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Today's Main Street Business Environment Under Pressure

South Carolina Business Review logo

Almost 20 years ago our next guest’s organization was formed to manage our capital city’s downtown Main Street district.  Since that time, especially in the last several years, that district has undergone a noticeably positive transformation.  But now we are in more challenging times with the pandemic and concerns over police actions and race relations.  How are our downtown businesses coping?

Mike Switzer interviews Matt Kennell. president and CEO of the City Center Partnership in Columbia, SC.

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.