering, corporate event or an elegant wedding, our experienced staff can help bring your ideas to life! • Cocktail Parties • Off-Premises Catering

are generated by tourism just on Hilton Head Island. 20% of all jobs are accommodation and food service jobs throughout the county.

• Wedding Brunches, Rehearsal Dinners & Receptions • Family Celebrations • Holiday Parties • Military Events • Group Golf & Tennis Outings • Conferences & Seminars • Corporate Events

2.93 million visitors to Beaufort County in 2018; 2.62 million There were

were on Hilton Head Island. For every $1

spent in marketing, there is a $17.63 return to the community. Visitors to South Carolina generated

Creative Cuisine. Exceptional Service.

Palmetto Dunes venues include: The Dunes House, Centre Court Pavilion, Alexander’s Restaurant, Arthur Hills Golf Course and more!

CALL 855-807-1934


billion to local governments that helped fund public projects.

For every $1 million spent by travelers in South Carolina, 9.1 jobs are created. Without tourism jobs, South Carolina’s unemployment rate would jump from 4.4% to 10.2%.

1 in 10 jobs in the U.S. rely on the travel industry. 2018 spending by travelers generated

$2.5 trillion economic output in America.

$171 billion in tax revenue and a

Sources: Regional Transactions Concepts, LLC; Lowcountry and Resort Islands Tourism Institute; S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce; South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism; U.S. Travel Association.

Chamber Business Monthly . June 2019


Celebrating Y Small Business Week Highlights Small Business Awards Luncheon - May 15

At the Small Business Awards luncheon, Hilton Head Island Assistant Town Manager Josh Gruber presented a proclamation naming May 13-17 Small Business Week.

The 13 Small Business of the Year and Start-Up of the Year finalists talked about their organizations. Those in attendance also voted on the “Spirit of Small Business� award.




Congratulations to Vagabond Cruise, the 2019 Small Business of the Year Award Winner, and H.O.P.E. Life and Rehab Center, the Start-Up of the Year and Spirit of Small Business Award winner. Dennis Ittenbach, left, owner of H.O.P.E. Life and Rehab Center, and Keith Walston, right, owner of Vagabond Cruise. Vagabond Cruise was founded in 1972 and has grown into a year-round business buoyed by four unique vessels hosting more than 40,000 passengers on 1,200 cruises. H.O.P.E. Life was founded in 2017 and provides rehabilitation services to cancer survivors. The company experienced a 20 percent increase in patients so far in 2019 and also created a nonprofit Cancer Recovery Fund that helps provide patients with ongoing wellness services.

Chamber Business Monthly . June 2019



Pork in the Parking Lot May 13 Over 100 members stopped by Chamber headquarters and enjoyed a barbecue lunch for the annual Pork in the Parking Lot member appreciation event.


Bluffton Block Party - May 16

This annual Bluffton tradition was celebrated on the Promenade this year, where more than 125 members enjoyed a sunny afternoon, making connections, and great food, drinks, and music.

Chamber Business Monthly . June 2019


CHAMBER NEWS Bluffton Block Party


Thank You to Our Sponsors

Chris Corkern – Financial Advisor

Chamber Business Monthly . June 2019



Chamber Welcomes

Zack Shedd, Multimedia Sales Manager of South Carolina Beaufort obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in Marketing. After graduation, he worked at The Island Packet as a digital marketing consultant. In his role at the chamber, he looks forward to further serving the needs of our businesses and in the Lowcountry.

Zack Shedd joined the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce this spring as our new multi-media sales manager. Growing up in the Lowcountry, Zack has enjoyed seeing the area grow while continuing to stay true to what attracts our visitors and new residents here. After graduating in 2010 from Bluffton High School, Zack attended the University

Chamber Business Monthly (CBM): What is your favorite spot on Hilton Head Island and Bluffton? Zack Shedd (ZS): I love spending a day on our one-ofa-kind beaches and hopefully catching a glimpse of a few dolphins. CBM: What do you consider your greatest achievement? ZS: Marrying my best friend, Kimberly, last summer in addition to building our first home together in Bluffton.

