South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has extended the state’s tax deadline to match the federal deadline, which has been moved to July 15. However, other state taxes are still due June 1.
Hilton Head News
The Voices of El Shaddai, a Hilton Head Island-based choir, was named one of five recipients of the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award for 2020. The award is presented by the S.C. General Assembly to recognize those who practice traditional art forms and are committed to keeping those traditions alive. Led by founder and director Gail Ragland, the group’s music includes traditional spirituals and contemporary gospel influenced by Gullah-Geechee culture.
SBA’s Disaster Declaration Makes Loans Available Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
We are in this together. As a courtesy to our business partners we are providing you with this step by step SBA loan application guide. All of South Carolina business are eligible to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help cover working capital needs. The maximum interest rate is 3.75% for the duration of the loan.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
WAHHI AWARDS 8 COMMUNITY GRANTS
The Women’s Association of Hilton Head Island recently announced community grants to eight nonprofit organizations. The 2020 grant recipients are the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, Heritage Library Foundation, Coastal Discovery Museum, Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Protection Project, The Outside Foundation, Gullah Museum of Hilton Head Island, Hilton Head Island Audubon Society and The Children’s Center.
BOYS & GIRLS CLUB NAMED OUTSTANDING ORGANIZATION
The Boys & Girls Club of Hilton Head Island is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, so it’s only right the group recently was recognized for its longstanding community impact.
In February, the club was honored as Organization of the Year, the top honor given by the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce at the chamber’s annual ball.
REFERENDUM’S DELAY MAY AFFECT PACE AT HISTORIC MITCHELVILLE FREEDOM PARK
The plans were finalized, the meetings had been held, the committees had all approved everything. The only step left was final approval from the Town of Hilton Head Island before Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park’s executive director, Ahmad Ward, and its board could begin the arduous task of fundraising.
Road improvements to re-route the flow of traffic in the Shelter Cove corridor are underway. The work was triggered by public safety concerns after an increase in traffic accidents at one of the island’s most popular shopping and dining centers. The $1.45 million project will add turning lanes and traffic signals at three intersections on U.S. 278 and eliminate two acceleration lanes that were criticized as too short to match the speed of oncoming traffic. More than 100 crashes have been documented in the Shelter Cove corridor since 2015, including three that were fatal. The most recent fatal wreck occurred in January.
Billy Fink, owner of Bicycle Billy’s Bike Rentals, died Dec. 23 and was honored by the Lowcountry community in a memorial service Feb. 28. He is survived by his wife, Nikki, and their 5-year-old daughter, Emma. Fink was an avid outdoorsman, adventurer and athlete who enjoyed skiing and sailing. Laid-back and helpful, he was known and loved by many; his friends described him as great fun. His shop near Coligny Plaza on Hilton Head Island was a gathering place where those who stopped in always knew they would be welcomed.
Barry Lowes, Hilton Head’s best-known birder for about 30 years, died Feb. 8 at the age of 93. Lowes led the Audubon Christmas Bird Count for more than a quarter-century and acted as an environmental conscience for the Lowcountry, warning that development needed to leave habitat for birds and other animals. Hilton Head Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count, which includes the Bluffton area, has the third-highest number of participants in North America, local organizers report. Lowes travelled the world watching birds and was a photographer, author and owner of a children’s summer camp in his native Canada.
Join millions around the world for Earth Hour 2020 and raise your voices for nature. Switch off your lights for one hour starting at 8:30 p.m. March 28. Earth Hour is the world’s largest grass-roots movement for the environment, inspiring communities around the world in more than 180 countries and territories.
A large solar energy facility in northern Beaufort County will be permanently protected from major development, a first for South Carolina. The 628-acre property was a former tomato farm and is now owned by an affiliate of Adger Solar. Dominion Energy will begin operating on the land this year and is expected to power 9,000 homes for the next 25 years.
Yemassee, a small town in the center of the South Carolina Lowcountry, is currently zoned for Hampton County. Town leaders want to secede from Hampton County in favor of joining Beaufort County to lower taxes and receive more efficient emergency services. The proposal is still in the discussion phase and Yemassee town leaders plan to host educational town hall meetings to inform residents of what the annexation would mean.
A 35-acre cleared parcel on Bluffton’s Buckwalter Parkway will eventually become Washington Square, a development with retail, residential and office spaces. On the west side of Buckwalter near Berkeley Place, it will feature 36 apartments above businesses, a locally sourced grocery market, an 80-room hotel, an assisted-living facility and more. Washington Square is still in the early stages of construction and development.
Initial data from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety has shown that tree-clearing along 34 miles of Interstate 95 has already saved lives. The clearing was completed in April 2019, and total tree-related collisions dropped almost 60% between 2018 and 2019. In 2019, no one was killed after crashing into a tree along the highway.
The 134-year-old St. James Baptist Church on Hilton Head Island has to leave its original property because it’s at the northern end of the airport’s newly expanded runway. In 2018 the airport finished a 700-foot runway addition. Making the runway longer allowed larger planes to land there — but also extended the federally mandated “runway protection zone” over both St. James and the Old Cherry Hill School. St. James Church is the oldest continuously-operating cultural institution remaining within Mitchelville, the north-end village established for freed slaves in 1886, according to church leaders. The town’s plan is to purchase the school and St. James, relocate the schoolhouse building in its original form, and build the new church, according to town materials.