Partnership for Public Service holds workshops on Strengthening Collaborations and Driving Innovation in the Promise Zones

The Partnership for Public Service held workshops on Strengthening Collaborations & Driving Innovation in Promise Zones October 2-4, 2017.  



The Partnership for Public Service held workshops in Columbia and Barnwell, October 2-4.  Over 20 participants were in attendance.  The sessions began in Columbia exploring connections, confirming desired outcomes and identifying ways that the steering committee can advance the important and challenging work by leveraging this designation.  The next two sessions were held at the Southern Carolina Alliance Business Center in Barnwell. Through a series of hands-on activities, the participants applied the design-thinking process to improve how stakeholders in the South Carolina Lowcountry Promise Zone relate to the challenges involved with an initiative of this scale and significance. In the final session, the participants were introduced to practical tools to strengthen the communications, collaboration and overall engagement in workgroups and across the Promise Zone.


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For Jasper, Colleton, Beaufort and Hampton Counties: SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Businesses and Residents of South Carolina Affected by Hurricane Irma

For Jasper, Colleton, Beaufort and Hampton Counties:
SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Businesses and Residents of South Carolina Affected by Hurricane Irma


WASHINGTON–South Carolina businesses and residents affected by Hurricane Irma Sept. 6-13, 2017, can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, SBA Administrator Linda McMahon announced today.

Administrator McMahon made the loans available in response to a letter from Gov. Henry McMaster on Oct. 4, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers Beaufort and Jasper counties and the adjacent counties of Colleton and Hampton in South Carolina; Chatham and Effingham in Georgia.

“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of South Carolina with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans,” said Administrator McMahon. “Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

SBA’s Customer Service Representatives will be available at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications.

The Centers are located in the following communities and are open as indicated:

Beaufort County
Burton Wells Park
1 Middleton Recreation Dr., Beaufort, SC 29906

Opening: Wed., Oct. 11, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Hours: Thu. – Fri., Oct. 12-13, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 14, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 15, Closed
Closing: Mon., Oct. 16, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jasper County
Jasper County Government Building – Zenie Ingram Conference Room
358 Third Ave.
Ridgeland, SC 29936

Opening: Wed., Oct. 18, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Hours: Thu. – Fri., Oct. 19-20, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 21, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sun,, Oct. 22, Closed
Closing: Mon., Oct. 23, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets,” said SBA’s South Carolina Acting District Director R. Gregg White.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

“Loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property,” said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.

Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.

Interest rates are as low as 3.305 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 1.75 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amount and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at

Businesses and individuals may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing Loan applications can also be downloaded at Completed applications should be returned to the centers or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Dec. 4, 2017. The deadline to return economic injury applications is July 5, 2018.

For more information about the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program, visit our website at

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Augusta Fiberglass Coatings, Inc. Expanding in Barnwell County

Augusta Fiberglass Coatings, Inc. Expanding in Barnwell County

October 11, 2017
BLACKVILLE, S.C. – Augusta Fiberglass Coatings, Inc., the nation’s leading manufacturer of custom fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) equipment, will expand their operations in Blackville, South Carolina, investing $625,000 and adding 12 jobs.

The expansion will include the construction of a 12,000 SF building, increasing Augusta Fiberglass’s manufacturing capacity at its Blackville facility, where there are currently 230 employed in manufacturing fiberglass products for customers from around the world.

“We are delighted to be able to expand our operations in South Carolina to better serve our customers while investing in the local community where our business was founded,” said John W. Boyd, President of August Fiberglass Coatings. “We appreciate the support shown to our company in this expansion by Barnwell County, SouthernCarolina Alliance and Governor McMaster’s team at the SC Department of Commerce.”

“The fact that Augusta Fiberglass has chosen to expand in South Carolina and continue to invest in our people is something for our state to be proud of. This sends a signal to the whole world that our state is open for business,” said Governor Henry McMaster.

“South Carolina’s manufacturing industry continues to thrive, and today we celebrate yet another victory for that sector as Augusta Fiberglass announces the expansion of their operations in Barnwell County. We celebrate all that they’ve achieved in our state and look forward to watching them enjoy even greater success in the future,” added S.C. Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt.

“Augusta Fiberglass has been providing good jobs in our area for more than forty years, and we appreciate the additional investment and job creation in our region from this innovative company,” said SouthernCarolina Alliance Chairman Buddy Phillips.

