Business briefs for January 26th-February 1st

9 mins read
American Legion Beaufort Post 9 is striving to promote both patriotism and businesses in the Beaufort area by calling attention to those that proudly display the U.S. flag at their location. Post 9 presents those enterprises with a framed certificate thanking them. Here, Lisa Roberts and Jennifer Brown accept a Certificate of Appreciation from 1st Vice Commander Bob Shields.
American Legion Beaufort Post 9 is striving to promote both patriotism and businesses in the Beaufort area by calling attention to those that proudly display the U.S. flag at their location. Post 9 presents those enterprises with a framed certificate thanking them. Here, Lisa Roberts and Jennifer Brown accept a Certificate of Appreciation from 1st Vice Commander Bob Shields.

Beaufort offering online license renewal help

The new year brings a new way for companies to renew their business licenses with the city of Beaufort through an online payment service.

The service is free and is available through the city’s website, www.cityofbeaufort.org (click on Online Payments in the upper right corner).

The traditional method of renewing business licenses by paper, either through the mail or in person, remains available.

“We have been working to put more of our services and information online, from our OpenGov financial reporting system for city finance reports to paying business licenses and accommodations taxes online,” Beaufort City Finance Director Kathy Todd said.

“The online renewal for business licenses takes people step-by-step and includes a built-in calculator for the amount due,” she said. “The hardest part might be to get people to try it the first time.”

To help area businesses with the optional online system, city leaders have scheduled drop-in workshops.

Participants should bring their own laptop or tablet, but it is not required to establish an account and accessibility.

The drop-in workshops are scheduled for:

• 8:30-10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7 and Feb. 14

• 4-5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9 and Feb. 16

Business owners are encouraged to visit City Hall any time during those sessions for individual assistance in establishing their online account. An account must be created first before the business license can be renewed. There are instructions on the city website how to create the account, but Todd said her staff is ready to provide individual assistance as additional support.

“Customer service is so important, and our goal is to making renewing business licenses easier,” she said. “We are moving to put even more services online, but we’ll continue to offer in-person support as well.”

Last fall the city unveiled the online payment option for hospitality/ accommodations tax payments. Putting business license renewals online as well as the monthly hospitality and accommodations filings will make it more convenient for businesses to process their renewals and submit their monthly filings, Todd said.

As the online option rolls out this fall, business owners can still submit their license renewals on paper.

While business licenses must be renewed annually, local hospitality and local accommodations taxes must be paid to the city each month. Putting that process online makes it easier for area restaurants, hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts to submit the required forms and payments, Todd said.

Anchorage 1770 gets nod on Today Show

Anchorage 1770 in Beaufort received national press and attention on Jan. 12.

NBC’s “Today Show: recognized Anchorage 1770 Inn as one of Condé Nast Traveler’s Hot Travel Getaways.

To view a clip of the show, visit www.today.com/video/winter-travel-destinations-you-can-escape-to-on-a-budget-853341251644.

CPC Yellow Pages wins Gold Book Award

CPC Yellow Pages, publisher of the Lowcountry Phone Directory, was named Directory of the Year at the Association of Directory Publishers’ 2016 annual convention and trade show, held recently in Las Vegas.

“CPC Yellow Pages winning a Gold Book Award for the 2016 Directory of the Year is an accomplishment and honor,” said Cindi Aldrich, ADP president and CEO. “This annual contest celebrates a 20-ear tradition that recognizes the innovative directory covers and creative advertising campaigns that showcase the strengths of the Yellow Pages industry.”

This Yellow Pages industry awards recognize members for outstanding directories, as well as mobile, online and marketing innovations. All ADP publishers in the United States, Canada, Germany and the Virgin Islands are eligible.

CPC Yellow Pages, a locally owned and operated company, has won several ADP Gold Book Awards through the years, however the 2016 Directory of the Year honor was its first. The annual Gold Book competition recognizes the “best of the best” among both Yellow Pages directories, and marketing and promotion contest categories.

“Our goal is to publish a quality, accurate product that is used by the people of the Lowcountry and gives its advertisers a high return on investment,” CPC Yellow Pages publisher Brent Cooper said.

CPC also won second place in the marketing and promotion competition for “excellence in printed sales-support collateral; and third place in the directory division for “excellence in directory ad effectiveness, design and print.”

The Lowcountry Phone Directory is published annually and circulates 94,000 copies in Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties. The 2016 cover image, captured by professional photographer Eric Horan of Beaufort, shows the marshlands of scenic Chechessee Creek.

Small business incubator to open at City Hall

The Don Ryan Center for Innovation-Beaufort is being launched to help new businesses take root and grow.

The project is a branch of the main center in Bluffton which has helped more than 90 businesses since 2012. The center is headquartered on the first floor of Beaufort City Hall and will assist qualifying businesses with their startups.

The grand opening of Beaufort’s Don Ryan Center will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, at Beaufort City Hall, 1911 Boundary St.

“Having the Don Ryan Center of Innovation set up in downtown Beaufort, in City Hall, is a huge step for us,” Beaufort City Manager Bill Prokop said. “Their team has done great things for new businesses in the Bluffton area, and we anticipate equal successes with entrepreneurs in Beaufort.”

Here’s how it works: Entrepreneurs propose their idea to the center for review. A full business plan isn’t required – the pitch process helps determine if the original idea can be grown through the help of the Don Ryan Center resources.

Once accepted into the program, entrepreneurs have access to a range of resources including research and development, market development research, angel funding, creative workspace and human resources.

“This is a hands-on approach to economic development for new businesses, and goes hand in hand with what the Beaufort Redevelopment Commission envisions for growing and diversifying our economy,” said Linda Roper, Beaufort’s court and contracts administrator, who will be the city’s liaison to the Don Ryan Center.

The Don Ryan Center for Innovation is designed for entrepreneurs who anticipate a 12-18 month development cycle. Its Beaufort work is focused on non-technology businesses. Those will be referred to the Beaufort Digital Corridor at 500 Carteret St.

“We are looking forward to great things happening” in the center, Roper said. “We all hear from people who have great ideas for new businesses, and now we have local and expert support to move those ideas into reality.”

Since 2012, the Don Ryan Center has helped more than 96 companies. David Nelems is executive director for the Don Ryan Center. Contact him at dnelems@townofbluffton.com or 843-540-0405. Visit  www.donryancenter.com.

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