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West Columbia businesses explain 'Business Watch' program benefits

The program meets quarterly for trainings, starting on October 4, 2022 at 8 a.m. at Custom Cloud Solutions in West Columbia.

CAYCE, S.C. — A new business watch program, started by the Cayce West Columbia chamber of commerce is now up and running.

 It's similar to a neighborhood watch program in coordination with law enforcement.

Staying on alert on all fronts is what's priority for local businesses part of the 'Business Watch' program in Cayce and West Columbia. 

"We ask our members, what is it that we can do to be able to assist you and to grow you and to be able to prosper your business. Everybody always wants to remain safe, not only in the business perspective, but for the employees as well, so we wanted to partner up and make sure that we were helping to educate our businesses," Tim James, chamber president said.

With local law enforcement and a pool of educational resources from each company involved, team work will in fact make safety work. 

For example, one local bank can share tips when it comes to finances. 

"We see a lot of bank fraud in our world and so we wanted to make sure that we could be a part of that and educate and teach our clients how to prevent that," said Brent Mackie, senior vice president of First Reliance Bank.

Another local IT company can share tech-savvy tools. 

"The cyber side of security is really important, but people forget about the physical side of security. Cameras, access control, protecting doors and making sure that people inside a business are safe and when they leave to go home to see their families that they're safe as well," said Matt Spain, owner of Custom Cloud Solutions. 

"When we came here, this was a vacant store, so we had a little bit of an issue with drug paraphernalia in the parking lot. We started moving in. First thing we did was put in a security system and camera systems so we could record everything outside and inside," said Todd Cockrell, general manager of Sun Solutions.

This company, Sun Solutions recruited the help of local police when they opened in West Columbia.

About 50 other businesses are signed up for the 'Business Watch' program, but the chamber is looking for more involvement since the program is completely free.

The first training meeting is free and open to all businesses in Cayce and West Columbia. It's scheduled to be on October 4, 2022 at 8 a.m. at Custom Cloud Solutions on Sunset Boulevard.

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