Charleston County Parks to Reopen Select Parks

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Charleston County Parks will be opening select Parks starting Friday, May 1. The Parks that will be opening are unstaffed locations and include:?

All four of these Parks are excellent locations for hiking, biking, running, and exploring. Visitors must follow all recommended social distancing guidelines while at these Parks

Charleston County Parks will be opening additional Parks in the coming weeks. A list of the Parks that will be opening along with any restrictions that will be in place will be coming soon.?
Park openings are subject to change.?

Fleet Landing Brings Furloughed Employees Back to Work

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CHARLESTON, SC – APRIL 29, 2020–Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar was able to bring back over 130 furloughed employees this week after securing a PPP loan for small businesses.

“We worked fast to secure this loan, and we are excited to bring our entire team back to the table as quickly as possible. Since the government-mandated closure shut our doors on March 18th, we’ve been trying to figure out ways to help our hourly employees who are most affected by this sudden change of events, including food distribution and the creation of a GoFundMe Employee Relief Fund with weekly raffle items,” said Weesie Newton, co-owner of Fleet Landing.

“Although there are many restaurants in town successfully and properly executing take out, this is not something that we saw ourselves able to do in a safe way for our staff with such a small kitchen. Now, we’re working towards staff engagement and continued safety training so everyone is ready for the ‘new normal’ when we’re able to reopen.”

With the downtime the restaurant is currently experiencing, the management team has been working on giving the building a refresh as well as brushing up on administrative tasks, particularly those directed at sanitation and safety. Now, with the local offering of discounted ServSafe classes, more team members than ever are attending online safety training.

Through partnerships with US Foods and Ecolab, among others, Fleet Landing is currently putting together the comprehensive plans for reopening safely. “In the restaurant industry, you’re lucky to get one or two days a year to get out of the restaurant and focus on the future.

This unprecedented pause in business has allowed us to step back and define what we want the landscape to look like when were

turn –how do we keep our team and guests safe, and what does the long-term future look like for our business, for starters?”

Fleet Landing plans to open in conjunction with the governor and mayor’s mandates, CDC guidelines, and common sense. “We know that it is important to take the health and safety of both our staff and the public very seriously when considering a re-open date.”

Fleet Landing, located at 186 Concord Street in Charleston, SC is normally open for lunch daily from 11 am –3:30 pm followed by dinner nightly from 5-10 pm along with brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am –3 pm. For more information, visit

Event.Gives Enables Nonprofits Across the Country to Raise Funds Via Live Video Streaming Fundraising Events

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Charleston, S.C.- April 29, 2020?– As millions of nonprofits across the world are faced with canceling their fundraising events during COVID-19, software entrepreneurs Patrick Bryant and Sam Staley have found a way for these organizations to easily transition to virtual giving. Bryant and Staley are the Co-Founders behind?Event.Gives, a revolutionary event management software that enables nonprofits and other organizations to engage their audiences around the globe by hosting live video streaming events, auctions, and more. Bryant and Staley have enabled over 1,000 nonprofits, ranging from the Children’s Heart Foundation to The ALS Association, to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars and continue their missions to serve others.

“The climate and culture of fundraising has been completely turned upside down in the past month or so,” shares Bryant. “It has been so amazing to see organizations from California to Charleston utilize Event.Gives to host some unbelievably creative virtual campaigns to meet their fundraising goals.”

Charleston Collegiate utilized Event.Gives to host a virtual silent auction this month that engaged attendees across the country, raising over $118,000 for the community’s youth. Dan Whisenhunt, CEO of the California Deer Association, a wildlife conservation nonprofit, was also able to host an event this month with over 300 people, raising over $75,000 and almost doubling their best in-person event to date. 

“Event.Gives allowed us to replicate one of our live events with a very quick turn around,” shared Whisenhunt. “We had a great response and are already looking forward to hosting another event with the platform in a few days.” 

Event.Gives enables companies to collect data and engage attendees before, during, and after their event with a full suite of automated fundraising tools. The platform makes auctioning items easy with mobile, remote, real-time bidding, and automated outbid notifications that result in increased engagement. The?Event.Gives Marketplace?also allows event organizers to search for items like travel, gift certificates, event tickets and other experiences to auction off.

Event.Gives takes just three percent of donations (up to a max of $3,000) for each campaign. There are no hidden fees or extra charges. For more information on Event.Gives or if you are an organization wishing to schedule a demo to learn more, visit? Follow Event.Gives on?Facebook,?Twitter?and?LinkedIn.?

Regional Planning Leaders Encourage Greater Census Response

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NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (April 29, 2020) – South Carolina currently ranks 40th nationally in Census response rate at less than 50 percent, placing future federal funding and Congressional representation in jeopardy if those numbers don’t improve – though there is still time to act.

