MARCH 2020
Upcoming Events
Preventive Measures for Coronavirus and Flu
City urges citizens to become informed about ways to prevent the coronavirus and flu
At this time, no cases have been confirmed in South Carolina, according to South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. Coronavirus was first identified in the city of Wuhan, China. Cases have been confirmed in several other countries, including the United States. 

As South Carolina public health officials continue to monitor the emerging outbreak of a novel coronavirus, now referred to as COVID-19. Here are some quick facts to help you with the best preventative measures.

To stay updated with the latest information, please visit  to learn more about the virus. 

For your information, please view the additional links provided: 

Flu Prevention 

Public health officials have also urged citizens to continue their efforts regarding flu prevention as well. 

The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against influenza (flu) is to get a flu vaccine every flu season. Flu is a contagious respiratory disease that can lead to serious illness, hospitalization, or even death. CDC recommends everyone six months and older get an annual flu vaccine. 

For your information, please view the additional links provided: 

Community Development Public Meetings
The City of Columbia Community Development Department will be hosting public forums and public meetings, and your input is vital as we plan for the future. 
Community Development is required, per HUD regulation, to create a Consolidated Action Plan every 5-years. 

This plan guides the City’s Community Development strategy, by identifying priority needs, through a thorough assessment of the City’s demographics, impediments to fair housing, market analysis and citizen input. 

As part of the citizen input process, the City of Columbia Community Development Department will hold one input meeting in each City Council District. For more information, please contact City of Columbia Community Development at 803-545-3373. 

The public meeting dates, locations and times are as follows:

·        March 5, 2020  — District 2 Input Meeting — Booker Washington Heights/Kathryn Bellfield Cultural Arts Center ( 2611 Grant Street, Columbia, SC 29203 ) — 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
·         March 12, 2020  — District 3 Input Meeting — Edisto Discovery Park ( 1914 Wiley Street, Columbia, SC 29205 ) — 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
·         March 19, 2020  — District 4 Input Meeting — Hampton Park ( 1117 Brandon Avenue, Columbia, SC 29209 ) — 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The online survey is available at . The survey is available in both English and Español.
City to Host All Access Columbia
The City of Columbia’s Community Development Department is proud to announce the All Access Columbia workshop. These workshops are held on a quarterly basis and offer topics that engage, enhance and empower our citizens and communities. 

During this quarter, sessions will include Community Grant Writing and Capacity Building. 

The All Access Columbia workshop will be held on Saturday, March 21, 2020, at Busby Street Community Center, 1737 Busby Street Columbia, SC 29209 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 

This workshop is free, but registration is encouraged. To register for the All Access Columbia workshop, please contact the Community Development Department at 803-545-3373.
2020 ‘Fill the Boot’ Campaign Kick-Off to Benefit MDA
The Columbia-Richland Fire Department has once again set three days in March to raise funds for patients and their families impacted by muscular dystrophy. The 2020 CRFD ‘Fill The Boot’ Campaign presented by CPI Security will be kicking off Tuesday evening March 17, 2020 when the Columbia City Council convenes for its meeting.

Columbia-Richland firefighters will then once again be out at city and county intersections asking drivers to help ‘Fill the Boot’ in support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association Greater Carolinas.

The drive will be in full swing from Wednesday March 18 through Friday March 20 . During all three days CRFD crews will be out near the following intersections collecting donations from approximately 7:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Assembly & Gervais                                     Two Notch & Decker
Huger & Blossom                                          Sparkleberry & Two Notch
Devine & Harden                                          Hwy 21 & Blythewood
Bull & Elmwood                                            Pineview & Garners Ferry
Main & Sunset                                              Kennerly & Broad River
Bush River & Broad River                            Forest Drive & Beltline
South Beltline & Rosewood                          Trenholm & Forest Drive
Leesburg & Garners Ferry                           Rabon Rd & Farrow Rd
North Springs & Clemson Rd
“This is a campaign that I personally look forward to each and every year,” said Columbia-Richland Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins, “I’m proud of what our firefighters do to raise dollar after dollar in support of this great cause. Last year was even more special as our department passed the $3-million-dollar mark in funds raised for the MDA. Knowing that all the funds raised have gone to help families grappling with these diseases makes all the hard work worthwhile.”
Pitch Perfect Lunch and Learn
The City of Columbia’s Office of Business Opportunities will host a Pitch Perfect Lunch & Learn on Thursday, March 5, at Earlewood Community Center, 1113 Recreation Drive, from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 

This training session will provide small business owners practical instructions on the best way to introduce their products and services to potential customers/clients.

Harry and Darlene Preston of Bisnet, LLC will serve as presenters during the event.

