BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is opening its first retail store in Columbia on Saturday to meet consumer demand for health care coverage and information as the Affordable Care Act, which requires individuals to carry health insurance, comes into effect next year. The South Carolina BLUESM retail center is located in the Columbiana Station shopping center at 1260 Bower Parkway and will be open year-round to sell health insurance and provide customer support. Store hours are 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturdays. “We’re making a concerted effort to reach out to the individual consumer by providing a comfortable, face-to-face experience in a retail setting,” said Terry Peace, senior vice president of small group and individual insurance. South Carolinians looking for up-to-date information on the ACA and federal health exchanges can also visit healthcare.gov and the nonprofit website schealthcarevoices.org. New Business Program Looking for Promising Columbia-area Startups
A new technology-focused startup accelerator program in Columbia announced this week that it’s accepting applications for its inaugural spring 2014 class. T MINUS 6 is a rigorous six-month program designed to get promising startups into the market. Companies that qualify will receive up to $24,000 in seed capital, along with coaching, free office space, software, cloud services, discounts and other perks worth more than $300,000. “T MINUS 6 was created on a simple idea: we can build and scale great companies, and we can do it right here in South Carolina,” said Greg Hilton, director of CETi, the University of South Carolina's Startup Center. Part of Village of Sandhills Sold at Auction after Developer Goes Bankrupt
Close to 95 acres of undeveloped land surrounding the Village at Sandhills shopping complex was auctioned off this week after developer Alan B. Kahn failed to pay $850,000 in delinquent property taxes, The State reported. The auctioned land accounts for almost one-third of the entire Sandhills site, which is around 300 acres. While bids were accepted this week, the sale won’t be final until December 2014. That’s because state law stipulates that the current property owner has one full year after bidding to make the required tax payment. Kahn, who spearheaded the creation of the Sandhills shopping center in 2004, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year. New Shopping Center Slated for Harbison Area
A former Harbison Boulevard-area restaurant was sold this week, paving the way for a new shopping center to be put in its place. The three-building, 116,000 square-foot center will replace the site of the former Roadhouse Grill along Park Terrace Drive Park and will be anchored by Academy Sports & Outdoors and Guitar Center. According to the Columbia Regional Business Report, the center will include around a dozen storefronts for restaurants, offices, and stores. There are also plans to construct an additional building, estimated to be around 38,000 square feet, for a still-to-be announced tenant.. South Carolina Gets Good News After Bond Sale
South Carolina received high marks from credit rating agencies for its recent sale of $140 million in general obligation bonds, South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis Loftis announced. Moody’s and Fitch issued AAA ratings, while Standard and Poor’s assigned an AA+ rating. All three agencies gave a stable outlook for the new bonds, as well as for the current $1.7 billion in outstanding general obligation bonds. The bond sale included $85 million to assist with the expansion of Boeing in South Carolina, $23 million for highway refunding bonds, $15 million for the University of South Carolina and Clemson University, $14 million for Lander University, and $3 million for Winthrop University. “The excellent rates we received from the bond sale are reflective of our high credit quality on debt,” Treasurer Loftis said in a statement.
Great Gifts for the Whole Family
Don’t miss Half Moon Outfitters’ holiday sale! Up to 30% off Prana, Patagonia, The North Face, and other great brands. Location and hours here.
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.
Ice Skate on Main Street
Columbia’s famously hot skating rink is now open! Additional information and discounts can be found here.
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.
A Family-Friendly New Year’s Eve Carnival
From 6-11 PM on December 31st on Main Street, enjoy rides, games, karaoke, food, drinks and more! More information here.
Hickory Tavern Is Now Open!
Find us on Facebook, Twitter (@TheHickoryTav), Instagram (@HickoryTavern), and visit our website for more info. 907 Senate Street in the Vista!
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Holiday Wish ListWhere to shop for gift ideas in Columbia this season:
F/T and P/T avail. Must have a clean driving record, organized and have a prof appearance. Please call for an interview or email resume to Kerry@crystalpool.com. Must bring a copy of your Driving record and a list of all past employers with duration of employment listed as well as telephone numbers for references. Call 803-865-1200
U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
Real Estate Spotlight
AVSX TECHNOLOGIES Your Home Is The Heart Of Your Family, Are You Protecting It? WWW.AVSX.COM
The Lake Carolina new home community has it all! 1 YMCA, 3 pools, 10 parks, 20+ community events each year, and much more! Learn more. www.lakecarolina.com
CoMar Products Inc. Manufacturing quality surfaces for kitchens & baths since 1965. www.comarproducts.com