The national response average through April 27 was 53.7 percent. South Carolina was at 48.4 statewide. Local county figures were:

  • Berkeley County: 52.6 (8th in S.C.)
  • Charleston County: 48.3 (16th in S.C.)
  • Dorchester County: 55.5 (3rd in S.C.)

The Town of James Island had the highest local municipal response rate at 61.6 percent.

“With hundreds of billions of dollars and representation in Congress at stake, it is critical that everyone in our region responds to Census 2020,” said Ron Mitchum, Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments executive director. “Transportation projects, community development efforts, critical services, planning funds and more are impacted by Census data. The good news is that the process is very easy.”

Most households received their invitation to respond to the 2020 Census between March 12–20. The Census counts everyone living in the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester region. One person, at least 15-years-old, should respond for each home. They should live in the home or place of residence themselves and know general information about each person who was living there on or before April 1, 2020.

The self-response deadline for online, phone and mailed completions has been extended to Oct. 31. The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect answers and keep them strictly confidential.

How to respond?

  • Complete forms online, by phone, or by mail when the invitation to respond arrives. Visit to begin.
  • Customer Service Representatives are available every day from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. in the following lines:
    • English: 844-330-2020
    • Spanish: 844-468-2020

Why Complete the Census Form?

  • Informs billions in federal spending across more than 100 programs, including transportation and education.
  • Determines the number of seats in Congress.
  • Mandated by the Constitution and has been updated every 10 years since 1790.



The BCDCOG is a voluntary association of, by and for local governments, and was established to assist Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester county leaders in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit, and coordinating for sound regional development. BCDCOG’s purpose is to strengthen the individual and collective power of local governments and to help them recognize regional opportunities, eliminate duplication, and make joint decisions. For the latest on BCDCOG, visit, like us on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @BCDCoG.

Daniel Brock, Regional Strategist
(919) 820-2612

R.B.’s Seafood Restaurant on Shem Creek Closes; Property Sells for $7 Million

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R.B.’s Seafood Restaurant Closes; Iconic Shem Creek Property Sells for $7 Million 

MT. PLEASANT, S.C. — Iconic Shem Creek eatery R.B.’s Seafood Restaurant has closed its doors, and the property at 97 Church St. has been sold to Geyer Capital Management LLC of Atlanta for $7 million.

Charleston Commercial, a key player in the local commercial real estate market, brokered the deal. The company — led by C. Kendrick and managing director Joshua Schaap — is skilled at handling both high-profile and complex deals in the heart of downtown Charleston and around the region. 

Long-time R.B’s Seafood owner Ronnie Boals said leaving the restaurant business after almost 60 years is bittersweet, but he’s ready to retire. Due to some health issues, Boals hasn’t been as active in the daily restaurant operations. Now, he’s looking forward to traveling and some volunteer work. Boals and his wife live in Mount Pleasant. 

R.B.’s Seafood already had closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.  

In 1979, Boals opened the original R.B.’s Seafood Restaurant on Shem Creek in an old fish shed. In 2002, fire destroyed Boals’ restaurant, but he rebuilt and reopened in September 2003. R.B.’s Seafood is an icon on Shem Creek, now known as a go-to spot for locals and tourists looking for a mix of restaurants and waterfront dining. 

Geyer Capital Management has plans to renovate and upgrade the property before it reopens with a new tenant. 

Boals has been a fixture in Charleston’s food and beverage industry. At one point, he owned six restaurants in Mount Pleasant, on Johns Island, in downtown Charleston and in North Charleston. Over the years, Boals built other properties on Shem Creek. About 10 years ago, he got out of all his other business ventures, focusing his attention on R.B.’s Seafood. 

He’s already missing the restaurant, but it was time for a change, he said. 

“It’s been a great business. We had a lot of dedicated repeat customers,” Boals said. “I’m going to miss seeing them come in and out.” 

Broker Kendrick said orchestrating this deal and securing a qualified buyer for Boals was important in protecting such a symbolic Shem Creek property. 

“Ronnie has done so much for Mount Pleasant and the Shem Creek area. We are thrilled to find a buyer who appreciates this special area and is committed to adding value to our community,” Kendrick said. “We are confident Geyer Capital will continue Ronnie’s legacy on Shem Creek.”

Charleston Commercial recently developed another space in Mount Pleasant, 1223 Ben Sawyer Blvd. Schaap completely redeveloped two small buildings into one building that now houses two retail tenants: Mulberry & King, women’s clothing, shoes and accessories boutique, as well as Coastal Collective, an aesthetic and wellness medicine practice.

