Plus, see how you can get free admission to Riverbanks Zoo
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Today's Forecast
82º | Mostly cloudy | 20% chance of rain | Sunrise 6:14 a.m. | Sunset 8:30 p.m.
✅ Taking care of business
Columbia, SC State House
Play this game with your friends as the perfect nightcap. | Photo by COLAtoday team
Calling all entrepreneurs. Do you have a concept for a business but are unsure how to get your career off the ground, need to finalize your business plan, or need to know how to get a license?

Well, good news. Columbia ranks No. 4 on Wallet Hub’s 2023’s Best & Worst Places to Start a Career list, taking into account 180 cities’ job-market saturation, housing affordability, and commuter-friendliness.

Regardless of your current situation or business model, the City of Columbia has many resources available to help you get started and support you along the way.

Start here:

Get plugged in locally:

  • Start with Columbia’s Office of Business Opportunities.
  • Join a local club or association.
  • If you want to take your business to the next level + work toward becoming a Fortune 500 company, get involved with this Columbia-based collaborative partnership.

Attend community events:

Find local financial resources:

If you’re looking for a more inclusive, step-by-step guide, here’s an all-inclusive resource to starting a business in SC, or check out SC Business 1 Stop.
What’s your favorite local coffee shop?

We’re looking to write an encompassing guide to local coffee. Thanks a latte in advance for the recommendations.
Friday, May 26
  • Gallabrae | Friday, May 26-Saturday, May 27 | Times vary | Downtown Greenville & Furman University, 3300 Poinsett Hwy., Greenville | $20 | Be Scottish for a day and celebrate Celtic culture with bagpipes, heavy athletic competitions, a car show, and more at one of the biggest Scottish Games in the region.*
  • Columbia Fireflies vs. Charleston RiverDogs | Friday, May 26 | 7:05 p.m. | Segra Park, 1640 Freed St., Columbia | $5-$7 | Copa de la Diversión Weekend pres by Southern Recipe Small Batch // Chicharrones Soccer Scarf Giveaway (first 1000 fans) // Soccer Night*
Saturday, May 27
  • YMCA of Columbia Race to Remember | Saturday, May 27 | 7-10 a.m. | Downtown YMCA, 1447 Hampton St., Columbia | $15-$50 | This race is great for all levels of ability and ages — participants are encouraged to carry a flag or wear dog-tags to remember and honor military personnel.
  • 803 Nerd Fest | Saturday, May 27 | 10 a.m.-10 p.m. | NoMa Warehouse, 2222 Sumter St., Columbia | Free | NoMa Warehouse + Black Nerd Mafia have teamed up to bring you a full day of the nerdiest fun you could imagine.
  • South Carolina Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival | Saturday, May 27 | 12-5 p.m. | South Carolina State Fair, 901 George Rogers Blvd. Gate 6, Columbia | $5-$50 | This event will feature 30 of the most popular local food trucks and 50+ national craft beers.
  • Columbia Fireflies vs. Charleston RiverDogs | Saturday, May 27 | 6:05 p.m. | Segra Park, 1640 Freed St., Columbia | $5-$7 | Copa de la Diversión Weekend pres by Southern Recipe Small Batch // Post-Game Fireworks*
Sunday, May 28
  • Columbia Fireflies vs. Charleston RiverDogs | Sunday, May 28 | 5:05 p.m. | Segra Park, 1640 Freed St., Columbia | $5-$7 | Copa de la Diversión Weekend pres by Southern Recipe Small Batch // Sunday Funday (pre-game autographs & post-game kids run the bases)*
  • Aristocrat Pre-Memorial comedy party | Sunday, May 28 | 3:30 p.m. | The Aristocrat, 1001 Washington St., Columbia | $15 | Prepare yourself for a fun time with great comics, yummy brunch, and bottomless mimosas.
Click here to have your event featured.
👀 Trivia time: Dirty Dozen or Clean Fifteen?
Can you guess what’s “clean” vs. “dirty?” | Photos via Athletic Greens and public use
Spring + summer = fresh produce seasons — so you need to know which fruits and veggies are pesticide heavy (vs. more on the clean side).
  • Kale: Dirty Dozen or Clean Fifteen? Find out.
  • Papaya: Dirty Dozen or Clean Fifteen? Find out.
  • Tomatoes: Dirty Dozen or Clean Fifteen? Find out.
