Consumer

SC Dept. of Commerce urging communities to participate in Small Business Saturday

Local shops are struggling to keep their doors open due to the coronavirus pandemic and they need support from the community to stay afloat.

  Holiday scams target virtual shopping events

  Kershaw Co. woman struggling to find solution after being scammed out of $20,000

New budget airline coming to Columbia Metropolitan Airport in December

  Columbia’s BullStreet District welcomes unique 75,000-sq. ft. office building

  Better Business Bureau issues warning on look-alike DMV websites

  Why this week might have better shopping deals than Black Friday

Continued Coverage

  Billions in unemployment and pandemic-related assistance to be taxed

SC governor allows restaurants to fill to 100% capacity

  SC governor says he’ll lift restaurant capacity restrictions ‘soon’

  New text messaging scam includes recipient’s name and potentially dangerous link

  Better Business Bureau warns public of political candidate donation scams

KFC pulls ‘finger lickin’ good’ slogan because of COVID-19

Nerf Super Soaker water blasters being recalled by Hasbro Inc.

Hasbro says these Nerf Super Soakers were sold at Target from March 2020 to July 2020.

USDA recalls 15,134 pounds of canned soup from Faribault Foods, Inc.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Tuesday Faribault Foods Inc. is recalling approximately 15,134 pounds of a canned soup product.

Kroger to offer discount for parents, educators for back-to-school supplies

The company recently announced that parents and educators will receive an extra 10% on general merchandise.

  REI to open its doors in BullStreet District in one week bringing major retail to the developing area

The store opening comes six years after Hughes Development Corporation broke ground on the 20-year development in January 2015.

SC Tax Free Weekend to be held August 7-9

  Bi-Lo joins list of stores to update mask policy for customers

Kroger to require all customers wear masks in stores nationwide

Columbia business not complying with mask ordinance? Here’s how to report it

Swansea Police seek suspects wanted for breaking into liquor store

  American and United Airlines will sell every seat on flights, customers can opt out

Lizard’s Thicket to temporarily close 2 locations to address staffing needs at other restaurants

A pair of Lizard’s Thicket locations will be closed indefinitely to support other their other restaurants around the Midlands.

SCDOR: Taxpayers can now file amendments for state income tax returns

The South Carolina Department of Revenue has announced that taxpayers can amend their tax returns electronically.

Food Lion to buy dozens of BI-LO stores in the Carolinas, Georgia

In the next two weeks, BI-LO pharmacies will transition their customers and assets to CVS and Walgreens.

BBB warns consumers of social media retail coupon scams amid COVID-19 pandemic

As people continue to spend more time at home and on social media the Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about scammers targeting people with coupons scam online.

  Restaurant owners share mixed feelings about reopening indoor dining Monday

Governor Henry McMaster said in a press conference on Friday that restaurants will be able to open their indoor dining services on Monday, May 11, at 50% capacity as part of what he termed “Phase 2” of the restaurant reopening.

  Gov. McMaster allows restaurants to reopen outdoor dining starting Monday

On Monday, May 4, Gov. Henry McMaster announced restaurants around the state can reopen for outdoor dining.

Five Points bar Group Therapy wins court battle to renew liquor license

Several people and groups -- including CPD and UofSC -- objected against the bar renewing its liquor license.

Child care vouchers available for essential workers

Through the federal CARES Acts, South Carolina is offering child care vouchers in order to keep essential employees at work. The state will use a portion of the $63 million provided by the federal government to fund the vouchers.

  SC restaurant association issues letter to help dining areas reopen safely

WIS obtained a letter sent to the governor outlining a three-phase approach to reopening restaurants.

S.C. Public Service Commission introduces 10-digit dialing, new changes coming to 803 area code

The South Carolina Public Service Commission made an announcement introducing a ten digit dialing concept to the 803 area code on April 25.

  IRS glitch with tax preparer companies may cause stimulus check delays for many Americans

The Internal Revenue Service began issuing the Economic Impact Payments authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, also known as the CARES Act, over five days ago.

Dominion Energy warns of scammers amid COVID-19 pandemic

Officials with Dominion Energy are warning customers of scammers who have taken advantage of residents in the area.

BBB: Stop sharing senior pictures on social media

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is advising against sharing senior photos on social media.

