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Charleston Business

The Business Narrative: Duke Endowment Grant

May 01, 2024 10:08AM ● By Donna Walker

International African American Museum Announces $1 Million Gift from The Duke Endowment

The International African American Museum (IAAM) in Charleston, South Carolina, is the recent recipient of a $1 million grant from The Duke Endowment, the largest private foundation in the Southeast.


The grant includes $750,000 in unrestricted funding and $250,000 for the museum's endowment.


The latest gift follows a $1.25 million donation from The Duke Endowment in 2020, prior to the opening of the museum. It comes just months after the museum was named one of the Top Ten Best New Museums in the nation.


Since its opening in June 2023, IAAM has welcomed more than 135,000 visitors.


“Both of these accolades are signals of the museum's growing popularity,” said Tonya Matthews, IAAM president and CEO. “This $1 million donation from The Duke Endowment signifies a pivotal moment for the International African American Museum. This milestone underscores the museum's appeal to significant donors and acts as a powerful catalyst for future philanthropy.”


She added, “A museum's first three years are critical to its development. These are the years when an institution's foundation is solidified, and the way is paved for sustained success and broader impact. As the museum furthers its mission, from curating new exhibitions to engaging school groups and building community ties, the indispensable role of substantial donations becomes increasingly clear.”


Matthews said contributions of all sizes — be it $25 or millions — are vital. 


“The museum's ability to realize its full potential hinges on continuous major investments from individuals, corporations, and foundations,” she said.


Rhett Mabry, president of The Duke Endowment, recently visited the museum with endowment trustees and staff and said, “The International African American Museum has proven to be a beacon of education, understanding, and cultural enrichment since its opening, attracting visitors from across the nation and around the world."


Mabry added, "The Duke Endowment is proud to support this groundbreaking institution with a $1 million grant as it furthers its mission to illuminate the African American experience, foster meaningful dialogues, and inspire future generations.”


Based in Charlotte and established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is a private foundation that strengthens communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds, and enriching spirits.


Since its founding, it has distributed $4.5 billion in grants. The Endowment shares a name with Duke University and Duke Energy, but all are separate organizations.


The International African American Museum (IAAM) explores the history, culture, and impact of the African American journey on Charleston, the nation, and the world, shining light and sharing stories of the diverse journeys, origin, and achievements of descendants of the African Diaspora.


Across 11 galleries and a memorial garden with art, objects, artifacts, and multi-media interaction, IAAM is a champion of authentic, empathetic storytelling of American history. Officials said the museum will stand as one of the nation’s newest platforms for the disruption of institutionalized racism as it evolves today. 


The mission of IAAM is to honor the untold stories of the African American journey at the historically sacred site of Gadsden’s Wharf and beyond.


For more information, go to

Hospitality Market Updates

With 685 rooms currently under construction, Columbia’s hospitality market is well-positioned for the market resurgence expected in 2025, according to a 2024 Q1 Hospitality Report from Colliers.


Colliers said the expected resurgence is driven by continued weekday use from business and government sectors and an increase in weekend leisure bookings.


Year-over-year occupancy, ADR and RevPAR decreased across the main hospitality subtypes except for an increase in midscale occupancy, likely due to lesser amounts of disposable income and reduced demand after the post-pandemic travel boom.


Sale transactions were limited but the robust construction pipeline creates optimism for the remainder of 2024 and 2025, Colliers said.


Elsewhere, Colliers said Charleston’s hospitality market started slow in the first quarter of 2024, with better performance expected throughout the remainder of 2024.


Overall lower performance in the first quarter of 2024 can partially be attributed to the hospitality industry stabilizing from the surge in activity following Covid-19, the report said.


The addition of 623 rooms to the market contributed to a decrease in occupancy. An additional 459 rooms are expected to deliver through the beginning of 2025, creating optimism for increases in overall ADR and RevPAR, Colliers said.


Meanwhile, with increases in the number of rooms under construction, Greenville-Spartanburg is positioned favorably to capitalize on expected activity increases in the market in 2025, according to the report.


The optimism for 2025 is driven by the potential softening of interest rates which may increase disposable income for leisure bookings.


Colliers said the construction pipeline is also creating optimism for the end of 2024 and beginning of 2025 with an expected addition of 344 rooms.


