As charitable contribution totals are counted from 2018’s Giving Tuesday, the period following Black Friday marked by initiatives to boost charitable giving, nonprofits are watching to see if behaviors will fall off because 2017’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was written in a way that’s expected to see a decrease in the number of taxpayers who will claim itemized deductions. Those who work for Charleston-based tech leader Blackbaud, whose software handles the majority of Giving Tuesday transactions, expect the day to continue to experience growth and touts “a tremendous amount of upside in giving for our customers despite any changes to tax policy.” A spokesman for Palmetto Goodwill noted that some donors might not realize the change in tax status until they file their next set of returns.
The Army Corps of Engineers will draw from funds earmarked for waterway navigation and contribute $41.4 million toward efforts to deepen Charleston Harbor, and it’s the only South Carolina commitment in an announced $7 billion federal work plan. The $558 million dredging project has already secured from the federal government $66.5 million from the past two fiscal years in the effort to bring ever-bigger container ships to the Port of Charleston for a total of $107.9 million committed. The state in 2012 devoted $300 million so a 2021 target of completing the dredging can be kept. A contract will be awarded in 2019 for the next stage of digging from harbor’s entrance channel to the Wando Welch Terminal in Mount Pleasant.
South Carolina’s supply chains are only as fast as trucking capacity allows, and the state’s lack of commercial drivers is close to a “crisis stage,” according to the CEO of the S.C. Trucking Association, which estimates that at a minimum at current economic conditions the state needs 2,000 more drivers. The state’s House Education and Public Works Transportation Subcommittee has been holding hearings about how in a tight labor market to address recruiting the next generation of drivers, who require as little as four and a half weeks to earn a Commercial Driver’s License. In the U.S., the average age of commercial truck drivers is 55 and 6% of drivers are female, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the American Trucking Association.
There’s more than $80,000 of “SpartanBucks” available as employee rewards and customer appreciation to spend locally in Spartanburg County, thanks to commitments from five employers through a new eGift card program. Now that the test phase is over for the initiative from the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, retailers will see how the program grows through the holiday season as area residents can buy their own SpartanBucks online.