CBM: What’s one thing you’re excited about that’s coming up in 2019? ZS: I am very excited about some of the new programs we will be rolling out over the next few months for our partners. I cannot wait to get member feedback on them as we continue taking a digitalfirst approach to our marketing efforts keeping members frontand-center with their target audiences. CBM: When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time? ZS: I enjoy golfing on our many beautiful courses on Hilton Head and Bluffton. I hope to eventually play them all. I’m about halfway there!

Congratulations, Graduates! The Junior Leadership Class of 2018-19 graduated on May 9. For a class project, they completed beautification projects at Hilton Head and Bluffton Middle schools. 14

CYP Launches Website

Are you a Lowcountry professional under 40? Bookmark this website to get all the latest updates for the Chamber Young Professionals program: The Chamber Young Professionals Program builds connections, makes an impact in our community, and presents opportunities for professional growth. It’s a way to meet with important community leaders and peers. Our three key pillars of the program are professional development, connecting with other young professionals, and philanthropy.

Heart to Heart CYP + Arrhythmia Alliance Host Happy Hour 5-7 p.m. Friday, June 7 Java Burrito Join us and other young professionals for networking and refreshments. The first 40 people will receive a voucher for a free CPR class, courtesy of the Bluffton Fire Department. In honor of World Heart Rhythm Week, Arrhythmia Alliance will host a fun game to raise awareness about pulse checks, cardiac arrest, CPR and AEDS. The winning team will receive a round of drinks on us! Complimentary; registration required by clicking here. Chamber Business Monthly . June 2019



The Town of Bluffton celebrated the official opening of its new Town Hall with a ribbon cutting and open house on May 29.

Caldwell Archives Relocated The Caldwell Archives, the only repository to hold collections of Bluffton’s history as well as artifacts relative to the surrounding Lowcountry, has been relocated to Bluffton Town Hall. The Caldwell Archives is owned and maintained by the Bluffton Historical Preservation Society (BHPS), and have been moved at least five times. This relocation to Town Hall will provide the collections a permanent, climate-controlled and secure location. BHPS was also awarded a Special Projects Grant from the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution to help preserve Bluffton’s Caldwell Archives Surname and Oversized Collections. The project will preserve the existing archival collections of more than 300 family surname files and digitize oversized materials, move them into storage containers and relocate them to the new repository.


Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka proclaimed May 13-17 Small Business Week at the Bluffton Town Council Meeting on May 14. Hannah Horne, vice president of public policy and programs at the Chamber, is pictured with the Mayor.

Welcome to Buckwalter, Kroger! Your chamber helped celebrate the grand opening of the Kroger in Buckwalter Place on May 14. The store created more than 300 jobs in the area.

Destination Focus: Bluffton in the National Spotlight

Bluffton named #8 in Southern Living’s The South’s Best Small Towns of 2019 What they said: Between the moss-draped oaks and historic homes, the May River views and stunning Church of the Cross, Bluffton is one of the prettiest dots on the South Carolina map.

Hilton Head Island-BlufftonBeaufort is ranked as the 23rd fastest-growing city in America in’s “America’s Fastest Growing Cities”.

Chamber Business Monthly . June 2019



Destination Focus: Hilton Head Island in the National Spotlight, Weather Trends: Best Beaches for Memorial Day What they said: Two mostly sunny days with highs near 85 degrees make up for the light rain that’s predicted on Saturday in Hilton Head. Luckily, the island has plenty of activities to keep even the most fidgety kids (or adults) entertained on a rainy day -visit The Sandbox Children’s Museum or the indoor Island Playground if the kids get stir-crazy. Hilton Head for Families: What to See and Where to Stay What they said: Active families (or those who just want to relax on a porch swing) who enjoy the beach in comfortable climates will have a blast exploring miles of shoreline on beautiful Hilton Head Island.

Media Coverage FYTD (Broadcast, Print & Online) • 2,136 stories and mentions about Hilton Head Island • Impressions: 4,378,735,666 • A combined ad value of $14.3 million

Hilton Head Island Town News Tennis Grant Awarded Hilton Head Island was awarded a $40,000 grant to refurbish four of the Cordillo Tennis Courts. The grant is from the United States Tennis Association (USTA), through its USTA Facility Assistance Program. Public Tennis Inc., a nonprofit organization in Beaufort County, will provide tennis programs for adults and youth once the courts are refurbished.

Financial Excellence For the 30th consecutive year, the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting has been awarded to the Town of Hilton Head Island by Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting.

