The Greenville, SC Chamber's Blog

Welcome to the Greenville Chamber's blog. Here you will be able to find Chamber news and happenings as it happens. Comments and responses to our postings are encouraged. Please, get connected with us, so that we can get connected with you (other social media links can be found below to the right). For more information on the Chamber, please visit us at or give us a call at 864-242-1050.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Call to Action: Comprehensive Tax Reform


The Chamber needs your help. Call one or many of the following SC House members before Tuesday, April 28. Please urge them to pass Comprehensive Tax Reform (A study committee established to look at the whole tax system – property, sales, income), which is Senate Bill 12.

This vote is up on Tuesday and is vital to the well being of the Upstate economy. The following is a list of Upstate legislators who voted to support comprehensive tax reform in the past.

Please call one or many now.

Paul Agnew (864) 366-8348
Karl Allen (864) 235-9049
Rita Allison (803) 737-1929
Eric Bedingfield (864) 230-7044
Derham Cole (864) 591-2030
Chandra Dillard (864) 294-2503
Jeff Duncan (864) 833-7700
Mike Forrester (864) 592-6204
Dan Hamilton (864) 527-7685
Keith Kelly (864) 582-3770
Lanny Littlejohn (864) 706-5565
Joey Millwood (864) 384-5885
Harold Mitchell (864) 583-2712
Dennis Moss (864) 761-6353
Wendy Nanney (864) 269-4690
Steve Parker (864) 978-0195
Rex Rice (864) 616-5657
Tommy Stringer (864) 877-9511
Michael Thompson (864) 222-1753
Mark Willis (864) 369-2000
Bill Wylie (864) 419-3698

Questions? Email John DeWorken at or Sunnie Harmon at

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Congrats to the March 2009 Ambasssador of the Month

Congrats to Bridget Stalvey, the Greenville Chamber's Ambassador of the Month for March 2009.
About Bridget Stalvey
Bridget Stalvey’s educational background includes a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Hospitality and Tourism Management from College of Charleston. While at the College of Charleston she became a recipient of the 2003 South Carolina Tourism Student Award presented by Governor Sanford and founded the Club of Hospitality and Tourism. As an eight-year veteran of the hospitality industry, she has specialized in the management of multiple food and beverage outlets, corporate catering events, and corporate sales. In February of 2008, Bridget was selected as the 2007 Sales Person of the Year for Hawthorn Suites. Bridget was also the recipient of the 2007 Ambassador of the Year for the Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce. Presently, Bridget is a sales manager for the Hyatt Regency Greenville.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Congrats to the April 2009 Small Business of the Month!

This morning, during the Greenville Chamber's Board of Directors meeting, HR Experts On Demand, a division of JMV Management Services, LLC, was recognized as the April 2009 Small Business of the Month.

About HR Experts On Demand:
JMV Management Services was founded in March 2006 by Jill M. Vales. Over the years the firm has added four part-time employees who enjoy flexible hours, telecommuting privileges, paid time off and paid holidays. All professionals have achieved national certifications in their fields. The firm is an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau and is an investor in the Greenville Area Development Corporation. It was awarded a Campaign Premier Award for First Time Campaign by the United Way of Greenville County in 2008.

Prior to starting JMV Management, Jill was Vice President of Human Resources at ScanSource. She has over 25 years of senior level finance, accounting and human resources management experience. Jill moved to Greenville seven years ago from Boca Raton, Florida, with no job, and is a self-described “poster child” for Greenville. She is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources and is a licensed Florida CPA. She has been quoted and featured in several local Greenville publications.

JMV Management provides HR and finance and accounting management and consulting services through its HR Experts On Demand and CFO Services On Demand operating divisions. The HR Experts On Demand division offers a customizable HR Director On CallSM program as well as consulting services in the areas of legal compliance, recruiting and selection, employee relations, performance management and compensation management. The CFO Services On Demand division provides part-time CFO and Controller services.

Clients are typically small businesses with 15 to 100 employees, in virtually any industry, as well as nonprofit organizations. Representative clients include Godshall Staffing, South Carolina Technology & Aviation Center, N&H Enterprises, Trendset, Deltex Medical, Rescom Construction, The Puckett Group, United Way of Greenville County, American Leprosy Missions, Meals on Wheels of Greenville, Pleasant Valley Connection and Presbyterian Communities of South Carolina. The firm provides services to nonprofit organizations at a 10% discount.

Active in the Greenville Chamber, Jill currently serves on the Board of Governors and the Small Business Council and is chair of the Small Business Owner’s Forum Steering Committee. She has served as Chair of the Sales Roundtable Steering Committee and the HR Leadership Forum Steering Committee. She has been a frequent presenter at meetings of the Nonprofit Alliance. JMV Management and HR Experts On Demand have sponsored many Chamber events and programs including all March 2009 Small Business programs, the 2008 CEO Summit, and the inaugural Small Business Insider newsletter. HR Experts On Demand is an exhibitor at the May 2009 Grow Conference and was also an exhibitor at the inaugural Grow Conference in 2007.

