Post and Courier 

March 9, 2021

Commentary: Walmart, state Chamber of Commerce urge passage of

SC hate crime bill

On the night of June 17, 2015, the tragedy at Charleston’s historic Emanuel AME Church was added to the list of America’s most infamous hate crimes.

The next morning, public officials described our state as “heartbroken,” and I think that was a fair assessment. Yet more than five years later, South Carolina remains one of only three states in the country that has failed to pass a hate crime law.

Our inability to convert our heartbreak over the Mother Emanuel shootings into meaningful legislative action is a form of the silence the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. warned of when he said: “The silence of the good people is more dangerous than the brutality of the bad people.” READ MORE

Post and Courier 

March 9, 2021

SC business leaders, police testify in support of hate crimes bill as House begins debate


COLUMBIA — Prominent South Carolina business leaders and law enforcement officials testified before state lawmakers March 9 in support of a hate crimes bill, saying it will help prosecutors serve justice and send a powerful message that the state condemns prejudice and discrimination.

Their testimony kicked off the bill’s first hearing in a House judiciary subcommittee for the 2021 session, when longtime advocates are hopeful the addition of influential supporters will help advance the measure further than it has in years past.


The State

March 9, 2021

Equality advocates, business leaders urge SC lawmakers to pass hate crimes bill


COLUMBIA, SC - Law enforcement, other advocates, and some religious leaders clashed Tuesday over whether South Carolina should adopt a hate crimes law, joining 47 other states in adopting enhanced penalties for crimes that target people because of their identities.

Proponents of the bill, including advocates for LGBTQ individuals and other minority groups, argued Tuesday that it would help deter hate crimes from happening within the state. Business leaders argued it would send a message on South Carolina’s values to prospective businesses and employees. READ MORE


February 22, 2021

Some of the country’s largest corporations want a hate crime law on the books in SC


COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — Walmart, UPS, IBM and other companies with ties to South Carolina said they want the state legislature to pass a hate crime bill in 2021.

Representatives from those corporations joined the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and their members for a press conference Monday afternoon. The Chamber said they are launching a new social media campaign to raise awareness on their push.

During that press conference, the group once again urged state lawmakers to move forward hate crime legislation. READ MORE


February 22, 2021

Companies in South Carolina push for hate crimes legislation

Savannah, GA(WJCL) —Businesses are stepping up in 2021 to do something that hasn’t been done yet in South Carolina. Pass a hate crime bill.

Over 30 of them made their intentions known during a virtual press conference on Monday. Fifty more have sent their support.

“In order for South Carolina to remain a great place for people to bring their businesses and their families, we have to demonstrate to the world that hate will not be tolerated here. Passing a hate crimes bill is one important step in achieving that goal,” Colonial Life President and CEO Tim Arnold said. READ MORE

The Center Square 

February 22, 2021

South Carolina business leaders push for hate crimes legislation


(The Center Square) – Nearly 100 businesses in South Carolina renewed their call Monday for state lawmakers to pass hate crimes legislation during the current legislative session.

The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce is spearheading the effort and held a virtual news conference that included national- and state-based companies that support the proposed bill.

South Carolina is one of three states in the country without some type of hate crimes law, with Arkansas and Wyoming being the other two. Business leaders in those states also are pushing for similar legislation. READ MORE


February 22, 2021

S.C. businesses call on state lawmakers to establish hate crime laws


MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and several businesses held a virtual news conference Monday to call on state lawmakers to pass a hate crimes law.

South Carolina is one of three states without a hate crimes law. Over 80 businesses have signed the S.C. Chamber’s letter urging legislators to take this step.

They said it will be crucial to make it clear that hate is not tolerated in South Carolina. READ MORE

FOX Carolina

February 22, 2021

SC Chamber and over 30 businesses push lawmakers to pass a hate crimes bill


COLUMBIA, SC (FOX Carolina) - The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce (SC Chamber) and South Carolina businesses urged the General Assembly to pass a hate crimes law.

The SC Chamber, along with some of the state's most recognizable companies, including Colonial Life, Walmart, Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Duke Energy, UPS, IBM, and AARP, put pressure on lawmakers to pass the bill on Monday.