18 First South Carolina Sea Turtle Nests Spotted for 2019 Season on Kiawah and Hilton Head Islands What they said: If you’ve planned a vacation around watching newly hatched sea turtles crawl into the sea or love the sage reptile, perk up your ears. … A rare Kemp’s ridley sea turtle or Atlantic ridley sea turtle emerged on the beach of Hilton Head Island and laid the second nest of the season.

Vote Now: Hilton Head Island In the Running For Another Consecutive #1 Award Hilton Head Island is in the running again to be the #1 Island in the Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. A number of Hilton Head Island and Bluffton hotels, resorts, and restaurants are also nominated in their categories, as well as the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport. Hilton Head Island won the #1 Island in the Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Award two years in a row, and the #1 Island in the Continental U.S. three years in a row in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best awards. Click here to cast your vote today!

Hilton Head Island

Wins Gold Designation

for Bike-Friendly Community Hilton Head Island gets the gold again, this time for its bike-friendly atmosphere. On May 14, the League of American Bicyclists redesignated Hilton Head Island as a Bicycle Friendly Community at the Gold level. “We applaud communities like Hilton Head Island for making bicycling a safe, comfortable, and convenient option for transportation and recreation,” said Bill Nesper, Executive Director of the League of American Bicyclists. “We are inspired by leaders who see bicycling as a way to build more vibrant, healthy, sustainable and connected communities and be a part of the solution to many complex public health and safety challenges faced at both the community and national levels.”

Hilton Head Island boasts nearly 200 miles of bike pathways maintained by the Town and private communities, as well as 12 miles of hard-packed sand on the beach. There’s an active cycling community here, as well as thousands of leisure bicycles pedaled by locals and rented every year to visitors. Nearly half of vacationers on Hilton Head Island rented bicycles in the last 18 months. “This is the second time we have earned the GoldLevel designation from the League of American Bicyclists,” said Hilton Head Island Town Manager Steve Riley. “This national acknowledgment as a Bicycle Friendly Community for two award cycles shows that we have worked to improve and sustain policies and infrastructure related to bicycling. It shows that we understand and value cycling for fitness, fun and travel.”

The Hilton Head Island Bicycle Advisory Committee, Executive Committee Chamber Business Monthly . June 2019



Prepare Your Business June 1 marks the beginning of the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane season. Is your business prepared? While the past three seasons may have put your business through some preparation practice, here are questions you can ask yourself to develop a plan and ensure you are prepared to weather a storm.

Staff      

  

How will you communicate your disaster plan to staff? Does your staff have the resources to stay in touch before, during and after a storm? Do you have up-to-date contact information for your staff and vendors? Will you need staff to stay behind to help service the community? Who is on your core hurricane team, and what are their responsibilities? How will you communicate with staff (email, text, messaging app) when a storm is a threat, during an evacuation or storm, and after the storm? Who will be your point person? What is your payroll policy? How will you help support any employees who might be displaced? How will you communicate with vendors?

Surroundings & Structure    

Are there trees around your building that need to be trimmed back? Are there any other signs or structures around your building that could pose a threat? Do you have appropriate insurance to protect your building and any interruption of business? Are there any weaknesses in your building that may be especially vulnerable during a storm?

Space   

How will you secure important documents during an evacuation? How will you protect inventory? How will you protect hardware (computers, point of sale systems, etc.)?

Systems    

Is your IT system backed up? How will you protect your digital files and assets? Where are your utility systems, and how can you protect them? Do you have a generator if you need to stay open during a storm?

Service   

How will you communicate with your customers before, during and after a storm? How will you engage and serve the community after an event? What services can you offer to help before, during and after a storm?

Click here or here for more tips. 20

Sources: FEMA; Small Business Administration.

WORKING FOR YOU: Advocacy Corner

Columbia Watch S.C. Legislature Wraps Up Session The South Carolina General Assembly wrapped up its first year of the two-year session, but many bills are still in motion when lawmakers return in January 2020.

• Plastic Bag Ban Bill: The legislation that would give the sole right of banning plastic bags and other auxiliary bags to the state legislature is still moving through committee.

Among the highlights from the bills we watched this year:

• Santee Cooper: The state is still deciding what will be the next chapter for the debt-ridden Santee Cooper utility company. Among the options is to allow the utility to operate and debt would be paid off through rising rates, or whether a third party could make an offer to purchase.