According to Barnwell County Council Chairman Lowell Jowers, “Augusta Fiberglass is a valued member of our industrial community, providing direct jobs, indirect jobs, and tax revenue. We salute their investment in our people, and we look forward to creating the best business environment for their continued success.”

“Companies like Augusta Fiberglass are the backbone of our community,” said Barnwell County Economic Development Commission Chairman Steve Jowers. “Every job they create is a new opportunity for a family here at home.”

Headquartered in South Carolina on a 300+ acre site with more than 300,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space under roof and one additional site at B&D Plastics in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, Augusta Fiberglass annually converts millions of pounds of resin and fiberglass fabric into custom designed fiberglass tanks, duct, scrubbers, stack liners, stacks, and other equipment.

Augusta Fiberglass’ quality products satisfy a sophisticated worldwide need for solutions to problems that face virtually every industry sector in the world. AFC’s expertise in the use of resin and catalyst formulations including fire retardant additives and materials that meet FDA standards allows the Augusta Fiberglass team to produce equipment with the ultimate resistance to chemical attack at the most economical price.

“Loyalty to and from employees is a hallmark of the effort at Augusta Fiberglass. Employees who started in the early days of the company and worked for decades on our projects have passed the torch to their adult grandchildren who continue to meet and exceed the high standards set by those who have gone before them,” added Boyd. “We are proud to continue our tradition and success here in Barnwell County.”

For more information on Augusta Fiberglass, products they supply, or employment opportunities, please visit the website:

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Beaufort County Joins SouthernCarolina Regional Economic Development Alliance

Beaufort County Joins

SouthernCarolina Regional Economic Development Alliance


For Immediate Release

September 28, 2017

Beaufort County and SouthernCarolina Alliance (SCA), the regional economic development organization representing Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper Counties, announced today that Beaufort County has joined the SouthernCarolina Alliance team. The partnership was finalized through the efforts of the council-appointed Beaufort County Economic Development Corporation and approved by Beaufort County Council.  SouthernCarolina Alliance will provide economic support services to Beaufort County through a regional strategy based on the assets of Beaufort County and the region.

“SCA welcomes Beaufort County to our regional team.  The county has unique qualities that will enhance the diverse array of properties and workforce that we offer industrial prospects through our global marketing campaign,” said SouthernCarolina Alliance Chairman Buddy Phillips.  “Beaufort County Council and community leaders share our belief that the way to stimulate the economy and improve the quality of life for our citizens is through job creation.”

“Good economic development is a priority for Beaufort County Council,” said Council Chairman Paul Sommerville.  “SouthernCarolina Alliance has a 21-year track record of success in recruitment and marketing, and we want to utilize that expertise to bring new opportunities to the County.  Economic development not only brings new jobs for our local workforce, the capital investment by new and growing industries will allow us to expand our tax base, thereby providing sustained services to our citizens.”

“Our team has worked to find the best solution for Beaufort County,” said Beaufort County Economic Development Corporation Chairman Stephen Murray.  “We are excited about our membership in SouthernCarolina Alliance and our partnership with our sister counties.  With the range of assets throughout the counties and a regional approach, we will have a greater impact in marketing Beaufort internationally.”

According to SouthernCarolina Alliance President and CEO Danny Black, Beaufort County is positioned for growth, and the focus will be on recruiting industries that will enrich the community and bring high-paying jobs to the area.

“With Beaufort County’s proximity to the Ports of Savannah and Charleston, as well as the opportunities that a Jasper Port will bring, we need to do everything we can now to identify and develop shovel-ready sites, as well as available buildings,” said Black.  “We need to capitalize on Beaufort County’s attributes and look at ways to enhance the county’s position for high-tech manufacturing, distribution, bioscience, and information technology opportunities.  We are excited about the potential.”

Senator Brad Hutto, Chairman of SouthernCarolina Alliance’s Executive Committee, welcomed Beaufort County into the Alliance, saying, “Beaufort County’s workforce, from recent graduates to military personnel, will be attractive to industries demanding skilled employees.  We hope that by recruiting companies to build a larger tax base to shoulder the growing costs of community services like health care, infrastructure and education, we can maintain the high quality of life enjoyed in Beaufort County.”

According to Council Chairman Sommerville, “From the county’s perspective, we will have the advantage of building partnerships with other counties while sharing resources and costs in marketing and planning.  The county council and administration believe this is a cost-efficient way to approach economic development. Regionalism is an international economic development protocol, and we look forward to working with this progressive organization.”


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