Charleston Regional Business Journal - July 24, 2023

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Sponsored By Honor in the workplace More employers see the bottom-line benefits of putting veterans on the payroll. Page 12
Honoring All Who Served

Salute to Our Military Salute to Our Military

In 1939, the United States Army asked First Citizens Bank to open a branch at one of its bases. Of course we said yes. That made us the first bank in America to establish a facility on a U.S. military post.

Our relationship with the military community has grown stronger ever since. It’s been our privilege to serve the people who defend our country – and to include veterans among our associates. Today, First Citizens offers our military customers strength and stability they can count on, and exclusive products focused on the needs of active-duty military.

We look forward to continuing our service to all who serve, helping them look after their finances and their futures.

Learn more at First Citizens Bank. Forever First.

Member FDIC.

South Carolina Federal Credit Union is honored to serve those who serve us. Whether you are a military member, veteran, or military family member, it is our privilege to support you and your financial well-being.

We recognize and appreciate the tremendous sacrifices you and your families make every day to protect our country, our freedoms, and our loved ones.

Thank you for your unwavering commitment and courage, for which we are eternally grateful.

YOU to all military members, veterans, and military families who protect our nation and preserve our freedoms.
your courage,
Insured by NCUA
We admire
sacrifices, and commend

DownWine Time

Wine Spectator named 39 South Carolina restaurants in its 2023 restaurant awards, eight of them cited as Best of Award of Excellence, including Circa 1886, pictured here. (Photo/Provided by Circa 1886).

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Page 8 Charleston French Quarter gains global social club location will be in the former South End Brewery site. Page 6

Next-stage growth for SC businesses

Startups are the lifeblood of a thriving economy. Early stage companies demonstrate a commitment to innovation and shows the health of existing business and industry. Startups can be large LLCs or one person making stuff in a garage apartment and selling online.

The U.S. Census Bureau tracks the layers of business startup data by focusing primarily on tax filings across the country. Data can be found through companies filing for Federal Employer Identification Numbers, but there’s a subset of the EIN that indicates the next stage of growth for any company: Payroll.

This specific kind of filing happens when a company plans to start paying employees who aren’t the founders of a company. That equates to job growth and a significant stage for any company.

By looking at Census data for South Carolina, we tracked this next level of startups in the Palmetto State over five years. More than 360,000 companies filed for federal ID numbers between 2018 and 2022 in South Carolina, but during that time 41,036 businesses also filed with the IRS to start initial payments for wages.

We don’t know how many of those companies stayed in business or how many added a significant number of workers, but we do know that comparing 2018 to 2022, South Carolina had a 32% increase in the number of initial payroll filers. The first five months of 2023 also shows an 8.6% year-over-year increase for companies planning to hire workers.

When a business starts adding workers, it indicates an optimism and expectation of more business. Adding to the payroll also sparks many avenues for other businesses to serve those startups, including accounting, legal, human resources, and occasionally commercial office space. By Andy Owens.

5 years of next-stage startups in SC

SC companies planning for initial payroll

The following table show 12 months of seasonally adjusted and year-over year data for companies in South Carolina that filed documents indicating their intention to start paying wages to workers.

U.S. Census Bureau data showing five years of filings for businesses in South Carolina, including all filings for new tax identification numbers (red) and those filing with the IRS for businesses planning to start paying wages (blue).

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Business Formation Statistics by State

“Charleston County is the complete package offering quick access to major U.S. cities while being the kind of place where people want to settle and raise their families.”
— Harry M. Lightsey, Commerce Secretary, South Carolina Department of Commerce
Month Filings Year over year change June 704 -20.2% July 758 -13.6% August 754 -6.7% September 844 +5.8% October 815 +1.4% November 779 +1.0% December 734 -6.6% January 793 -3.4% February 808 +11.9% March 824 +0.5% April 796 +0.1% May 769 -0.5
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Business Applications; Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis 9,315 10,266 7,688 6,718 7,049 91,078 96,708 71,746 51,937 49,349 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 0 100,000

SC Biz News Briefs

Woodruff GSA Business Report

BMW breaks ground for $700M battery assembly plant in Woodruff

The BMW Group took a crucial step toward building electric vehicles as the company broke ground June 27 for a new high-voltage battery assembly plant in Woodruff — its second plant location in the Upstate.

BMW Plant Woodruff will produce sixth-generation batteries to supply fully electric BMW X Models at Plant Spartanburg.

In October, BMW Group Chairman Oliver Zipse announced a new $1.7 billion investment in its U.S. operations, including $1 billion to prepare Plant Spartanburg to produce fully electric vehicles, and $700 million to build the new Woodruff facility. The more than 1-million-square-foot Plant Woodruff will be located on 315 acres near the city center and will include a technology building and support buildings such as a cafeteria, fire department and energy center.

More than 300 jobs will be created onsite at Plant Woodruff with the opportunity for more growth.

“We are ready for the future,” said Woodruff Mayor Kenneth Gist. “BMW has been a great partner for the entire Upstate for decades. And now, we will be your partner as you carry this dream for this plant into the future.”

The BMW Group’s philosophy of promoting sustainability in all its facilities will also be exemplified at the Woodruff plant. This played a role in the building’s design and use of equipment, according to a news release. Some of the innovations include how the plant will be operated without fossil fuels and will use 100% green electricity. In addition, CO2 emissions per vehicle across the lifecycle will fall by 40% by 2030; smart LED lighting; significant reduction in water consumption at the plant, with the addition of harvesting and utilizing rainwater; and use of highly efficient “smart” motors from Turntide, a BMW iVentures partner, to reduce energy consumption by as much as 40% in HVAC systems.

“We’re making the BMW Group electric,” said Ilka Horstmeier, member of the board of management of BMW AG. “Our new battery assembly plant in Woodruff will soon play an important role in our electric future here in the USA. Through the Woodruff plant, we expand our footprint in the state of South Carolina. At the same time, we are taking our associates with us in this transformation.” CRBJ 5 July 24 - August 6, 2023 With publications in Charleston, Columbia and the Upstate, as well as a statewide magazine, SC Biz News covers the pulse of business across South Carolina. Above are excerpts from our other publications. Building a Strong Union Honoring Culture MAY/JUNE 2023 Carolina plays country’s supply  why it’s growing. County spotlight: Charleston buzzing Power List: Logistics industry leaders gets funding clean energy pivot
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The more than 1-million-square-foot Plant Woodruff will be located on 315 acres near the city center and will include a technology building and support buildings such as a cafeteria, fire department, and energy center. (Rendering/Provided)

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Charleston creatives will soon have a new place to eat, drink, relax, work and have fun when London-based Soho House comes to town.

Plans are in the works to bring the concept to the Wagener Building located at 161 E. Bay St. in Charleston’s historic French Quarter. The three-story Victorian, built in 1880 by F.W. Wagener & Co., first housed a wholesale grocery and retail store and more recently was home to the South End Brewery and Lagunitas Brewing.

Soho House Founder Nick Jones opened the first house at 40 Greek St. in London’s Soho section in 1995, above his restaurant Cafe Boheme, describing it as “accidental.”

“My landlord phoned and asked if I would take the floors above. Soho was full of creatives then and I just wanted people to go in, have fun and meet each other,” he said.

Today, the Soho House has grown to include more than 41 locations in 17 countries across the globe.

Charleston plans

Plans for the Charleston location will include a rooftop bar with skyline views, a restaurant and two floors of members-on-

ly space. According to a Soho House spokesperson, the Soho House Design Team will draw inspiration from Charleston’s rich history, southern charm, and creative spirit to develop a vibrant coastal locale to eat, drink and unwind, while honoring the building’s historic details.

Officials add that the Charleston opening date is on track for 2024 and further plans will be revealed as they come into focus. In the meantime, creatives are encouraged to apply for the “Cities without Houses” membership, which will give them access to all Soho House locations and local events hosted by Soho House.

A coveted membership

The Soho House touts a waiting list of 89,000 as of July 2023, an all-time high according to officials. Potential members are required to work in the creative field, fill out a lengthy application and agree to the membership price ranging from $1,225 to $2,500 depending on the type they choose: Every House, Cities without Houses, and Under 27.

A membership opens the doors to houses around the world which feature onsite restaurants, gyms, accommodations, spas, events and more.

Jon Morgan is a Washington, D.C., CEO of Venture Smarter, a consulting


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firm that specializes in helping startups and small businesses scale and grow. He calls the networking opportunities offered by the Soho House unparalleled.

“My membership allows me to meet like-minded individuals who share a passion for entrepreneurship and innovation. It fosters a vibrant atmosphere where ideas can be exchanged, collaborations can be formed and valuable relationships can be built,” he said. Morgan said that he also appreciates the well-appointed working spaces, inviting lounges and restaurants that he describes “top notch.”

Additional amenities, according to Morgan, are workshops, events and talks that are offered. “They cover a broad spectrum of topics, from art and design to technology and business and provide ample opportunities for learning and staying updated on industry trends,” he said.