Know exactly what you’re putting into your body by incorporating AG1 into your diet (bonus: there’s a special offer available now).*
News Notes
  • $2 million. That’s the outstanding balance for unpaid parking tickets around Cola. The City of Columbia is changing the way they collect ticket debt + your car can be barnacled if you have at least three tickets, you owe $100 or more, and if your tickets are at least 30 days old. (The State)
  • Five percent. That’s how much Lexington County is looking to raise property taxes, which would be the first increase in a decade. If passed on July 1, the increase would affect county residents, including municipalities. (The Post and Courier)
  • “Contrary to what you might have thought, Sandstorm was not first played during the 2009 game against Ole Miss.” Connor Tapp — the author of a USC sports history newsletter — traces the origin of USC’s EDM anthem in this article. Sam here. This is so worth a read.
  • The busy Memorial Day travel is nearly here, and if you’re spontaneously looking for somewhere to get away for the weekend, read our guide to five beach destinations near Columbia, outfit with pro tips and parking options.
  • Riverbanks Zoo is partnering with Harvest Hope Food Bank for Toucan Tuesdays, returning June 6 + running through August 8. Every Tuesday, guests will receive buy-one-get-one admission + ICEEs with a donation of two cans (or bags and boxes) of non-perishable food items.
Try This
  • Haven + Co. Hair Salon is hosting a Botox & Bubbles event in collaboration with Affirmations MedSpa + McQueen Forever Permanent Jewelry. The event will be held on June 2 from 3 to 5 p.m. Enjoy discounts, Botox treatments, spray tans, drinks, and more. RSVP by May 29.
Soda Citizen
  • Did you know that Columbia was the first planned city in the United States? Find out why and learn more about our city from John Sherrer, Director of Preservation for Historic Columbia and Experience Columbia SC ambassador, in this Q+A.*
  • Love playing pickleball (or interested in trying it out)? This episode of MUSC Health’s Health Focus features Dr. Alec DeCastro, Associate Professor and Chief of Primary Care Sports Medicine, discussing common pickleball injuries and tips for prevention, so you can stay on your A-game.*
  • How does Going work? Sign up for free, follow up to five airports, and get notified when flights are 40-90% off. Bonus: You can browse deals immediately after signing up (like a ~$575 round trip to Fiji).*
👋 Allow us to reintroduce ourselves
Take a step back in time to 2017. | Photo by COLAtoday team
COLAtoday was born on April 3, 2017well, the newsletter anyways. For those of you who’ve been following along since 2017, thank you. For all others, allow us to (re)introduce ourselves.

To share who we are, we need to share how we got here. So, buckle up, we’re stepping back in time and starting at the beginning.

COLAtoday is a part of a parent company called 6AM City — built to engage local communities by creating new ways to consume, participate, and share local content.

Through our conversational tone, editorial filter, and participatory approach, we aim to build communities driven by conversation, designed for maximum engagement by curating a five-minute newsletter that reaches your inbox every Mon.-Fri. at (can you guess?) 6 a.m.

Click the link below to see how we operate + your role as our reader.
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Your voice is valuable, and so are the special moments in your life. | Graphic by 6AM City
Shoutouts allow us to celebrate job promotions, anniversaries, and exciting experiences right here in Columbia.

Become a COLAtoday member today to reserve your shoutout and celebrate with tens of thousands of locals.
The Wrap
Samantha Robertson in a white shirt and grey vest Today’s edition by:
From the editor
If you’re craving a little getaway but don’t want to fight traffic or Airbnb reservations, consider a staycation in Cola. I don’t know about you — but a nice dinner at Halls Chophouse + an overnight stay at Hotel Trundle sounds pretty luxurious to me.
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