The Aiken Chamber MEANS business
It's time for the 43rd annual 
Aiken's Makin 
Quality craftsmanship and excellent design are the hallmarks of Aiken's Makin'. Held annually since 1976 by the Aiken Chamber of Commerce, the 43rd Aiken's Makin' will showcase the handiwork of 171 fine artisans and 22 food vendors from across the southeast.
Art and craft exhibits include pieces in clay, wood, glass, fiber, leather, metal, gems, photography, and mixed media. These talented artisans make one-of-a-kind creations that can be functional as well as beautiful. There is something for everyone at Aiken's Makin' and shoppers will find treasures at a variety of price points.
Some shoppers come for the arts and crafts and others attend to enjoy the many tempting foods offered. Items such as funnel cakes, kettle corn, BBQ, crab cakes, fresh lemonade and wine slushies are always a hit. New this year are alcohol infused ice cream push-pops and pizza in a cone.
Keeping the quality of arts and crafts available fresh and exciting is an important key to the success of Aiken's Makin'. This is why Aiken's Makin' is a juried event. Each application and its required accompanying photos are carefully reviewed by a selection committee and being selected one year does not automatically guarantee a place in the next year's event. This year, 39% of the vendors were not at the event in 2018. Interestingly, all applicants from Aiken County that met the criteria for the event were accepted.
The popular show's pedestrian friendly setting allows shoppers to meet the artists/crafters, talk to them about their work, and sometimes watch demonstrations of their techniques. In addition to the quality work on display, Aiken's Makin' has a well-deserved reputation for an ambiance that is relaxed, hospitable and fun.
There is no charge to attend the event and parking is available along the many side streets. Hours are Friday, Sept. 6, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 7, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A $10K Motivator

We love the historic charm of Aiken, but sometimes its historic charm needs a little uplift. One way the City of Aiken can help business owners keep their properties fresh and appealing is through the façade improvement grant program. The Aiken Chamber applauds the City of Aiken for encouraging businesses to reinvest in the appearance of their property and encourages qualified business owners to participate in the program.
Eligible properties qualify for a lifetime maximum reimbursement of $10,000. The program is a 50/50 matching reimbursement program, meaning that once the approved work is complete and paid for, the owner may receive 50% of the value of the expenses up to $10,000 (or the balance left for the property).
The following requirements must also be met:
The Haislip family, owners of True Value Hardware Appliances located at 121 Laurens St. S.W., took advantage of the, $10,000 facade grant to help get started on this property's many beautiful updates.
  • Property must be in an area zoned DB (Downtown Business) and located in the Old Aiken Overlay District or listed individually on the Aiken Historic Register. See Map 
  • All work must first be approved through the Certificate of Appropriateness design review and approval process. Certificates are issued by the Design Review Board.
  • The facade to be improved must be visible from a public right-of-way or alleyway.
  • The grant may be used for the following exterior improvements: correction of exterior code violations, painting and siding, exterior repairs, door and window replacement, awnings, trim work, enhanced entryways, display windows, or any other work as approved by the planning director.
  • The grant may not be used for the following: roofs, dormers, entrance floors, domes, cupolas, steeples, chimneys (unless part of the facade), and turrets.

Businesses interested in the façade grant improvement program should:
  • Check with the City of Aiken Planning Department staff to verify a property's eligibility, determine the balance of funds available and whether the proposed work is eligible.
  • Staff will then help the owner complete a Certificate of Appropriateness application 
  • The application will be reviewed for compliance with the Old Aiken Design Guidelines and work may begin once a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Design Review Board has been received.
  • Once work is complete, the owner will complete and submit a reimbursement form to the Planning Department.
  • The City of Aiken will issue a check upon receipt of the request and all necessary supporting documentation, as long as funds allow.
Every year, Aiken City Council reviews the continuation of the program as a part of the annual budget process. There is no guarantee that City Council will renew the program each year, and the amount allocated may vary from year to year. Planning staff can provide owners with an update on the current availability of funds for the program.
For more information, contact the City of Aiken Planning Department at (803) 642-7608 or visit the office in the Municipal Building at 214 Park Avenue SW. Information is also available at under the Development Process tab.

State Chamber issues 
legislative  report cards 

The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce has published an annual Legislative Scorecard since 2010 to provide the state's business community and the public with information on how state legislators cast their votes on business issues. 

This year, the South Carolina Chamber is excited to unveil its new online, interactive Legislative Scorecard. This new platform will provide information about S.C. Chamber-supported bills, profiles of House and Senate members, and most importantly - a score for each legislator based on how he or she voted on bills important to the business community.

In 2019, the South Carolina Chamber focused on fixing the state's uncompetitive tax structure, overhauling the broken education system, and continuing to fill the workforce gap.

Voting records on the following legislation account for the 2019 scores.

