Columbia Free Times
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Cargo Numbers Up at South Carolina Ports

Also: Benefitfocus Expanding; City to Hold Tax Workshop

By Elwood Hamilton
Thursday, December 19, 2013 |
The South Carolina Ports Authority announced that the amount of cargo shipped through South Carolina's ports increased again last month. Thanks to a sizable increase in exports, container volume through the Port of Charleston was up more than 6 percent last month compared with November of 2012.

For the year, export container volume is up more than 12 percent over 2012. Agricultural exports have really picked up for South Carolina ports over the last few years, increasing 16 percent since 2009.

Benefitfocus Expanding Berkeley County Headquarters

A global provider of cloud-based benefits software based in Berkeley County announced this week that it’s started construction on an expansion of its headquarters on Daniel Island. Benefitfocus, Inc. announced that the addition will likely create an additional 1,200 high-tech jobs.

“Benefitfocus is an excellent example of innovation in our state,” said South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. “[This] announcement highlights the entrepreneurial spirit that keeps South Carolina leading the way for the technology industry on the East Coast. We celebrate their continued investment in South Carolina and the creation of 1,200 new jobs.”

Founded in Mount Pleasant in 2000, the company moved to its Daniel Island campus in 2006.

The expansion will triple the size of its current headquarters to almost 500,000 square feet.

City of Columbia Hosting Tax Workshop for Business Owners

The City Of Columbia, Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce and tax specialists RetroTax are hosting a tax incentives workshop for local business owners in January.

The workshop, which is designed to educate business owners on some of the available federal tax incentives, will be held Jan. 28 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, located at 930 Richland St. The Chamber is urging businesses to check their eligibility for the incentives by verifying their address online at The workshop is free for eligible business owners. Online registration is available here.

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