High Five Florence

This page is dedicated to the City of Florence accomplishments that are "High Five" worthy! Celebrate with us and check back in for new updates!

City of Florence 2021 Heart Walk Award:

     

    

     

The City of Florence received an award on June 22, 2022 from the American Heart Association for the 2021 Heart Walk donations. City of Florence employees raised $5,140 ranking the City as the #5 Company.

City of Florence Receives Campaign Excellence Award:

              

                         

                         

                         

The City of Florence received the award on June 21, 2022 from the United Way of Florence County for its campaign contribution that reached the Silver Level of giving for the 2022 fiscal year.

Each year, United Way of Florence County recognizes its top donors at their Award Luncheon. This year, they decided to combine the Award Luncheon with the Allocation Luncheon so their donors could meet partner agencies and directly see who their donations are impacting.

City of Florence employees donated a total of $38,003.75 this year. The City of Florence is proud of its employees and their continued commitment to give back to the Florence community.

The City of Florence is a recipient of Duke Energy's Emergency Preparedness and Storm Resiliency Grant Program.

The City of Florence is a recipient of Duke Energy’s Emergency Preparedness and Storm Resiliency Grant Program.  Duke Energy designed this program to help organizations with roles in emergency preparedness with the ability for advanced preparation, planning, equipment, and training.

City of Florence Fire Chief, Shannon Tanner, said “we are appreciative of the $20,000 grant from Duke Energy which will provide the city with additional funding to purchase emergency response equipment such as saws, water rescue equipment, and provide specialized training for employees.  Duke Energy is a great community partner with a proactive approach that ensures the areas they serve are properly prepared for storm response.”

The full release from Duke Energy is available @ https://news.duke-energy.com/releases/duke-energy-supports-fellow-first-responders-in-south-carolina-with-more-than-500-000-in-grants-to-support-emergency-preparedness 

A complete list of recipients can be found here.

Army PaYS Signing Ceremony

On May 12, 2022, the The U.S. Army and the City of Florence signed a partnership agreement as part of the U.S. Army Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS) program.
 
The PaYS Program is a strategic partnership between the Army and a cross section of private industry, academia and state and local public institutes. The U.S. Army PaYS Program guarantees Soldiers five job interviews and possible employment after their service in the Army. The PaYS Program provides America’s youth with the unique opportunity to simultaneously serve their country and prepare for their future.
 
The PaYS program is designed to help Soldiers prepare for a career after the Army by connecting them with employers who understand the skills, discipline, and work ethic that military service members bring to a business. This program is part of a long-term U.S. Army effort to help Soldiers forge professional relationships with businesses and encourage business owners to look to the Army as a plentiful and reliable recruiting source. Since PaYS began in 2000, more than 1,085 employers have partnered with the program.
    
 

The Florence Tennis Association Recognized as 2021 Southern Community Tennis Association of the Year

MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release

On April 23, during the United States Tennis Association Southern Section Annual Meeting in Atlanta, the Florence Tennis Association (FTA) was recognized as 2021 Southern Community Tennis Association of the Year. The FTA was selected for this prestigious award because of its focus on growing tennis in the Florence and the Pee Dee area, its support for local governments and businesses, and its success in bringing new players, including adults and children from under-served communities, into the sport.

At the same meeting, FTA Board member Dusty Braddock was named the Section’s 2021 Local League Coordinator of the Year.  Braddock organizes and manages year-round adult recreational leagues for dozens of teams and hundreds of players throughout the Pee Dee region.  In recent years, she has also developed an extensive network of adult beginner clinics in Florence and the surrounding area.

USTA Southern is the largest of the United States Tennis Association Association's 17 Sections, covering nine states and about a quarter of all US tennis players, as well as hundreds of local tennis associations and leagues. 

The FTA was National CTA of the Year in 2007 and has been state CTA of the Year on several occasions. It has also been recognized for community service by a number of organizations, including USTA South Carolina, the South Carolina Recreation and Parks Association and the Florence Athletic Hall of Fame. Over the years, many of its members have been recognized at the national, sectional and state levels for their contributions to the growth of tennis.

Highlights of the FTA’s work include managing or supporting over 20 adult and junior tournaments, including the McLeod for Health Florence Open professional event, two major state tournaments, its popular boys and Girls High School Tournaments and the Polar Bear tournament, where the entry fee is a toy for a local Christmas toy drive. 

The FTA also manages adult recreational leagues and conducts a Junior Team Tennis program in the spring and fall.  In 2021, it produced over a dozen low-cost multi-week small group clinics for adult beginners, including programs in Lake City, Hartsville and other nearby communities.  It also launched the Ron James Youth Tennis Program, a member of the nationwide National Junior Tennis and Learning network that provides no-cost summer and after-school training for underserved children.  In addition, the FTA works with area governments to ensure that first rate tennis facilities are available to the public and provides direct to teams at Francis Marion and the Florence public high schools and to area teaching pros.

