Aiken, Burke, Columbia, Richmond and Screven counties are on a list of primary natural disaster areas, according to a letter from U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack.
The designation comes after the summer’s heavy rainfall, which harmed crops and soil conditions for future harvests. It allows farm operators in designated counties to receive federal assistance, including low-interest emergency loans, if they meet other eligibility requirements.
Vilsack’s designation will allow farmers in both primary and contiguous counties to apply for federal Farms Service Agency emergency loans. Farmers have eight months to apply.
Chamber honors textile company
A Graniteville textile company was recognized by the state’s chamber of commerce Thursday as one of its top manufacturers.
The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce named Graniteville Specialty Fabrics as its 2013 Manufacturer of the Year in the small company division.
The company makes awnings, tents and custom-coated marine fabrics. It has been in the area since 1947.
“Our associates have worked diligently to effect a successful business turn-around in a difficult economy by achieving significant improvements,” said company president Jim Egan.
The other two award-winners were treated lumber maker Cox Industries in Orangeburg in the medium-sized company division and tire maker Michelin North America in Greenville for the large-sized company division.
The chamber’s award program recognizes companies that strive for manufacturing excellence, have a positive economic impact and are outstanding community stewards.
Nasdaq takes some blame for outage
NEW YORK — Nasdaq OMX Group says a three-hour trading halt last week was partly the result of issues within the company’s control.
In a statement released Thursday, the company detailed some of its early findings from an internal review. Nasdaq blamed “a confluence of unprecedented events” that overwhelmed the exchange’s system for handling price information. It said high-speed trading played no role in the incident.
The outage cracked the midday calm of a quiet summer day on Wall Street, sending brokers and traders scrambling to figure out what went wrong.
In other news
VODAFONE, ONE OF the world’s largest mobile phone companies, has confirmed it is in discussions with Verizon Communications to sell its operations in the United States.
The British wireless provider is mulling its options for its 45 percent stake in the U.S.’s Verizon Wireless, of which Verizon Communications owns the other 55 percent.
– From staff and wire reports