Jill also serves on the boards of the Greenville County Workforce Investment Board, The Rotary Club of Greenville, Centre Stage Theatre-SC and Dining for Women. She is on the Steering Committee for an Employment Support Group at her church. She is a member and former board member of the Greenville Professional Women’s Forum. She is a member of the Greenville and national chapters of the Society for Human Resource Management. Jill and the firm are involved in the SC Association of Nonprofit Organization’s April 2009 Annual Conference in Spartanburg as planner, sponsor, presenter and exhibitor. The firm is also a member of Greer and Spartanburg Chambers of Commerce.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Legislative Update

While the Legislature is in session, the Greenville Chamber sends out a Legislative Update each week to those members interested. Not receiving the updates, but interested? Contact Sunnie Harmon or John DeWorken at 864-242-1050 or by e-mail ( or

Below is last week's update from Columbia:

House Passes 50-Cent Cigarette Tax Increase
Thursday, the SC House of Representatives passed a 50-cent cigarette tax increase by a vote of 97-22. Representative Gary Simrill (R-York) proposed an amendment that would decrease the tax from a 50-cent increase to a 30-cent increase. Simrill and other supporters of his amendment were trying to protect the border counties’ convenience store business by keeping South Carolina’s tax below Georgia and North Carolina’s. After the amendments failure, the 50-cent increase passed with flying colors. Revenue generated is estimated to be approximately $150M. Seventy percent will go towards premium assistance for small businesses, 20 percent will be put aside for high risk individuals who currently cannot obtain health insurance and the remainder will fund smoking cessation programs and the Department of Agriculture’s marketing efforts. Speaker Harrell’s bill will be debated in Senate Finance before moving to the Senate floor.

Debate Adjourned on Comprehensive Tax Reform
The SC House heard the business community’s cry for true comprehensive tax reform loud and clear this week. Thanks to all of you who sent e-mails and made phone calls to House members in support of comprehensive tax reform last week. A watered down tax reform bill that would look solely at sales tax exemptions was supposed to be up for debate Wednesday or Thursday of last week. Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell requested that the House adjourn debate on the bill until the House returns from a two-week furlough. During this time House leaders are going to work on a compromise that will satisfy both the House and the business community. Please continue to make phone calls to your House members and urge them to take a holistic approach to tax reform.

Point of Sale Eliminated
After a lengthy debate, the House passed a piece of legislation Thursday that eliminates the point of sale assessment. Reassessment of property will take place every five years just as it did prior to the passage of Act 388 in 2006. The SC Realtors have been working to get this bill passed the entire year and stressed that its passage is vital to the real estate climate and to South Carolina’s economy. House bill 3272 will now move to the Senate for debate.

Port Restructuring Bill Passes out of House Subcommittee
A House Judiciary Subcommittee took up Senate Bill 351, a SC State Port Authority restructuring bill that is intended to add stability to the port. The subcommittee amended the Senate’s bill to give more power to the governor. Under the House’s amended version, the governor will have the power to remove board members for any reason he deems fit. S. 351 will warrant a lengthy debate after it passes out of full committee following the House furlough.

Speaker Introduces SC Entrepreneurial Success Fund Act

This entrepreneur friendly bill will incentive private investors to invest into a seed capital fund. The fund manager will then invest in select South Carolina pre-start up and start-up high-impact companies. H. 3870’s goal is to grow SC grown headquarters and to increase the state’s per capita income. Investors will receive a tax credit equal to 30 percent of their investments into the seed capital fund. The bill was referred to a House Ways & Means subcommittee Thursday.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Comprehensive Tax Reform Up for Vote

A Comprehensive Tax Reform bill that studies just sales tax revenue passed out of the House Ways and Means Committee last week. That bill could be up for a vote TODAY!!

Please call one of the following Upstate House members ASAP TODAY to tell them that we need true comprehensive tax reform, studying income, sales, and property tax revenues and to support any amendments to H. 3415 or S. 12 that support a comprehensive study with one comprehensive report!

Please call one or more of the following:

William R. "Bill" Whitmire [R] (803) 734-3068
William E. "Bill" Sandifer III [R] (803) 734-3015
B. R. Skelton [R] (803) 734-3036
David R. Hiott [R] (803) 734-3323
Phillip D. "Phil" Owens [R] (803) 734-3053
W. Brian White [R] (803) 734-3113
Michael W. "Mike" Gambrell [R] (803) 734-2947
Don C. Bowen [R] (803) 734-3038
Michael D. Thompson [R] (803) 734-3014
Daniel T. "Dan" Cooper [R] (803) 734-3144
Paul L. Agnew [D] (803) 734-2993
J. Anne Parks [D] (803) 734-3069
Lewis E. "Gene" Pinson [R] (803) 734-2821
Michael A. Pitts [R] (803) 734-2830
Jeff D. Duncan [R] (803) 734-3022
Mark N. Willis [R] (803) 212-6882
Harry F. Cato [R] (803) 734-2701
Tommy M. Stringer [R] (803) 212-6881
Dwight A. Loftis [R] (803) 734-3101
Daniel P. "Dan" Hamilton [R] (803) 212-6795
William T. "Bill" Wylie [R] (803) 212-6883
Wendy K. Nanney (Mrs. Timothy Lee) [R] (803) 212-6877
Chandra E. Dillard [D] (803) 212-6791
Bruce W. Bannister [R] (803) 734-3009
Karl B. Allen [D] (803) 734-3006
Rex F. Rice [R] (803) 734-3035
Garry R. Smith [R] (803) 734-3045
Eric M. Bedingfield [R] (803) 734-2962
Dennis C. Moss [D] (803) 734-3073
Harold Mitchell, Jr. [D] (803) 734-6638
J. Derham Cole, Jr. [R] (803) 212-6790
Lanny F. Littlejohn [R] (803) 734-3141
P. Michael "Mike" Forrester [R] (803) 212-6792
R. Keith Kelly [R] (803) 734-3008
Merita A. "Rita" Allison (Mrs. William Ronald) [R] (2002) (803) 212-6788
Steve A. Parker [R] (803) 212-6878
Joseph B. "Joey" Millwood [R] (803) 212-6876

For more information contact Sunnie Harmon at 864-337-1584.