Scott Morgan

Of Small Business, Big Bucks, and PPP in South Carolina

By Scott Morgan

eaa5479a-1dde-4cb8-9976-2ed1f95ef86fSouth Carolina small businesses received $1.87 billion through the federal Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, and were able to revive 280,000 jobs by accessing the loans, according to newly released data from the U.S. Small Business Association . The SBA’s public database identifies businesses that received $150,000 or less in PPP loans. The money went to 55,554 businesses in the state. Corporations, along with LLC/LLP businesses and Sub S corporations (corporations with fewer than 100 shareholders that are taxes as partnerships), make up most of the businesses that got a payment – just...

Spartanburg County Mask Resolution is Symbolic but Hopeful

By Scott Morgan

d790dde2-8502-40fc-a7bb-d663d0745520On Thursday morning, the Spartanburg County Council held a special meeting to vote on whether to ask residents and visitors to wear face coverings – not just masks – at grocery stores and pharmacies in the county. The resolution adopted 3-1 was largely symbolic, as most measures by county and local governments have been amid a stunning spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases and escalating death totals. There will be no enforcement, in other words, if someone walks into a supermarket without a mask on. “We are not invoking the heavy hand of government,” said Council Chairman Manning Lynch. “We’re...

How 2020 Almost Killed Greenville Tech’s New Black Students Initiative. Almost.

By Scott Morgan

Students on laptopBack in January, South Carolina Public Radio spoke to Dr. Alecia Watt, the director of Greenville Technical College’s Educational Opportunity Program, about the school’s initiative to identify and retain African-American male students who were at risk of dropping out. The original feature is here . The program had just launched, with the same high hopes as any new year tends to bring; and it since has run into the two major events that 2020 has (so far) brought – COVID-19 and a widespread movement to undo systemic racism. Just a few months after the launch of the African-American Male...

Juneteenth Brings Two Calls for Name Changes in Rock Hill

By Scott Morgan

protestersTwo calls to change names tied to the Confederacy occurred in Rock Hill Friday. One was the call by the Winthrop University Board of Trustees to change the name of Tillman Hall back to Main Hall – a move echoing this exact call at Clemson University last week and similar to the one at the University of South Carolina to remove the name Sims from a dorm; the other an effort to rename Confederate Park. The move to change names with Confederate roots, however, is stumped by the state Heritage Act, a 2000 bill that forbids the changing of any public place names connected to historic people or...

Chester PD Addresses McCree Shooting Incident

By Scott Morgan

Chester Police Chief Eric Williams On Tuesday, Chester Police Chief Eric Williams held a press conference regarding the killing of 28-year-old Ariane McCree by a city police officer last fall. Williams said the press conference was an effort to be fully transparent in an incident that has dogged the department since November. Hear the full press conference below. McCree's case has generated ongoing questions and renewed interest amid the international conversation on police conduct and racial justice. The case has made national news given its main facts -- McCree was black and was handcuffed behind his back when he was shot...

How It Feels To Be Black And Blue In 2020

By Scott Morgan

Capt. Cheryl CromartieCapt. Cheryl Cromartie knew she wanted to be a police officer when she was nine years old. She was driving with her grandmother and saw something she'd never seen before -- a black female cop. She joined the Greenville County Sheriff's Office 27 years ago and still did not see many colleagues who looked like her. She decided to be a game-changer for African-American women who might want to consider police work. She succeeded, all the way up to a leadership position -- the first black woman in the department to achieve every new rung on the ladder. And now she's concerned that without some...

Contact Sports Businesses Adjust to Life with COVID-19

By Scott Morgan

4febf903-2e2a-498f-bec3-a4a05266c53bHow does a gym for a high-contact sport like mixed martial arts or boxing go about its business when there’s a virus in the air that demands we stay far apart? The short answer: Carefully. “We have a beautiful space outdoors so we can definitely do our kickboxing classes six feet apart,” said Avery Richard, co-owner of Indian Land MMA. “We’re limiting the size of the classes, we’re limiting the contact, we offer classes that we have no contact at all. As far as the jiu-jitsu side goes, someone’s going to have one partner and that’s pretty much going to be their partner the entire week.”...

Greenville Instututions Take on Community and Racial Equality

By Scott Morgan

ProtestsIf no other metric would convey the weight Greenville County’s institutions and residents are giving the discussion of how to dismantle ingrained racism in the county, the attendance at Tuesday’s Community Matters online forum would do it. Roughly 200 people logged in to Community Matters – a regular forum that usually gets, at most, a few dozen attendees. The attendance surprised even those who ran the forum, including Rev. Sean Dogan, pastor of Long Branch Baptist Church in Greenville, who likened the attendance to the exegesis he said so many (mainly white) people are having as the...

Chester Prays for Unity, Healing Amid Violence

By Scott Morgan

protestersChester County Sheriff Max Dorsey doesn’t want his county to make the news because it’s on fire. “I don’t want [Chester] to look like burning buildings,” he said. “I want the world to see Chester as unified.” To show the type of unity as the example Dorsey wants to set, he and Chester Mayor Wanda Stringfellow put together a prayer vigil in Cestrian Square Monday night. Around 200 community leaders, including ministers, teachers, students, and administrators from the county school district and government offices, as well as representatives from county and municipal law enforcement offices,...

Rock Hill Marches for George Floyd, May Get Citizens Review

By Scott Morgan

200e6428-3ecc-4a25-8775-0b67b3b84e37On Saturday morning, about 1,000 residents of all ages and races gathered in Rock Hill’s Fountain Park to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in the custody of four police officers in Minneapolis, Minn. Floyd’s death sparked protests in cities across the U.S. over the past week, calling for racial justice and an end to what protesters say is a history of police abuse and mistreatment of black citizens. While some protests have turned violent, including one in Charlotte Friday afternoon, the Rock Hill march was one conceived in peace as a way to bring attention to the...

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