The training session is free but registration is required. To register for the Lunch & Learn training session, please
visit  or contact the Office of Business Opportunities at 803-545-3950.
Office of Business Opportunities Presents: Lunch and Learn
Please join the Office of Business Opportunities for a lunch and learn for small business owners on the important financial tips of starting and growing your business. The presenter for this workshop is Kadenia Javis, owner of Javis Financial Services, LLC. Lunch will be provided.

To register online, please click here.
St. Patrick's Day Animal Adoption Special
March At-Large Open House
WHO: Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine and Councilman Howard Duvall, Jr.
WHAT: Citizens are encouraged to make an appointment to meet with Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine and Councilman Howard Duvall, who both represent the at-large seats on City Council.

WHEN: Wednesday, March 11, 2020; 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
WHERE: City Hall, 1737 Main St., Columbia, SC 29201
  An appointment must be scheduled to attend. Call (803) 545-3061 for information or scheduling purposes.
Earth Hour 2020
City of Columbia Planning and Development Services to Host Public Meeting for Review of New Zoning Map
The City of Columbia is moving forward with the new zoning map to correspond with the adopted Unified Development Ordinance. Planning and Development Services Department staff will host a public meeting in March to give citizens the opportunity to review the map and learn about the new zoning districts. 

A general public meeting will be Wednesday, March 11th from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM at the Eau Claire Print Building, 3907 Ensor Ave, Columbia, SC . Following the March 11th meeting, staff will offer one-on-one appointments in 15-minute increments at various locations throughout the City to answer property-specific questions.

For information on how to sign-up for an appointment and to view the draft map, please visit or call 803-545-3222. Please note that a second round of public meetings will be offered during the month of May prior to the map going before Planning Commission and City Council.

The new Unified Development Ordinance creates a user-friendly code that streamlines and modernizes procedures, creates a more efficient and predictable process, and provides for more flexibility in appropriate contexts. For information on the project to include the text of the new ordinance, please visit

To learn more about the zoning map revision process, click here.
Tykes on a Hike
Fireflies Seek 2020 National Anthem Performers
The Columbia Fireflies today announced that they will be hosting auditions in search for National Anthem singers to perform during the 2020 season.

The Fireflies are seeking soloists and groups of all ages to perform the National Anthem for Fireflies regular season home games. Auditions will take place in the Club Lounge at Segra Park. Auditions are by appointment only on Tuesday, March 10th.

To reserve your audition time please contact Nick Musial at or (803) 888-3047. Those that have performed at a Fireflies game in the past must audition again. The Fireflies host 70 home games between April 9th and September 4th. Performances during the season are not guaranteed to everyone that auditions. Those that are selected to perform will receive four complimentary tickets to the game the night of their performance.

Season tickets are now available for the 2020 Columbia Fireflies season. Single game tickets for all Fireflies home games will go on sale Thursday, February 20 at 10am. To purchase your tickets visit the Fireflies Box Office located at Segra Park, contact the Box Office by phone at 803-726-4487 or visit
Public Space Public Life Seeking Volunteers
WHAT:  City of Columbia Public Space Public Life Survey

WHEN:  Thursday, April 2, 2020 from 7:30am - 7:30pm and Saturday, April 4, 2020 from 9:00am - 9:00pm

WHERE:  Select locations in downtown Columbia

WHO:  Open to the public

To sign up, visit

If you have questions regarding the Public Space Public Life Survey, contact Planning and Development Services Department at 803-545-3222. 

For information on the City’s Public Space Public Life Action Plan, visit
City View: A Close-Up View of the City of Columbia
City View brings you a close-up view of the City of Columbia by highlighting key events, programs and initiatives happening in the City of Columbia.

To watch the latest episode, view here.

For more information about the City of Columbia, please visit our website or check us out on our social media platforms!

Application Process Open for Accommodations Tax & Hospitality Tax Grant Funding Fiscal Year 2020/2021.
(Due March 6 th and March 13 th )
The Accommodations Tax grant provides financial support to non-profit organizations and their projects/events whose mission is to attract tourists by promoting overnight accommodations in the City of Columbia.

To be eligible, your organization must be a nonprofit with documentation from the South Carolina Secretary of State’s Office, with activities in the City of Columbia. 

Accommodations Tax Grant (Due March 6, 2020 by 12:00 pm)  .The Accommodations Tax Grant provides financial support to non-profit organizations and their projects/events whose mission is to attract tourists by promoting overnight accommodations in the City of Columbia. 

Hospitality Tax Grant (Due March 13, 2020 by 12:00 pm).  The Hospitality Tax Grant provides financial support to non-profit organizations and their projects/events whose mission is to attract tourists by promoting dining in the City of Columbia. 