Bogdan Marinescu is the founder of Digital Trails, a London-based marketing agency. Marinescu travels quite a bit, taking advantage of his membership by accessing workspaces across the globe. “It feels like a home away from home whenever I’m there and I can go to the gym in the morning, work throughout the day, do some post-work networking, head to the cinema and have a spa session — it’s all in there,” he said. CRBJ


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Plans for the Soho House Charleston location will include a rooftop bar with skyline views, a restaurant and two floors of members-only space. (Rendering/Provided)

A4,400-acre estate along the Tulifiny River in Yemassee, with a circa 1930 home and a pedigree going back to the 18th century, is for sale for nearly $40 million.

For the last 30 years, Gregorie Neck in Yemassee has been a private recreational retreat under the stewardship of philanthropists Bob and Alyce Jepson of Savannah, according to a news release from Charles G. Lane, broker-in-charge of Charleston-based Holcombe, Fair & Lane.

“The owners see this as a good time in life to offer the property up for sale,” Lane said in the news release. “They are offering it with furniture, décor, equipment, livestock, etc. — basically everything besides personal items and family heirlooms. It has been well-managed and is truly a once-in-a-lifetime offering.”

With eight miles of waterfront and marsh front, extensive old growth forest, fishing ponds and impoundments, a deepwater dock on the Tulifiny, “impeccable gardens and grounds, and a circa 1930 stately brick mansion with sweeping river vistas,” Gregorie Neck is essentially a turnkey offering, Lane said.

The release said the peninsula of Gregorie Neck has long been a valuable and strategic landmark with deepwater access at the confluence of the Coosawhatchie and Tulifiny rivers that provided early settlers with unpar-

alleled ease of navigation. Situated some 20 miles inland of the Atlantic, Gregorie Neck also afforded protection from pirates and storms.

Gregorie Neck got its name from Alexander Gregorie who purchased the plantation from a Mrs. DeVeaux in 1798, the release said.

The houses built under Gregorie’s ownership were all burned — part of the campaign by General W.T. Sherman during the Civil War. During that time, Gregorie Neck gained new strategic importance due to its proximity to the Charleston-Savannah Railroad. Disrupting this vital Confederate supply line was the

Union objective that launched the Battle of Tulifiny, the release stated.

In 1927, New York financier Bayard Dominick bought Gregorie Neck from the Garbades, a local Jasper County family. Dominick subsequently hired Henry Garbade to supervise the plantation and architect Willis Irvin to design the house, constantly improving the property and adding to its acreage.

The renovated six-bedroom main house stands on a high bluff of old growth live oaks. It boasts a grand entrance portico on the landward side and a spacious sunroom spanning the river side. Each bedroom and gathering space is oriented to the water and prevailing breeze. Across the Tulifiny, the view of wooded shoreline is safeguarded by a conservation easement.

Downriver within sight of the main house, the current owners have built a game house — complete with full kitchen, gun room and library. Its great room features a vaulted ceiling handcrafted from giant beams. At the center rises a towering stone fireplace, open on both sides, creating a dramatic venue for riverside entertaining. Upriver are two caretaker houses, just beyond the serpentine garden walls. More recent improvements include an eight-stable horse barn attached to 15 acres of three-board fenced pasture.

Gregorie Neck lies among the wild waterways of two nationally recognized conservation jewels: the ACE (Ashepoo-Combahee-Edisto) Basin, and SOLO (Southern Lowcountry) Basin, comprising some 500,000 acres of preserved lands. CRBJ 7 July 24 - August 6, 2023
estate hits market at $39.5M
The main house was built around 1930 to replace the original, burned in the Civil War. (Photo/Provided)
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The house was designed so that each bedroom would have views of the river. (Photo/Provided)

South Carolina restaurants honored with Wine Spectator’s 2023 Restaurant Awards

Wine Spectator’s 2023 Restaurant Awards honors restaurants scattered across South Carolina, including multiple locations of Halls Chophouse and three restaurants that carry the Rick Erwin name.

Thirty-nine South Carolina restaurants received Award of Excellence honors and nine of them were awarded the honor of Best of Award of Excellence.

The awards are intended to honor the world’s best restaurants for wine. This year’s awards program recognizes 3,505 dining destinations from all 50 U.S. states and more than 70 countries internationally.

Bistro 90 in Longs; Charlie’s Coastal Bistro, formerly L’Etoile Verte, in Hilton Head; Circa 1886, Peninsula Grill and Zero Restaurant + Bar in Charleston; Rick Erwin’s West End Grille and Soby’s in Greenville; River House in Bluffton; and SeaBlue Restaurant & Wine Bar in North Myrtle Beach were recognized for Best of Award of Excellence honors.

“In a time of technological innovation, restaurants offer the human experience diners are hungry for — listening to their customers and offering personalized experience,” Marvin R. Shanken, editor and publisher of Wine Spectator, said in a news release. “This annual issue celebrates the places where wine is at the top of that conversation. I’m pleased to congratulate

all 3,505 restaurants for their dedication to wine and wine-loving diners.”

South Carolina restaurants recognized on the 2023 list are:

Lowcountry Circa 1886 at Wentworth Mansion, 149 Wentworth St., Charleston; Peninsula Grill, Planters Inn Hotel, 112 N. Market St., Charleston; Halls Chophouse, 434 King St., Charleston; Zero Restaurant + Bar, 0 George St., Charleston; Perrone’s Restaurant and Bar, 13302 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island; Savi Cucina + Wine Bar, 1324 Theater Drive, Mount Pleasant; Sommba Cocina & Cellar, 1710 Shoremeade Road, Mount Pleasant; Wild Common at Can-

non Green, 103 Spring St., Charleston; Charlie’s Coastal Bistro-L’Etoile Verte, 8 New Orleans Road, Hilton Head; Michael Anthony’s Cucina Italiana, 37 New Orleans Road, Hilton Head; Links An American Grill, Sea Pines, 11 Lighthouse Lane, Hilton Head; Magnolias, 185 E. Bay St., Charleston; and River House at Montage Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton.


Di Vino Rosso, 807 Gervais St.; Halls Chophouse, 1221 Main St.; and Hampton Street Vineyard, 1207 Hampton St.


Rick Erwin’s West End Grille, 648 S.

Main St., Greenville; Halls Chophouse, 550 S. Main St., Greenville; Larkin’s, 32 E. Broad St., Greenville; Camp Modern American Eatery, 2 E. Broad St., Greenville; Soby’s, 207 S. Main St., Greenville; Patterson Kitchen + Bar, Hotel Hartness, 120 Halston Ave., Greenville; Rick Erwin’s Clemson, 127 Market St., Clemson; Rick Erwin’s Eastside, 8595 Pelham Road, Greenville; Rick Erwin’s Level 10, AC Hotel, 225 W. Main St., Spartanburg; The Lazy Goat, 170 Riverplace Drive, Greenville; The Peddler Steak House, 149 W. Main St., Spartanburg; and Vangeli’s, 119 Ram Cat Alley, Seneca.

Myrtle Beach area

Bistro 90, 7209 S.C. Highway 90, Longs; Greg Norman Australian Grille, 4930 U.S. Highway 17 South in North Myrtle Beach; SeaBlue Restaurant & Wine Bar, 501 Highway 17 North in North Myrtle Beach; Chianti South, 2109 Highway 17 in Little River, Aspen Grille, 5101 N. King’s Highway in Myrtle Beach; Ciao Italian Restaurant, 5223 N. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach; The Brentwood Wine Bistro, 4269 Luck Ave., Little River; and The Parson’s Table, 4305 McCorsley Ave., Little River.

Others honored in the Palmetto State were The Corkscrew Wine Bar, 1365 Broadcloth St., Fort Mill; The Restaurant at the Willcox, 100 Colleton Ave. S.W., Aiken; and Victors, Hotel Florence, 126 W. Evans St., Florence. CRBJ

Delaware company moving HQ to Mount Pleasant

Heirloom Cloud Corp., a digital technology service provider, will relocate its headquarters to Charleston County, the company said today in a Commerce Department news release. The company’s $150,000 investment will create 19 new jobs.

Founded by two veterans while working for the U.S. government in Washington, D.C., Heirloom uses cloud computing to digitally transform outdated media content, according to the news release. Through a private cloud network, photos and videos become accessible, making old memories sharable like new ones. The company plans to add iPhone and Android applications soon, so subscribers can consolidate content onto one platform.

When looking to move its headquarters from Delaware, the owners researched multiple regions within a two-day ground delivery to large population centers on the Eastern Seaboard before choosing Charleston County, the release stated.

“We’ve already digitized millions of

photos, home movies and other priceless memories,” Heirloom Cloud Corp. founder Geoff Weber said in the release. “However, Heirloom can grow faster by moving our headquarters to South Carolina. From a larger fulfillment center here, we get to serve many more families who ship us their cherished media for conversion.”

Heirloom will lease two offices at the Harbor Entrepreneur Center at 11 Ewall St.

in Mount Pleasant.

“It is an honor that after researching multiple East Coast locations, Heirloom chose Mount Pleasant as the location for its new headquarters,” Commerce Secretary Harry M. Lightsey III said in the release. “Charleston County is the complete package offering quick access to major U.S. cities while being the kind of place where people want to settle and raise their fami-

lies. Congratulations Heirloom, and we are anxious to see what is next.”