Charleston Commercial’s experience with complex zoning issues, utilities and historic properties makes it uniquely positioned to facilitate commercial real estate sales, acquisitions and developments in historic and iconic areas of the Lowcountry. 

While Charleston Commercial has worked on several projects in downtown Charleston, they are looking for additional opportunities in Mount Pleasant and around the greater Charleston region. 

Over the last three years, Charleston Commercial has brokered or participated in 19 property acquisitions in downtown Charleston, totaling more than $74 million. The company was part of one of the largest deals of the last decade, consisting of eight properties from six property owners in a landmark deal bordered by King, Society and George streets. 

About Charleston Commercial
Charleston Commercial is a fully integrated commercial real estate group located in Charleston, S.C., specializing in commercial brokerage and asset management for a wide range of property types, including retail, medical office, office, multi-family, hospitality, urban infill, and industrial properties. The firm offers a broad range of incorporated services to see assignments through from start to finish. Services range from market prospecting, acquisition, value creation (including entitlements, zoning, approvals, and development oversight), leasing, asset management, and disposition. Reach Charleston Commercial at 843-670-5727. 

Special Terrace Drive-In Now Open (With special permission from the Governor’s Office)

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Located at 1956 Maybank Hwy in the Gravel Lot next to Zia Taqueria.

The Terrace Drive-In Theater opens Friday, April 24th! We have received written permission from the Governor’s office and County Sheriff’s office to open Charleston’s very own drive-in theater. We will be following all CDC guidelines to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Official Event Website

How It Works:

– Tickets are $25 Per Car Load –? Double features every night!- All tickets and concessions must be purchased online – Tickets will not be available for purchase at the theater.-Concessions can be purchased at Gates open at 7 PM – VERY LIMITED TICKETS- When you arrive, check-in at the front of the building underneath the marquee. A staff member will verify your ticket and direct you to the parking lot, where another staff member will direct you to your parking space. Cars will be parked ONE AT A TIME.- SUVs, trucks, and other large vehicles will be directed to the back, while smaller cars will be closer to the screen.?-The sound from the movie is transmitted to your vehicle’s FM radio. Be sure to set your radio to channel 88.3 FM after parking!- Concessions must be purchased online before the show (see our concessions ordering page) and can be picked up at check-in. Sorry, no refills on popcorn or drinks. Concessions will close at 10 PM each night.– Spaces are limited so be sure to book in advance!


– All guests must remain inside their vehicle at all times, except for restroom use. No lawn chairs or tailgating will be allowed. If you leave your vehicle and do not observe social distancing, we will stop the movie and you will be asked to leave.- Maximum 6 people per car.- Restrooms are available inside the building. A staff member will be stationed at the door to limit no more than 3 guests inside at a time.- Shows will play rain or (moon)shine. NO refunds will be given for any tickets or purchased items.- You must remain in control of your vehicle’s headlights and they must remain OFF at all times. If your vehicle’s lights do not turn off, you will be required to cover them with black construction paper.

Avocet Hospitality Group Brings Over 100 Furloughed Employees Back to work for Phase One of Reopening

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CHARLESTON, SC (April 27, 2020) – Avocet Hospitality Group is bringing back over 100 furloughed employees across its collection of independent Charleston-based hotels and restaurants: The Vendue, Revival, The Rooftop Bar, Tides Folly Beach, BLU Beach Bar & Grill, and Pier 101 Restaurant. Starting Wednesday, April 29th, 2020, most employees will be working from home through online training sessions for the next few weeks until it is deemed appropriate to reopen. 

Avocet Hospitality Group furloughed the majority of its employees the week of March 16th as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. Furloughed employees were provided with all accrued Paid Time Off and an additional two weeks of furlough pay. Avocet also agreed to cover all employee health insurance premiums until the end of the furlough or June 30th, 2020.

“Our employees are part of our family and many have been with us since we started in 2006. It’s a breath of fresh air to be able to bring a large part of our team back to work and put money in their pocket. There’s been a lot of uncertainty over the past several weeks surrounding the coronavirus, but we’re finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Jonathan Weitz, owner of Avocet Hospitality Group. “The training courses are designed to make sure we do everything possible to protect our employees and guests. Nobody wins if we open too fast without proper safety training and procedures,” added Weitz.

The online sessions will focus on preparing employees to safely service guests and minimize the risk of spreading or contracting COVID-19. Training will also cover continuing education on systems, customer service, company policies, as well as more fun topics such as cooking demonstrations, Charleston’s art scene, and mixology. However, the overarching theme throughout the entire curriculum revolves around enhancing employee preparedness working in the service industry post-COVID-19. 

