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Columbia Business Monthly

The Business Narrative: A Unified Housing Effort

May 09, 2024 10:07AM ● By Donna Walker

Connect and Collaborate: An Affordable Housing Effort to Tackle Housing Crisis

In a combined effort to address the pressing issue of affordable housing, community leaders, property owners and managers from across Greenville County were scheduled to gather for a "Connect and Collaborate: An Affordable Housing Event" Thursday, May 9 at Bank of America Falls Tower starting at 9 a.m.


The event was to bring together key stakeholders for networking, presentations, and discussions about increasing affordable housing in the community.


“The need for more affordable housing is clear,” said NHE, Inc., President Taylor Davis. “As local governments, nonprofits, faith communities, health organizations, and local businesses grapple with this issue, we recognize the need for the perspective and collaboration of private market property owners and managers to help find sustainable solutions that work for everyone.”


The event, sponsored by Bank of America, Piedmont Health Foundation, and Greenville Homeless Alliance, was organized to shed light on the benefits and resources available to affordable housing providers in Greenville County.


The scheduled highlight was to be a presentation and group discussion to include perspectives from existing property owners regarding their experience offering affordable housing in Greenville and the multitude of resources accessible to both property owners/managers and tenants.


Scheduled speakers included Davis, the NHE President; Mario Brown, Affordable Upstate co-founder/principal; and Adrick Ceasar, Good Shepherd House executive director. 


Greenville Mayor Knox White, Greenville County Council Pro-Tem Butch Kirven, and Bank of America Upstate South Carolina Market Executive Samantha Wallace were scheduled to give opening remarks.


Representatives from nonprofits, housing providers, government agencies, health care, and others developed the idea for the event after discussions about the urgency they see with clients, tenants, and patients struggling to find affordable housing.


Organizers hope the event begins a collective commitment to address the affordable housing shortage head-on.


The goal is to empower property owners and managers with the necessary resources and support to make a tangible difference in the lives of their tenants.


“We want attendees to walk away not only with resources but with an understanding that it will take all of us working together to find solutions that benefit both rental property owners and tenants alike,” said DeAndra Hillman, Greenville Homeless Alliance Housing navigator. 


Organizers say the urgency of the housing crisis cannot be overstated. Twenty percent or more of households in Anderson, Greenville, Laurens, Pickens, and Spartanburg counties are “housing burdened,” meaning they spend 30 percent or more of their income on housing. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau/Refin)


Organizers said "Connect and Collaborate" offers a unique opportunity for property owners and managers seeking to make a difference in affordable housing to join with local organizations and be part of the solution.


The initiative aligns closely with Bank of America’s commitment to advancing economic opportunity and expanding access to affordable housing.


“Bank of America recognizes the ongoing need for affordable housing in Greenville and we support the convening of housing experts, community agencies and property owners from across the region,” said Stacy Brandon, president Bank of America Upstate South Carolina.


Brandon added, “This focused effort facilitates key networking opportunities and sharing of resources to help ensure no part of our community is left behind.”


Community resource organizations scheduled to attend the event included Infinite Possibilities, Greenville County Human Relations, Greenville Housing Authority, Greenville VA Outpatient Clinic, Goodwill (Homebound Heroes/Veterans), Livewell Greenville, Pendleton Place, Loaves & Fishes, Safe Harbor, United Housing Connections, Unity Health on Main, and Upstate Warrior Solution.


The event planning committee includes representatives from organizations dedicated to effecting positive change in the community: Bon Secours Community Health, Entryway Talent, First Impressions, GCRA, Greenville County Human Relations, Greenville County Recreation (Sterling Center), Greenville Housing Fund, Greenville Tech Returning Citizens Center, Infinite Possibilities, Inc, Jasmine Road, and LiveWell Greenville.


Also, Loebsack & Brownlee, PLLC, Matthew K. Johnson Law Firm, LLC, NHE, OnTrack Greenville, Safe Harbor, SHARE, TruVista, United Ministries, Unity Health on Main, Upper State Apartment Association, and Walt's Waltz.


The Greenville Homeless Alliance is a coalition of public, private, and nonprofit organizations committed to finding solutions to homelessness in Greenville County. For more information or to get involved, go to

TTS Studios Expands Charleston County Operations

TTS Studios, a custom fabrication company, announced the expansion of its Charleston County operations.


The company’s $845,000 investment will create 14 jobs, according to Gov. Henry McMaster’s office.


Established in 2016, TTS Studios supports and amplifies creative visions through innovative technical design and custom fabrication.


The company specializes in creating for the performing arts, premium event and experiential marketing industries.


TTS Studios recently moved to a 67,000-square-foot facility located at 2130 N. Hobson Ave. on the Charleston Marine Manufacturing Corporation (CMMC) Navy Yard Industrial Campus in North Charleston.


Operations are already online.


Those interested in joining TTS Studios should go to the company’s careers page.

SCRA Announces New Member Companies, Grant Funding

MyVoluntier Operations, Oncoblaze, Rabbit Hole Digital, and ThreatCaptain were accepted as a South Carolina Research Authority Member Company.


Apex Orthopaedic, Construx, Heirloom Cloud, Katalyst Corporation, Sojourn MedTech, Tandem Concepts, and Zitles received new grant funding.


All SCRA Member Companies receive coaching and access to SCRA’s Startup Resources, can apply for grant funding, and have the potential to be considered for investment from SCRA’s investment affiliate, SC Launch Inc.