• Education: As part of the state’s budget, $160 million will go toward teacher pay raises. However, the comprehensive Education Reform Bill is still being worked out in the Senate, and lawmakers may return this summer to continue work on this issue. • Tax Reform: Tax laws in South Carolina are under review in many areas. Act 388 is being studied and reviewed for possible changes, as well as business license fees. A provison was passed as part of this year’s budget that prohibits third-parties from assessing or collecting business license taxes. There is also a committee of legislators formed to study possible reform measures. • “Be Pro Be Proud”: The state budget contains $642,500 in non-recurring dollars for the state’s Department of Employment and Workforce to attract students and adults into those highskilled jobs needing to be filled. A semi-tractor trailer will be outfitted with education simulations for students to be exposed to different career opportunities in the trades and manufacturing.


Chamber Business Monthly . June 2019



Members Making News

Heritage Library

In its biennial Charitable Golf Classic Tournament on April 28, Long Cove Club members raised over $100,000 for the Long Cove Fund, which provides grants to local nonprofits.

Lucky Rooster is opening its second location, Lucky Rooster Market Street, in Coligny Plaza. Its menu will focus on “globally infused” dishes in a quick service setting, as well as craft cocktails, beer and frozen drinks. Hilton Head Island Airport welcomed the first American Airlines flight from Washington DC’s Reagan Airport on May 4, and the first Delta Airlines flight from Atlanta on May 23. The Multiple Listing Service of Hilton Head Island, in partnership with, launched a new website: Listing Enhanced Agent Profile. Outside Hilton Head hosted a Ladies’ Night on May 9. It was a fun evening of shopping to support Hopeful Horizons.

Charter One Realty was once again ranked as one of the nation’s top brokerages by REAL Trends 500. St. Luke’s Parish Zion Chapel of Ease Cemetery was designated on the National Register of Historic Places. This recognition comes after years of research and efforts on the part of the Heritage Library Foundation volunteers. United Way of the Lowcountry surpassed its $2.3 million annual campaign fundraising goal.

Outside Hilton Head’s Ladies’ Night

The Foundation for Educational Excellence awarded 14 teachers from 10 different Beaufort County schools with School Resource Grants totaling more than $18,000 to help provide innovative learning opportunities for students. The S.C. Department of Commerce’s Office of Innovation announced the launch of, an online tool that provides individuals and businesses a platform to access resources. The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office coordinated with National Alliance on Mental Illness to host crisis intervention training for area first responders. The SERG Group has acquired Holy Tequila!, Charbar Co. and The Whiskey Room in Hilton Head Island’s Park Plaza. The Community Foundation of the Lowcountry has received accreditation from the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations.



Who’s Who Who’s Where Stephen Arnold was promoted to general manager at the Robert Trent Jones golf course.

Adventure Pediatrics welcomed Kylie Balzer, Christy Bowers, and Lindsey Coats.

Kimberly McKee is the assistant manager at Alexander’s Restaurant & Wine Bar. She owned several restaurants in Charleston before relocating to Hilton Head Island.

Congratulations to the Sea Pines Resort’s Tim Cooke, and the IJGA’s Jonathan Yarwood for being named Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Teachers in America. Brandi Darbonnier is the new revenue manager at the Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort.

Catrina Dickinson joins The Greenery as the regional seasonal color manager. She has won a Hilton Head Island Beautification Award for the Port Royal Plantation entrance. Caleb Graham was named the General Manager at the Ocean Oak Resort. He was previously the director of operations at the Plaza Resort & Spa in Daytona Beach.

Kiernan Staunton was promoted to the head golf professional at the Berkeley Hall Club. He joined n May 2017 as an assistant golf pro. Taylor Woodward was promoted to chef de cuisine at Alexander’s Restaurant & Wine Bar. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, he joined Alexander’s in 2018 as the sous chef.

Kelly Sigg has joined HUB Carolinas as the market leader for its Hilton Head Island and Bluffton offices. She was previously the assistant agency manager of BB&T/McGriff Insurance Services. Lindsey Skirtich is the principal at H.E. McCracken Middle School. She previously served as the interim principal there and assistant principal at May River High School.