“It’s important for us to invest in our team members by educating them on proper social distancing, food handling, disinfecting, guest interaction, and other new standards to ensure our guests feel confident staying at one of our hotels or dining in one of our restaurants,” said Amber Hultgren, director of human resources for Avocet Hospitality Group. “As we start reopening each business, we will continue to educate and reinforce the importance of maintaining these standards as we slowly get back to the new normal.” 

Each hotel and restaurant will experience a phased reopening to accommodate business levels without compromising the health and safety of both employees and guests. Avocet has developed a comprehensive three-phased set of guidelines for reopening that will be modified as necessary to conform with State or local requirements. All aspects of the plan were carefully thought out with the priority always being the safety of employees and guests.

Tides Folly Beach will reopen once the City of Folly Beach allows overnight accommodations, but in no event before the online training courses are completed. The Vendue is scheduled to open a limited number of rooms and employees on May 1st, 2020 due to a recent uptick in reservation requests, but the majority of employees will be at home taking the online classes.

Resources for Artists during COVID-19 (Information courtesy of Gibbes Museum)

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In times of crisis, artists are often among those most affected. The Gibbes Museum’s manifesto states, “[W]e believe art is the difference between merely existing and being truly alive. That’s why we immerse ourselves in every part of it – from fine art to craft – from nurturing its creation and celebrating its multicultural presentation – to inviting its interpretation and ensuring its preservation.” For that reason, we are partnering with our past Visiting Artists and Museum Store artisans to promote their work in our online store, and want to share a list of resources below for artists working in all disciplines. The list below is static, but we have made our best effort to only include resources that are regularly updating their sites.

South Carolina Arts Commission Arts Emergency Relief Grant
Emergency funds (up to $1000)for SC arts organizations and artists during the COVID-19 pandemic. Application deadline: May 15, 2020.

Creative Capital
A list of resources for artists working in all disciplines, as well as arts philanthropists, and arts professionals.

Artist Relief
To support artists during the COVID-19 crisis, a coalition of national arts grantmakers have come together to create an emergency initiative to offer financial and informational resources to artists across the United States.

Artist Relief Project
Anyone pursuing the arts as a career (any discipline, any level of experience) can request financial support from the Artist Relief Project, which will provide applicants on a first-come, first-serve basis with a one-time emergency stipend of $200 and free resources and support to pursue alternative economic opportunities.

Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund
The Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund is intended to help those pursuing careers as artists or arts administrators whose income has been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This fund is for those who self-identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color).

Americans for the Arts
Up-to-date news and resources for the arts and culture field.

National Endowment for the Arts
A list of organizations are providing frequently updated news and resources for artists and arts organizations.

A list of useful resources for artists and their supporters.

COVID-19 Freelance Artist Resources
An aggregated list of FREE resources, opportunities, and financial relief options available to artists of all disciplines.

Published Sunday, April 26, 2020
Image: MCG Photography

Charleston Chefs Feed the Auction Online Auction Now Live

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About Our Auction

!!! Buy Now is an option available Sunday, April 26th at 5 pm! When the auction opens, you may place a bid or purchase at the Buy Now price.

The purpose of this auction is to raise funds to benefit Charleston’s Feed the Need’s Pay it Forward efforts: a collaboration of farmers, restaurants, and community members united in an effort to feed Food and Beverage workers in need during the COVID-19 crisis.

Since the outbreak, Charleston has had to close the doors of its incredible restaurants, leaving thousands of F&B workers instantly unemployed. Feed the Need, originally created by chefs to help feed those at soup kitchens and shelters, is now also helping those who work so hard to feed us. With every $10 donation, a Charleston F&B community member will receive a grocery bag filled with goods purchased at a discounted rate from local farmers and food purveyors. Bidding on artwork helps to support farmers who are hurting in the wake of COVID-19 and puts food on the tables of F&B employees who are out of work.

A Curious Life – Original Poem

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By Mark A. Leon

I want to remember this moment just as it is
A perfect picture of time

It’s funny how the special things in life never last
Maybe they do in this curious life

The picture albums stored in our head
The postcards with words we almost said
A vision of a time when we were so carefree
Birds in the wild flying out to sea

A curious life filled with minutes and seconds
Pressed between the books dried and preserved

In pictures and film and stories we tell
A legacy we will leave for the next generation to tell

There won’t be snow in Africa
Nor rain inside this desert
Children will pray for food while we hope for the sun to shine on our beaches
Guns kill the innocent
Greed destroys the ideals of the generous

In this curious life

Flipped upside down with terror on top
A world of mayhem led by the devil’s own
Jester and joker so wild and free
No sign of superhero to save you and me

In this curious life

We feed our mind, body and spirit with the loins of the Earth
Energy exchanged
A soul to search
A time to hope, a time to pray
Spinning out of control, a world in dismay

Here I stand, a moment so pure
Holding on tight, so secure

In this curious life