Andrea Esselman

Costco is Coming to Town

By Andrea Esselman

Construction on Columbia's Costco

Watch out Sam’s, competition is coming soon! 

According to The State, a Costco Wholesale Warehouse is set to open this summer on Piney Grove Road.

The presence of the bulk-purchase business has long been in demand by Columbia residents, but the city has trailed behind Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Greenville, and Spartanburg in building its own. 

EPA To Help Columbia To Develop Sustainable Design Strategies

By Andrea Esselman

The Mills at Granby and Olympia

The Capital City Mill District is finally gearing up for a much-needed facelift.

The city has been meeting with residents of the area to gain insight as to what needs to change. According to WIS-TV, there has not been a plan for the neighborhood since the 1980s. 

VIDEO | The SAVVY Musician in Action Teaches Business to Artists

By Andrea Esselman

Musicians singing at SAVVY

The arts and business tend to not intersect, especially in education. However, USC professor Dr. David Cutler is working hard to change that.

For the past few years Cutler has directed a six-day workshop called The SAVVY Musician in Action, which helps artists from across the globe create and develop business ventures that could be financially viable in the real world. At the end of the workshop, the teams pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges, much like Shark Tank

Columbia Nearly Fails in Small Business Friendliness According to Recent Survey

By Andrea Esselman

Columbia Skyline

Something is making small business owners and entrepreneurs unhappy with how things are run in the city of Columbia.

Just a year ago, Thumbtack—a website dedicated to helping people hire professionals for a variety of projects—conducted the Small Business Friendliness Survey and found that participants rated Columbia as a good place for business and entrepreneurship. The city got an overall grade of a B+ and ranked #19 out of 78 cities. 

VIDEO | How Columbia has Changed over the Past Decade

By Andrea Esselman

Main Street in Columbia facing the State House

Columbia is one of only five American cities that is home to both the state capital and the state university. Toss in a pinch of Southern charm (and cuisine), plus the nation’s largest U.S. Army training facility in nearby Fort Jackson, and you have a lively stew of ideas, commerce, and innovation.

Columbia has always drawn its influences from the coastal Lowcountry and the Blue Ridge Mountains of the Upcountry to create South Carolina’s most diverse architecture. And the city is continuing to improve with all the new development that’s been going on in the last few years.

Q&A | Making Columbia a Hub for Innovation

By Andrea Esselman

Panelists discussing questions

What draws people to a city? What makes people stay? What really makes a city a great place to be?

These questions and others were discussed in the recently renovated City Hall in downtown Columbia on the night of June 8 as a way to bring together the arts, business and technology, and government communities, in collaboration, to make Columbia a better place for innovation.

PODCAST | Following Up with Fund My Pro

By Andrea Esselman

Fund My Pro t-shirt

In August 2015, we met up with former NFL player Corey Jackson to learn about his newly started company, FundMyPro. This company connects fans with their favorite athletes, and it allows them to collaborate to positively impact communities in need. Corey founded the company to fulfill his dream of helping communities find solutions to tough issues. The mission: "impact the world, many communities at a time." The motivation: "giving is the greatest human experience." 

Columbia Museum of Art Recognized at the White House

By Andrea Esselman

Entrance to Columbia Museum of Art

Hard work and dedication truly do pay off.

Eighteen years ago, the Columbia Museum of Art opened its doors at its current Main Street location. The move from its original site on Bull and Senate Streets was the beginning of Columbia’s revitalization of its downtown. The museum was meant to serve as the cultural anchor on Main Street, and it has served its purpose so well that now, nearly two decades later, it is receiving national recognition. 

What Happened to Scootaway?

By Andrea Esselman

Frank Scozzafava on his new scooter

They faded out quietly. No one really knows when they disappeared, but slowly people started to notice that the little orange Scootaway flags were nowhere to be seen. There were no news stories, no releases, not even rumors. Scootaway just sort of…disappeared.

So what happened to the rental moped company that made such a huge entrance into the city of Columbia just last summer? 

Carolina Money sought out Frank Scozzafava, the creator of the company, and he was able to provide a lot of answers.

VIDEO | Revisiting 52inc

By Andrea Esselman

52inc new office

Shortly after Carolina Money started, we did a Q&A article with the founders of local startup 52inc. 

It has been about a year since then, so we decided to check out how the guys over at 52inc are doing. How have things changed? How have they grown? How has the past year treated them?

To get a quick refresher on where 52inc was last year, check out our Q&A with co-founders Christopher Thibault and Brendan Lee.