Lindsay Wooten joined the Sonesta Resort as a conference Services Manager. She joins the team from The Ridge Hotel in Lake Geneva, Wisc.

Have news you want to share? Let us know by emailing communications manager Hallie Martin at

Chamber Business Monthly . June 2019



Welcome, New Members! 6th Sense World® Historic Ghost & Cemetery Tours

Kroger - Buckwalter

Carolina Transit

Nash Gallery

Coastal Signature Homes

Sprenger Health Care Systems Bluffton

Homespire Mortgage

ValuTeachers - Diana Cox

Happy Anniversary 30+ Years

15-19 Years

4-9 Years

1-3 Years

Beach House Resort Hilton Head Island

American Red Cross Palmetto SC Region

A-1 Pool Service

Ace Hardware of Hilton Head

Dunes Real Estate

Engineered Systems Fiesta Fresh Mexican Grill-North

Agape Hospice of the Lowcountry

Amateur Golf Tour

Island Getaway Rentals

Aiden Lane

Backwater Cat Adventure

Novit & Scarminach P.A.

20-29 Years Advanced Sail, Inc. Catamarans Broad Creek Marina Conduent State & Local Solutions, Inc. dba Xerox State & Local Solutions, Inc. Fraser & Allen, LLC Hilton Head Bicycle Company Hilton Head Dermatology & Skin Cancer Care Center

Grace Community Church

Court Atkins Group

Italian American Club Hilton Head

Erickson Associates

Michael Anthony’s

10-14 Years AGC Gutter Company All My Sons Moving & Storage Hilton Head Gullah Sweetgrass Basket Creations H & H Auto Body LLC H&R Block Island Time Charters

Hilton Head Humane Association

LowSea Bike Beach & Baby Rental, Inc.

Island Photography

Palmetto Dunes General Store at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort

Office Products Plus RMC Resort Management Sam’s Club

Sun City Hilton Head Community Association, Inc.

Santa Fe Cafe SCORE SDL Numismatic Properties, Inc. The Smokehouse Thomas & Hutton Engineering Co.


ADS Security

Energy One Harbour Town Yacht Club

Amazing Event Rentals

Berkeley Flowers and Gifts Billy Wood Appliance Bragg Media

Hilton Head Dental Team

Compass Hospice

Hilton Head Macula & Retina

D.R. Horton, Inc.

Howell-Chase Heating & Air Conditioning

FISH Seafood & Raw Bar

Joe Fragale

Martin Sweep, LLC

Law Offices of Sally A. Gardocki

Palmetto Hall Golf Club Arthur Hills Course

Lowcountry Paver

Palmetto Hall Golf Club Robert Cupp Course

Muse Gallery Palmetto Coastal Landscaping

Duck Donuts Leslie E. Flory

Skull Creek Dockside

Palmetto Dental Arts

The Bayshore on Hilton Head Island

Park Lane Hotel & Suites

Hickory Tavern

Simply Southern Homebuilder, LLC

Traveling Chic Boutique Hilton Head

Smith Stearns Tennis Academy

Two Men and A Truck

Spartina 449 The Bannon Law Group LLC Wexford Club

Questions with Vacasa’s Paul Zabel As the Lowcountry begins to welcome our summer visitors, home and villa rental companies are busy as their properties turn over each week. Paul Zabel, the new general manager for Resort Rentals of Hilton Head Island by Vacasa, answered some questions about the vacation rental home market and opportunities on Hilton Head Island. Chamber Business Monthly (CBM): How have online companies like VRBO, Airbnb, and HomeAway changed the landscape of the home vacation rental business? Paul Zabel (PZ): I’ve seen reservation sources change over my 25-year career. VRBO/HomeAway has peaked and now will be replaced as the top online channel by some other up-and-coming site. Originally VRBO gave such a good source of revenue that many owners self-managed their properties, which worked for a while. Things changed and owners found what it takes to deliver a high-level of service as well as to be compliant with local, state, and federal tax laws. I believe that we have come full circle with the changing of the industry landscape. CBM: What do vacation rental companies offer homeowners and guests that VRBO, Airbnb, HomeAway can’t? PZ: Local service! You can book on VRBO but that doesn’t compare to calling one of our local reservations agents who grew up here and know everything about everything. Also those sites don’t really “manage” property; they are just advertising sources. We perform the housekeeping, check-in, 24-hour support, concierge recommendations, and maintenance, to name a few differences.

