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Here are 5 money tips for your college-aged child

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When his daughter was looking at colleges, Dan Prebish, director of Life Event Services at Wells Fargo Advisors, approached things a little differently than many parents. 

He raised the issue of college finances while on college tours, asking tour guides questions such as, “How much do you budget for meals outside of the dorm?” and “Where is the nearest ATM?” 

Prebish found that sprinkling in financial questions provided an opportunity to get his daughter thinking about more than just the school’s curriculum, sporting events and Greek life. 

Dinner conversations about schools she was applying to often featured discussions of scholarships. It was a strategy designed to help sensitize his daughter, Lydia, now 19 and a college freshman, to managing money.

Tracy Green, Tax and Financial Planning specialist at Wells Fargo Advisors, said money management is the most important lesson you can teach your children, because “they’ll need that in their college years and beyond.” 

Green, along with Prebish and his wife, Anne, share some tips for parents to help prepare their children for the challenges that lie ahead when they’re living independently as college students.

Tip 1: Discuss tuition and responsibility: Green said that before even applying to college, parents need to talk with their child about what type of school is within the parents’ budget and what portion, if any, the child will be responsible for covering. 

“Everyone needs to know up front what they’re going to be responsible for by the spring or summer before college,” she said. 

Lydia Prebish, for example, pays for her own entertainment expenses, such as movies or meals at a restaurant with friends. She saved money from a summer job and also works on campus. 

“I think it’s always valuable for kids to have work skills, whether you need the money or not,” said Prebish. 

The independent source of income helps provide students a sense of satisfaction and self worth, he adds. Because Lydia works two four-hour shifts a week, it’s manageable for her. But Prebish said working, especially during the first semester as a student adjusts to college, may not be ideal for every student. Those who want to participate in many extracurricular activities or have a demanding curriculum may find it more difficult.

Tip 2: Focus on budget fundamentals: Anne Prebish said your children should learn the core concept of money, that is, understand how much money they have and know not to spend more than that. 

“We have to be careful not to assume our kids know these things,” she said. Both she and her husband say it makes sense for kids to have a job the summer before college so they can accumulate savings. But managing that money during the course of a six-month semester can be a challenge. 

They suggest sitting down with your child and dividing the total amount of money available by the months at school to determine a monthly budget. 

“The first semester is about learning and keeping track of how you’re spending your money,” Anne Prebish said. 

Tip 3: Think about debit and credit cards: The Prebishes and Green agree that a debit card is a key way to help students manage money. Dan Prebish said it’s an easy way to pay for items such as books, while Green adds it has oversight value — parents can limit spending on the card to the checking account balance. 

She also suggests that parents get their child a secured credit card, where the parent fronts the cash deposit but the child is financially responsible for making on-time payments, as this is a way of helping the child establish a credit history without giving him or her free rein over a traditional credit card.

Tip 4: Don’t forget their health: Dan Prebish recommends verifying in advance what your insurance covers while your children are at college, specifically whether they’ll be covered for visits to a clinic on campus or whether the school requires that you purchase their health insurance. 

Make sure to schedule routine medical or dental appointments during summer or school breaks so that they don’t go by the wayside. 

And he said, it’s essential for a child to have his or her own durable power of attorney authorizing a parent to make financial or legal decisions if the child is incapacitated. A durable power of attorney for healthcare is also recommended, since professionals aren’t authorized to share medical information with parents without explicit permission if the child is 18 or over.

He suggests scanning those documents onto the child’s phone and keeping a copy for yourself, so the documents are readily accessible. Green adds that doctor’s phone numbers and medical and insurance information should also be kept on the child’s phone.

Tip 5: Empower your children to ask for help: One suggestion Anne Prebish considers critical is to send the message to your college-aged children that just because they are adults living on their own, asking for a parent’s advice isn’t a sign of weakness. 

“Part of being an adult is realizing other people are there to help you,” she said. And parents shouldn’t think they’re hovering if they assist. 

“We have consistently been there giving our daughter our 2 cents and also letting her make choices,” Anne Prebish said. 

Those discussions on college survival skills have helped their daughter transition well to her new environment. 

“She was prepared for anything we could prepare her for,” she added.