The Mount Pleasant headquarters location will be the company’s hub for receiving nationwide shipments and serving walk-in customers. Heirloom will continue using an existing facility in Berkeley County for backend operations.

“We are thrilled to welcome Heirloom’s headquarters to Charleston County’s thriving technological ecosystem,” Charleston County Council Chairman Herbert Ravenel Sass III said in the release. “With Heirloom’s presence, our community’s innovative spirit will be further invigorated, fostering collaborations, and driving technological advancements.”

Operations are already online and the company is hiring.

“We are excited to see Heirloom’s investment and creation of jobs in our community,” Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie said in the release. “Part of the reason the town invested so heavily in the Harbor Entrepreneur Center is because we know we’re a great home for startups and tech firms. We look forward to their growth over the coming years.” CRBJ

8 July 24 - August 6, 2023
The wine selection at Circa 1886 secured the restaurant’s on the Wine Spectator list. (Photo/Circa 1886) Heirloom takes media from outdated media and makes it accessible and secure in the cloud. (Photo/File)

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$625 million mass transit system gains momentum

South Carolina’s first mass transit system is expected to come online in 2029 with construction beginning in 2026.

It will comprise 22 miles of a mostly dedicated median lane for modern, electric buses to move passengers between the Exchange Park in Ladson, North Charleston and onto the Charleston peninsula ending at the Line/Hagood station near the medical district, with the majority of the route avoiding car traffic completely and getting first priority at traffic lights. It will be among the longest rapid transportation systems in the nation.

The roughly $625 million project has had a number of funding announcements, the most recent in the spring when a $100 million funding recommendation for the Lowcountry Rapid Transit was included in President Joe Biden’s 2024 fiscal year budget to Congress.

LCRT officials say the $100 million will be used to acquire 19 battery electric buses for the route as well as invest in system technologies, like transit signal priority for the buses. The to-be-built twenty covered stations for passengers will be equipped with Wi-Fi and there will also be Wi-Fi on the buses. The buses will run every ten minutes most of the day for fast and efficient transportation throughout the area.

Through the Federal Transit Authority Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program, the maximum Federal contribution to LCRT is set at approximately $375 million, or 60% of the current project cost. The local project funding match is com-

mitted from the Charleston County halfcent sales tax.

In 2016, Charleston County voters approved a Transportation Sales Tax Referendum that included $180 million for LCRT construction and an additional $70 million for operations.

The rapid transit project was the brainchild of the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments as a way to tackle some of the area’s largest concerns in workforce transportation and affordable housing.

Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments is partnering with the South Carolina Department of Transportation to lead the engineering and construction for LCRT with Charleston County as its local funding partner. LCRT will be operated by the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA), which already runs public

buses in the area.

“Inclusion in the President’s budget to the tune of $100 million is a significant show of support and confidence in this project at the Federal level. The BCDCOG team and partners have been extremely thorough in positioning LCRT for success and will continue to deftly move it forward through completion,” said Mike Seekings, CARTA board chair.

Construction is set to last for three years due to the scope of the work: adding bright red dedicated bus lanes to the medians along University Boulevard and Rivers Avenue; adding new traffic signals and overall road improvements; constructing 20 stations, including some with park-and-ride options that will include parking lots.

There will be a pedestrian bridge built at Hackerman Avenue downtown for safe disembarking of the passengers and

connecting the station to the surrounding neighborhoods; improving sidewalks and bike paths; and a major intersection improvement along Calhoun Street in the hospital corridor that would include a signal that stops traffic in all directions for pedestrians and bicyclists to have rightof-way.

“It is a 22+ mile corridor, so phasing details, utility coordination and construction schedule will be refined over the next year as engineering progresses,” states Daniel Brock, BCDCOG regional strategist.

“Phase II of our Transit Oriented Development study is underway over the next year and will be looking at station areas and needed infrastructure improvements to bike and pedestrian access, affordable housing and other strategies to support communities around the stations.”

LCRT leaders had spoken previously about how the stations could spur nearby development with businesses catering to the passengers who will be waiting at the stops and those who will dropped there as their final destination.

“Business support for this project has been phenomenal,” Brock said. “Private sector leaders understand the opportunities here related to workforce movement and attainable housing. LCRT will help address a number of the region’s most pressing needs, and the support from the business community is important to the system’s ultimate success. It’s a proud moment for regional collaboration.”

CARTA leaders are looking to review its current routes and how to best connect the rapid transit routes with local routes for seamless transportation options. A survey about CARTA route improvements is online now. CRBJ

Technology company to establish manufacturing operations in Charleston County

AVirginia-based Fortune 500 science and technology company will invest $31.7 million to establish new operations in Charleston County.

Leidos, headquarted in Reston, Va., will open a manufacturing center for its Security Enterprise Solutions (SES) operation, according to a news release. The operation is expected to create up to 170 new jobs.

Leidos will lease a new 150,000-squarefoot facility located in the Ladson Industrial Park in North Charelston, the release said.

The center will manufacture security systems for screening checked baggage, cargo and passengers. This new facility will enable the company to bring more manufacturing in-house and give it greater control of its operations, officials said.

“We are thrilled to announce our new

manufacturing facility in South Carolina,” said Jim Moos, president of Leidos Civil Group, in the release. “This expansion represents an exciting milestone for

Leidos as we embark on a new chapter in our commitment to deliver cutting-edge security systems. By establishing this facility, we aim not only to provide

top-tier solutions but also to contribute to the local community by creating job opportunities.”

Leidos’ SES offers a suite of fully automated and integrated solutions for aviation, shipping ports, border crossing and critical infrastructure customers worldwide. The company’s comprehensive security detection portfolio has more than 30,000 products.

Operations are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2024.

“Leidos coming to the Charleston region brings tremendous opportunities for economic prosperity with its Fortune 500 expertise, global footprint and vision for innovative solutions in the defense industry,” said Mike Fuller, board chairman for the Charleston Regional Development Alliance and president and CEO of Berkeley Electric Cooperative.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits related to this project. CRBJ

10 July 24 - August 6, 2023
The rapid transit project is the brainchild of the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments as a way to tackle some of the area’s largest concerns in workforce transportation and affordable housing. (Rendering/Provided) Leidos will manufacture security systems for screening checked baggage, cargo and passengers. Photo/Stock

Leatherman Terminal receives national engineering award

South Carolina Ports’ Leatherman Terminal was recently recognized as one of the top engineering projects in the country.

The American Council of Engineering Companies recognizes Leatherman Terminal as a 2023 Grand Award Winner and as a finalist for the 2023 Grand Conceptor Award, which signifies the year’s best overall engineering achievement, according to a news release.

“The SC Ports’ engineering team is proud to receive this prestigious recognition,” said Walter Lagarenne, SC Ports’ vice president of engineering and facilities, in the release. “Hundreds of people from engineering discipline worked together on the site every day to build this container terminal. It was the best project coordination I’ve seen in my nearly 40-year career.”

The state-of-the-art Leatherman Terminal opened in April 2021, marking the first new greenfield container terminal to open in the U.S. since 2009.

The SC Ports’ engineering team worked with many contractors on the project, including HDR Inc., Banks Construction Co., Samet Corp., Camp Romain/McLean

A. Joint Venture and Cape Romain Contractors Inc. The $1 billion project was completed on time and under budget, according to the release.

“The complexities of building a container terminal require great teamwork and persistence over many years” said Butch Weber, SC Ports’ general manager of project management and construction. “SC

Give the gift of awareness.

Ports is proud to add a world-class port terminal to the East Coast port market.”

Situated along the Cooper River in North Charleston, Leatherman Terminal has 169-foot-tall ship-to-shore cranes.

Phase One of the Terminal can handle 700,000 TEUs of cargo and a 20,000 TEU vessel. At full buildout, the terminal will have three berths capable of handling 2.4 million TEUs of cargo. CRBJ

Our Giving magazine is a special opportunity to support philanthropy in the Lowcountry. The articles tell the heartwarming story of the community’s generosity. The winners of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Lowcountry Chapter Philanthropy Awards are also featured, with bonus distribution at their National Philanthropy Day luncheon.

Your advertising dollars enable the Business Journal to donate advertising space to Lowcountry charitable organizations in a section called “Nonprofit Spotlights.” Show your support of your favorite nonprofit in Giving, the magazine of philanthropy!

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South Carolina Ports’ Leatherman Terminal recently was recognized as one of the country’s top engineering projects by the American Council of Engineering Companies. (Photo/Walter Lagarenne)
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Agencies work to match veterans to civilian jobs

The military has a huge presence in South Carolina, which is home to eight different military installations. Consequently, the state also is home to a large number of veterans — more than 397,649 across 46 counties, according to 2022 estimates from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The largest population of veterans is in Richland County, with 36,792 veterans in residence. Charleston County has the second highest population at 35,141, while Greenville County is third with 30,014.

One of the biggest challenges for those who work with veteran populations in the state is helping those men and women find employment after they either retire from the military or transition out of service after their enlistments are complete.

Officials from both the South Carolina Department of Veterans Affairs and the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce have a number of programs in place to help those who have served their country to find success in the workforce — and hopefully do so while remaining in the state.