SC Dept. of Revenue to offer filing, payment relief for state taxes

The South Carolina Department of Revenue is providing more tax filing and payment relief for state residents.

Blue Granite issues response to rate increase denial by Public Service Commission

Just days after the Public Service Commission denied Blue Granite Water Company’s request to increase rates, the company issued a response to the commisson’s decision.

  WIS TODAY: Karen Jenkins breaks down information for small businesses applying for assistance through stimulus programs

Financial Expert Karen Jenkins joins the WIS TODAY team to breakdown what small businesses & faith-based organizations need to know about applying for financial assistance through new stimulus programs. (PPP: Paycheck Protection Program & EIDL: Economic Injury Disaster Sloan Program).

  ‘I think it will be a big mess’: SC businesses may have to wait weeks to see loans

On Friday, thousands of businesses in the Midlands and across the nation began submitting their application for loans from the Small Business Administration’s Payroll Protection Program

KFC franchisees launch ‘30 Days of Giving’ to support local children in need

KFC restaurants in South Carolina are initiating a “30 Days of Giving” campaign to feed children who usually depend on school lunches for nutrition in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and school closures.

Publix to provide customers with contactless pay options

Publix is now implementing contactless pay options in all of its stores.

  WIS Today: Financial expert Karen Jenkins shares strategies to deal with debt

Financial expert Karen R. Jenkins visits WIS TODAY to share smart strategies to deal with debt plus, where and how to get help!

  Coldwell Banker: Historic lows in listings make this is a good time to sell your home

Spring is normally one of the busiest times of the year for the housing market, but with uncertainty in the stock market and increasing restrictions in place to combat the coronavirus pandemic, some are getting nervous about what this could mean for the housing industry.

AARP SC hosts free tele-town hall focusing on financial security during COVID-19 pandemic

AARP SC is hosting a free tele-town hall for their members and the public that will focus on financial security during the coronavirus pandemic.

$2 trillion federal relief bill offers help for state agriculture

The $2 trillion emergency stimulus bill recently signed by President Donald Trump will provide help for South Carolina agriculture, according to state officials.

Kroger stores in S.C. to install plexiglass shields at cash registers

In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, Kroger stores will be installing plexiglass shields at cash registers at their locations in South Carolina.

Food Lion donates $30,000 to Harvest Hope to help residents impacted by COVID-19

Officials have announced Food Lion will donate $30,000 to Harvest Hope Food Bank to help deliver about 35,000 meals to Columbia residents in need of food amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Longs closes retail pharmacy locations, CVS to serve patients

Officials announced Longs Drugs will close its retail pharmacy stores on March 24.

Report: Gas prices continue to fall in S.C. due to COVID-19, crude price war

According to a report from AAA, gas prices are continues to fall in South Carolina and across the Southeast.

Columbiana Centre to temporarily close due to COVID-19 concerns

Just days after management announced an adjustment of mall hours, Columbiana Centre will now close its doors temporarily because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to management.

  List of stores with ‘senior shopping hours’ for customers who have higher risk of contracting coronavirus

Some stores are making significant changes amid the coronavirus pandemic, which includes creating a special shopping hour for one of the most vulnerable age groups.

  TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, and Kohl’s stores closing for two weeks

TJ Maxx and HomeGoods will be closing their stores for two weeks, CEO and President Ernie Herrman announced on Thursday.

  Columbiana Centre temporarily changes mall hours

Starting March 16, the mall hours at Columbiana Centre are changing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Publix to offer shopping time for seniors two days a week over COVID-19 concerns

Publix will hold special “senior hours” two days a week to allow shoppers deemed more at-risk for COVID-19 time to shop and avoid crowds.

BI-LO to reserve hour for at-risk shoppers, hire workers hit hard by pandemic

The parent company of BI-LO says it is looking to quickly hire people affected by restricted working hours and layoffs including those in the hospitality and restaurant industry.

Walmart now putting restrictions on some items, introducing senior shopping hour

Walmart is making some significant changes amid the coronavirus pandemic, including putting restrictions on some items and creating a special “seniors only” shopping hour.

Lexington restaurants offer 10% discount on all orders during coronavirus outbreak

Some restaurants are also starting delivery service for customers, and many offer curbside pick-up for to-go orders.