This article was written by/for Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Whitney McDaniel, CFP, financial advisor in Beaufort at 843-524-1114. Any third-party posts, reviews or comments associated with this listing are not endorsed by Wells Fargo Advisors and do not necessarily represent the views of Whitney McDaniel or Wells Fargo Advisors and have not been reviewed by the firm for completeness or accuracy.

Business briefs for July 20th-26th

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red piano

Photo above: American Legion Beaufort Post 9 is striving to promote both patriotism and businesses in the Beaufort area by calling attention to those that proudly display the U.S. flag at their location. Post 9 presents those enterprises with a framed certificate thanking them. Here, Post 9 commander Chuck Lurey thanks Mary Mack of Red Piano Too Art Gallery for displaying our nation’s flag.

Walmart on Robert Smalls Parkway celebrated its recent renovations with a ribbon cutting ceremony on June 30. Walmart recently made the following renovations to their store: electronics of the future, updated produce and bakery, new gluten-free category in grocery, new registers on the front checkouts, new seasonal and celebrations center and new state-of-the-art tools in hardware. Photo provided.
Walmart on Robert Smalls Parkway celebrated its recent renovations with a ribbon cutting ceremony on June 30. Walmart recently made the following renovations to their store: electronics of the future, updated produce and bakery, new gluten-free category in grocery, new registers on the front checkouts, new seasonal and celebrations center and new state-of-the-art tools in hardware. Photo provided.
Covert Aire celebrated their 10th anniversary with a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 7. The staff of Covert Aire launched a July Random Acts of Kindness campaign throughout the Lowcountry. They commemorated their 10th anniversary by showing appreciation to the community at large who has helped build the company into what it is today. Mike Covert as well as other staff members plan to perform 10 random acts of kindness in the month of July, one for each year of business.
Covert Aire celebrated their 10th anniversary with a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 7. The staff of Covert Aire launched a July Random Acts of Kindness campaign throughout the Lowcountry. They commemorated their 10th anniversary by showing appreciation to the community at large who has helped build the company into what it is today. Mike Covert as well as other staff members plan to perform 10 random acts of kindness in the month of July, one for each year of business.
Outback Steakhouse celebrated its recent exterior renovations with a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 5. Photo provided.
Outback Steakhouse celebrated its recent exterior renovations with a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 5. Photo provided.

Businesses being warned about scams

The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) has partnered with the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) to warn businesses about fake email requests.

These requests often come from individuals posing as the company’s CEO or other executive and can result in the loss of vast amounts of money and sensitive personal identifying information. Through the joint effort, approximately 43,000 South Carolina businesses were provided tips on how to guard their company from falling victim to the CEO imposter scams.

“We are thankful to DEW for partnering with us to bring this valuable information to the businesses,” said SCDCA Administrator Carri Grube Lybarker. “By implementing the simple tips in the alert, businesses can better protect their assets, including personal information of customers.”

Anyone can view the scam alert in its entirety by visiting www.consumer.sc.gov. For more information on other types of business scams, visit SCDCA’s Spotlight. To report a scam, call 844-835-5322 or visit SCDCA’s website and click Report a Scam.

The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs aims to protect consumers from inequities in the marketplace through advocacy, complaint mediation, enforcement and education. To file a complaint or get information on consumer issues, visitwww.consumer.sc.gov or call toll-free, 800-922-1594.

Low inventory to blame for malaise

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By Janet Gresham

There has been a general slowdown in home sales across the country, and this cannot be blamed on negative economic news. Unemployment remains low and wage growth, though nothing to overly celebrate, has held steady or increased for several years in a row. 

There is strong demand for home buying, emphasized by higher prices and multiple offers on homes for sale in many submarkets. As has been the case for month after month – and now year after year – low inventory is the primary culprit in Beaufort County for any sales malaise rather than lack of offers.

New Listings were down 6.0 percent to 250. 

Pending Sales increased 6.2 percent to 240. 

Inventory grew 0.8 percent to 1,005 units.

Prices were still soft as Median Sales Price was down 1.0 percent to $196,000. 

Days on Market decreased 25.9 percent to 80 days. 

Months Supply of Inventory was up 1.8 percent to 5.6 months, indicating that supply increased relative to demand.

With job creation increasing and mortgage rates remaining low, the pull toward homeownership is expected to continue. Yet housing starts have been drifting lower, and some are beginning to worry that a more serious housing shortage could be in the cards if new construction and building permit applications continue to come in lower in year-over-year comparisons while demand remains high. 