One of the biggest goals — and challenges — is helping veterans find work that will bring them the same type of satisfaction they experienced while in the military.

“What I see with veterans — and I can speak to this because I’m also one of those veterans — is the biggest challenge is finding something that is just as rewarding as military service and gives them both the responsibility they want and the compensation they need,” said Al Taylor, senior operations coordinator for the South Carolina Department of Veterans Affairs. “Our goal is to help them find what we call both suitable and sustainable employment.”

Taylor, who retired from the U.S. Army after 22 years of service, works on a daily basis to form a network of employers across the state who are looking to hire veterans. He talks with employers about the benefits of hiring veterans and also communicates regularly with veterans to find out what kind of employment needs they have — “whether they are looking for just a job or seeking employment and a career to sustain yourself and your family,” he said.

Taylor hosts monthly employment and workforce development meetings with members from the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce and the South Carolina Department of Labor to discuss workforce development for veterans. Each week, he also posts what he calls the “Elite Eight” on the SCDVA’s website, highlighting two companies from each region in the state who are actively seeking to hire veterans.

He said DVA also runs Transition Centers around the state that offer assistance to service members and their families as they transition out of military service into civilian life.

Employers such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, South Carolina Beer Wholesalers, BMW, Goodwill Industries, and Palmetto Armory are among those that have been most responsive in hiring veterans, Taylor said.

A number of industries lend themselves to the skills veterans bring to the workforce from military service. Taylor said manufacturing, mechanics, aerospace, distribution and logistics and information technology jobs all lend themselves to what the veteran jobseeker has to offer. Many property management companies also actively seek out veterans, he said.

“A lot of our employers are already vet-

eran friendly, and we want to try to make them even more so,” Taylor said.

A big part of veteran workforce development is letting prospective employers know the benefits of hiring veterans.

“Hiring veterans can be a great asset for any business,” said Marlin Bodison, veteran services director for the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce. “Not only do veterans bring a wealth of skills and experience to the table, but they also bring a strong work ethic, discipline and leadership abilities.”

Many veterans also have experience in multiple fields, not just what they specialized in while in service. During a stint in the military, many service members work across several sectors and pick up skills along the way.

He offers his own experience in the military as an example.

“During my time in the military I was an armor officer, and I also did battalion maintenance, operations, ship loading and railroad loading,” Bodison said. “Many veterans possess multiple skills and the good thing about them is they are also quick learners.”

The Department of Employment and Workforce has a number of programs available to help veterans transition into the workforce system, he said.

12 July 24 - August 6, 2023
A service member speaks to a prospective employer during a workforce event organized by the South Carolina Department of Veterans Affairs. (Photo/Provided) Veterans attend statewide events organized by the South Department of Veterans Affairs to connect with prospective employers who can help them find work after retirement or transitioning out of the military.

Staff members from DEW participate in transition assistance briefings at each of the state’s military installations monthly. Through DEW’s SC Works system, veterans can get assistance with resume writing, career planning, job development and, if eligible, classroom or on the job training. Many of the SC Works programs for veterans are available both on-site and in hybrid formats so people from across the state can access programs without having to travel long distances.

“If I’m a veteran in Myrtle Beach, I can access a statewide resume workshop through an online platform,” he said.

The department also partners with federal and state entities such as the state’s Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Veterans Administration Health Care System and the Veterans Administration Vocational Readiness and Employment program. He said DEW also partners with a number of community based organizations around the state to help address other needs for veterans unrelated to employment.

Bodison said one of the biggest challeng-

es for veterans is helping veterans translate their military skills to what he calls “civilian language.” That means helping veterans figure out what fields their military occupational skill, or MOS, has best prepared them for.

Through DEW’s SC Works Online Services program, veterans can access a special portal that allows them to enter their branch of service, rank and their MOS.

“Once they enter that information, the system then searches for a job opening that fits with the skill they performed in the military,” Bodison said. That inter-

change between military and civilian jobs is referred to in the department as a “military occupational crosswalk.”

Bodison noted that hiring veterans brings additional benefits to businesses along with those strong employee character traits. Business owners that hire certain groups, including veterans, can be eligible for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.

Through all of their programs, both the Department of Veterans Affairs and DEW have a core mission —getting as many veterans as possible to stay in South Carolina for work after service. CRBJ 13 July 24 - August 6, 2023
VETERANS WORKS, from Page 12 Veterans receive insight and assistance with various businesses in the community (Photos/Provided)

In Focus

LISTS: Startups, Pages 18-19

Startups in life sciences get perks, discounts from industry association

The life sciences industry is growing in South Carolina and excitement is brewing over how the next new idea or cutting-edge research could impact millions of people’s health and turn a major profit.

South Carolina is increasing its number of life sciences businesses two times faster than other Southern states, including Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee, according to James Chappell, CEO of SCbio, a non-profit industry association that promotes the life science industry in the state.

“We’re growing 1.8 times faster than North Carolina — a state which everybody looks at as a kind of hub for life sciences,” Chappell said.

Under Chappell’s leadership, this year SCbio began offering life science startups perks that support the industry and help entrepreneurs with cost savings.

SCbio’s membership program, SCbio Edge, partners with BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina to give life science startups the option to hop onto a large health association health insurance plan, even if the company has only

one or two employees.

“On average, it’s about almost a 20% discount and it also gives them access to better plans,” said Chappell. “That’s huge for our companies. And now they can put that capital toward hiring more employees, research and development and everything else.”

Another perk for South Carolina life science startups is a purchasing discount from Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., a major supplier of lab materials and scientific supplies, powders, reagents and more.

Chappell said SCbio partners with MassBio, a similar industry association that supports the life science industry in Massachusetts, to offer SC companies the same Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. discount.

“It’s significant because we’re leveraging the buying power of that Massachusetts market. MassBio is one of Thermo Fisher’s largest customers in the world. Now South Carolina companies who sign up with us are getting that same buying power,” Chappell said. “It’s the most beneficial to an early-stage company who has no leverage and no buying power because they’re small.”

On average, companies get a dis-

count around 40% lower than making the purchase on their own, Chappell said.

The close working relationship between MassBio and SCbio also means a larger networking pool; Chappell said two life sciences companies that started following research at the Medical University of South Carolina were able to present their work at a recent MassBio conference which had a lot of investors in attendance.

“To get the research and development and headquarters here, the easiest way and the best way to do that is to grow these companies that have started in South Carolina. The Medical University is doing great research. We need to figure out how to help get that two-tothree- person team into that next big life science company that is publicly traded or acquired and grow to hundreds of employees,” said Chappell. “Part of our job is to make sure that the three-person company out of MUSC becomes the next 200-person, 500-person company. These programs we are offering is about us asking, ‘how do we add more value to our companies?’”

Chappell points to Charleston-based Vikor Scientific as a successful home-

grown life science company. The molecular diagnostics company has grown significantly, now taking over two floors after beginning from one humble office.

“They’re invested in Charleston and their leadership team is in Charleston. We need more of that. That’s how we’ll get the decision makers and the research in South Carolina — growing our homegrown companies,” Chappell said. “If you look at Austin (Texas), Dell computer started there and kickstarted a lot of their software revolution. And Vertex pharmaceuticals in Cambridge … Cambridge now has 18 of the biggest pharmaceutical companies.”

Chappell said the Medical University of South Carolina and Clemson University are both major assets in the state and offer endless potential in life sciences. The association is constantly looking at how to better support the industry and even looking at offering a business accelerator for early-stage life science companies.

“I think we’re just at the beginning,” Chappell said. “My vision is when people are talking about where life science hubs are, where real research is happening, South Carolina can be in that conversation.” CRBJ

South Carolina is increasing its number of life sciences businesses two times faster than other Southern states, including Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee, according to SCbio. Photo/Stock

South Carolina farms get funding for agribusiness innovation

Agoat dairy, an artisanal jam company, a produce-and-flower farm, and an organic vegetable grower are among the South Carolina businesses awarded new funding through the South Carolina Department of Agriculture’s Agribusiness Center for Research and Entrepreneurship, also known as ACRE.

Twelve entrepreneurs will share $185,000 in funding for their innovative agribusiness ventures. The finalists pitched to a panel of judges earlier in June and were scored based on their business plans, a five-minute video presentation and their demonstrated history of business success, according to a news release.

The diverse group of awardees encompass animal agriculture, specialty food producers, produce farms, and new and established farmers.

The honorees are:

Split Creek Farm, a goat farm and cheesemaker in Anderson which is modernizing its milk bottling to better meet customer demand.

Sakhar Jams, a Columbia company that makes artisanal jams using certified South Carolina fruit and Indian flavors and will leverage the grant for warehouse and kitchen space.

Paxville-based Grateville Acres in Clar-

endon County, a diversified farm supplying produce and flowers in a food desert which plans to add a multi-use wash/pack building.

Bio Way Farm in Ware Shoals, which has been growing organic produce since 2004 and plans to build a new packing shed and commercial kitchen to reduce produce waste and support its continued expansion.

Gullah Man Oyster Co. on St. Helena Island in Beaufort County, which is working to transition from wild harvest to farmed oysters.

Old Tyme Bean Co. in Calhoun Coun-

ty, planning to expand its shelling capacity to process more butterbeans, field peas and other local legumes.