PZ: The island has a healthy number of rental properties that present opportunities for many companies. A well run company has limitless opportunities here! CBM: Tell us a little about your background and what brought you to Hilton Head Island? PZ: I’ve spent most of my professional career in property management. After I sold my company I looked for another challenge. When I heard about the GM position here on Hilton Head with Vacasa, I knew instantly that this is where the next chapter of my life would be. CBM: You’ve worked all over the country. What sets us apart from other destinations? PZ: I was surprised by the property tax rate on the island for investment property until I had a chance to get around. Now I know where the money is spent because Hilton Head is highly manicured and developed tastefully. Not to mention the miles of bike trails, preserves, and other well thought out regulations to keep this Island the treasure that it is. Hilton Head Island consistently ranks high, if not number one, as one of the best islands in North America for tourism. To narrow my answer down though, I’d say that it’s the wildlife, flora and fauna, and building codes that sets this Island in its own category.

CBM: What do you think are the biggest opportunities for vacation rental companies in the Lowcountry?

Chamber Business Monthly . June 2019



Chamber Events Public Policy & Business Education Partnership Meeting 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 4 Chamber Boardroom 1 Chamber of Commerce Drive Hilton Head Island Dr. Herbert Berg, the interim superintendent for the Beaufort County School District, will address a joint Public Policy and Business Education Partnership Committee Meeting about the proposed November funding referendum.

Conversation and Cocktails 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, June 20 Wild Wing Cafe, Hilton Head Island Conversations build relationships and relationships build business. Join us for casual networking. Registration coming soon. $10/Member, $20/Future member.

Sales: A Guide For The Small Business Owner GETSmart Business Education Series Noon, Thursday, June 27

Leadership Class of 2019 Graduation 5 p.m. Cocktail Reception; 6 p.m. Graduation Ceremony Wednesday, June 5 Skull Creek Dockside Restaurant

Heart to Heart CYP + Arrhythmia Alliance Host Happy Hour

Chamber Boardroom (1 Chamber of Commerce Drive, Hilton Head Island) You have a great product or service ... now you have to sell it. This course will give you an overview of sales plans and other tools to get your product or service into your customer’s hands. The one-hour class includes an online module produced by the US Small Business Administration and a local expert. Email Hannah Horne to reserve a seat and training materials:

5:30 p.m. Friday, June 7 | Java Burrito

Join us and other young professionals for networking, a complimentary drink, chips and salsa. The first 40 people will receive a voucher for a free CPR class, courtesy of the Bluffton Fire Department. In honor of World Heart Rhythm Week, Arrhythmia Alliance will host a fun game to raise awareness about pulse checks, cardiac arrest, CPR and AEDS. The winning team will receive a round of drinks on us! Complimentary; registration required by clicking here. 26

Save the Date!

Thrive Lowcountry Women’s Conference is September 26-27 at the Hilton Head Marriott Resort & Spa.


Scene Be Seen

Your chamber celebrated the opening of Luna & Lilies, a home decor boutique, on Hilton Head Island’s Main Street.

From left, Chamber President & CEO Bill Miles, Hilton Head Regional Healthcare CEO Jeremy Clark, and Coastal Carolina Hospital CEO Joel Taylor at The Cove ribbon cutting.

Hilton Head Hospital celebrated the opening of The Cove, a geriatric behavioral unit, in April. The program offers individual short-term care for older adults experiencing emotional, behavioral or mental health issues.

Chamber Business Monthly . June 2019




Scene Be Seen

The Lodge celebrated its recent renovation with a ribbon cutting in April.


Beaufort Memorial celebrated the groundbreaking of its 70,000 square foot medical office building at Okatie Crossing in May.

Dream Boutique - a women’s clothing store - celebrated its opening in the Sea Turtle Marketplace in May.

A packed hour of members learned about the ways to get the most out of their Chamber investment at a Maximize Your Membership coffee. The next one is July 10.

Chamber Business Monthly . June 2019



The Connect Calendar is Here! Whether it is the latest big festival, a schedule of upcoming plays and concerts, or sporting events, the Connect Calendar will be the source for upcoming events around the Island. We’ll connect you with all the latest events in one easy-to-search calendar.


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June Chamber Business Monthly