H.3998 - Affordable Workforce Housing
H.3210 - Angel Investor Tax Credit Re-Authorization
H.3263 - Armed Service Members and Spouses Professional and Occupational Licensing Act
H.3780 - GREAT Fund
H.4243 - Professional Sports Team Job Tax Credits
H.3759 - Education Omnibus Package
S.203 - School Consolidation

House District 82 Representative Bill Clyburn (D) is the only member of the Aiken County Legislative Delegation to be designated a 2019 Business Advocate by the S.C. Chamber of Commerce.

Please note that Senators did not receive a score for 2019. A lack of business-friendly votes in the Senate left the business community with insufficient results upon which to gauge their performance. The 2019 Scorecard designates the Senate's work as "score-pending" in an effort to highlight the urgent need to address the state's most important issues upon their return in January 2020 for the second half of this two-year session.

The Scorecard also includes scores tracked from 2015 to the present to give users a historical perspective on a legislator's voting record. Through the online platform, the S.C. Chamber can better inform the business community and the public on where legislators stand on policies that impact South Carolina's economy and business climate. 

For the full Legislative Report Card click here 

Cellphone Apps for Business

Our cellphones keep us connected on a personal level, and there is a great deal your phone can do to help you run your business as well. From accounting, mileage, and expense tracking to social media posting, image protection, and video conferencing this workshop introduce you to several apps that support you in business.
This workshop will discuss:
  • Samsung Notes
  • Square
  • Zoom
  • Evernote
  • Google My Business
  • Google Drve
  • QuickBooks
  • EZY Watermark Photo-Lite
  • Boomerang
  • Collage App
  • Bitmoji
  • and more
The presenter for this workshop is Sofia Johnson, a Pure Romance Consultant and expert on the use of cellphone apps for business.  The workshop will be held Friday, September 13 , from 10 a.m. to noon at the Aiken Chamber of Commerce. There is no charge to attend, but registration is required. Visit or call (803) 641-1111.

SCORE is the nation's largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, with more than 10,000 volunteers in 300 chapters. As a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE has helped more than 10 million entrepreneurs through mentoring, workshops and educational resources since 1964.

Greater Aiken SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start, grow and succeed in Aiken, Allendale, Bamburg, Barnwell and Edgefield counties. SCORE is a partner with the Aiken Chamber of Commerce and has provided no-cost mentoring to small-business owners in the area since 2004. Modest annual funding from the Small Business Administration is augmented by generous contributions from local SCORE business sponsors, including : Aiken Electric Cooperative, Inc., Alison South Marketing Group, Atlantic Broadband, Citizens Park Office & Conference Center, Floyd & Green Fine Jewelers, Security Federal Bank, South State Bank and Tom Young, Jr., PC.


All Ways Caring HomeCare celebrated the launch of its rebrand with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Pictured front and center are  Aiken Chamber President/CEO J. David Jameson and All Ways Caring Regional Branch Manager Danielle Reiner. They are joined by the rest of the caring staff and members of the Aiken Chamber Board, Aiken Chamber Ambassador Team and other local healthcare professionals. You can visit the friendly staff at 261 Arbor Terrace, or go to their website  at  to learn more about their services

Keller Williams Realty - Aiken Partners Realty, LLC proudly showcased their brand-new office space at The Mill on Park and celebrated the completion of their renovation efforts with a ribbon cutting. Pictured from left to right: Kathleen Byrd, front desk specialist; Jason Bonds, operating partner; David Maxey, broker in charge; Sherri Melton, operating principle; Aiken Chamber President/CEO J. David Jameson; Rebecca McGinty, team leader; Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon; Robin Shealy, market center administrator. Swing by 237 Park Avenue, SW, Suite 218, and let them help you find your dream home.  Learn more at 
The Paisley Peacock held a ribbon cutting to celebrate its recent move to 115 Laurens Street, NW. Pictured left to right: Aiken Chamber President/CEO J. David Jameson, Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon, Paisley Peacock Owner Angie Holdorf, Aiken Chamber Board Chair Pastor Paul Bush, Heather Dorries, Aiken City Manager Stuart Bedenbaugh , and Aiken County Chairman Gary Bunker. They are joined by members of the Aiken Chamber Ambassador Team. Make sure to stop by and check out their unique collections.
Upcoming Events   
September 2                
Labor Day - Chamber Closed  
September 6                 
Newberry Hall
Sponsored by: SRP Federal Credit Union
7:30 to 9 a.m.
September 6               
9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Septemb er 7               
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

September 9                 
AYP 4 ALZ - Alzheimer's Walk Fundraiser
Zaxby's - Whiskey Road
5 to 8 p.m.
September 10             
The Multi-Generational Workplace
Aiken Chamber of Commerce
6 to 7:30 p.m.
September 19               
Third Thursday
Sponsored by: Honda Cars of Aiken
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
September 26             
Sponsored by: The Concierge Team - A Real Estate Boutique
5 to 7 p.m.
October 4                     
Newberry Hall
Sponsored by: Aiken Regional Medical Centers
7:30 to 9 a.m.

