SC business notebook, May 30

Columbia Housing Authority gets $222,003 for housing for homeless, disabled veterans

The Columbia Housing Authority will receive $222,003 in federal money as part of an effort to provide permanent housing to homeless and disabled veterans. The money is coming from the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Veterans Affairs as part of a $60 million nationwide program, the departments announced Wednesday. The funds will provide 50 vouchers to Columbia-area veterans for rental assistance, as well as case management and clinical services. For help, call (877) 424-3838 or see

S.C. unemployment agency makes early $144 million debt payment

South Carolina’s unemployment agency is making a $144 million early payment toward its debt to the federal government, helping to reduce businesses’ insurance taxes. The agency’s director of unemployment insurance says Friday’s payment will be four months ahead of schedule, saving $1.7 million in interest. It will leave an outstanding balance of $540 million on the state’s original debt of nearly $1 billion. Erica Von Nessen says the agency also plans to pay an additional $50 million in September. The payments allow for lower 2014 tax bills to South Carolina businesses paying into the trust fund. They’re partly attributed to internal policy changes and legislation that led to fewer people qualifying for jobless benefits and for shorter periods. The debt is still on track to be paid off in 2015.

Metal fabricator of engineered cabs expanding, creating 55 new jobs

Angus-Palm, a metal fabricator of engineered cabs, is expanding its Florence County plant, investing $13 million and creating 55 new jobs over the next four years, the S.C. Department of Commerce said Wednesday. New jobs will be in fabrication, welding, painting, assembly, material handling and engineering. To apply, call (843) 413-4302.

European recession threatens world’s economic recovery

The recession in Europe risks hurting the world’s economic recovery, a leading international body warned Wednesday. In its half-yearly update, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said that protracted economic weakness in Europe “could evolve into stagnation with negative implications for the global economy.” The OECD again slashed its forecast for the economy of the 17-country eurozone, saying it will shrink by 0.6 percent this year.

The Associated Press and Amanda Coyne contributed.