Mike Switzer

Host, Producer

After almost 20 years, Mike Switzer retired from Wells Fargo Securities in 2001 as Senior Vice President/Investment Officer and Certified Portfolio Manager.  In 1999, he and his wife, Maggie, purchased and operated for eight years the Baskin Robbins ice cream store on Forest Drive in Columbia. They grew the store from a bottom-tier operation in the Baskin Robbins franchise system to one in the top 5% nationwide within three years, tripling sales along the way.  While operating the ice cream store, Mike and Maggie received patents for a portable ice cream sink and fold-down sneezeguard they invented and in 2002 started Magnolia Carts, an ice cream cart manufacturing company, which they sold in 2013.

Since 2000, Mike continues to host and produce the South Carolina Business Review, heard each weekday morning at 7:50am on South Carolina’s Public Radio Network, which includes eight NPR affiliate stations.  The 6-minute show features interviews with entrepreneurs, business owners, and business leaders from across the state.

In 2009, Mike and Maggie finished construction of their new “green” home in Blythewood, SC which was awarded Gold Certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program from the US Green Building Council.  Mike is past chair of the Town of Blythewood Planning Commission and served as the executive director of the Greater Blythewood Chamber of Commerce between 2014 and 2019.  In 2011, Mike co-founded Voterheads.com, a nationwide, local-government-monitoring technology company and currently serves as the President and CEO.

Ways to Connect

Ryan Heafy
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

With traditional newspapers struggling in the age of the Internet, many competitors have emerged in the local media market.  Our next guest’s company is one of those that also caught the eye of our state’s start-up venture capital arm known as SC Launch.

Mike Switzer interviews Ryan Heafy, chief operating officer for 6AM City, based in Greenville, SC.

Besides the stock market, perhaps one of the best investments you could have made at the bottom of the Great Recession, would have been in apartment buildings, when rental demand skyrocketed as millions of people became frozen out of home ownership due to the upheaval in the home mortgage industry.  Our next guest says that he believes there is still money to be made in apartment investing.

An update of the news, events and issues that are trending right now across South Carolina's business community.

Mike Switzer interviews Ross Norton, editor of GSA Business Report part of the SCBiz News network.

Colin Trimble
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

It’s probably safe to say that most companies view the US Department of Labor as an agency that advocates for employee rights.  And while that is certainly true, our next guest would like you to know that the USDOL also works hard to assist businesses, as well.

Mike Switzer interviews Colin Trimble, a community outreach and resource planning specialist with the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor in Columbia, SC.

Bryant Davis and Erica Wade
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

You may have heard our recent interview with the US Small Business Administration about how they assist small businesses in procuring contracts with the federal government. Local government also offers this type of assistance, helping local companies find contracting opportunities at the city and county levels, and our next guest is hosting an information event on this topic very soon.

Paul De Sloover
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

You may have noticed that solar panels are showing up on more and more homes in our state and that’s mainly because costs continue to drop and because the state legislature recently passed laws loosening restrictions that have burdened the industry for many years.  However, many people are still hesitant because they just might not like how the big bulky panels look on their roof or in their yard.  Our next guest says that attitude represents a business opportunity to him.

For decades, the media has been reporting that the social security system is in trouble.  And here are just a few recent news headlines:

Social Security is running out of money, with benefits on track to be reduced by 2035” ABC News - April 22, 2019

How much longer will Social Security last?” AARP - April 23, 2019

Will Social Security be around when I’m ready to retire?” The Washington Post - May 6, 2019

A weekly update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews John Warner, co-founder of Accessible Diagnostics and the Swampfox Facebook page, based in Greenville, S.C.

Seven years ago, our next guest’s company began operations in Upstate South Carolina selling interactive displays for the educational and business markets.  Since then, they have won industry awards and last year made it into the Inc. 500 and recognized as one of our state’s fastest growing companies.

Mike Switzer interviews Keone Trask, CEO of Clear Touch Interactive in Greenville, SC.

  When we first interviewed our next guest several years ago, he and his wife were operating the Gin Joint, a bar in Charleston and after being frustrated with the time it took to make craft cocktails once they got home after a busy night, they began bottling their own mixtures that became so popular they sold the bar to focus solely on the cocktail mix business which has now grown into three separate lines.

Michael Corp
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

  The federal government awards approximately $500 billion dollars in contracts each year. Of that, at least 23% or goes to small businesses.  So if you’re a small business owner, how do you get a piece of that $125 billion pie?

Mike Switzer interviews Michael Corp, Deputy District Director for South Carolina District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration in Columbia, SC.

 SC SBA Resource Guide

Planning for a financially secure retirement may require some changes if a new bill that recently passed the House of Representatives becomes law.  The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement or SECURE Act passed the House on May 23rd and our next guest says it would be the first meaningful change in retirement rules in over ten years if the House and Senate can reconcile the differences in their two bills.

Mike Switzer interviews Jeff Wildes, a certified financial planner in Andrews, SC.

A weekly update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina. Mike Switzer interviews John Warner, co-founder of Accessible Diagnostics and the Swampfox Facebook page, based in Greenville, S.C.

In 1986, the United States Congress mandated federal funding for early intervention services for children with disabilities in an effort to boost their development and lessen their developmental delays.  Our next guest and an associate were involved in assisting children with this program through state agencies but they became frustrated and so decided to open the first private early intervention service company in South Carolina twenty years ago.

Mike Switzer interviews Beth Bunge, co-owner of Bright Start in Columbia, SC.

At one time, textiles dominated our state’s manufacturing sector, but then during the 80’s and 90’s, local companies could no longer compete with the low cost facilities around the world and began closing down.  Inspired by their great-grandfather’s textile business in Russia, our next guest and his brothers decided to purchase a local textile mill and now they are shipping their products all over the world.

Mike Switzer interviews Greg Cohen, co-founder of All About Fabrics in Williamston, SC.

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