Purebred Compost, located in the Aiken County town of Warrenville, which creates compost for area farms using waste from horse farms and green debris from landscapers. They aim to buy a compost mixer and bag filler to scale up operations.

Momma B’s Farm, a regenerative farm on 20 acres in Edgefield County, will market its teas and produce boxes and branch out into honey production.

Joyful Souls Heirloom Nursery, a seedling farm based in Columbia, aims

to expand its garden education mission through new teaching tools.

Altman Farm and Mill, based in Florence, plans to adopt more efficient packaging and scale up production with new equipment.

Fifth generation farmer Marvin Ross and his brother Jada Ross raise heritage pigs using woodlot practices at Peculiar Pig Farm in Dorchester. They plan to open a butcher shop with freezer storage to achieve more meat processing efficiency.

Set in Stone Sustainability Farm of Jenkinsville in Fairfield County will build new facilities to develop its agricultural education mission.

“These finalists were selected from a larger pool of applicants, and it wasn’t an easy choice – we had an outstanding bunch of entrepreneurs,” said ACRE Executive Director Kyle Player. “ACRE continues to attract and nurture some of our state’s top talent in agribusiness.”

The South Carolina Department of Agriculture founded ACRE in 2018 to help identify and nurture new ideas and businesses in the state’s agribusiness sector, according to the release.

ACRE also partners with Clemson Extension to offer a curriculum program each fall to train and mentor beginning agricultural entrepreneurs and prepare them to seek advanced award funding. More information about the program can be found online. CRBJ 15 July 24 - August 6, 2023
Entrepreneurs will share $185,000 for innovations in South Carolina agribusiness. (Photo/Provided)

LIFE AND BREATH: Chapin-based startup offers remote monitoring for lung disease patients

Amanda Clark became a respiratory therapist after being impacted from personal loss due to chronic lung diseases including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, also known as COPD.

Years of work in the field gave Clark perspective on the needs of both patients and their health care providers, so she decided to start a business tailored to fulfilling those needs. The Chapin-based therapist turned entrepreneur has started three companies in recent years dedicated to helping people with chronic lung disease.

Her most recent startup PulManage, is a technology company that offers remote monitoring for patients with chronic lung disease, with a particular focus on COPD.

Clark told SC Biz News the idea for PulManage developed over her 20 years as a respiratory therapist, working with populations from pediatrics to adults.

“In asthma clinic, we would have some patients who produced normal test results but would blow through an entire albuterol inhaler (a common rescue medication used for asthma flares) in less than a month, and I remember trying to understand what was happening,” Clark said. “The need to monitor respiratory patients outside the office came out of frustrations and unknowns in my own practice.”

PulManage offers a mobile app that enables patients to monitor their symptoms and lung function measured through a Bluetooth spirometry device and transmits their real-time data to the medical team through a secure web-based portal

to monitor their condition remotely.

The PulManage platform allows patients to report three types of information to their doctors from home. First, it keeps track of spirometry data. Basically, spirometry is a pulmonary function test that measures lung function and breathing patterns. In a session, patients also report vital signs including their temperature and respiratory rate in conjunction with symptoms they experience such as cough, shortness of breath and fatigue.

Remote monitoring is something that’s been available for years for some heart patients and those with other conditions like diabetes but is a new concept for those that suffer from COPD and other chronic lung diseases, Clark said.

Providing quick access to a patient’s respiratory symptom information serves a number of purposes: it not only gives a health care provider real-time perspective on how the patient is progressing, but also could offer new perspectives on medication effectiveness and provide opportunity for timely intervention.

“We’re pretty niche,” Clark said. “Respiratory care is different than any other specialty because diagnostic testing and medication delivery are dependent on patient effort. Medication is only going to deposit as deep in the lungs as a patient inhale with proper technique. Patients with more advanced lung disease require use of daily controller inhalers. However, many of them lack the inspiratory capacity to have the medication properly deposited in the airway. Likewise, diagnostic testing requires proper technique and coaching to generate accurate results. PulManage helps patients master this technique for effective remote

surveillance which can be informative to the medical team making medication delivery selections.”

Patients being onboarded to the platform have the option to be seen at their doctor’s office or via a virtual meeting with a respiratory therapist.

In 2017, prior to dreaming up the idea for PulManage, Clark joined the University of South Carolina’s Technology Incubator in Columbia in 2017. This local resource provided a means for her to collaborate with talent that ultimately led to the development of the PulManage concept.

Since then, the company has become a supported member of SC Launch Inc., the investment vehicle of South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA). They have received several nondilutive grants including a $50,000 acceleration grant in 2021 and the company was named one of its Success Stories in 2022. Clark was featured as one of the keynote speakers at the Authority’s annual statewide summit in Columbia in April 2023.

PulManage’s technology is ever advancing, Clark said.

“Right now, we’re onboarding patients in South Carolina and Florida,” she said. “We are also in the throes of fundraising and plan to close this round soon. Funds raised from the round will be used to expand the platform and bring additional value to the medical community. Our impressive team has more than 60 years combined in pulmonary medicine, more than 50 years in tech development and more than 30 years in business development. Technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, so our work is evolving.”

Clark expects research and fine-tuning

on the platform to go on for several more years, and looks forward to the day that her company moves the needle regarding the diagnosis and management of chronic lung diseases. Sadly, for many effected patients, diagnosis often comes after disease has advanced and the social stigmas are undeniable, Clark said. Surprisingly, COPD disproportionately affects women and roughly 25% of COPD patients have never been smokers. Additionally, 15% of people with the disease have a genetic component that makes them more susceptible.

The goal for PulManage, she said, is to help people with the disease manage their symptoms in a way that allows them to lead better, longer and fuller lives.

At-home monitoring, for instance, might help health care providers identify patterns that cause a worsening of symptoms, such as exposure to certain allergens, environmental toxins or even changes in temperature that can sometimes impact lung function.

“Currently, only 30% of COPD cases in the country have been confirmed with spirometry – the gold standard,” Clark said. “So, my team and I are interested in removing barriers for patients to receive appropriate care. Spirometry is often perceived as complicated, and it is not something every medical provider offers often due to lack of understanding or resources such as equipment or staffing. Utilizing technology like PulManage creates the potential to look at numbers and symptoms to determine if someone has a chronic lung disease much earlier. By understanding changes in symptoms, hopefully we can teach patients to recognize patterns early on and take a proactive approach to avoid exacerbations, ultimately preserving lung function.” CRBJ

16 July 24 - August 6, 2023
Patients being treated for the chronic lung disease COPD could benefit from remote monitoring like that offered by Columbia startup PulManage.

ENTREPRENEUR’S JOURNEY: CoffeeCandy hits Greenville store shelves

Don Li’s eyes widen and dance when he talks about most of the possibilities.

Those possibilities include getting his invention into the next convenience store — or better, convenience store chain. His are the eyes of someone who dares to dream. And the eagerness shows when he brings the conversation back around to his ultimate goal for CoffeeCandy: to get his Greenville-made product on Starbucks shelves around the world.

The possibility of failure has no such effect on his countenance.

The eyes of the first-time entrepreneur show no concern whatsoever when Li is asked if he was nervous about leaving behind a solid career in software engineering for the uncertainty of creating a startup from a new product.

Li shrugs his shoulders to emphasize that he’s not worried and says, “I trust that people will enjoy the product.”

Li, who reminds us that Starbucks was once a startup, too, believes the path there is simple: create awareness, let people taste it, make them customers.

When SC Biz News first checked in on Li’s entrepreneurial journey, he had a product, a package and a website, www.eatcoffeenet. He was selling product directly to a few customers in person and online, but he

awaited South Carolina Agriculture Department approval to make wholesale sales that would put CoffeeCandy on store shelves.

Agriculture Department approval now in hand, Li’s salesman shoes have been as busy as his dancing eyes.

CoffeeCandy is available now in seven retail locations in the Greenville area — six

convenience stores and a supermarket.

At the Asia Pacific Super Market, they made a small sign to let shoppers know the product is locally made. A pouch of CoffeeCandy includes three pieces, which is equal in caffeine to one cup of coffee, and retails at Asia Pacific Super Market for $2.88 and for the same or similar price at the other


“It’s a start,” Li said, still with his dreaming eyes on the decision makers at Starbucks and ready for the challenges success may bring.

