NEW YORK — Local & State
Event today benefits Harvest Hope
Local Happiness – a company that works with schools and other groups to sell local products through fundraisers – is partnering with Harvest Hope Food Bank for an event from 3-9 p.m. today at Richland Mall. The Local Happiness Experience & Harvest Hope Food Drive will be held at Sadie’s American Cafeteria on the lower level of the mall at 3400 Forest Drive. Entry is free with a donation of canned goods for the food bank. Local products will be on display and for sale, including those from Mr. B’s Sustainable Glassworks, Bell Honey, Blackburn Designs, Blue Moon Specialty Foods, The Butter Bath Company, Lee’s Southern Seasonings and Charleston Cookie Company, Local Happiness owner Ken Carey said. Also, 40 percent of the profit from items sold will go to the food bank. The event also includes live music from Jim Sonefeld of Hootie and the Blowfish fame, as well as Lunch Money and Melanie McMillan. And stylists from the mall’s Belk salon and spa will offer services for donations to the food bank.
TD Bank top lender to small businesses
TD Bank recently was named the No. 1 lender in South Carolina for small business loans by dollar volume by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The bank provided the state’s small businesses with $25 million in approved loans backed by the administration in its 2012 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30. This is the third straight year it has been ranked in the No. 1 spot.
Nation & World
AT&T expands broadband service
Many homes in AT&T Inc.’s local-phone service areas will see the company becoming more competitive with cable for broadband service under a new $14 billion investment plan the company revealed Wednesday. But in more outlying areas, the company will start shifting customers from regular phone lines to wireless service. Like other phone companies, AT&T is having a hard time competing with cable broadband in much of its service area, because regular “DSL” broadband is now much slower than what cable companies offer. The company will upgrade some areas to higher speeds and abandon phone lines in less dense areas in favor of wireless. AT&T said it plans to build out its “4G LTE” wireless network to cover 300 million people, up from the 250 million people it had initially planned to cover. Pamela Lackey, AT&T’s president for South Carolina, called the announcement “a critical step to bringing state-of-the-art communications technology to consumers and business owners in South Carolina” that will “provide the infrastructure needed to propel the state forward for years to come.”
Kristy Eppley Rupon and The Associated Press contributed.