Want to Start a Small Business? Charleston is America’s Worst Place to Do That, Study Says

RewardExpert, a travel and credit card rewards tracking firm, wanted to find the best place in America to open a small business. So it compared 177 metropolitan areas with more than 250,000 residents based and found that Charleston was the worst place. Among the 30 data points analyzed, culprits include an office rental rate of $23.60 per square foot compared to the national average of $17.15, unaffordable housing costs and miniscule rates of public transportation use. The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce countered that 85% of its membership is comprised of small businesses.

With $6.7M in Tax Surplus, Greenville Weighs Spending Obligations

Thanks in large part to tourism-related tax revenue, the city of Greenville has a tax surplus of $6.7 million, and it expects to use that money to help manage the area’s growth. The City Council is due to vote May 14 on approval of its $200 million budget, and while much of the spending plan is dedicated toward supporting ongoing infrastructure initiatives, new commitments include $1.2 million toward a downtown police presence. “The plate is full,” said Greenville director of management and budget Kai Nelson of being able to accommodate new projects in the coming years.

Myrtle Beach Weighs Hiring Cybersecurity Chief

Myrtle Beach’s city council will consider including a position of cybersecurity chief in the next fiscal year’s budget during two hearings in May. Of the city’s more than 900 employees, there are six in information services who handle cybersecurity, but they recommend that one person be in charge of implementing all the necessities for keeping residents’ personal information safe, such as employee training, equipment purchases and ensuring computer safeguards remain updated.

Merger Costs Take Toll on 1Q Net Profits of CresCom Bank Owner

Carolina Financial Corp.’s $14.7 million in merger-related expenses due to its all-stock buyout of North Carolina-based First South Bancorp meant that the Charleston-based bank had a 1Q net income of $4.1 million, a 16% decline from the previous quarter when the $178 million acquisition closed. The owner of CresCom Bank, South Carolina’s second-largest bank, has $3.5 billion in assets.

AICPA Requests Guidance on Deductions for Meals, Entertainment

AICPA has asked the U.S. Treasury Department and IRS for immediate guidance about the changes to the Internal Revenue Code mandated by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Pub. L. No. 115-97) related to the disallowance of entertainment, amusement, recreation and qualified transportation fringe expenses. The AICPA also in the letter offered recommendations on this issue it deems as “critical” because “significant number of taxpayers … in the normal course of business, have business-related discussions in a non-formal setting where food and beverages are furnished.”