Taking care of your Loved One Is What We Do BEST!

It's no secret, most of us would like to stay in our own home as we age. Yet, sometimes our loved ones just need a little extra help to remain comfortable at home. That's where Always Best Care can help....we are dedicated to exceeding expectations....always

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Home Care In Fort Lawn, SC

Home Care Fort Lawn, SC

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, completing daily tasks like showering and enjoying activities such as visiting the historic Robert Mills House and Gardens gets harder without someone by their side. Unfortunately, many older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live far away from long-term, institutionalized facilities and closer to the place where they feel most comfortable - their home. Home care in Fort Lawn, SC is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

 In-Home Care Fort Lawn, SC

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The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they get older. We are proud to have helped more than 25,000 seniors maintain higher levels of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of in-home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs. That way, they may provide care accordingly without compromising their wellbeing.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home services, Always Best Care is here to help.


“Phil Davidson and his staff provides the best service around in the York County area...Very professional and they truly care about their clients...I highly recommend Always Best Care of Rock Hill”

Will J.

“Looking for a loving and caring place for a parent, grandparent or any loved one? Look no further than Phil and his team at Always Best Care of Rock Hill!”

Tamaya M.

“I have enjoyed working with Always Best. They are informative and helpful. When I need to schedule care, they are very responsive. Definitely a good choice in companion care.”


“Always willing to help”

Christine B.

“I have worked for many agencies as a CNA. Always Best Care of Rock Hill, SC is by far the best! They treat their clients and caregivers with generosity and compassion. They go "above and beyond" in every area. You can't go wrong with them.”

Loretta B.

“They gave my mother the most wonderful, loving care. They were very accommodating when we needed to make changes in the schedule. After dealing with two other agencies I wish I had gone with them from the start. They deserve a 10!”

Bobbie S.

“New Employee & I’m loving it already”

Sonda P.

“Needed care for my mother with dementia, and father with medical issues. The team at Always Best Care were very responsive to our needs for 24/7 care for about 8 weeks. They try hard to have the same caregivers come to the house for continuity of care. The family really appreciated Phil's assistance with placing my parents in Assisted Living. His knowledge of the local York County homes was invaluable to placing my parents in a welcoming environment. I would highly recommend Always Best Care to help with senior care!”

Mary E.

“I have had the best support from a caring and supporting staff over the past year. The AMAZING part is that I live in CA and they're providing these services in Rock Hill. When I have any questions they are quick to get my answer back in a timely manner.”

James G.

“I could probably say that I was a past client of this provider, but because I continue to receive words of encouragement and advise from them, I still claim the current client status. Their help with my mother that was provided while she was at home was fantastic. They also have helped guide us through hospital and rehab stays. I would have to give them a 5 star rating and honestly can not think of one thing that went wrong on their part while we used their care The Caregiver was excellent. I wholeheartedly would recommend Always Best Care to anyone that finds themselves needing a caregiver to come along beside them.”


“Always willing to help”

Christine G.

“We're using Always Best Care for my parents. They're fantastic. The caregivers are professional, courteous, entertaining, and accommodating. They mainly provide medication management and companionship. I feel like they give personal touches, and there's a certain professionalism to them that other agencies I contacted didn't have.”


“Excellent care was given to my mother. Thank you for being there when we needed you.”

Robin J.

“Always Best Care has been providing care givers for my 91 year old father for more than 2 years now. I have been happy with their staff. My father is cared for with love and dignity and with their help I've been able to keep him in my home.”

Laura A.

“Always Best Care service was very helpful in locating an assisted living facility for my Mother. Very professional and I would use them again.”


“It was time to consider alternative living arrangements for my mom. She was living on her own in a single-family home that she loved. She was in need of assistance with daily household chores, driving, and managing daily functions. I was given Phil Davidson's name from a social worker. He explained that Phil (and his company Always Best Care), may be a good resource for me and my mom. We began with some in home care (3-5 days a week). Phil met my mom, established a great working relationship with her, and had one of his staff members become my mom's in home caregiver. Phil took the time to get to know my mom and aligned her needs and personality with the right person to help her. Eventually we needed to look for an Assisted Living community. Phil was there to guide us. He arranged meetings with a variety of communities and toured with them with us. Phil knew the right questions to ask and always kept my mom's wishes on his checklist. I especially liked that Phil does not get paid by us, but rather by the facility that we ended up choosing. Phil and his staff were great to work with. Exceptionally professional and understanding of my mom.”

