Business & Finance

  You may have noticed that the stock market has been a little more volatile over the last year. While having a sound financial plan and a well-constructed portfolio are obviously very important during such times, our next guest says there are some things you could be doing to help you deal with the emotional side of investing as well.

Mike Switzer interviews Dave Gerdt, a certified financial planner at The Hultquist Firm Advisors in Greenville, SC.

John Warner

  A weekly update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews John Warner is co-founder of Concepts to Companies and founder and CEO of Swampfox, an entrepreneur-centric social media company, based in Greenville, S.C.

  Most of us are aware, especially in this political season, of the reports about inequality in the workplace for women.  Our next guest's organization has just released a report on this subject that she says will be important for corporations who want high profitability, local governments who want to attract businesses, and community members who want to see our state’s economy strengthen.

Mike Switzer interviews Amy Brennan, executive director of the Center for Women in Charleston, SC.

  South Carolina has a reputation for conserving its natural resources.  And sometimes that conflicts with interests of various business sectors.  A good example recently was the combined effort by our state's coastal communities to reject offshore drilling.  Our next guest's organization says that often though, the business community and conservationists work together.  Especially when there's a tax benefit.

Mike Switzer interviews Erin Knight, Land Trust Director with Upstate Forever in Greenville, SC.

  We are all aware of the tainted water supply issues facing the residents of Flint, Michigan.  Fortunately, South Carolina is generally blessed with some of the best ground water in the country – good tasting and free from hardness-causing minerals and natural contaminants.  However, that doesn’t mean our state is exempt from concerns about lead, chemical and biological hazards in the water.  These are the kinds of problems related to infrastructure, agriculture, or industrial activities in and around populated areas…and can happen anywhere.

  When the largest demographic group in the country, baby boomers, began moving into retirement mode at the beginning of this century, that segment of the population started receiving a lot of attention.  Several years ago, a Harris Poll identified four types of these new retirees, ranging from youthful and optimistic to worried struggler.  Our next guest has been working with these groups for many years and says the categories are indeed real.  Which one is yours?

John Warner

  A weekly update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews John Warner is co-founder of Concepts to Companies and founder and CEO of Swampfox, an entrepreneur-centric social media company, based in Greenville, S.C.

Michel van Tooren
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

  When Boeing made their groundbreaking announcement of building one of its Dreamliner plants in our state, business leaders knew that the company and its suppliers would need support from our research universities. That's why several successful South Carolina business people made a few significant donations that funded our next guest's organization in 2011.

Mike Switzer interviews Michel van Tooren, deputy director of the McNair Center at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

Rosemary Hedden
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

  Sometimes finding a job can be difficult.  It can be even more difficult if the job-searcher has a disability.  And our next guest says that it can be extremely difficult if that person has been diagnosed with mental illness.  She should know; her organization has been helping these folks in the Midlands for 20 years.

Mike Switzer interviews Rosemary Hedden, executive director of Work in Progress, based in Columbia, SC.

     If you’ve been in South Carolina for a while, you are probably aware of some of our state’s wealth of ghost stories and supernatural folklore.  Our next guest decided to take one of those stories and turn it into a video game which was recently chosen to be showcased at PAX South, one of the biggest gaming conventions in the US.

    Because we’re in a presidential election year, 2016 could turn out to be an economically important one.  Interest rates have moved up a little, employment is growing, but then we hear about global trade imbalances, budget deficits, and corporate tax havens.  What does it all really mean for our economy, both here in South Carolina and nationally?

Mike Switzer interviews Frank Hefner, a professor of economics and the director of the Office of Economic Analysis at the College of Charleston.

Alan Cooper
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

  An update of the news, events and issues that are trending right now across South Carolina's business community.

Mike Switzer interviews Alan Cooper, founder and editor of three online business news websites in South Carolina: MidlandsBiz, UpstateBizSC, and LowCountryBizSC.

  Small farms across the United States recently celebrated National Community Supported Agriculture Day and our next guest was happy to participate!

Mike Switzer interviews Margie Levine, co-owner of Crescent Farm in Clinton, SC.

Gail Wilson-Giarratano
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

     Education continues to be a priority for South Carolina’s business community. One area that has been a subject of concern for many years is delivering a quality education to the poverty-stricken areas of our state. Our next guest says that’s exactly why her organization works with children and schools to provide the extra support these kids need to help insure their future success.

Mike Switzer interviews Gail Wilson-Giarratano, executive director of City Year Columbia.

  It's probably safe to say that a lot of people, from time to time, have great ideas about inventing a new product that they know will make doing something easier and/or cheaper. And if that idea is indeed acted upon, it usually involves hiring a patent attorney to do patent searches, then hiring a draftsman to put the idea on paper, etc...taking up lots of money and lots of time (usually thousands of dollars and several years). Our next guest, however, believes product licensing is a much more practical avenue toward invention success.