  'Neighbors Serving Neighbors’: Eggs Up Grill to provide free meals for kids while they are out of school

Sticking to their motto of “Neighbors Serving Neighbors”, Eggs Up Grill will be providing free meals for kids while they are out of school due to the spread of coronavirus.

S.C. price gouging law now in effect amid coronavirus spread

This law makes it unlawful to “rent or sell or offer to rent or sell a commodity at an unconscionable price.”

  Study: Most searched ‘anti-germ’ item by state

Upgraded Points, an online information resource that helps travelers to maximize their points and miles, conducted a study to to find the most searched anti-germ item by state amid the spread of coronavirus.

S.C. Public Service Commission postpones public hearing on Palmetto Utilities

The state Public Service Commission has postponed the first of two public meetings until March 19 to address a proposed water and sewer rate hike for Palmetto Utilities customers.

  Due to coronavirus, Upstate textile company works to keep up with high demand for medical products

There are no days off at Phenix Engineered Textiles.

BullStreet development lands new craft brewery

Iron Hill is slated to open in summer 2021.

  Help is available to protect your identity

Chances are you’ve received a phone call from someone telling you to pay a fee or face jail time, give your social security number and password to confirm your identity or go buy gift cards and call the person back to give him the numbers. All scams. This week is National Consumer Protection Week.

Free tax assistance to be provided for low-income, other qualified taxpayers

If you need help with your taxes, you may qualify for free tax assistance with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

  Customers say fake Dominion Energy calls continue, demanding money, threatening to end service

This week is considered the time to better understand your consumer rights, and learn ways to improve your spending habits for National Consumer Protection Week. Some state officials are also taking this time to warn consumers about the continued problem of scams.

Kroger limiting orders of sanitization, cold and flu products

Kroger is limiting orders of some sanitization and cold and flu products after a rash of demand triggered by coronavirus fears.

McDonald’s giving away free Egg McMuffins Monday

McDonald’s lovers rejoice! On Monday, restaurants nationwide will offer a free Egg McMuffin breakfast sandwich.

WMBF Investigates: Potholes costing drivers and state of S.C.

Potholes are more than just a bump in the road for South Carolina drivers; the road hazard can cause major damage to cars and injuries to drivers.

Tourism industry brings in record-breaking $23.8 billion for South Carolina

South Carolina’s tourism industry had another record-breaking year.

Darius Rucker to serve as 2020 South Carolina Tourism Ambassador

One of South Carolina’s favorite sons will now help to bring more vacationers to the Palmetto State.

SC ranks among highest unemployment for people with disabilities. A Charleston shop breaks that mold.

Saturday marks the two-year anniversary for the cafe, whose chain was started in honor of two children with Down Syndrome.

Sell, manage or status quo? Report out on SC public utility

South Carolina could pay off billions in debt and end uncertainty over lawsuits if it sells its state-owned utility, Santee Cooper, but the move would cost ratepayers more money over the next 20 years, state fiscal officials say in a newly released report.

Popular infant carrier sold at Target and Amazon recalled

The recall is due to a problem with the buckles on the carrier, which could cause the baby to fall out.

  SC lawmakers say the state can afford to offer larger property tax breaks for seniors, people with disabilities

On Feb. 4, several South Carolina lawmakers will hold a press conference at the State House, hoping to gain more support for a proposal which would expand the Homestead Exemption benefit.

  Lexington apple butter found on shelves across the country

She’s peeled thousands of apple in her day. Theresa Adams has created a business out of it. Apple butter is her specialty, and now the Lexington resident sells it across the country.

Limited-edition Old Bay hot sauce sells out on first day, but promises to restock soon

If you’re looking for a new way to spice up your next meal, Old Bay has you covered.

  Business license tax reform picking up steam at the S.C. Statehouse

According to the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, one of their legislative priorities for 2020 is business license tax reform.

  Amid public hearings, state utility watchdog takes closer look at proposed Blue Granite rate increase

New public filings from the state’s utility watchdog allege Blue Granite Water Company wants to use ratepayer money to pay for non-business related expenses.

  Multiple town hall meetings being held regarding proposed rate increase for Palmetto Utilities customers

Tuesday, Jan. 28, Palmetto Utilities will hold two town hall meetings where customers can learn more about a proposed rate increase.