For complete A-Tax and H-Tax grant guidelines, eligibility requirements, and application links go to:

For specific questions or information on our Accommodations and Hospitality Fund Grants, please contact Ms. Dee Dee Fanning via email at  or via phone at (803) 545-3048.

Rain Barrel & Compost Bin Sale
Business and Breakfast with the City Manager
The Business and Breakfast event is hosted each year by the North Columbia Business Association. This program provided the City Manager an opportunity to reflect on the past year and provide insight to where she sees challenges and opportunities in the future. 
City Manager Teresa Wilson was the featured keynote speaker at Business and Breakfast with the City Manager. This year's theme was City, Our Vision: Building and Sustaining Strong Businesses.
Business owners fill the Canal room at Edventure Children's Museum awaiting to hear the various initiatives underway that will focus on the growth of the business community.
Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine Appointed to Serve in Various National League of Cities Leadership Roles
Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine was appointed to serve on the Board Finance Committee for the 2020 Board Committee appointments for the National League of Cities. She was also appointed to serve as the board liaison to the Council on Youth, Education and Families.

In 2019, Councilwoman Isaac Devine was elected to serve a 2-year term on the Board of Directors for the National League of Cities. She was also re-elected to serve as a member of the Board for Women in Municipal Government (WIMG) and the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBCLEO).

The Board Finance Committee is responsible for overseeing The National League of Cities’ internal finances.
A Peace of Soul Vegan Kitchen Grand Opening
A Peace of Soul Vegan Kitchen (formerly known as Lamb’s Bread) and City of Columbia Office of Business Opportunities held a grand opening ceremony and press conference on Wednesday, February 26, 2020.

The current owner, Folami Geter, bought the business from her father seven years ago and has established a devoted and expanded customer base. Ms. Geter will continue with her customer’s favorite dishes and has plans to expand the menu.

The original restaurant was first opened by Geter’s father in 2005 and was for many years the only all-vegan restaurant in Columbia. A Peace of Soul Vegan Kitchen is also a key black owned restaurant in the North Columbia area that is rapidly growing.
A Peace of Soul Vegan Kitchen owner, Folami Geter, cutting the ribbon at the opening ceremony of her restaurant with support from Mayor Steve Benjamin, Councilman Sam Davis and many others.
Mayor Steve Benjamin shares remarks at A Peace of Soul Vegan Kitchen press conference about the growth coming into the North Columbia district.
A Peace of Soul Vegan Kitchen located at 2338 Main Street in Columbia.
3rd Annual Black History Heritage Ball Recap
Citizens gathered at the 3rd Annual Black History Heritage Ball on Sunday, February 23, 2020 at Greenview Park to celebrate the rich culture and heritage of African Americans through song, dance, poetry and more! 
Citizens dressed to impress in African attire to celebrate all the festivities at Greenview Park.
The 3rd Annual Black History Heritage Ball included celebrating heritage through music and songs.
Vendors lined up at the 3rd Annual Black History Heritage Ball selling items that showcased rich African print.
Citizens line up on the dance floor ready to showcase their dance skills through African song.
10th Annual Columbia Lifesavers Blood Drive
The community answered the call to patients who were in need of blood by donating at the 10th Annual Columbia Lifesavers Blood Drive on Thursday, February 20, 2020 at the Columbia Metropolitan Center.

The City of Columbia partners with the American Red Cross Board of Directors each year to join forces during an often critical time for blood collections following the holidays. Severe winter weather also impacts blood drives in other areas.
Donating blood is simple and doesn't take much time.
Some donors were able to give a 'Power Red' donation if their blood types were O, A- and B-.
Go Red Columbia Photo Gallery
In honor of National Wear Red Day and National Heart Health Month, the City of Columbia hosted their annual Go Red Columbia Press Conference and community photo sessions on Friday, February 7, 2020, at Charles R Drew Wellness Center, 2101 Walker Solomon Walker Way Columbia, SC 29204. 

The Go Red for Women movement encourages awareness of this issue and action to help save lives.
Engine 8 Push-in Ceremony
The Columbia-Richland Fire Department commemorated a new fire engine into the Atlas Road Station by holding a community push-in, which featured Will Brennan, District III City of Columbia Councilman, Richland County officials and Columbia-Richland Fire Department staff.
Will Brennan, City of Columbia District III Councilman, helped push-in the new fire engine and spoke to media about the importance maintaining excellent equipment for public safety.
The new, state of the art fire engine for the Columbia-Richland Fire Department was purchased by the City of Columbia to improve public safety in our communities.