Rural Strong Business Expo in Chester County

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Rural Strong Expo on April 3rd in Chester, SC

Rural Strong Expo in Chester County

Join the U.S. Small Business Administration, The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the South Carolina Small Business Development Center, and SCORE for a half-day business expo focused on the development of rural small businesses and farms. Location sponsored by the Chester County Economic Development.

  • Featuring guest speaker Hugh Weathers, South Carolina Commisioner of Agriculture, Ashely Bell, SBA Region VI Administrator, and David Foster, Acting Chief of Staff for USDA Rural Development
  • Hear from representatives of SBA and USDA about the resources that are available to small businesses and farmers
  • Learn about the economic development of rural small businesses and farmers within the state
  • Listen to a panel of business owners and farmers discuss best practices for rural businesses
  • Network with over 20 different organizations in the state that provide free or low-cost assistance to rural entrepreneurs.
  • Create an action plan to grow or start your rural business

Are you a lender? Please join us for a lenders roundtable after the main event. Register here.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - 8:30am EDT
Gateway Conference Center
3200 Commerce Cr. Richburg, SC 29729


Information Corner

SBA Celebrates Women's History Month

Greenville Entrepreneur Discovers a Gap in the Hospitality Industry

At the time, Tammy Johnson was employed by a catering company in Greenville, SC as a Catering Sales Manager.  Johnson was trying to assist her customers with a bartender for hire when she discovered that there were no bartenders for in the Upstate area. She decided to launch a new business, Liquid Catering, LLC in 2011.

Liquid Catering is a bar-only catering company serving the Upstate. Liquid Catering has become not only Johnson’s sole venture, but is actually one of four firms she owns under the High Spirits Hospitality (HSH) brand. Johnson now oversees The Old Cigar Warehouse, an event venue, Bravo1 Protection, a private security company, and Top-side Pool Club, a rooftop social club.

HSH has grown tremendously over the last seven years. There was only one employee from the initial launch and now HSH employs 18 full-time staff members and 60 or so part-time people.  Johnson provides a great deal of support for her employees and encourages them to support the Upstate area economically and socially.

Read More

How to apply for disaster loans

South Carolina Deadline Approaching for SBA Working Capital Loans Due to Flooding from Tropical Storm Alberto

The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations located in Greenville, Oconee and Pickens counties in South Carolina that April 8 is the filing deadline for federal economic injury disaster loans as a result of the flooding from Tropical Storm Alberto that began on May 15, 2018.

"These counties are eligible because they are contiguous to one or more primary counties in North Carolina. The Small Business Administration recognizes that disasters do not usually stop at county or state lines. For that reason, counties adjacent to primary counties named in the declaration are included," said Kem Fleming, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.

Under this declaration, the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to eligible farm-related and nonfarm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster. With the exception of aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers, or ranchers.

The loans are for working capital and can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 3.61 percent for eligible small businesses and 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations, and terms up to 30 years.

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 mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

Completed loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than April 8, 2019.

Apply Now

Upcoming Events

10 Steps to Disaster Preparation
SCORE Business Mentor
Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 8:00am EDT
North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce
1521 US 17 South, North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582
Registration Required

Google Workshop: Showcase Your Business
Small Business Development Center
Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 6:00pm EDT
L. Hoke Parris Business Center, Room 209
523 Chesnee Highway, Gaffney, SC 29341
Registration Required

Socastee Library- How to Market your Business
SCORE Business Mentor
Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 3:00pm EDT
Socastee Library Connector Road - SC-707, Myrtle Beach, SC 29588
Registration Required

Government Contracting Forum
Friday, April 5, 2019 - 10:00am
North Augusta Community Center
495 Brookside Avenue, North Augusta, SC 29841
Registration Required

Full SBA and Resource Partner Calendar

Drive 8(a) Federal Small Business Summit from 9-12 pm on April 9th at the Clemson Lake House, 900 Clemson Rd.