  You may not think of South Carolina as a risky place to live, but our state is, in fact, ranked as one of the highest danger areas for natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornados, and hurricanes. And our next guest says that managing these risks should not only include flashlights, batteries and first aid kits, but a comprehensive financial plan, as well.

Mike Switzer interviews Rick Van Der Noord, a certified financial planner in Greenville SC, who wants to share some hard hitting facts and down to earth advice.

John Warner

  A weekly update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina. Mike Switzer interviews John Warner is co-founder of Concepts to Companies based in Greenville, S.C.

Jamie Thomas
Mike Switzer

  By now, most of us have filled out an online form...maybe a membership application, or a business license.  Which means there are probably plenty of companies out there who can create one for you, if you need one for your business.  However, in the Midlands of our state, a new company has been formed to do just that.

  Most, if not all, business leaders and professionals will tell you that volunteerism and community service play an important role in the success of a business.  And one way to become involved is through participation on the board of a non-profit organization. Our next guest says that these volunteer board members can, in fact, lead the nonprofits with which they work.

Madeline McGee is president of the South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations, known as SCANPO, in Columbia, SC.

  While a business owner knows that nothing happens in their company until someone sells something, our next guest says that he is finding a lot of employers who are wasting a great deal of money and time trying to find the right person with the right combination of skills and attitude to effectively sell their products and services.

Mike Switzer interviews John Carroll, founder of Unlimited Performance, Inc. in Mt. Pleasant, SC.

  These days, most people understand how to save for retirement. (Whether they actually follow through or not, though, is another matter.) But once you reach retirement, how do you figure out which retirement income strategy is best for you? What is the best way to use those assets you’ve grown over the years to now generate income?

Mike Switzer interviews Bryan Ballentine, a certified financial planner in Greenville, SC.


John Warner

  A weekly update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina. Mike Switzer interviews John Warner is co-founder of Concepts to Companies based in Greenville, S.C.

Certified SC Made

Apr 8, 2016

  You've probably noticed product labels that say "Certified SC Product" meaning it's a bona fide South Carolina-made product.  Our next guest says that she started a granola company that went through that certification process with the SC Dept. of Agriculture and that while it seemed quite daunting at the time, she says it was well worth it.

Mike Switzer interviews Luanne Thayer, founder of Super 'Nola Natural in Greenville, SC, and her partner, John Hanson.

  While South Carolina is becoming known in the golf world for producing world class professional players, our state is home to only one PGA Tour golf tournament, the RBC Heritage presented by Boeing at Hilton Head Island’s Harbor Town course the week after the Masters. From its humble beginnings in 1969 with Arnold Palmer winning $20,000 to this year’s winner receiving over $1 million, the tournament now pumps more than $96 million into South Carolina's economy each spring.


  Our state’s film festivals continue to provide outlets for South Carolina’s filmmakers and others to make headways into careers in the film industry.  One of the most popular is coming to Columbia on April 14th and because it’s their 10th anniversary, they’ve announced that all events will be free.

Mike Switzer interviews Seth Gadsden, managing director of the Indie Grits film festival hosted by the Nickelodeon our state’s only independent art house movie theater in Columbia, SC.

  Most people probably don’t think of real estate as an investment, especially if it’s their home or a piece of land where they one day want to build their home.  But our next guest says that when you are building your investment portfolio, you should know that real estate is an investment, you should know its characteristics, and how to best invest in this traditionally illiquid asset.

John Warner

  A weekly update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina. Mike Switzer interviews John Warner is co-founder of Concepts to Companies based in Greenville, S.C.

  Eleven years ago, our next guest decided to break out on her own and start a public relations business.  She says her success has been a result of specialization and has also resulted in dozens of young college graduates calling and looking for work in the marketing communications industry.

Mike Switzer interview Colleen Troy, President of Touchpoint Communications in Charleston, SC.

  While unemployment is low and the economy is growing both nationally and locally, when you listen to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s recent comments, you realize that the national economy is limping along at a fairly slow pace and that’s why the Fed is keeping interest rates low.  So what does this mean for South Carolina’s outlook?

Mike Switzer interviews Bruce Yandle, Clemson’s Strom Thurmond Institute Senior Fellow, Clemson Alumni Distinguished Professor of Economics Emeritus and Dean Emeritus of Clemson's College of Business & Behavioral Science.​

  Most people know that patents, copyrights, and trade secrets are examples of intangible assets on a company's balance sheet.  But what you may not be aware of is that approximately 80 percent of the value of the Standard & Poor 500 is comprised of these types of assets.  And our next guest says that this doesn't mean that these companies are overvalued as much as it shows how important  innovation and intellectual property are to success in today's increasingly competitive business environment.

Mike Switzer interviews Dirk Brown, director of the Faber Entrepreneurship Center at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, the host organization for their annual Innovation & Intellectual Property Summit coming to Wild Dunes April 19th - 21st.