For 20 years now, the South Carolina Business Review has brought business leaders, entrepreneurs and commentators to listeners of South Carolina Public Radio. Mike Switzer has hosted the program its entire run, and takes satisfaction at its 20th anniversary.
Starting in radio in high school in Canada, he later became a stockbroker and investment adviser. He called on his earlier radio experience to start a 30-minute business program on a Columbia commercial station because he "saw it as an opportunity to increase my business through contacts and networking, and at the same time provide a service to the general public."
When the station changed formats, it no longer had room for Switzer's show, so he proposed a shorter program to Public Radio, which took him up on the suggestion and, he says, "the rest is history."
South Carolina Business Review has hosted many guests on many topics through the years. A regular for the past 15 or so has been John "Swampfox" Warner, who discusses entrepreneurial topics with Switzer each week. Talking about the show's appeal ,Warner credits the fact that "we try to come up with something new and different, that people haven't heard before," adding that "it's quick and dirty and to the point" so people can get it in their cars going to work.
Switzer has his favorite shows over the feature's two-decade history. One that sticks out in his mind involves a man who became a beekeeper to produce his own honey because he learned that consuming local honey could ease allerigies, which his wife suffered from. "Eventually the business grew to the point where he was shipping bees all around the country to orchards in California that needed bees...plants and vegetables and fruits needed pollinating." Asked by Switzer if it disturbed the bees to be shipped by truck across the country and back, the beekeeper happily replied in the negative. "He said 'the bees came back fat and happy, and with a check!'"
Switzer said South Carolina has made tremendous strides in business over the past 20 years, "not only in attracting the big businesses, the BMWs and the Boeings, but in providing resources for entrepreneurs and small business owners. There just wasn't much out there 20 years ago...but since then, the resources have multiplied exponentially."
Switzer said he'll keep doing the Business Review as long as he can, because it combines his love of business with a service to the listener.