Performance metrics and sales transactions were not as strong as the first quarter of 2023 with decreases in occupancy and RevPAR. ADR remained relatively flat.


On the coast, the leisure hospitality sector has experienced a nationwide softening throughout the United States for the first quarter of 2024, and Hilton Head and Beaufort aren't exceptions, Colliers said.


Occupancy, ADR and RevPAR all decreased year-over-year. Construction has begun to increase with 120 rooms expected to deliver in 2025. As more loans become due, sales transactions are expected to increase in the second half of 2024.


Colliers said that like most markets in South Carolina and across the United States, Myrtle Beach experienced a softer start in the first quarter of 2024.


Due to the cyclical seasonality of the market, activity and performance are expected to increase through the warmer months of the second and third quarters with beach visitors.


Sale transactions were limited with one sale of 72 rooms for $8,750,000. With the expectation of additional loans coming due, opportunities for a more active sales transaction market are projected for the second half of the year, Colliers said.


Colliers | South Carolina is the largest full-service commercial real estate firm in South Carolina with 62 licensed real estate professionals covering the state with locations in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville and Spartanburg.

Falls at Meehan Apartments Development Headed for Occupancy This Year

The first buildings of the Falls at Meehan Apartments, LLC in Pendleton, South Carolina, should be available for occupancy by September 2024, development officials announced.


Construction of the $62 million, 296-unit market rate apartment community began in June, 2023. The 17.46-acre project is a joint effort by partners Allie Capital, Makson Construction, RealtyLink, and Joe and Jeff Bostic.


Developed in response to housing shortages in an area seeing increasing population and available jobs, the project will be the first new market rate, garden-style apartment community developed in the Pendleton area in years, the officials said.


Located just four miles from Clemson, the community expects to draw tenants from Pendleton, Clemson and Anderson.


Offering one-, two- and three-bedroom standard and ADA options across 11 buildings, the community will provide amenities that include a resort-style pool, sundeck and cabana, grilling stations, clubhouse, fitness center, fire pit, car wash station, dog park and dog wash.


The apartments will have finishes such as granite countertops, designer cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, washer and dryer, wood-look luxury vinyl tile, carpet flooring, walk-in closets in multi-bedroom units, and patios or balconies.


The community is a one-mile walk from Pendleton’s Town Square.


A ribbon cutting will be held Thursday, May 9, 2024, at 9 a.m. at 915 S. Mechanic St. in Pendleton.

What to Know When Starting a Business

IRS officials say they know that understanding and meeting tax obligations is vital to the success of all businesses, especially a new one. has the resources and information to help people through the process of starting a new business. 


Here are some tips for new entrepreneurs:


Choose a business structure
The form of business determines which income tax return a business taxpayer needs to file. The most common business structures are:

Sole proprietorship: An unincorporated business owned by an individual. There's no distinction between the taxpayer and their business.

Partnership: An unincorporated business with ownership shared between two or more people.

Corporation: Also known as a C corporation. It's a separate entity owned by shareholders.

S Corporation: A corporation that elects to pass corporate income, losses, deductions and credits through to the shareholders.

Limited Liability Company: A business structure allowed by state statute.


Choose a tax year
tax year is an annual accounting period for keeping records and reporting income and expenses. A new business owner must choose either:

Calendar year: 12 consecutive months beginning January 1 and ending December 31.

Fiscal year: 12 consecutive months ending on the last day of any month except December.


Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
An EIN is also called a Federal Tax Identification Number. It's used to identify a business. Most businesses need one of these numbers even if they don’t have employees.

It's important for a business with an EIN to keep the business mailing address, location and responsible party up to date. IRS regulations require EIN holders to report changes in the responsible party within 60 days. They do this by completing Form 8822-B, Change of Address or Responsible Party and mailing it to the address on the form.


Have all employees complete these forms

Form I-9Employment Eligibility Verification U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Form W-4 Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate.


Pay business taxes
The form of business determines what taxes must be paid and how to pay them.


Go to the state website
Prospective business owners should visit their state's website for info about state requirements.

Allow us to tell your company's Business Narrative. Send your press release to David Dykes or for more information email [email protected]