Apex Orthopaedic Technologies, LLC received a $50,000 Federal Matching Grant. The North Charleston-based life science company produces a new surgical device called the R-FIX (Rib-FIXation) System, which uses rib fixation for the treatment of early-onset spinal deformity.


Construx, Inc. received a $50,000 Demonstration Grant. The Mount Pleasant-based advanced manufacturing and materials startup uses automated machinery to precision cut low-cost plywood components in a controlled factory environment, delivering what officials say are predictable, consistent, and repeatable results with accuracy and quality that outperform traditional construction processes.


Heirloom Cloud Corporation received a $25,000 Project Development Fund Grant. Officials say the Mount Pleasant-based information technology company makes it easy to enjoy photos, videos, and other media. Its technology digitizes cherished media into a private social network where they can be shared with friends and loved ones from any device.


Katalyst Corporation LLC received a $25,000 Project Development Fund Grant. The Greenville-based information technology startup is a software-as-a-service platform that provides comprehensive services to at-risk populations.


The solution produces one centralized platform for greater accountability across multiple service sectors, data that provides real-time insights into the impact of services, blockchain to ensure data protection, and AI to give program managers insight to guide better decisions and policies.


MyVoluntier Operations Inc. has been accepted as an SCRA Member Company. The Indian Land-based information technology startup is a web application used to find, track, and mobilize individuals to better impact their communities.


Officials say that through its state-of-the-art reporting and tracking tools, MyVoluntier Operations provides a suite of powerful assets that allow individuals, groups, and organizations to measure the impact of their service across their community.


Oncoblaze LLC has been accepted as an SCRA Member Company. The Charleston-based life science startup has developed innovative technologies that deliver therapy precisely to cancer cells that remain after surgery.


Officials say the technology improves patient outcomes and reduces the burden of cancer recurrence.


Rabbit Hole Digital LLC has been accepted as an SCRA Member Company. The Greenville-based information technology startup is a software-as-a-service solution that empowers artists and their teams to make better, less stressful digital marketing decisions using data they own but have never been able to leverage and layer at scale.


Its platform provides an aggregated source of social content data, a social content planning and management system, and a social listening tool with the ability to apply automated categorizations around custom parameters.


Sojourn MedTech LLC received a $25,000 Academic Startup Grant. The Clemson University-based startup developed the world’s first smart simulator (called CanSim) equipped with state-of-the-art hardware and software for assessing and training clinic personnel to improve dialysis procedures.


Tandem Concepts Inc. received a $35,000 Demonstration Grant. The Charleston-based information technology company automates supply chain operations with its services, which include integrated dispatchers, credit pre-approvals, automated order entries, and instant bill reconciliation.


ThreatCaptain LLC has been accepted as an SCRA Member Company. The Greenville-based information technology startup is a financial cyber risk tool tailored specifically for managed service providers.


ThreatCaptain is dedicated to bridging the gap between executive leadership and security teams, enhancing cybersecurity through strategic alignment and informed decision-making. 


Zitles, LLC received a $25,000 Project Development Fund Grant. The Mount Pleasant-based information technology startup’s platform serves as a mechanism for cohesive communication between professionals and organizations searching for and reviewing titles.


It eliminates inefficient processes and redundancies that plague the industry and enable users to better use data.


Grant funding is made possible, in part, by SCRA’s tax credit program, the Industry Partnership Fund, and its contributions that fuel the state’s innovation economy.

Contributors to the IPF receive a dollar-for-dollar state tax credit.

Duke's Mayonnaise Becomes Official Mayo of Greensboro Coliseum Complex

The Greensboro Coliseum Complex announced a new partnership with Carolinas-founded Duke's Mayonnaise.


As the "official mayonnaise of the Greensboro Coliseum Complex," the coliseum will provide and use Duke's mayonnaise at all concession and food service areas, with branded Duke's Mayo dispensers located at condiment stations throughout the complex.


"We are excited to partner with Duke's Mayonnaise, an extremely popular and creative regional brand," said Greensboro Coliseum Complex managing director Matt Brown. "We look forward to utilizing a variety of their condiment products to expand the offerings guests can enjoy at our events."


In conjunction with Oak View Group, the coliseum complex's exclusive concessionaire, a specialty 'TwangBurger' will be available at coliseum concession stands.


The 'TwangBurger' is topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, melted cheese and Duke's Habanero Garlic Flavored Mayonnaise.


Duke's Mayonnaise was created in 1917 in Greenville, South Carolina, by Eugenia Duke.


In addition to the flagship mayonnaise, which is still made according to the founder's original recipe, Duke's offers light, olive oil, and flavored mayonnaises, tartar sauce, sandwich relish and regionally inspired Duke's Southern Sauces, dressings, and mustards.


Duke's is the Official Condiment of the Tailgate, Official Mayo of the Carolina Panthers and title sponsor of the Duke's Mayo Classic & Duke's Mayo Bowl.


The Greensboro Coliseum Complex is a multi-building facility that serves the community of Greensboro and surrounding areas.


It hosts over 1,100 events per year including athletic competitions, cultural arts showcases, concerts, theater performances, educational activities, fairs, exhibits, as well as public and private gatherings, including conventions, convocations, trade shows, and consumer shows.


The complex is made up of nine venues, the largest being the 22,000-seat Greensboro Coliseum.

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