Homebuilder confidence suggests otherwise, so predictions of a gloomy future should be curbed for the time being.

Janet Gresham is the CEO of the Beaufort County Association of Realtors and the Beaufort Multiple Listing Service Inc.

Business briefs for July 13th-19th

in Business by
treasure house

Photo above: American Legion Beaufort Post 9 is striving to promote both patriotism and businesses in the Beaufort area by calling attention to those that proudly display the U.S. flag at their location. Post 9 presents those enterprises with a framed certificate thanking them. Here, Post 9 Vice Commander Paul Sweet presents Gordon Mabie and the staff of the Treasure House a certificate of appreciation for displaying the nation’s flag.

Fridays @ the Corridor: Is your data secure?

Bots. Zombie networks. Bad guys looking for vulnerable machines. Even bad social networking and email insecurity can make it easier for others to go online as you and spread infections or social engineering attacks designed to steal data or money.

At the July Fridays @ the Corridor, Dominick Inglese of Dominick Designs defines the basics of cybersecurity and guides you through steps to increase your online browsing safety awareness and reduce your vulnerability to online attacks in an age when everyone and everything is connected to everyone and everything else.

This event will be held at 8:30 a.m. Friday, July 14. 

Attendance is limited to 25 guests, with priority seating for Digital Corridor members. 

The nonmember fee is $10 and can be paid by cash or check at the door.

Metered and free street parking is available in and around BASEcamp at 500 Carteret St.

RSVP by emailing Karen Warner at Fridays@beaufortdigital.com.

SC auto dealers elect 2017-18 officers

Douglas G. McElveen of McElveen Buick GMC in Summerville has been elected president of the South Carolina Automobile Dealers Association (SCADA) for 2017-2018.  

McElveen was elected at SCADA’s Annual Dealer Meeting on May 19, and his term officially began July 1 and will end on June 30, 2018. 

Representing the Coastal District as regional vice president is T.J. Johnson of Mike Reichenbach Chevrolet in Okatie. 

Board members elected to director positions in the Coastal District are Scott Rizer of Rizer Chevrolet-Buick-GMC in Walterboro and J.J. Stokes of Stokes Automotive Group in Beaufort.

What is your perception of the stock market?

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By Michael Osteen

Who hasn’t heard the old saying about whether you perceive the glass as being half full or half empty? 

The fact of the matter is that it is a common expression used to indicate that a particular situation could be seen as an opportunity or cause for optimism (half full), or on the flip side it could be seen as problem or pessimism (half empty).   

The other day I received an inquiry and we proceeded to chat about a number of items all related to investments and the stock market. As we talked, I noticed throughout the conversion the individual was viewing the present situation of the stock market as being half empty. He was reluctant to consider any type of investments at the current time since in his view the stock market was overpriced.   

We all have read the headlines going back to the end of January of this year where the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) hit 20,000. The media coverage was massive with some articles saying it was time for investors to buy more equities in expectations of additional gains, as well as an equal number of articles saying that you should sell all of your stocks as there were sure to be a major correction and you stand to lose thousands.  

Most people’s understanding of the stock market and how to buy and sell stocks and overall how to invest in very limited. Most are told that you buy stocks when they start to go up and not when they go down.  

As Warren Buffett says, “For some reason, people take their cues from price action rather than from values. What doesn’t work is when you start doing things that you don’t understand or because they worked last week for somebody else. The dumbest reason in the world to buy a stock is because it’s going up.”  

Buffett has shown us over and over again that value investing is a proven method and has worked for over 85 years.  

The basic concept of value investing is to buy when the particular stock is selling at a discount.

Most people place too much emphasis on the macroeconomics of the overall market and not enough emphasis on the individual company.  

Value investing looks at the individual company, often referred to as “bottom up” analysis. However, most people look at the macroeconomics, often referred to as “top down” analysis. Commonly most individuals follow the crowd and this typically leads to under-performance.

Buffett tells us, “Most people get interested in stock when everyone else is. The time to get interested is when no one else is. You can’t buy what is popular and do well.”  

Various studies have indicated that the stock market is inefficient and as such you can always find value opportunity provided you know what to look for and where to look. 

