U.S. Rep Mark Sanford will speak at a Lowcountry Local First event Friday to address concerns about tax incentives for Bass Pro Shops, a national outdoor recreation store on its way to North Charleston.

The outdoor retailer plans to build a 130,000- to 150,000-square-foot store in the Ingleside Plantation development between Interstate 26 and Palmetto Commerce Parkway. North Charleston City Council has reduced the tax that Bass Pro would have to pay during its first 15 years. The incentive is part of the city's initiative to attract national retailers to the area, which has raised concerns among local business owners.

The public event will be 4-5 p.m. Friday in Meeting Room B at the Charleston County Public Library at 68 Calhoun St. in downtown Charleston. Sanford will take questions from business owners during the address.

This isn't the first time the lawmaker has gotten involved with the city's efforts to lure big retailers. In 2006, when Sanford was governor of South Carolina, he objected to the use incentives to draw in Cabela's, one of Bass Pro's major competitors.

More recently, in an opinion piece published in January, Sanford said such tax breaks put "government into the role of picking one retailer over another." North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey has said the congressman should stick to national issues.


Connor Shaw, the former star quarterback for the University of South Carolina, will meet fans and sign autographs 1-4 p.m. March 15 at Palmetto Moon at Mount Pleasant Towne Centre. Signatures are $20. Personal messages from this year's Capital One Bowl MVP are $25. Gamecock fans showed up in droves at a similar personal appearance Shaw made in January at a North Charleston retailer.


Tara Guerard of Tara Guerard Soiree, a locally based event design company, will host a pop-up shop at 420 King St. in Charleston this weekend to showcase her latest collection of interior furnishings, paper products, linens and other pieces.

The shop will be open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, when the BB&T Wine + Food Festival is expected to draw plenty of foot traffic to the area, and several events will be held throughout the weekend. Go to www.taraguerard.com. to see the full schedule.

Know of any openings, closings or other retail happenings in the Lowcountry? Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail