SC business notebook, May 29

Interim dean named at USC’s Darla Moore business school

John McDermott has been named interim dean of the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina while school officials conduct a national search for a permanent replacement. McDermott has been chairman of the school’s economics department for five years. He will start July 1, replacing Hildy Teegen, who has served as dean since 2007. McDermott, 61, is expected to guide the school through its move to its new building, which is under construction along Assembly Street. He also will focus on undergraduate and graduate enrollments and instruction, the school’s initiatives in technology to deliver instruction and an upcoming accreditation visit. The Lafayette, Ind., native has three times been named Outstanding Professor of the Year by the IMBA (formerly MIBS) program.

South Carolina improves to A- in annual Small Business Friendliness Survey

Small business owners should now find South Carolina to be an even friendlier state to operate in, according to A new poll released by the website and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation shows South Carolina earned an A- in this year’s Small Business Friendliness Survey after earning a B+ last year. Sander Daniels, co-founder of, said South Carolina ranks among the best in the country to grow a small business, particularly due to the state’s highly-rated employment laws and training programs. South Carolina’s Upstate was ranked as the best part of the state for small businesses, while the Northeastern portion of the state, including Florence and Horry counties, ranked the worst. The Midlands was ranked in the middle range. The survey considered a number of factors that could affect businesses, including ease of hiring, tax codes, environmental regulations and zoning requirements.

Moody’s raises outlook for U.S. banks for first time in 5 years

Moody’s Investors Service has raised its outlook for the U.S. banking industry for the first time in five years, citing the improving economy and banks’ stronger balance sheets. The rating agency said in a report issued Tuesday that sustained economic growth and a better jobs picture will help banks over the next 12 to 18 months. Moody’s raised its outlook for the industry to “Stable” from “Negative.” It had been “Negative” since 2008, the year the financial crisis struck.

The Aiken Standard and The Associated Press contributed.