“When they’re ready to roll out CoffeeCandy, we will need to automate,” he says simply, inviting the challenge. CRBJ 17 July 24 - August 6, 2023
LaLa Accounting Software Support Lauren La Mantia 843.576.9966 FIND THE MISSING PIECES WHEN YOU SUBSCRIBE Get all the pieces when you subscribe! You deserve the full story - in the easy to read digital or print editions - plus all the perks of being a subscriber INSIDE Upfront Architecture, Engineering Architecture Bonus Properties Work Viewpoint Spirits of the Silver Screen Bottling company buys Coastal Pure Beverages. Boeing boosted by private purchasers Efficiency Dreamliners for Page Work begins on materials complex Clemson launches building for materials. Page New way to tour historic Yorktown Bulldog Tours develops app museum. Page North Charleston Business Expo Charleston than 150 exhibitors hundreds of attendees. CHARLESTONBUSINESS.COM $2.25 COMING FULL CIRCLE complete revamp Park Circle playground in North Charleston part of $20 million overhaul of the area finally has an anticipated opening date. Page
Asia Pacific Super Market attempts to give CoffeeCandy a boost with extra signage that tells shoppers that it’s a locally manufactured product. (Photo/Ross Norton)

SBA Loans

Ranked by SBA-a pproved loan amounts

Because of space constraints, sometimes only the top-ranked companies are published in the print edition. For a full list of participating organizations, visit Email additions or corrections

Email additions or corrections to Loans from the the SBA FY 2023 (from Oct. 1, 2022) are considered for this list. Because of space constraints, only the top-ranked companies are published in the print edition. Information for the list was obtained from the U.S. Small Business Administration, individual borrowers and lenders, and other Business Journal research. Email additions, corrections or requests to be approved for future lists to

18 July 24 - August 6, 2023
Company name Location SBA-approved loan amounts # SBA loans SBA loan type SBA participating lender Ser vices provided Age of business, SBA designation Supreme Ready Mix 1888 Beekman St. Daniel Island, S.C. 29492 $1,988,000 1 7A Celtic Bank Corp. General freight trucking, local New Business or 2 years or less Dumpster Pros LLC 155 Royle Road Ladson, S.C. 29456 $1,094,500 2 7A Synovus Bank Commercial and industrial machiner y and equipment rental Existing or more than 2 years old First Choice Trans Inc. 6650 Jet Part Road Charleston, S.C. 29406 $1,020,000 1 7A Millennium Bank General freight trucking, long distance, truckload Existing or more than 2 years old DT Of Summer ville LLC 619 Myers Road Summer ville, S.C. 29486 $1,000,000 1 7A Regions Bank Pet Care, excluding veterinar y ser vices New Business or 2 years or less Innerbloom Healing Art 1730 Central Park Road Charleston, S.C. 29412 $815,800 1 7A SouthState Bank, NA Outpatient mental health and substance abuse centers Startup, Loan Funds will Open Business Drive Auto Sales & Ser vice 4898 Rivers Ave. North Charleston, S.C. 29406 $798,000 1 7A Newtek Small Business Finance, Inc. Used car dealers Existing or more than 2 years old James Island Shipping LLC 520 Folly Road Charleston, S.C. 29412 $749,100 1 7A TD Bank, NA Private mail centers New Business or 2 years or less Latitude XXVI Inc. 608F Long Point Road Mount Pleasant, S.C. 29464 $648,800 2 7A Pinnacle Bank Limited-ser vice restaurants Startup, Loan Funds will Open Business SMS Tech Solutions LLC 275 Beresford Creek St. Daniel Island, S.C. 29492 $554,900 1 7A Citizens Bank Technology Solutions Existing or more than 2 years old Wolfpack 318 LLC 123 S. Main St. Summer ville, S.C. 29483 $550,000 1 7A Pacific Premier Bank Change of Ownership Kingfish Holdings LLC 946 Orleans Road Charleston, S.C. 29407 $440,000 1 7A First-Citizens Bank & Trust Co. Existing or more than 2 years old Fringe Accounting Co. 1125 Bowman Road, Ste. 529C Mount Pleasant, S.C. 29464 $418,000 2 7A Live Oak Banking Co. Offices of certified public accountants Existing or more than 2 years old, Change of Ownership Inspiration Stations LLC 2594 Ashley River Road Charleston, S.C. 29414 $350,000 1 504 First National Bank Of South Carolina Traveler accommodation Startup, Loan Funds will Open Business The Wild Pet Nutrition Markets 1175 Folly Road, Ste. D Charleston, S.C. 29412 $350,000 1 7A HomeTrust Bank New Business or 2 years or less Bioalloy LLC 3400 Turgot Lane Mt. Pleasant, S.C. 29466 $327,000 2 7A The Huntington National Bank Fitness and recreational sports centers Startup, Loan Funds will Open Business Coastal Coatings And Lining Inc. 509 Linden Circle Charleston, S.C. 29407 $314,000 2 7A The Huntington National Bank Specialty trade contractors Startup, Loan Funds will Open Business Aspire Audio Video Solutions 420 Brandam Lanen, #103 Charleston, S.C. 29492 $255,000 1 7A Cadence Bank Professional, scientific, and technical ser vices Existing or more than 2 years old Gymnastics Academy Of Charleston 2029 Wamba Creek Charleston, S.C. 29492 $250,000 1 7A SouthState Bank, NA Sports and recreation instruction Existing or more than 2 years old Hyland Construction & Design 1150 Hungr y Neck Blvd. Mount Pleasant, S.C. 29464 $250,000 1 7A SouthState Bank, NA Other ser vices to buildings and dwellings Existing or more than 2 years old Amped Fitness LLC 837 Stiles Drive Charleston, S.C. 29412 $200,000 1 7A Cadence Bank Personal care ser vices Existing or more than 2 years old Rebecca Atwood Designs LLC 1640 Meeting Street Road, Ste. 3 North Charleston, S.C. 29405 $150,000 1 7A JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA Specialized design ser vices Existing or more than 2 years old Ambalal LLC 8600 Dorchester Road North Charleston, S.C. 29420 $150,000 1 7A Newtek Small Business Finance, Inc. Existing or more than 2 years old Beachables LLC 1941 Clements Ferr y Road, Unit D Charleston, S.C. 29492 $150,000 1 7A BayFirst National Bank All other miscellaneous store retailers excluding tobacco stores Existing or more than 2 years old W. D. Robinson Electric Company 1725 N Main St. Summer ville, S.C. 29486 $150,000 1 7A BayFirst National Bank Electrical contractors Existing or more than 2 years old Brahma Engineering LLC 2652 Bonds Ave. 203 & 204 North Charleston, S.C. 29405 $150,000 1 7A Bank of America, NA Engineering ser vices Existing or more than 2 years old Bok Choy Boy LLC 5201 Preser ve Blvd. Ladson, S.C. 29456 $85,000 1 7A Newtek Small Business Finance, Inc. Limited-ser vice restaurants New Business or 2 years or less Lowcounty Tree Source LLC 1831 Grovehurst Drive Charleston, S.C. 29414 $81,500 1 7A Celtic Bank Corp. Landscaping ser vices Existing or more than 2 years old Jenkins Financial And Consultant 105 Cascade Court Goose Creek, S.C. 29445 $51,000 1 7A BayFirst National Bank Activities related to real estate Existing or more than 2 years old Philip E. Melchers D.M.D LLC 1309 Warrick Lane Mount Pleasant, S.C. 29464 $50,000 1 7A Wells Fargo Bank, NA Offices of dentists New Business or 2 years or less Menopause Solutions LLC 1355 Founders Way Mount Pleasant, S.C. 29464 $50,000 1 7A Wells Fargo Bank, NA Offices of physicians New Business or 2 years or less

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Business Digest At Work

Marshall selected to chair SC Launch Inc.

Staff Report

Andrea H. Marshall has been elected chairperson of SC Launch Inc., the investment affiliate of the South Carolina Research Authority and she will also serve on the board of trustees of the South Carolina Research Authority. She replaces longtime SC Launch Inc. chairperson Peter Dunphy.

Marshall previously served as the Launch board’s vicechair, and under Dunphy and Marshall’s shared leadership, the board of directors reached several successful milestones. SC Launch Inc. invests in eligible SCRA Member and SC Launch Inc. Portfolio companies that accelerate innovation

United Community Bank opens new branch in downtown Charleston

United Community Bank added its first downtown branch inside the Charleston Tech Center. The branch features an interactive teller machine and offers extended hours. This is United’s fifth location in the Charleston metro area.

Instead of a drive-through, the new Charleston Tech branch houses an ITM that offers customers enhanced technology while enabling them to speak with a live banker. Customers can make many of the same transactions as they would inside a branch, including deposits, withdrawals, and transfers. The ITM extends branch hours until 6 p.m. on weekdays and until noon on Saturdays. The bank also has locations in Summerville, West Ashley, and Mount Pleasant.

Senior care agency opens

The Berkeley Chamber of Commerce marked the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for Care for Life, a local senior care agency, earlier this spring. Since 1995, Care for Life has provided home care services from senior care and placement to care management services.

Mauldin & Jenkins named top firm by Accounting Today

For the 29th year in a row, accounting and advisory firm Mauldin & Jenkins has been named one of Accounting Today’s Top 100 Firms for 2023. Coming in at number 73, the firm, with an office in Charleston, jumped four spots over last

and create higher-paying jobs in the state.

She joined the board of directors in 2008 as an appointee of the MUSC Foundation for Research Development and served until 2016. She re-joined the board as an at-large appointee in 2017 and was elected board vice-chair in 2019.

“I am very pleased and excited to continue this work under Andrea Marshall’s leadership,” said Matt Bell, executive director of SC Launch Inc. “She has significant experience with the SC Launch program and the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. I believe she will have a tremendous impact in both areas through this position.”