The term “inefficient” simply means that the stock market makes mistakes in pricing the stock of companies, which in turn creates opportunities for value investors and this occurs even when the stock market is “overpriced.”  

It would appear the individual did not have a full understanding of these details and how you can still make above average returns even in this so called “over-priced market.”  

For example, Port Wren Capital just finished researching a company that we invested in and recommend to our subscribers on March 20, and as of the writing of this article has already gained 24.12 percent so far. This is only one example. And yes, that is in this so called “overpriced market.”  

So as you can see, it pays to know what to look for and how to find value investments even in today’s market.  

To use another quote from Buffett: “I will tell you how to become rich. Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful.”  

In other words, you can’t follow the crowd; you have to be an independent thinker.  

To ascertain additional information about value investing research, contact me today for a complimentary meeting. 

Michael Osteen, MBA, is chief investment strategist with Port Wren Capital LLC with a 44 percent, one-year, and a 36.04 percent three-year annualized return performance using independent value investment research. Email him at michael@portwrencapital.com or call 803-415-1935, or visit www.portwrencapital.com.

This column is not to be intended as investment advice. It is solely for general information, and you are advised to perform your own research and due diligence prior to making any type of investment and that investing in stocks involves risks that could result in part or all of your capital invested.

Business briefs for July 6th-12th

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Kinghorn makes charitable donation

Kinghorn Insurance of Beaufort has been holding an annual food drive in partnership with Johnson & Johnson Insurance Brokers in Charleston.  

This year, they have raised over 2,000 pounds of food, which was donated to Help of Beaufort on June 30 to serve the hungry in the community.  

Palmetto Goodwill to offer culinary training

Palmetto Goodwill is partnering with the Lowcountry Food Bank and Holy City Hospitality to offer a free two-week Culinary Kick-Start Program including prep-cook training, job preparation and placement.

The community partnership provides program participants with:

• Hands-on training: Each candidate will complete four full days of prep-cook training at the Lowcountry Food Bank and two days of on-the-job training at Holy City Hospitality Kitchens. Participants will learn food safety and sanitation, kitchen equipment use and knife basics.

• Job readiness course: Succeeding in the workplace requires more than experience and training. Employers are looking for people who have the “soft skills” that lead to success. Palmetto Goodwill’s Soft Skills for Workplace Success course provides the tools candidates need to get, keep and excel in their jobs, including time management, conflict resolution, workplace demeanor and professionalism.

• Job placements: Following the program, Goodwill will work with candidates one-on-one to identify and prepare them for appropriate job opportunities, including resume writing and interview skills. The program will commence with an opportunity to interview with several restaurants, including The Victor Social Club, Vincent Chiccos, Michael’s on the Alley and more.

The program will run from Aug. 14-25. There are a limited number of spots available. Those interested in applying should visit palmettogoodwill.org/cook. 

Applications are due no later than Friday, July 14.

Positive outlook for Homeownership Month

The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) is releasing its 2016 Mortgage Log Analysis Report and its 2016 Credit Counseling Report. 

The Mortgage Log Analysis Report contains details from mortgage loan applications including the amount of the loan, the demographics of the borrowers, the terms of the loan and the annual percentage rate (APR).

The report compares data received from licensed mortgage brokers and lenders from the 2012 through 2016 calendar years. The number of approved applications remained over 60 percent, a marked departure from 2012-2014 where the approval rate was less than 50 percent. Other highlights include:

• Denial based on credit history increased from 27.9 percent in 2015 to 31.5 percent in 2016, but is still well below the high of 51 percent in 2011.

• Loans to purchase manufactured housing increased 3.4 percent from 2015.

• In 2016, 86.3 percent of mortgage applications were for 20-30 year terms, the highest percentage since 2011.

• The average loan amount continued to rise, increasing from $188,674 in 2015 to $205,707 in 2016.

• The average APR decreased from 4.6 percent in 2015 to 4.2 percent in 2016. This is the second lowest APR reported since 2011, the lowest being 3.9 percent in 2012.

• The average credit score of applicants has remained fairly steady since 2014.

The Credit Counseling Report consists of data provided by consumer credit counseling organizations and outlines the state of consumer debt in South Carolina. 

