Paragon Builders: Seated from left are Eric Byrd, VP of operations and Stephon Edwards, president. Standing from left are Stephon Edwards II, VP of residential division and DeQuincey Edwards, general contractor.

Orangeburg firm completes flood rebuild

Paragon Builders, an Orangeburg-based general and mechanical contractor, completed its first home rebuild resulting from the 2015 floods that devastated many South Carolinians.

The rebuild took place in Sumter, where the 18-year old company constructed a new ADA-accessible home for a flood victim whose home was left uninhabitable after the 2015 natural disasters. Paragon demolished the damaged structure and constructed a new three-bedroom, two-bath home that met ADA standards for the resident, who is wheelchair-bound.

The procurement opportunity was made possible through a subcontract with Horne LLP, which is contacted through the State of South Carolina. To date, Paragon has been assigned 27 home constructions, but the contract can be expanded to 100 homes throughout the state.

To help manage the contract and meet the 90-day completion time, Paragon partnered with several other minority-owned firms to complete the project. Lyles and Lyles Construction, B&H Heating and Cooling, Polaris Construction, One Way Electrical, LLC, Brabham Trucking, LLC, Preileau Flooring, and Amaker Roofing were brought on to provide specialty services and support.

Eric Byrd, vice president of operations, said, “Working on a project like this is special to us. Everyone deserves a quality home to live in, and we are especially proud to play a role in helping people displaced by the 2015 Flood and Hurricane Matthew to rebuild their lives. And not just that, we are more than happy to include other minority firms in the process. This is truly a win-win for everyone.”

Byrd credits Horne LLP for the opportunity and says they are using it have a positive impact on the community, not only displaced residents, but fellow minority contractors as well. “Every chance we get, we extend the opportunity to others so they can grow along with us.”

The mission of the Minority Business Development Agency in Columbia is to assist minority business enterprises compete in the global economy and to stimulate the national and local economy through job creation. To fulfill this mission, MBDA assists minority businesses with access to contracts and capital, strategic business counseling, and becoming export-ready. For more information on the MBDA Business Center and its services, visit or call 803-743-1152.

Mall launches Festive Five

The Prince of Orange Mall announced the launch of The Festive Five, an event that will kick off the holiday season. The five-night event will feature choirs, musicians, dance groups and more spreading holiday cheer through live performances in the new Festive Five performance area in the mall. The event will be held the week of Nov. 13 with performances each night.

Throughout the week, friends, family and shoppers can vote for their favorite holiday performance. The act with the most votes will win the title of Orangeburg’s Festive Favorite. The winner will be featured on a mural in the Mall and receive the 2017 Festive Favorite award.

“Our goal is to bring the community together to showcase local talent and kick off the start of the holiday season here in Orangeburg. We have fun new seasonal décor that will be displayed throughout the mall and a holiday inspired performance area for The Festive Five participants. We want shoppers, performers and the entire community to engage in a new holiday experience and enjoy the spirit of the season though song, dance, music and scenes from Christmas classics,” said Coles Doyle, marketing director for Hull Property Group, owner of the Prince of Orange Mall.

Festive Five registration is open and individuals or groups interested in performing can visit or email to sign up.

SCE&G community solar sites under construction

CAYCE – Construction has begun at two of the three solar facilities to be completed for one of the nation’s largest utility-sponsored community solar programs, S.C. Electric & Gas Co. announced.

The 16-megawatt Community Solar Program was first unveiled in September 2016, and since then SCE&G has worked closely with Clean Energy Collective, a leading community solar solutions provider, to accelerate program development, enroll customers and build the local solar facilities.

Community solar sites in Jasper and Orangeburg counties began construction activities this month. A third site will be developed in Hampton County next year. CEC is developing, constructing and operating the utility’s community solar portfolio.

“SCE&G launched the Community Solar Program as part of our commitment to provide customers greater access to clean energy and more choices for meeting their power needs, particularly for those who previously didn’t otherwise have a pathway to solar,” said Danny Kassis, vice president of customer relations and renewables for SCE&G. “Building these sites will get us even closer to realizing that vision.”

An alternative to rooftop solar, community solar gives SCE&G residential electric customers, schools, churches and municipalities the opportunity to purchase or subscribe to panels in local solar arrays, and receive monetary credit on their utility bills for the electricity those panels produce each month. Hundreds of SCE&G customers have signed up for the program, and both residential and nonresidential enrollments are now complete.

“We are proud to partner with SCE&G in making the benefits of solar energy available to so many more of their customers,” said Tom Sweeney, president of renewables at CEC. “Program enrollment launched about five months ago, and thanks to high customer demand for the financial and environmental benefits delivered by locally generated clean energy, available allocations have reached capacity.”

When all three arrays are operating, they will produce about 733,754 megawatt hours of reliable clean energy over the initial 20-year term – an estimated environmental equivalent of planting 2 million trees or avoiding more than 1.5 billion car miles.

In addition to facilitating customer enrollment, CEC is managing production monitoring, and providing billing integration services. Customers interested in learning more about community solar or signing up for the waitlist should visit

Chamber Legislative Breakfast Oct. 27

The Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce will be having its third annual Legislative Delegation Breakfast on Friday, Oct. 27 at the Orangeburg Country Club, 2745 Griffith Drive in Orangeburg.

The Presenting Sponsor for the event is AT&T. The breakfast will provide an opportunity to express ideas and suggestions to the Orangeburg County Legislative Delegation and to thank lawmakers for their service to the community. It will also provide an opportunity to conduct a general discussion on key issues coming before the South Carolina General Assembly in the upcoming year that may impact businesses of Orangeburg County.

Sign-in will begin at 7:30 a.m. and the buffet breakfast will begin at 8. Registration is a first-come, first-serve basis for chamber members. Historically, the event sells out at an early date. Applications for registration are on the front page of the chamber website @ or call the chamber at 803-534-6821.