For more information, please contact: FTA Board Member Paul Pittman, 843-667-9804/843-615-4929

Media Release April 23 2022 PDF

   

104 S.C Fire Departments Receive "Fire Safe South Carolina" Community Designation

Contact: Susan Duncan, SC State Fire
(803) 896-5790

Fire Safe South Carolina (FSSC) and its partners congratulate 104 fire departments in 36 counties across the state on their active participation in developing community risk reduction (CRR) plans for their jurisdictions in 2021.

These designated communities continually work to reduce fire-related injuries in our state, thereby decreasing the risks for residents and firefighters. They also promote consistent fire safety messaging and stress the importance of providing all relative data collected at fire scenes.

“The enthusiasm for obtaining this designation continues to grow, and we remain encouraged by active participation,” Community Risk Reduction Chief Josh Fulbright said.

“We congratulate the 104 designees and are excited to see a 30 percent increase from last year,” he said. “We look forward to recognizing them with a formal award ceremony during the June Fire-Rescue Conference in Myrtle Beach.”

To earn the “Fire Safe South Carolina” designation, fire departments completed courses to improve data quality, trained community partners to deliver in-home safety visits, and further developed their skills through online National Fire Academy courses in risk reduction and assessment.

In 2021, 366 new community partners were identified statewide, more than 1,000 fire service members were
educated on risk reduction-related topics, and nearly 500,000 citizens were educated on fire and life safety
topics by local fire departments.

“As we move forward, community relationships must continually be built and nurtured to form mutually beneficial partnerships,” he said. These relationships create sustainability in risk reduction efforts, ultimately saving lives.”

Launched in 2017, Fire Safe SC’s partners include the S.C. State Firefighters’ Association, the S.C. State Association of Fire Chiefs, and the S.C. Fire Marshal Association. Together, they announce the following 104 fire departments have obtained the Fire Safe SC Community designation.

Visit: https://firesafe.sc.gov/docs/2021-FSSC-Announcement.pdf

Main Street America Announces 2022 Great American Main Street Award Semifinalist

   

For Immediate Release

CHICAGO (March 2022) – Downtown Florence is one of eight communities selected as a semifinalist for the 2022 Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA) from Main Street America. Selected by a national jury of Main Street professionals and leaders in the fields of community and economic development and historic preservation, GAMSA semifinalists exemplify the power of the Main Street Approach™ to transform downtowns and neighborhood business districts.

“The Great American Main Street Award is the highest honor within the field of commercial district management,” said Patrice Frey, President and CEO of Main Street America. “These eight semifinalists are shining examples of the kind of transformation that is possible when using the Main Street Approach. These programs have brought renewed vibrancy to their communities and sparked impressive preservation-based revitalization.”

Together, the eight GAMSA semifinalists have brought in over $139 million in public investment and more than half a billion dollars in private investment, generated 3,277 jobs, opened 844 new businesses, rehabbed 2,186 buildings, and logged 260,773 volunteer hours since their programs’ inceptions.

“Florence is charting a new course for our state’s Main Street Network,” said South Carolina’s Main Street Coordinator Jenny Boulware. “As the first Accredited Main Street community in South Carolina to achieve Great American Main Street Award semi-finalist designation, Florence’s remarkable 10-year downtown transformation is now celebrated on a national platform. With one of the most cooperative leadership teams in the state, this recognition reinforces Florence’s intentional and thoughtful downtown development accomplishments.”

“To be among the eight communities nationwide selected as GAMSA semi-finalists is a tremendous honor, one that demonstrates the power of place in our community and our commitment to the Main Street Approach for preservation-based economic development downtown. This designation is for all of us to share and we are grateful to all of our community supporters, stakeholders, and residents who have contributed to this ongoing work,” said Downtown Development Manager, Hannah Davis.

GAMSA semifinalists were selected from a nationwide pool of accredited Main Street America applicants based on their successful and innovative uses of the Main Street Approach™. Criteria for winning include: strength of the Main Street program in spurring community transformation, commitment to historic preservation, innovative programming, implementation of cross-sector partnerships, community outreach and stakeholder engagement, and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. More than 100 communities have been recognized as winners since the award’s inception in 1995.

GAMSA winners will be announced on May 16, 2022 at the Main Street Now Conference in Richmond, VA.

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About Main Street America

Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for 40 years. Today it is a network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, Inc., a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. For more information, visit mainstreet.org.

