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West Columbia Receives Beautification Grant

  Most businesses will tell you that before they consider moving or expanding to a new city, they will consider the quality of life in that community.  Things like the arts, the cultural scene, green spaces, events, etc.  And while a lot of cities and towns want more of these things, finding the money for them can sometimes be difficult.  Fortunately, the Midlands of South Carolina recently received just such an infusion of cash.  The Central Carolina Community Foundation, a non-profit that distributes grants to other non-profits in the area, has awarded money for nine “attractiveness” projects in the Midlands.

Mike Switzer interviews Brian Carter, Deputy City Administrator of the City of West Columbia, a recipient of one of these grants.

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.