Visit to register for events.   

Aflac, Bramblett - Insurance
Add an extra layer of protection for life's speed bumps. At Aflac, we offer a wide range of supplemental insurance policies to help you feel confident about your coverage.
946 Millbrook Avenue, Suite B
Aiken, SC 29801
Contact: Nancy Bramblett
Phone: (803) 292-9236

Aflac, Jeffcoat - Insurance
Add an extra layer of protection for life's speed bumps. At Aflac, we offer a wide range of supplemental insurance policies to help you feel confident about your coverage.
946 Millbrook Avenue, Suite B
Aiken, SC 29801
Contact: Tisha Jeffcoat
Phone: (803) 360-7612

Banks Hall
- Accommodations
Elegant and historic guest accommodations in a 1907 Manor House. Super convenient to show grounds, polo, golf, tracks and downtown Aiken, SC. Enjoy hearty breakfasts, afternoon spirits and congenial conversation on the front porch. Banks Hall mixes original details and sophisticated design creating a timeless, tasteful setting where your comfort comes first.
1323 Banks Mill Road
Aiken, SC 29801
Contact: Marianne Yost
Phone: (410) 924-7290

Bath Planet of CSRA - Remodel (Kitchen & Baths)
Created to provide households with a simple alternative to the hassle and sky-high costs of traditional home renovations. Remodeling your bathroom should be an exciting time, and it can be when you work with the right partner. Committed to delivering the best product, service and overall experience in the bathroom remodeling industry. We stand behind our commitments - we guarantee it!
Springfield, SC 29146
Contact: Jeff Royal
Phone: (803) 508-6868

The Center for African History, Arts & Culture - Museum
Our mission is to preserve the Immanuel Institute building and to be an educational resource with interactive programs of sight and sound that educate and inspire, that celebrate both Aiken's diversity and its sense of community and that demonstrate the many contributions of African Americans in Aiken County, in South Carolina and in our nation.
120 York Street, NE
Aiken, SC 29801
Contact: Pastor Paul Bush
Phone: (803) 226-0269

Edward Jones Investments, Ennis - Financial Advisor/Investments/Planning
Working together, we can help you develop a complete, tailored strategy to help you achieve your financial goals.
2141 Whiskey Road, Suite 120
Aiken, SC 29803
Contact: Dustin Ennis
Phone: (803) 642-8054

Gold Ivy Realty
- Real Estate
Gold Ivy Realty proudly services Aiken in many real estate needs including property management.   We have the tools and knowledge to professionally serve our clients.
963 Dougherty Road
Aiken, SC 29803
Contact: Karen Clayton
Phone: (803) 649-0100

Harrison K-9 Security Services, LLC
- Security Services
We import, train and sell the European German Shepherd for family and personal protection all over the world. Each K-9 is tailor trained to their new family or individual security needs.
112 Farmingdale Court
Aiken, SC 29805
Contact: November Holley
Phone: (803)

LeafFilter North of Georgia, LLC  Home Improvement
Home remodeling company servicing the Aiken and surrounding areas, specializing in gutter installation and gutter protection.
2917 Riverwest Drive, Suite 103
Augusta, GA 30907
Contact: Lauren Causey
Phone: (800) 290-6106

McKinney Tire Service
- Tires
Family owned and operated since 1998. We offer a full range of services and products, including new and used tires, wheels, automotive repair services, Penske truck rental and more.  We offer 90-day financing with no credit check.
856 York Street, NE
Aiken, SC 29801
Contact: Justin McKinney
Phone: (803) 648-4040

S & A Lawn Care, LLC
- Lawn Maintenance
Mowing, Weed Eating, Edging, Hedge Trimming, Leaf Removal, Spring/Fall Clean-up
PO Box 161
Barnwell, SC 29812
Contact: Bobby Sauls
Phone: (803) 571-1708

SOC LLC - Security Services
SOC employs 5,000+ worldwide professionals to deliver mission critical safeguards and security, facility management and operations, engineering, explosive ordnance storage and disposal, and international logistics and life support services.
3975 Virginia Mallory Drive, Suite 200
Chantilly, VA 20151
Contact: Allen Jamerson
Phone: (405) 436-1447

South Carolina Shavings Providers, LLC (SCSP, LLC)
- Equine Supplies
SCSP, LLC offers premium wood shavings products, delivers the highest quality customer experience and serves as the premier wood shavings company to the equine and agricultural customer.
150 Warehouse Road
Aiken, SC 29801
Contact: Drew Staples
Phone: (803) 641-4014