Inland port Dillon (copy)

The State Ports Authority picked rural Dillon County for its second inland port. File/Provided/SPA

Pee Dee port

The State Ports Authority opened its $50 million inland port in the Pee Dee region to capture more business along the I-95 corridor.

The cargo-transfer hub in rural Dillon County will enable trucks and trains to exchange thousands of shipping containers. Southbound cargo could head to the Port of Charleston or elsewhere.

The SPA's other inland port is near the BMW plant in Greer.

Sold!

The longtime owners of the South Carolina Stingrays  sold a majority stake in the East Coast Hockey League franchise to a private equity investor from Connecticut. Terms of the deal between the Zucker family of Charleston and Todd Halloran were not disclosed.

Anita Zucker and son Jonathan Zucker of The InterTech Group have been a part of the team's ownership group since 1994. Halloran said he has no plans to move the Stingrays.

Financing round

The accounting startup Ceterus has booked $10 million in new investments, marking the biggest financing round closed by a local software company in years.

The Charleston firm has hired about 130 employees, according to founder Levi Morehouse, and it will keep growing with its new funding. All told, Ceterus has raised more than $20 million. 

The company's goal is to simplify bookkeeping for franchise businesses by pulling together data from cash-register systems and payroll services and crunching the numbers automatically.

Timeshare transactions

The pieces are falling into place for the 100-unit timeshare at East Bay and Calhoun streets in downtown Charleston.

Hilton Grand Vacations said it’s investing $10 million in a joint venture with a South Carolina firm to develop the 100-unit project. Construction is expected to get underway by the end of the year, with an opening set for mid-2020. The announcement followed the recent closing of the $20 million sale of the 2-acre property.

Land bank

As residential development pushes farther into rural Dorchester County, the State Ports Authority is looking to preserve land for industrial uses in the Ridgeville area.

The maritime agency said it is negotiating with WestRock Co. to buy about 750 acres along the eastbound side of I-26 near exit 187.

The site would be developed with warehouses and distribution centers for cargo moving between the Port of Charleston. The property is one of the few available sites in the area with rail line that can connect it with the port.

Rate debate

Lawmakers moved to make SCANA and its South Carolina Electric & Gas subsidiary eat more of the cost of its failed effort to expand the V.C. Summer nuclear plant.

The S.C. Senate agreed that SCE&G power rates should fall by 13 percent for the rest of the year, or about $19 a month for the typical home. Its measure also requires the power provider to use any savings from the recent federal tax cuts to reduce customer bills.

The state House, which has called for a bigger rate reduction, now must decide whether to accept the Senate version or negotiate a compromise.

Expansion-driven

A German manufacturer plans to invest $16.1 million to open a Summerville plant that will supply an existing North Charleston automotive parts maker. Paul Bippus GmbH will create 45 jobs. The deal marks the first U.S. expansion for the company, which will build a 42,000-square-foot factory in Muckenfuss Industrial Park.

The company makes precision “turned” metal components. Its expansion is being driven by another German manufacturer — the Robert Bosch LLC auto-parts plant on Dorchester Road.

Tour guide tiff

A ruling in a lawsuit over Charleston's requirement that tour guides must pass a test to be licensed is expected late this summer.

U.S. District Court Judge David Norton listened to four days of arguments over whether the rules violate the First Amendment. He is expected to issue a decision by August.

The Institute for Justice sued the city two years ago, and has said Charleston could promote certified guides without infringing on the free-speech rights of others. The city has maintained that testing is necessary to protect the integrity of the industry.

Taking on plastics

The S.C. Aquarium opened a new gallery on the dangers of plastics in the oceans, calling it a pressing issue for all marine life.

North Charleston-based chemical maker Ingevity is financing the exhibit. Its $300,000 gift will also fund a social-media campaign to discourage the use of plastic cups, straws, bags and other materials.

Jobless data

The Department of Employment and Workforce said March's unemployment rate was 4.4 percent, unchanged from the previous month. Fairfield County continued to have the highest unemployment figure in South Carolina at 8 percent. Charleston County had the lowest rate at 3 percent.

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