About Main Street South Carolina

Since 1983 Main Street South Carolina has been helping revitalize South Carolina’s historic downtowns. Its local Main Street network of more than 25 communities share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through asset-based economic development. Main Street SC is a technical assistance program of the Municipal Association of South Carolina. Since 1980, communities participating in the program – nationwide – have leveraged more than $85 billion in new public and private investment, generated more than 672,000 new jobs and 150,000 new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 295,000 buildings.

About Downtown Florence

Downtown Florence’s Main Street Program was established in 2002 by the Florence Downtown Development Corp., a quasi-public 501c3 non-profit organization formed in partnership with the City of Florence to compliment ongoing downtown revitalization efforts. To date, Downtown Florence has seen over $250M of public and private investment, hundreds of new jobs created, and thousands of volunteer hours served. The Downtown Florence Main Street program is made up of the Downtown Florence Historic District, which is home to 76 small business owners and two corporate headquarters. Downtown Florence earned National Main Street Accreditation in 2008 and again in 2021.

Contact:      Hannah L. Davis, Development Manager

                          hdavis@cityofflorence.com

GAMSA Semi Release 2022 PDF

Downtown Florence Wins Two Main Street South Carolina Inspiration Awards in 2021

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For Immediate Release –July 12, 2021

Media Contacts:
Hannah Davis, Development Manager, hdavis@cityofflorence.com or 843-678-5912
Clint Moore, Assistant City Manager of Development,
cmoore@cityofflorence.com or 843-665-204

FLORENCE, SC – The City of Florence and Florence Downtown Development Corp. (FDDC) have won two 2021 Inspiration Awards from Main Street South Carolina, which recognize members’ achievements and success in downtown revitalization work.

FDDC was presented the 2021 Main Street Inspiration Award for Outstanding 2020 Promotion for its work on the Downtown Holiday Gift Guide, a digital shopping catalog that connected shoppers with holiday gift ideas from locally owned downtown business owners. The guide, which reached thousands of shoppers during the holiday season, will return in 2021.

The City of Florence and FDDC were also presented the 2021 Main Street Inspiration Award for Outstanding Business Development Program for their COVID-19 response. The Downtown
Development Office quickly shifted to emergency response function during the pandemic assembling resources, identifying relief funding for small businesses, providing extensive technical services, and ecommerce training. As a result, Downtown Florence’s businesses not only survived COVID-19, but the district added six new businesses as well. The City of Florence and FDDC partnered to provide qualifying micro-businesses in the district with re-opening grants to assist them with marketing and promotions once the statewide shutdowns were lifted.


“We are honored to be selected for these two awards. Our team works hard to create a downtown that is not only successful, but resilient. We will continue to produce programs and events that make Downtown Florence a premiere model for historic district revitalization,” stated Development Manager, Hannah Davis.
The awards were presented at the July 12, 2021 City Council Meeting by Jenny Boulware, Main Street South Carolina Program Manager.


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About Main Street South Carolina
Since 1983 Main Street South Carolina has been helping revitalize South Carolina’s historic downtowns. Its local Main Street network of more than 25 communities share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through asset-based economic development. Main Street SC is a technical assistance program of the Municipal Association of South Carolina. Since 1980, communities participating in the program – nationwide – have leveraged more than $85 billion in new public and private investment, generated more than 672,000 new jobs and 150,000 new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 295,000 buildings.

July 12 2021 Press Release PDF

City of Florence Receives Campaign Excellence Award

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The City of Florence was recently recognized by the United Way of Florence County for its campaign contribution that reached the Silver Level of giving for the 2021 fiscal year.

Each year, United Way of Florence County recognizes its top donors at their Award Luncheon. This year, they decided to combine the Award Luncheon with the Allocation Luncheon so their donors could meet partner agencies and directly see who their donations are impacting.

City of Florence Employees donated a total of $37,571.72 this year, which was a $6,966.83 increase from the previous year. The City of Florence is proud of its employees and their continued commitment to give back to the Florence community.

80 S.C. Fire Departments Receive “Fire Safe South Carolina” Community Designation

Fire Safe South Carolina (FSSC) and its partners congratulate 80 local fire departments in 33 counties across the state who have actively worked to develop community risk reduction (CRR) plans for their jurisdictions in 2020.

These designated communities continually work to reduce fire-related injuries in our state, thereby decreasing the risks for residents and firefighters. They also promote consistent fire safety messaging and stress the importance of providing all relative data collected at fire scenes.

“The enthusiasm for obtaining this designation continues to grow, and we remain encouraged by active participation,” Community Risk Reduction Chief Josh Fulbright said. “We congratulate the 80 designees and, even with the pandemic, are excited to see a 40 percent increase from last year. We look forward to recognizing them during the June Fire-Rescue Conference in Columbia - along with those from 2019 who could not be fully recognized last year.”

