Parrish explained his reasoning like this: for starters, several key tourism indicators are coming off strong performances last year. State park revenues, admissions tax dollars, and revenue per available lodging room all set new records in 2013. On top of that, Parrish cited stable gas prices and a recovering economy as additional reasons to feel bullish about the industry overall, especially considering close to 80 percent of South Carolina’s visitors are from out of state.
Also contributing to the rosy outlook is a $2.5 million ad campaign touting "Undiscovered South Carolina,” which is designed to raise the awareness of smaller towns such as Conway, with its river walk and historic district.
Bonding and Contracting Symposium
To raise awareness of the kinds of opportunities available from the City of Columbia and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), a Bonding and Contracting Symposium is set for this week at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Designed specifically for contractors, the event is set to take place on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 10 a.m.
Representatives from the SBA will be on hand to talk about their bonding program and speak directly with local contractors, who will also have the opportunity to network with other professionals from their field. The symposium is free, and the city is encouraging all small, women, and minority owned general contractors and subcontractors to attend.
South Carolina-based Website Rolls Out Prescription Drug Comparison Tool
In the name of helping consumers navigate the murky waters of the nation’s health care system, an Easley-based web developer has introduced a tool designed to help consumers compare the new prescription drug pricing introduced by the federal Affordable Care Act.
Pill-Fill, a site that allows users to aggregate their prescription drug information in one central location, went live late last year, the Charleston Post & Courier reported. Michael Ramirez of Easley developed the site after he saw consumers needed an easy way to compare and manage prescription drug pricing, coverage, and interaction information. Pill-Fill hooks into many of the country’s more popular pharmacies and is available on mobile devices.
And just recently, Pill-Fill made waves when it introduced a tool called Formulary Compare, which allows users to enter a list of their prescription drugs and find out which federal insurance policy is the best fit for their needs. Ramirez said he wanted to give consumers a leg up on the March 31 deadline to choose their plan.
"You have to go into these ridiculous documents [on healthcare.gov] that are sometimes hundreds of pages long. They're all coded differently," Ramirez told The Charleston Post and Courier. "I wanted to provide a simple way."
City Hosting Business Tax Incentive Workshop
The City Of Columbia is teaming up with the Columbia Empowerment Zone, Inc. and the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce to host a tax credits and incentives workshop for business owners on Thursday, Feb. 27 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, located at 930 Richland St. The workshop is free and open to all business owners and tax preparers. To RSVP, visit columbiataxincentivesworkshop.eventbrite.com.
Going someplace cool this weekend?
Let The Backpacker help you go lightweight, comfortable and in style! Patagonia, Prana, Merrell, The North Face and more! Click for location, hours and more info.
Make Your Own Beer and Wine!
Come get started on your “liquid hobby” and help us celebrate our 46th year in the Columbia area. Bet Mar Liquid Hobby Shop: 736 St. Andrews Road.
Now Hiring in the Vista!
Hickory Tavern is opening mid-December and looking for bartenders, servers, hosts and kitchen staff. Apply in person: Click for details!
This Week @ Social
Edward Shouse performs Friday the 21st, and on Saturday Absolut Vodka presents A Night in Sweden, with specialty Absolut drinks and live music by Christian Slick. Follow us!
Relaxation, Pain Management, and Stress Relief
Licensed massage therapist Allison Morris of AMR Massage offers 50% off your first session and every 5th session free of charge. Click here for location, hours, and more information.
Surreal Innovation Salon Now Open
Columbia’s newest total care spa is now taking appointments and offering $10 off services $25 or more for first time clients. Location, hours, and more info here.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Holiday Wish ListWhere to shop for gift ideas in Columbia this season:
U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
Real Estate Spotlight
WE’LL HELP YOU CREATE YOUR WISHLIST FOR YOUR NEW HOME! Choose from 11 communities & over 30 home designs. Personalize your home at our Selections Gallery. Our Customer Service Team gives you peace of mind in your new home. Got land? We can build Your Home Your Way on Your Land. 803-917-5583 3300. Sunset Blvd. West Columbia 29169 Click here for more info