During 2016, the average consumer debt dropped by more than 5 percent from $19,060 to $18,049, breaking a trend of consistent increases since 2013. The amount is well below the high of $24,876 reported in 2009. 

Credit counselors distributed over $28 million to creditors on behalf of enrolled consumers in 2016. This is the lowest amount reported since 2007.

Diamond, Palmetto groups merge

Diamond Transportation, a provider of luxury passenger transportation,  has merged its operations with Bluffton-based Palmetto Transportation.

The merger creates a passenger transportation company with a fleet of 22 luxury vehicles and a complement of 40 drivers. 

Jordan Craft, the owner of Palmetto Transportation, will become Diamond Transportation’s president and CEO and will have a significant ownership stake in the business.

“I am very happy to merge my company with Diamond, to lead the combined organization and to become a business partner with David Boucher,” said Craft. “This merger brings the combined organization to critical mass, leveraging Diamond’s existing technology and safety systems to Palmetto’s sizeable fleet of vehicles.” 

Visit hiltonheadrides.com.

Chamber Corner for July 6th-12th

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Osteen inducted as Ambassador by Chamber

Screen Shot 2017-07-03 at 4.16.20 PM

Port Wren Capital LLC, an investment service company, recently announced that Michael Osteen was inducted as an Ambassador by the Bluffton Chamber of Commerce along with Ronilynn Greenhalge of Brighton Builders, Michael Ruthsatz of Adams Outdoor Advertising, Eric Swenson of EOS Business Solutions, Abby Boylston of ComForCare Home Care and Melanie Thomas of Covert Aire. 

“I’m honored to be selected by the chamber and help both the community at large, as well as the other small businesses in the area. I’m looking forward to working with Shellie West, CEO & founder, along with Don Brashears, president, for the betterment of all,” said Osteen, who is a chief investment strategist and Clemson University graduate. 

Ambassadors are vetted by the director of the chamber and act as direct liaisons and supporters of the chamber’s business members. 

Also, they serve as a mentors and guides which are available to help anyone. As hosts for the chamber, they help integrate newer members into the chamber and introduce them to others. 

Visit the Bluffton chamber online at: ww.blufftonchamberofcommerce.org.

Port Wren Capital LLC offers exclusive and independent investment research for individual investors through a web-based subscription. 

Additionally, Osteen writes a column in The Island News about his insights on investments. To learn more, visit www.portwrencapital.com

Covert Aire celebrates 10th anniversary 

Covert Aire, which serves all of Beaufort County, will be celebrating its 10th anniversary from 9-10 a.m. Friday, July 7, with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 39 Persimmon St. in Bluffton.

The event will be hosted by the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce and the public is invited to attend. 

Covert Aire opened in July of 2007 and became successful in the beginning largely due to the residents of Sun City who called on owners, Mike and Theresa Covert, to install or repair their heating and air systems. 

In 10 years, the company has grown to serve residents and businesses throughout the Lowcountry, Savannah and other regional areas in South Carolina and Georgia. 

The company’s core value statement emphasizes caring for others through their heating and air services and giving back to others as a high priority to success in what they do.  

The staff of Covert Aire has launched a July Random Acts of Kindness campaign throughout the Lowcountry. They want to commemorate their anniversary by showing appreciation to the community at large who has helped build the company into what it is today. 

To learn more about Covert Aire, visit covertaire.com.

Class named for 2018 Leadership Beaufort

The Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce Selection Committee has completed their interviews and selected the following individuals for the Leadership Beaufort Class of 2018:

• Audra Antonacci-Ogden, code enforcement officer, Beaufort County

• Jeff Boss, deputy GM, Operations & Tech Services, BJWSA

• Mandy Burgin, financial advisor, Hand & Tanner

• Jessie Chapman, director of development, CAPA (Child Abuse Prevention Association)

