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April 21, 2015   Chamber Website Facebook Twitter YouTube

South Carolina House of Representatives Passes Infrastructure Plan


On Wednesday, by a vote of 87-20, the House passed a $427 million infrastructure plan that reduces the state’s 16.75-cents per gallon gasoline tax by six cents and reinstates the 6 percent state sales tax on wholesale gasoline. The plan also increases the sales tax cap on vehicles from $300 to $500. The House plan enables the governor to appoint the South Carolina Department of Transportation Commission and provides a funding mechanism to return some roads to counties. The legislation also provides $50 million in income tax relief.

“The state’s business community praises the leadership of Speaker Jay Lucas, Representative Gary Simrill (chairman of the Ad-Hoc Transportation Committee) and the House of Representatives on passing a bill that provides much needed funding for our state’s infrastructure,” said Ted Pitts, president and CEO of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. “Their action is an acknowledgement that another year must not pass without addressing the state’s growing infrastructure problem, an issue that has galvanized the energy and attention of business leaders - small and large - from every corner of the state. Now, the Senate must take action and debate and pass funding for infrastructure.”

South Carolina lags far behind neighboring states in highway funding with the annual average amount spent on roads per mile: South Carolina - $15,000, Georgia - $35,000, North Carolina - $150,000. These figures do not even take into account recent funding packages passed in both Georgia and North Carolina. The business community urges elected leaders to come together to agree on a comprehensive and sustainable funding plan for the long-term economic competitiveness of the state.

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Procurement Opportunity Matchmaker Event at the 2015 Salute to Small Business 

Are you a small business wanting to connect with buyers from 30 public- and private-sector organizations? Join us Wednesday, May 6, at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center in Columbia. If you act now, the matchmaker event and the morning activities tickets are only $25. (They will double to $50 after Friday, April 24).

Now in its 12th year, Salute connects small businesses to buyers from around 30 big-name organizations through its popular procurement matchmaker sessions, and to resources, experts and vendors through its exhibitor showcase and networking space. The Salute to Small Business also includes an awards luncheon honoring the winners of the SBA’s South Carolina Small Business & Advocacy Awards, including the state Small Business Person of the Year.

See Confirmed 2015 Participants

 “At the Salute, a small company can be introduced to a large corporation or agency with a painless meeting that is an easy, non-threatening way to market yourself and your company,” said Mary Sparrow, a Columbia-based realtor and creator of Mother Shucker’s Original Cocktail Sauce. Sparrow, who has attended the Salute for the past five years, became part of the Salute planning committee this year.

Tickets are $25 through this Friday, April 24; tickets for the awards luncheon are an additional $60. Full Access Tickets, which admit you to all the day’s activities, are $85 ($110 after Friday, April 24).

Registration for Companies and individuals 
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Health Care Forum This Week

The Health Care Forum, set for April 23 in Columbia, will focus on controlling health care costs, improving care quality and using the health care sector along with healthy workers to drive economic development. It will feature a variety of health care and business experts who will share their knowledge, innovations, successes and lessons learned. There’s still time to make plans to attend! Online registration is open until 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 22 and a limited number of walk-ins will be accepted on-site.

Topics include:
• Certificate of Need
• Navigating the Healthcare Maze to Achieve Better Quality and Better Cost
• Workplace Wellness
• Employer Best Practices
• Affordable Care Act
• The State of Insurance in South Carolina
• How ERISA Can be Used as a Collection Tool 
• And much more.

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HR Conference Hotel Deadline Fast Approaching

Attend the 25th Annual HR Conference, presented by Jackson Lewis P.C., a can’t-miss event for the HR professional with an interest in staying ahead of the ongoing challenges that HR professionals face each day.  This conference has been approved for 10.25 (HR (General)) re-certification credit hours toward California, GPHR, HRBP, HRMP, PHR and SPHR re-certification through the HR Certification Institute.  (For more information about certification or re-certification, please visit the HR Certification Institute.) 

Hosted at the beautiful Sonesta Resort, conference topics will focus on a variety of issues including:

  • Employee engagement
  • Diversity leadership
  • Workplace bullying
  • HR policy
  • Union avoidance and labor issues
  • Safety update
  • Employee retaliation
  • Workplace leave issues

To receive the group rate of $179 per night per room, please call 1-800-766-3782 and reference the 2015 SCCC Human Resources Conference or the group booking code, HRC15. Reservations can also be made through the Sonesta website using the group code of HRC15. The deadline to receive the discounted rate is APRIL 29, 2015. All reservations require a one-night’s guarantee that will be refundable only if the reservation is cancelled at least three days prior to the arrival date.

Limited sponsorship opportunities are still available starting at just $650. For event sponsorship inquiries, please contact Tish Anderson at 803.255.2627.

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OSHA Training Set for June: Limited Space!

Earn your OSHA voluntary training card while potentially saving your company thousands of dollars by attending the 10-hour or 30-hour OSHA General Compliance Course in Columbia on June 23-26, 2015. Taught by an experienced OSHA-authorized instructor, the shorter, 10-hour course will be held June 23-24. It will provide one and a half days of intensive review of current OSHA requirements in the area of occupational safety and health. For a more comprehensive look at the OSHA 1910 general industry regulations, attend the four-day, 30-hour OSHA course June 23-26. This popular training is designed to present practical, proven information that can be implemented immediately in the workplace. The early bird rate will expire April 30, 2015. This event will sell out, so don’t delay.

Participants who successfully complete these courses will receive an official OSHA 10- or 30-hour course completion card from the U.S. OSHA. South Carolina’s OSHA guidelines are 99 percent consistent with federal OSHA guideline standards. The card will demonstrate an effort toward voluntary compliance with all applicable OSHA standards and will be useful in protecting your company from OSHA inspections. Also, the 30-hour OSHA course will cover proposed OSHA recordkeeping regulations.

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