Marshall is the vice president, general counsel, and administrative officer for MedTrust Holdings Inc. This fast-growing company offers non-emergency medical transportation for healthcare providers in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Before moving to South Carolina in 2004,

year’s ranking. In addition to a top 100 ranking, Mauldin & Jenkins was one of 12 Georgia firms to also be named one of Accounting Today’s Regional Leaders for 2023.

The Southeast had the highest average firm growth rate for the year, increasing 8% over last year. Multiple geographic and strategic service line acquisitions as well as increased efficiency brought by new technologies are among the contributing factors that managing partner Hanson Borders credits for the firm’s growth in the past year.

she practiced law in New York City with Holland & Knight LLP, one of the nation’s largest firms. Since arriving in South Carolina, she has served as leader of an angel investment fund and worked in senior executive roles for companies developing emerging technologies. Marshall also served as the founding innovation director of the Roper St. Francis Research and Innovation Center in Charleston.

She holds a law degree from The University of Texas School of Law and her bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University.

Established in 2006, SC Launch Inc. is the investment affiliate of the South Carolina Research Authority. The independent, nonprofit corporation provides convertible loans and investment funding to qualifying SCRA Member Companies. The returns on this funding provide additional coaching and grants to next-generation technology startups.

ment to sustainability. Rosebank Farms is located at the community’s entrance.

Formerly known as Mullet Hall, Kiawah River has maintained 100 acres of working farmland. Kiawah River Farm prioritizes support of the local agricultural community, including neighboring family farmers, The Goatery at Kiawah River, Three Gates Cattle, Storey Farms’ free-range chicken coop, and actively maintained beehives.

Limehouse has farmed 30 acres at Kiawah River for the past five years, growing tomatoes, sweet potatoes, watermelons, and flowers among other crops for Rosebank Farms.

Operating for more than 30 years, Rosebank Farms’ 75-acre farm produces more than 50 crops.

Tissue is taking to improve employee engagement. Site plant manager Brian Solheim orchestrated the interactive visit.

Solheim narrated an hour-long tour through the entire tissue-making process, which begins with the creation of a pulp/fiber concoction. Two primary raw materials feed this process: virgin pulp and recycled fiber material. Cascades Tissue customers require various levels of recycled composition for their tissue.

The Barnwell plant is capable of producing anywhere from zero to 100% recycled blends. Currently, 83% of its products are manufactured from recycled material. The virgin pulp material is created and delivered from paper mills.

The recycled fiber material is sourced from local distributors and consists of various combinations of paper, food containers, paper plates, and office waste.

ATD SC receives excellence award

The Association for Talent Development presented its ATD Excellence in Strategic Partnerships Chapter Excellence Award to ATD South Carolina. The award recognizes the South Carolina chapter for demonstrating the best effort among chapters in 2022 in making a significant impact in the community.

In 2022, ATD South Carolina worked with Clemson University to support the leadership, career development, and professional development needs of students, practitioners, and academicians for Clemson’s master of human resources development program. Program participants are encouraged to become ATD South Carolina members, thereby ensuring valuable access to resources for improving workplace learning and performance.

Shoe Show buys Half-Moon Outfitters

Shoe Show has expanded its portfolio of brands by acquiring retailer HalfMoon Outfitters.

The acquisition marks a significant expansion into the outdoor apparel and equipment market and strengthens Shoe Show’s position as a one-stop destination for footwear, fashion, and gear.

Rosebank Farms moves produce stand to Kiawah River

Rosebank Farms, a Johns Island staple and purveyor of fresh produce, seafood and honey owned by Charleston natives Sidi Limehouse and Louise Bennett, has moved its farm stand to Kiawah River. The partnership brings the farm stand to the land on which Limehouse grew up and Kiawah River is now located; there it continues to provide local food options and to expand Kiawah River’s commit-

Cascades Tissue hosted the OpExChange for a plant visit

Representatives of 22 manufacturing companies from across the state joined a three-hour Cascades Tissue tour to learn not only how tissue is manufactured but also to discover the steps that Cascades

The strategic partnership allows for growth in a way that is consistent with the existing Half-Moon Outfitters culture and preserves its existing brand and model. Half-Moon Outfitters continues to maintain operations out of its Charleston headquarters under executive vice president Richard “Beezer” Molten.

Find Great People opens new office

Find Great People has expanded to the South Carolina Coast with a new location on Daniel Island. The firm, which also has offices in Greenville and Columbia, is a Forbes nationally recognized talent acquisition and human resources consulting firm that works in 46 states across 26 industries. CRBJ

Marshall Rosebank Farms’ new home is on the Kiawah River. (Photo/Provided) The group learns about the process of tissue making during the visit. (Photo/Provided)

People in the News


The Charleston Parks Conservancy Board of Directors has named Darlene Heater as its executive director and chief executive officer. Most recently, Heater was managing director of partner relations and a member of the executive committee for Panorama Holdings, in Charlotte.

Heater brings more than three decades of experience in leadership positions in both the public and private sectors. She served as the executive director of University City Partners and was the vice president of neighborhood development and sustainability at Charlotte Center City Partners.

She worked on transformational projects such as the Charlotte 2020 Vision Plan, which served as the blueprint for development for the uptown area of Charlotte, and Envision Charlotte, a sustainability initiative. She also served as the director of strategic partnerships for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.


Mary Caneer and Kris Liperote are now with The Beach Company — Caneer as vice president, treasurer and controller, and Liperote as development administrator.

Caneer is a certified public accountant with 25 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry. In her new role, she oversees accounting, reporting and treasury for all Beach Company entities. Previously, Caneer held senior management positions within the accounting and finance divisions of three publicly traded real estate investment trusts, a family office/developer, a single-family rental portfolio, and an institutional real estate fund manager. She began her career with Ernst & Young in Atlanta, serving clients in the real estate and hospitality industries. Caneer earned her bachelor’s and master’s in accounting from Wake Forest University.

Liperote is responsible for supporting the development staff, processing vendor invoices related to current and future projects, and processing and submitting expenses. Previously, she served as office administrator and assisted with client relations at Spectrum Court Reporting and Legal Video.

Jason Hewett has joined Jon Kohler and Associates as a sales associate. For 28 years, Hewitt has worked on and managed farms and plantations in Georgia

and South Carolina. After a career in the plantation management business, Hewett decided to switch gears to help landowners achieve their land ownership objectives. He has been involved in the local plantation and conservation communities for more than 20 years.

In his spare time, Hewitt volunteers with organizations that promote conservation, education, and the outdoor lifestyle. From 2014 until 2021, he led the South Carolina Plantation Manager’s Association and in 2019 led the South Carolina Prescribed Fire Council. He also has served on advisory boards for Clemson’s JCK Waterfowl and Wetlands Conservation Center, the SC Bobwhite Initiative, SC Tall Timbers Steering Committee, and Horry Georgetown Technical College’s Wildlife and Forestry Program. He has volunteered for and hosted multiple National Deer Alliance events, lectured for the Clemson Wildlife Department, hosted the SC Handler’s Trial for nearly a decade, and helped form the Carolina Celebration Open Shooting Dog Classic.

After spending much of his career in health care administration, Dutch Mutchler has joined Adams Property Group as its newest property manager. In his current position, Mutchler oversees vendors and services at Adams’ managed properties. He attended West Virginia Wesleyan College, where he earned a degree in business management and a master’s in business administration.


Travis Basnett is now managing director for Hussey Gay Bell’s Columbia office. Basnett joined the firm in 2022 as senior site/civil engineer with more than 12 years of experience in the design of infrastructure projects. Projects of note include Saxe Gotha Industrial Park infrastructure improvements, Fairfield Commerce Center off-site infrastructure improvements, Lexington County Amazon fulfillment center, and the Lexington County Home Depot distribution center.

As managing director, Basnett has executive duties in addition to civil engineering work. He has a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from the University of South Carolina and is a professional engineer registered in South Carolina, North Carolina and Arkansas.

Nautilus Home Management has added Renee Hardie and Anthony Man-

tegna to its team. Hardie brings a background in small business management. She is contributing to the team’s ability to provide home maintenance solutions and helping to expand concierge offerings. Mantegna, brings more than 20 years of experience in construction across multiple fields, including in warehouse and property management for multiple commercial buildings.


Meg McCaleb has joined Red Iron Architects, a certified woman-owned design firm, as an intern through the undergraduate architecture program at Clemson University. A rising senior with work history in architecture and design, she is applying this knowledge to support Red Iron Architects’ projects and efforts throughout the summer.


within its financial division: Michael Beam as chief operating officer and chief financial officer, Elizabeth Bunn as chief investment officer, and Maggie Prohs as vice president of operations.

Beam has served as CFO of Palmetto Citizens since 1986. During his nearly 37 years with the credit union, Beam has also overseen a wide variety of areas within the credit union.

Bunn joins Palmetto Citizens with more than 30 years of experience in financial services. Previously, she served as treasurer at a South Carolina community bank and as treasurer at a large national bank. At Palmetto Citizens, Bunn manages the investment portfolio of the credit union and oversees asset liability management.

Prohs served in several capacities over her 20 years with Palmetto Citizens, beginning as a member service supervisor. In 2015, she took on the role of operations manager. In her new role, Prohs oversees such areas as fraud, card services, account compliance, remote deposits, and ATM operations.