• Joe Conroy, neuropsychologist, Lowcountry Neuropsychology

• Feleasa Dunmeyer, Review & Analysis Division head, USMC-MCCS

• Paula Dyson, program trainer and volunteer coordinator, MCCS

• Alan Eisenman, senior accountant, city of Beaufort Finance Department

• Andi Fabian, fire inspector/public education, Parris Island Fire & Rescue

• Zarah Goodyear, agent, Beaufort County Farm Bureau

• Owen Hand, principal, Hand & Tanner

• Lori Heslewood, executive director, AMIKids, Beaufort

• Mark Hooper, U.S. Navy retired

• Marcy Houston, owner/counselor, Mental Wellness Center of the Lowcountry LLC

• Tina Lambert, office manager, Waste Pro of South Carolina

• Dan Mackin, teacher, Lowcountry Montessori School

• Dee Matthews, part-time mentor/evaluator, Beaufort County School District

• Kelly McCombs, instructor, University of South Carolina Beaufort

• Ken Meola, code enforcement officer, city of Beaufort

• Shantell Miller, administrative support, Technical College of the Lowcountry

• Bob Mullen, Marine & Family Programs director, MCCS

• David Ott, deputy coroner, Beaufort County Coroner’s Office

• Kevin Phillip, assistant solicitor, 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office

• Bill Reynolds, owner and founder, Beaufort Tours LLC

• Brittany Rybinski, manager, Collections & Commissions, Hargray Communications

• Jenny Sanborn, marketing manager, 303 Associates

• Matt Stover, executive officer, USMC-MCAS Beaufort

• Melanie Thomas, executive assistant, Covert Aire

• Will Trask, owner/operator, Trask Financial LLC

• Jennifer Tuckwiller, administration manager, Carolina Air Inc.

• Ashley Turbeville, RN, Beaufort Memorial Hospital

• Melissa Venable, writer/advisor, highereducation.com

• Karen Warner, program manager, Beaufort Digital Corridor

• Evan Wheeler, district manager, SCE&G

Business briefs for June 29th-July 5th

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legion

Photo above: American Legion Beaufort Post 9 is striving to promote both patriotism and businesses in the Beaufort area by calling attention to those that proudly display the U.S. flag at their location. Post 9 presents those enterprises with a framed certificate thanking them. Here Post 9 Vice Commander Paul Sweet presents Dr. William Donovan of Donovan Family Dentistry with a certificate of appreciation for displaying our nation’s flag.

Onewaylimo.com is now available

OneWayLimo.com (OWL) is now available throughout the state of South Carolina for travelers to have access to luxury transportation to and from the airport as well as for special events and general ground transportation. 

It is also available at Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport.

OWL is not a limousine company, but an online booking system integrating with limo companies to fill their vehicles when they’re empty. 

“Our goal is to work with the entire black car market and offer travelers an alternative to Uber and Lyft,” said Joe Salemme, president and founder of OneWayLimo. “Customers simply log onto OneWayLimo.com for access to licensed, insured, clean and professionally operated vehicles at significantly reduced rates. OWL is doing for limo companies what Priceline and Expedia did for the airlines and hotels. 

“Our booking process is simple and efficient. Book online for transportation to or from the airport, and for general ground transportation or contact us directly for special events like weddings and proms.” 

Founded in 2015, OneWayLimo, based in Shelton, Conn., is a luxury transportation brokerage company servicing all major cities on the East Coast. OneWayLimo offers a web application for consumers to access a network of professional, licensed and insured drivers for black car transportation to the airport, weddings or other events. 

Licenses available for solid waste collectors

Beginning Saturday, July 1, solid waste hauler licenses for 2017-2018 will be available for all associated collectors and haulers operating in Beaufort County. 

The county will not accept disposal charges at its approved landfills from collectors and haulers who do not have a valid license after Aug. 1.

License fees are $100 per year for the first vehicle and $50 for each additional vehicle/decal.

Beaufort County’s Code of Ordinances requires that all contractors providing residential waste collection and transportation within the county have a license which, along with decals, can be obtained from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays at the Beaufort County Public Works Department at 120 Shanklin Road in Beaufort.

Questions should be directed to Cindy Carter at ccarter@bcgov.net or 843-255-2745.

Southern Current is launching solar project

Southern Current, a developer in the residential, commercial and utility-scale solar markets, is launching a new solar farm in Hampton County. The company is investing $2.5 million in the project. 

Southern Current is an owner and developer of utility-scale solar energy facilities across the southeastern United States. With an in-house team of development professionals, the company manages projects from site selection and origination through construction and operation. 

“Southern Current is excited to keep bringing more clean energy projects to South Carolina. We owe a special thanks to all our partners that work for Hampton County, who have embraced solar energy and the new revenue it will generate. This solar farm will bring clean, renewable energy benefiting South Carolinians for decades to come,” said Southern Current Chief Development Officer Paul Fleury.