Despite challenges associated with the pandemic, it is clear these fire departments continue to provide fire and life safety information to their local citizens. 

Specifically, FSSC-designated communities took creative as well as virtual approaches to community risk reduction and documented outreach educational opportunities for nearly 55,000 citizens. Additionally, more than 1,300 fire service members were trained through the Community Risk Reduction curriculum, and more than 80 fire departments were represented during the annual Life Safety Education Conference.

Fulbright acknowledges the program is effective because of its dedicated community partners.

 “With fire departments receiving more than 9,000 smoke alarms donated from their growing list of community partners, these relationships are an important part of this life-saving program.”

Launched in 2017, Fire Safe SC’s partners include the S.C. State Firefighters’ Association, the S.C. State Association of Fire Chiefs, and the S.C. Fire Marshal Association. Together, they announce the following fire departments have obtained the Fire Safe SC Community designation.

Visit: http://firesafe.sc.gov/docs/FIRESAFE%20CONGRATS%202020.pdf

Downtown Florence Receives National Main Street Accreditation

Main Street America Logo

For Immediate Release                                

Downtown Florence Receives National Main Street Accreditation

Florence, SC (February 25, 2021) – Downtown Florence has been designated as an accredited Main Street America™ program for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center. Accredited status is Main Street America’s top tier of recognition and signifies exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach™.

Downtown Florence’s performance is evaluated by Main Street South Carolina which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify local programs that meet national performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings.

“Downtown Florence has successfully demonstrated their thoughtful, intentional approach to strengthening their community. As an accredited Main Street America program Downtown Florence is being recognized for generating strong economic returns, preserving community character and celebrating local history. Main Street America Accredited communities are part of a powerful, impactful movement of asset-based, placemaking economic development,” said Jenny Boulware, Main Street South Carolina Manager.

Over the past decade, Downtown Florence has seen tremendous growth—nearly a quarter of a billion dollars of private and public investment. It has also proven that application of the National Main Street Approach™ is an effective way to drive responsible and sustainable economic development initiatives in historic communities. Since many of the initiatives began in 2010, every $1 of City investment has yielded a cumulative $7 return in private investment. In 2020 alone, every $1 of City investment yielded $28 in private investment.

“We could not have accomplished this goal without the help our team, partners, investors, business owners, community leaders, citizens, volunteers, and comprehensive planning process. The Main Street Approach™ is a powerful holistic tool for transforming places, and this accomplishment isn’t just for Downtown Florence—it’s for the whole City. The ripple effect generated from targeted investment in the downtown redevelopment district is felt community-wide, through industry moving in and creating jobs, expansion of our medical and education facilities, quality of life for our residents, and generation of tourism revenue from visitors. We look forward to continuing our momentum, expanding our footprint, and playing a part in moving Florence forward,” says Hannah Davis, City of Florence Development Manager.

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About Main Street South Carolina

Since 1983 Main Street South Carolina has been helping revitalize South Carolina’s historic downtowns. Its local Main Street network of more than 25 communities share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through asset-based economic development. Main Street SC is a technical assistance program of the Municipal Association of South Carolina. Since 1980, communities participating in the program – nationwide – have leveraged more than $85 billion in new public and private investment, generated more than 672,000 new jobs and 150,000 new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 295,000 buildings.

About Main Street America

Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for 40 years. Today it is a network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. It’s unique approach includes four points, Economic Vitality, Organization, Design, and Promotion driven by Transformation Strategies to renew economic vitality, celebrate a community’s historic character, and bring communities together. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, Inc., a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Contact:      Hannah L. Davis, Development Manager

                          hdavis@cityofflorence.com

Downtown Florence Receives National Main Street Accreditation Press Release PDF

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City of Florence Recognized by EPA for Excellence in Innovative Financing:

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On December 14th, 2020 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized 5 projects out of 25 nominations throughout the nation for exceptional focus on sustainability and protection of public health within the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) programs. The City of Florence was recognized by the 2020 AQUARIUS program, for Excellence in Innovative Financing for its work on the Timmonsville Drinking Water System Improvements and Consolidation.

Eligible projects could be any size and must have an executed assistance agreement. Projects could be operational or in the planning phase. After all project nominations were reviewed and accepted for this year’s recognition, at least one project in each of the five categories: Excellence in Innovative Financing; Excellence in System Partnership; Excellence in Community Engagement; Excellence in Environmental and Public Health; and Excellence in Problem Solving were selected to receive the Exceptional Project recognition based on meeting the evaluation criteria. The remaining nominated AQUARIUS projects were selected to receive Honorable Mention recognition.

 

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