Dorchester School District Two has promoted two administrators. Rhonda Grice and Wramie Spafford. Grice is now director of business development; she had been procurement officer. Spafford is now director of the adult education program; she had been adult education administrator.

Grice has worked in the district for 28 years. Her previous roles include finance specialist and Certified Personnel Specialist. Grice began working with the district as an on-the-job-training student while in high school. She worked in the finance office during her senior year. When a contracted position became available in personnel, she became part of the district team. Grice is a graduate of Summerville High School.

Spafford has 20 years of experience, including middle school English teacher and a Read 180 teacher, instructional technology specialist, and assistant principal at Gregg Middle School. Spafford earned her bachelor’s in English from the University of South Carolina and her master’s in administration from The Citadel.


Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union has made three appointments

Marci Williams has become First Reliance Bank’s vice president account executive/residential lending specialist, working out of the Mount Pleasant branch. In this position, she assists customers with mortgage financing needs and identifies partner opportunities throughout the Southeast and also is responsible for sales in retail and the correspondent/wholesale partner channels.

Williams has more than 19 years of mortgage lending experience, mostly spent serving lenders and homebuyers throughout the Southeast as a vice president for a large mortgage insurance company. She is a graduate of the College of Charleston, where she earned a degree in corporate communications and played Division I soccer. Williams earned the Accredited Mortgage Professional certification from the National Mortgage Bankers Association and serves on the board of the Mortgage Lenders Association of Charleston.


Gretchen Clarke has joined Knowledge Capital Group as a project coordinator. In this role, Clarke assists with an array of external engagements while helping to facilitate internal firm oper- 21 July 24 - August 6, 2023
Heater Hewett Mutchler McCaleb Grice Spafford Williams
See PEOPLE, Page 22
Basnett Clarke

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ations. Clarke, who holds a Bachelor of Science in health systems management with a minor in journalism the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, is completing a Master of Health Administration at the Medical University of South Carolina. In addition, she holds Yellow Belt certification from the Lean Six Sigma Group and the Certified Associate of Project Management designation from the Project Management Institute. Her previous roles in health care and consulting include internships in ambulatory operations and strategic health solutions.


Fairfield County’s Economic Development office, where he secured a total investment of $88.4 million and the creation of more than 700 jobs in the county.

Hodges holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising from the University of South Carolina, a business cognate from USC’s Darla Moore School of Business, and an economic development certificate from Georgia Institute of Technology.

Cyberwoven’s first marketing director is Shayla Merritt, who joins the company from SSOE Group (formerly Stevens & Wilkinson). Prior to her time at SSOE, Merritt worked for Experience SC (formerly the Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports & Tourism) in the in-house marketing and communications department and at the Georgia Aquarium.

For advertising information, contact Ryan Downing at

Avery Ashley and Nick Escobar have joined Brandon’s client services team.

Ashley, a junior project manager and account coordinator, maintains budgets, acts as liaison between internal teams, manages project scope, and communicates with clients. In her previous role, she worked on marketing teams for clients such as Lenovo, LG, and Verizon. A Clemson University graduate, Ashley holds a bachelor’s in communication with a minor in brand communication and a concentration in business administration.

Escobar, Brandon’s newest account manager, focuses on building and maintaining working relations with clients through managing budgets, billing, approving all internal client work, and leading the strategic planning of programs and projects. He has six years of agency experience covering such areas as social media, creative, sales, and marketing strategy. A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Escobar holds a bachelor’s in organizational communication in business with a minor in digital media and design.

Cyberwoven’s new business development manager is Sam Hodges . He is responsible for overseeing the pursuit and development of new business and sales opportunities for the firm. Hodges previously served as the chief of staff for Avid Pursuit, where he was involved in the planning and operationalizing of business initiatives and strategic projects. Prior to joining Avid Pursuit, Hodges served as a project manager in

Merritt brings more than 15 years of creative marketing and communications experience. She earned her bachelor of science in public affairs from the Maxwell School of Public Affairs and her bachelor of arts in mathematics and education from the College of Arts & Sciences at Syracuse University. She earned her master’s in integrated mass communication with a focus on public relations, visual communications, and marketing at the University of South Carolina.

In the community, Merritt has served on a number of boards and committees, including AIA South Carolina’s communications committee, the Mental Illness Recover Center board of directors, Columbia Museum of Art’s Contemporaries (advisory board member and board vice president), Columbia Chamber’s Leadership Columbia advisory board (2021-2022 board chair), University of South Carolina’s Black alumni council (current board chair), City Center Partnership’s (Main Street District) marketing committee, the ULI South Carolina advisory board, and The Talented Tenth SC advisory board.

Cyberwoven has brought in Jon Rivers as its new digital marketing director. Rivers oversees a team that specializes in social media marketing, search-engine optimization, e-mail marketing, advertising, automation, and demand generation. A graduate of the College of Charleston’s corporate and organizational communication program, Rivers has more than 10 years of experience in digital marketing in agency, startup and corporate settings. CRBJ

22 July 24 - August 6, 2023
PEOPLE, from Page 21 Ashley Escobar Hodges Merritt Rivers

Follow the money — the supply remains ample

We believe that the primary cause of the run-up in inflation in 2020 and 2021 was excessive growth in the money supply. The Fed initially believed that the inflation surge was caused by temporary factors such as the dramatic increase in energy prices and supply shortages that materialized following the surprisingly robust, extremely rapid, economic rebound that occurred once the recession ended.

Given that it believed that the run-up in inflation was temporary, the Fed did not tighten until two years after the inflation rate had begun to climb. But then the money supply began to decline in April 2022 and has fallen every single month since then. Now many economists are suggesting that the recent contraction in the money supply means that the Fed is not providing enough liquidity to allow the economy to keep growing and, as a result, a deep recession is in store at some point down the road.

We do not buy it. We suggest that the recent declines in the money supply are simply eliminating some of the excess liquidity created by its initial surge in growth in 2020 and 2021. Indeed, there is still some surplus liquidity in the economy which will provide continuing support for consumer and business spending in the months ahead and prevent the

core inflation rate from declining rapidly.

In our view, the proper policy prescription is to allow the money supply to continue shrinking through the end of this year.

The money supply is nothing more than a measure of liquidity in the U.S. economy. Add up the cash that all of us have in our wallets, the amount in our checking accounts, savings accounts and money market funds, and we end up with the M-2 measure of the money supply. It typically grows roughly in line with nominal GDP. In the past 20 years it has grown on average about 6.0% per year — until 2020.

When the economy shut down in March and April 2020 the Fed quickly bought $2.5 trillion of U.S. Treasury securities to prevent the economy from entering an even deeper recession. As a result, M-2 in March, April and May 2020 grew at annualized rates of 41%, 76% and 60%, respectively.

The level of the money supply soared far beyond its historic 6.0% path. The economy was awash in surplus liquidity. But the problem got worse. Following the three-month surge in growth, M-2 kept climbing at a double-digit pace for another 11 months, eclipsing its historic 6.0% growth path.

By December 2021 the economy had a staggering $4.0 trillion of surplus liquidity. Money supply growth flattened out for several months and then began to decline every month from August 2022 through April of this year.

Given that M-2 should have been

growing at about a 6.0% pace, the protracted period of steady declines has caused many economists to conclude that the Fed is starving the economy by not providing it with sufficient liquidity. As a result, they fear that the economy is going to fall into a deep recession, most likely in 2024. We do not buy into that scenario.

In our view, it is the level of the money supply that is important. Suppose your liquid assets, your own personal money supply, was $100 in February 2020 — just prior to the recession. If it grew at the same rate as the aggregated M-2 measure of money, it would have reached a peak of $140 in March 2022 before shrinking to its current level of $134. If, alternatively, it had grown at its historic rate of 6.0% throughout that entire time period your personal money supply today would be $121. Do you feel like you do not have enough cash in the bank and money in your savings accounts and money funds to keep spending at a moderate pace? No! In fact, you still have about 10% more liquidity than you need, which will allow you to spend at a moderate rate from now through the end of the year.

Rather than look at the money supply on an individual basis we turn to the M-2 measure of money which is a measure of liquidity for the economy as a whole. The picture looks identical. Money growth surged, continued to grow rapidly, and then began to decline. It is currently $1.7 trillion in excess of where it would be had it grown at its historical rate of 6.0% for the past three years.

The economy is not being starved

of money. Rather, surplus liquidity remains, which will allow consumers and businesses to keep spending at a moderate rate for some time to come. How long that time might be depends upon what the Fed allows the money supply to do in the months ahead. If money continues to decline, that surplus liquidity will be eliminated by the end of this year. Once that happens spending should slow and the core inflation rate might begin a more rapid descent.

In remarks made this past week, Fed Chair Powell indicated that he did not expect the core inflation rate to return to its 2.0% target until 2025. It certainly does not sound like he believes the economy is being starved of liquidity.

From 1980 until 2003, when he retired, Stephen Slifer served as chief U.S. economist for Lehman Brothers in New York City, directing the firm’s U.S. economics group along with being responsible for forecasts and analysis of the U.S. economy. He has written two books on using economic indicators to forecast financial moves and previously served as a senior economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C. Slifer can be reached at CRBJ

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