South Carolina, Arkansas and Wyoming are the only three states in the nation without a hate crimes law. READ MORE

ABC 4 News

February 22, 2021

SC businesses making stronger case for hate crimes legislation


COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) -- Businesses large and small across South Carolina are showing resounding support for a hate crime bill working its way through the South Carolina General Assembly.


If the bill passes, it would make crimes motivated by race, sex, religion, etc. a felony with a minimum of two years in prison and fines of up to ten thousand dollars.

“As I thought about this legislation myself, I couldn’t help but reflect on the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” said Tiger Wells, a representative of Duke Energy. “While morality cannot be legislated, behavior can be regulated. That while the law cannot change the heart, it can restrain the heartless.” READ MORE

The State

February 22, 2021

Months since Floyd’s death, Walmart and other companies push for SC hate crime law

COLUMBIA, S.C.- Corporate heavyweights companies are throwing their support behind hate crime legislation, asking the South Carolina Legislature to pass the measure more than eight months after the death of George Floyd sparked nationwide protests over the unequal treatment of Black men and women.

South Carolina is one of three states — and the only state among its neighboring states — without a hate crime law that would stiffen penalties for crimes targeting people because of their religion, race or sexuality. Right now, state prosecutors have to rely on the federal government to prosecute cases under the government’s hate crime laws. READ MORE

US News

February 22, 2021

South Carolina Companies to Lawmakers: Pass Hate Crimes Bill


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Nearly 100 businesses in South Carolina announced Monday they want the state to join 47 other states across the U.S. and pass a hate crime law.

The proposal to allow harsher penalties for killings, assaults, stalking, vandalism and other crimes motivated by hatred for someone's race, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or disability has not come up for a hearing six weeks into the General Assembly's session.

So the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce got leaders of some of the state's largest employers —- Walmart, IBM, UPS, Duke Energy, pharmaceutical maker Nephron — to talk to reporters on a virtual call. READ MORE

Greenville News

February 22, 2021

South Carolina business leaders want a hate crimes bill this year


GREENVILLE- Business groups pushed for the passage of a hate crimes bill this session and announced a social media campaign to promote such a bill in a press conference Monday afternoon.

"I think everyone on the call that is watching can clearly see that the business community is firmly behind passage of legislation," Swati Patel, South Carolina Chamber of Commerce's interim CEO, said. "And that we want to see it done this year."

Leaders from Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company, Walmart, Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Duke Energy, UPS, IBM and AARP also spoke to promote H.3620, and another 30 businesses joined the press conference in support. READ MORE

The Post and Courier 

January 12, 2021

Influential Business Group Gets Behind SC Hate Crimes Bill, Boosts Chances of Passage


COLUMBIA — One of South Carolina’s most influential business advocacy groups has decided to throw its support behind a hate crimes bill heading into the 2021 legislative session, a move that could help push the years-long effort across the finish line.

S.C. Chamber of Commerce CEO Ted Pitts told The Post and Courier the organization will actively back efforts to pass a hate crimes bill next year in hopes of ending South Carolina’s status as one of only three states without such a law on the books — a statistic that he said businesses may consider when choosing where to locate. READ MORE

The State 

December 1, 2020

Pass hate crime law, SC Chamber of Commerce, more than 80 businesses tell lawmakers

COLUMBIA — South Carolina’s Chamber of Commerce and more than 80 business leaders from across the country called on the state’s governor and lawmakers Tuesday to pass hate crime legislation.

As one of the three remaining states without hate crime legislation, South Carolina “should not be the last state in the nation to depend on federal laws to prosecute the crimes that occurred” during the mass shooting at Charleston’s Mother Emanuel AME Church in 2015, the Chamber of Commerce’s statement read. On June 17, five years ago, nine Black parishioners, including state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, were shot and killed by white supremacist Dylann Roof, who is now on death row.



January 11, 2021

SC businesses want COVID-19 liability protection, hate crime law and more rural broadband


COLUMBIA —  According to the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce they hope lawmakers pass COVID-19 liability protection for businesses and a hate crime bill in 2021.

They released their ‘competitiveness agenda‘ Monday. The agenda is made up of some of the initiatives they are back in 2021.

Chairman Tim Arnold said, “COVID-19 liability protection remains one of the top priorities for our businesses large and small.” READ MORE



© 2021 by  SC Chamber of Commerce.