For more information on Southern Current, visit the company’s website at www.southerncurrentllc.com. 

Learn to run better meetings

Do you need a refresher on how to run better, shorter, and/or more productive meetings?

A monthly workshop is being conducted to study and correctly apply Robert’s Rules of Order. 

The study group will meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 7, and Wednesday, Sept. 6, at the Beaufort Branch Library on Scott Street.

Beginners and/or intermediates will learn about agendas, preparation of minutes, proper use of motions, bylaws and more.

This event is free and open to the public.

It will be facilitated by Janet Jacobs of the National Association of Parliamentarians.  

Contact Jacobs to RSVP at 386-871-8855 or at parliamentarystudy@gmail.com.

Take steps to ensure your home is protected

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By State Farm

During severe weather events like hurricanes and tornadoes, winds can reach speeds greater than 100 miles per hour. But even winds at 25 miles per hour can damage homes and property. 

Take a few simple steps to learn disaster preparedness and prepare your family and home for the possibility of severe winds.

Develop an emergency plan

Proper planning can help save your family from injury and inconvenience when severe weather strikes. Prepare your family for severe winds by creating a disaster preparedness plan, including a disaster survival kit and an emergency evacuation plan.

Stay informed

Getting up-to-the-minute information is an important part of staying safe in any weather emergency. When severe weather threatens, tune in to a NOAA Weather Radio or battery-powered radio for updates. 

A high wind advisory means that sustained winds of over 25 miles per hour are predicted. 

Thunderstorm, tornado and hurricane warnings should be taken very seriously, as they mean that severe weather has been spotted and is on its way.

Find shelter

When severe winds occur, move to the middle of your home or basement, away from windows and glass doors. Try to take cover under a staircase or a heavy piece of furniture. 

Do not stay in a manufactured home during severe winds. They are easily overturned by high winds, and flying debris can puncture their light frames and exteriors.

You may want to build a safe room in your home. 

A safe room is an area of your home that has been reinforced to provide protection from broken glass and flying debris. An experienced contractor can build a safe room with a reinforced roof, walls and ceilings in a new or existing home.

Wherever you seek shelter, be sure to bring your family disaster kit with you.

Protect your home

When severe winds threaten your home, close window shutters or attach protective panels with previously installed fasteners. Information about emergency board-up procedures can be found at the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) or the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS).

For more information about construction and retrofitting techniques for securing your home against high winds, see these tips to protect your home during a hurricane.

Secure your property

If there is sufficient warning before the onset of severe winds, move garbage cans, patio furniture, grills and other potentially wind-borne objects inside your home or garage. 

In the future, you may want to consider replacing gravel or rock landscaping materials with shredded bark.

Vehicles and boats are also at risk during a severe wind event. Store vehicles in a garage or other enclosure. Moor boats securely. If your boat is ashore in a jack stand, strap the boat down when possible.

Chamber Corner for June 29th-July 5th

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Chamber wins award for communication

The Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce was recently named a winner of an industry award which celebrates exceptional work in the areas of advertising and marketing. 

The Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) selected the Beaufort chamber’s Coast Is Clear advertising campaign for a Communication Excellence Award.

The Coast Is Clear advertising campaign was put together in the wake of Hurricane Matthew to inform consumers and tourists that Beaufort, Port Royal and the Sea Islands were back in business. 

Chamber to host Walmart celebration

Walmart on Robert Smalls Parkway will celebrate its recent renovations with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 7:30 a.m. Friday, June 30, at 350 Robert Smalls Parkway, Beaufort. 

The public is invited to attend.

Wal-Mart recently made the following renovations to the store: electronics of the future, updated produce and bakery, new gluten-free category in grocery, new registers on the front checkouts, new seasonal and celebrations center and new state-of-the-art tools in hardware. 

To learn more about Walmart store #1383, visit its website at www.walmart.com/store/1383.

For more information, visit www.beaufortchamber.org or call 843-525-8500. 

Public is invited to First Friday event

First Friday After Five, an event sponsored by the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce, will be held from 5-8 p.m. Friday, July 7, in downtown Beaufort. This is an opportunity to explore downtown shops. There will be refreshments and live music.

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