When I put pen to paper — and yes, I still write this column the old-fashioned way each month — I try to inform our readers about timely issues in the world of economics. In each column, I attempt to explain how economic behaviors might impact southern Beaufort County. This month, I want to attack a broader topic that has recently captured the attention of the national media: business ethics.  Specifically, I want to examine some ethical principles and moral or ethical dilemmas that present themselves in a business environment.

HOW HARGRAY KEEPS THE HERITAGE WIRED

Since the first Heritage golf tournament in 1969, a lot has changed. Clubheads got bigger, pants got quieter and the ban on anchored putting has kept thousands of PGA Tour professionals from looking like giant goofballs on national TV. And as drives got longer, crowds got bigger.

MORTGAGE NETWORK’S BLUFFTON EXPANSION MIRRORS MARKET

Mortgage NetworkWhen David Crowell arrived on Hilton Head Island in 1996 to establish a Southeastern division of the Boston-based Mortgage Network, major off-island development was still a distant vision.

As the area’s largest mortgage provider for more than a decade, Crowell and his colleagues have witnessed a sea change in the local real estate market — and helped usher in an era of growth in Bluffton that is now spilling over to Hardeeville, with the planned Latitude Margaritaville and the East Argent tract.

MARLIN OUTDOOR TAKES ON THE OUTDOOR ADVERTISING GIANTS

Marlin OutdoorWhen Walter Czura decided to launch a billboard advertising company on Hilton Head Island three decades ago, he did so armed with a vision and a plan. Forget that he had no staff, not a single billboard to offer clients, and plenty of competition in a growing outdoor advertising space.  

Yet Czura rolled up his sleeves and went to work, launching Marlin Outdoor Advertising in the mid-1980s. Now, 30-plus years later, Marlin Outdoor hosts billboards that can be seen throughout the South Carolina Lowcountry and beyond.

IS BITCOIN TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE?

Depending on who you ask about one of today’s hottest investing trends, bitcoin is either an even bigger swindle than the purchase of Manhattan or a one-way ticket to becoming rich.

Most local financial advisers don’t think bitcoin will have long-term value and are warning clients to stay away from it. But some adventurous Lowcountry investors are diving in.

SIGNIFICANT INFUSION OF CAPITAL PUTS COMMUNITY BANK BACK ON TRACK TO EXPAND.

The financial crisis of the late 2000s hit the United States hard — especially small community banks. While big banks were bailed out, roughly 85 percent of all financial institutions that failed during the crisis held less than $1 billion in assets. These are the local banks that help small business grow, and locally many simply vanished.

But CoastalStates Bank not only survived the financial crisis, it thrived. And thanks to a fresh infusion of capital, it’s ready to resume the course it set before the world of banking turned upside down.

A 10-STEP PROCESS TO CREATE WORK-LIFE SEPARATION

I like work-life separation, not work-life balance. If I’m on, I want to be on and maximally productive. If I’m off, I don’t want to think about work.

There are way too many of us trying to juggle way too many responsibilities, all at the same time. You have seen it in meetings – a leadership team is gathered around a conference table, with most team members distracted by text messaging, shuffling papers, and “multi-tasking.”

HOW MIKE OVERTON TURNED A WINDSURFING SCHOOL INTO A RETAIL, TOURISM AND PHILANTHROPIC JUGGERNAUT CALLED OUTSIDE HILTON HEAD.

If you ask locals “What is Outside Hilton Head?” odds are good you’re going to get a few different answers. They might tell you it’s a shop at Shelter Cove that sells outdoorsy gear and Yeti mugs. They might say it’s the company behind those kayak tours you’re always seeing on area waterways. They might even mention the company’s philanthropic foundation, tasked with keeping area waters clean.

FIXED INCOME INVESTMENTS ARE A RELIABLE ADDITION TO ANY PORTFOLIO

Fixed income investments might not have the same blood-pumping, frenetic energy of the stock market, but they attract some of the best and brightest portfolio managers. To many, fixed income investing is the dull but necessary side of one’s investment portfolio; however, I’ll gladly take these tried-but-true assets in a crisis.

The Women in Philanthropy (WIP) board: Front Row L to R: Debbie Hengemuhle (sitting on table) Kathi Bateson, Margaret McManus, Helen Ryan, Liz Clist. Back row standing L to R: Kaye Black, Susan Hooker, Peaches Peterson, Marcia Collett

WOMEN IN PHILANTHROPY CELEBRATES 15 YEARS SPENT HELPING THE COMMUNITY

Over the past 15 years, the Women in Philanthropy organization has touched thousands of Lowcountry lives: families in search of affordable housing, working parents an their children, those with special needs and dementia.

“These are women who are extremely involved in the community,” said Margaret McManus, the group’s advisory board chairwoman. “They are very giving people. We come together as women to give back to the community.”