SC business notebook: SC DSS gets bonus for denying, suspending, terminating food stamp benefits

July 3, 2014 

Local & State

Midlands

S.C. DSS gets bonus for denying, suspending, terminating food stamp benefits

The S.C. Department of Social Services has earned a $1.6 million performance bonus from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for its performance in denying, suspending or terminating food stamp benefits.

The award is based on the agency following procedures properly and in a timely fashion. The state agency's error rate in that effort improved for 31.02 percent to 13.59 percent in 2013.

This is the second straight year the state agency has earned an award for similar programs. Last year, the agency got a $1.8 million award for cutting its payment error rate. Those funds, at the state legislature's request, were steered to a program to double the value of food stamps at six farmers markets.

Coast

Fruit of the Loom to add 49 jobs to Summerville distribution center

Apparel giant Fruit of the Loom plans to add 49 jobs over the next 18 months as part of a major expansion of its Summerville distribution center as its e-commerce and intimates businesses grow.

The company said in a statement that it will build a 402,000-square-foot addition to its 350,000-square-foot warehouse, more than doubling the size of the building. The new jobs would increase the existing payroll of 171 full-time workers by 28 percent. The cost of the investment was not disclosed. The company hopes to break ground in September and complete the work by August 2015.

The maker of underwear, T-shirts, socks and other apparel items is owned by billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. For jobs: fotlinc.com/careers.

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Readers of Travel + Leisure ranked Charleston as the No. 1 city in the U.S. and Canada in its 2014 World’s Best Awards announced Wednesday.

Charleston landed the No. 2 slot in the publication’s top 10 list of best cities in the world overall. Kyoto, Japan took the leading spot by a fraction of a point. Cities are given numeric scores based on readers’s ratings of sights and landmarks, culture and arts, restaurants and food, people, and value.

The reader survey also included a ranking of hotels, islands, spas and cruises. Four of the top five top “small city” hotels in the U.S., which means they have fewer than 100 rooms, are in Charleston, with Planters Inn ranked at No. 1, followed by the French Quarter Inn.

Travelers also rated Kiawah Island the No. 5 best island in the U.S. and Canada. The complete results are online and will be included in the August issue of the magazine, which will be on newsstands July 18.

Nation & World

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Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says she doesn’t see a need for the Fed to start raising interest rates to address the risk that extremely low rates could destabilize the financial system.

Yellen says she does see “pockets of increased risk-taking across the financial system.” But she says those threats could be addressed by an increased use of regulatory tools. Many of those tools, such as higher capital standards for banks, were put in place in response to the 2008 financial crisis, which triggered the Great Recession.

In her remarks at a conference sponsored by the International Monetary Fund, Yellen disputes criticism that the Fed contributed to the 2008 crisis by keeping interest rates too low earlier in the decade. Joey Holleman, The (Charleston) Post and Courier and New York Times contributed.

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