South Carolina voters rewarded Republican Gov. Henry McMaster with his first full term for the office in Tuesday’s election as he defeated the Democratic candidate state Rep. James Smith with 54.2% of nearly 1.7 million votes cast. McMaster and his lieutenant governor running mate, businesswoman and accountant Pamela Evette of Travelers Rest, found support in a state with hot job growth, rising business investment and historic unemployment and they vowed to deliver lower taxes, looser regulations and better workforce development. McMaster, who as lieutenant governor in January 2016 was the country’s first statewide elected official to endorse Donald Trump’s primary run, has touted that he has a line of contact with the President when it comes to shielding SC from tariffs and offshore drilling. Most recently, as Hurricanes Florence and Michael drove through South Carolina, residents had many chances to see Gov. McMaster handle a leadership role for emergencies and disaster relief. “We are going to have economic growth and prosperity unlike anything we’ve ever seen because we have the best team in the United States,” McMaster said.
Infrastructure and public safety needs in Aiken County and its municipalities received a boost of a projected $163 million when the 1% Capital Project Sales Tax IV was approved with 65% of nearly 37,000 ballots counted on Tuesday. Previous initiatives passed in 2000, 2004 and 2008, and this version is set to be in effect from May 1, 2019 through April 30, 2026. The fund’s list of projects include $11.5 million for a Public Safety headquarters in North Augusta, $11 million for a new Sheriff’s Office plus $10 million for water infrastructure needs in the county, and a host of paving, resurfacing, stormwater drainage and recreation improvements, along with heavy equipment and vehicle purchases.
As prospective buyers of Volvo’s redesigned S60s built over the past two months in the new Ridgeway-area facility place their pre-orders and leases, the automaker says sales of those sedans dropped 47% over September and October 2017. And analysts say that’s typical consumer behavior for buying existing models of a product when touted new versions have yet to be released. A Volvo spokesman did not release a date for when new SC-built vehicles will be available for purchase but did say the first waves of S60s delivered to showrooms likely will be demonstration models. While sales of existing S60s are down 38.2% since January, Volvo’s overall sales during these 10 months were 27% better than the same period in 2017.
Tel Aviv-based baby bottle manufacturer Nanobébé has begun “initial hiring” for a business support and customer service center in Charleston thanks to the South Carolina-Israel Collaboration, which began in 2011. It’s also part of statewide initiatives to help overseas companies find landing spots in America with lower upfront investing. It can be counted among South Carolina’s 400 companies in the life sciences industry, according to the S.C. Commerce Department.
Bojangles shareholders will receive $16.10 per share in an offer from New York firms Durational Capital Management LP and The Jordan Company, L.P. in an all-cash sale subject to shareholder approval set for early 2019 but will continue to be an independent, privately-held company. The Charlotte-based chain known for its fried chicken and biscuits went public in 2015 but has been seen as a takeover target since struggling to expand outside its core markets of the Carolinas. Bojangles’ most recent earnings report noted that four “very slow moving” menu items have been cut: the barbecue pork sandwich, Cheddar Bo Biscuit, jambalaya bowl and smoked sausage biscuit. South Carolina is home to 135, or nearly 18%, of the chain’s 758 restaurants.