Rich S.

“I had a wonderful experience using Always Best Care Senior Services! The owner, Phil Davidson, along with our wonderful caregiver, Sarah , came to my house so that I could meet them and get to know them before my parents moved in with my family for several months! As we sat discussing our plan of care, I got the feeling they would treat my parents like part of their family! And they sure did! Sarah was kind, patient and very knowledgeable with my parents and their medical issues. Sarah was so helpful to me and my family! I would not have been able to make it through those months without her! I felt at ease and had no worries when I was at work, or having some ME time! I knew my parents were in caring and trustworthy hands! So, I would highly recommend Always Best Care senior Services!!”

Stephanie C.

“Phil, I just wanted to recount to you what my Mother told me on the phone this morning about your employee, and my parent's caretaker, Vicky Jo. Vicky Jo started with my parents in March of 2012, during a very difficult time. My father had fallen and broken his neck, on top of coping with Parkinson's. My mother took care of him, as well as their home and while we could help some, the day to day chores took a toll on her. We were afraid we were going to lose her health as well. In a huge stroke of luck, we were able to find a two-bedroom apartment at Chandler Place which would provide meals and emergency response services, alleviating a good bit of my mom's responsibilities and stress. In an even bigger stroke of luck, we began using Vicky Jo two hours every morning to help my father with bathing and dressing. In the months that followed, Vicky Jo has not only provided physical support, but significant moral support to both my parents. She is very capable, upbeat and genuine. My mother is absolutely devoted to her and feels she can trust her with anything. We couldn't be more grateful for her, and for you as well for providing her to us. I also want to take a moment to thank you, as you have gone above and beyond in your interaction and care of my parents. I can tell you truly care about my folks and their well being and it is such an amazing thing to see in this day and age when everything seems like it is only about the money. Blessing to you and your business. I know that you will be a God Send to other families as well and I wish you the best. Please know that if you are ever in need of a referral, I would be delighted to provide one for you.”

Barbara S.

“It is a pleasure doing business with a professional and ethical company”

Kristen B.

“Phil, We so love Sara and are very appreciative for the way you run your business. You really stand out in an industry and a time when people just go through the motions. You are a very special man and I pray that you will be very successful in your business.”

Karissa L.

“Thank you and your team for providing the great help and assistance during this summer. The care givers that we had were excellent and very professional. Thanks for being so flexible with the scheduling.”

John R.

“Dear Phil, "We would like to thank you and your staff for providing such wonderful live-in care for our Grandfather from June through October 2013. Our family found ourselves in the most unimaginable situation when our Grandmother was unexpectedly hospitalized in late May and ultimately passed away in June. As you know, she was the sole caregiver for our Grandfather who has severe Alzheimer's disease. We are so very fortunate that we discovered your agency! You were able to promptly place qualified caregivers in his home and this gave our family immediate peace of mind. The level of care and compassion that you and your caregivers demonstrated toward our Grandfather is more than we ever anticipated and we will be forever grateful. You all walked with him through the terrible tragedy of losing his wife of 67 years. You and your staff provided extraordinary physical and emotional care for him through his grief and made getting him back to a "normal" life your top priority upon her death. In addition to the care you all provided my Grandfather, you were so kind to help educate us on the progression of Alzheimer's. You were a wonderful resource to us on what to expect in the next phases of this disease and help us plan for long-term care for him. While we are very sad to have to place him in a memory care-assisted living facility, we made the decision knowing that this will be the best place for him as he ages and his disease worsens. Your guidance and expertise in helping us choose the right facility for him helped make this daunting task bearable. Thank you again for all that you have done for our grandfather and for our family! We will be forever grateful!”

Ashley S.

“Phil, We so love Sara and are very appreciative for the way you run your business. You really stand out in an industry and a time when people just go through the motions. You are a very special man and I pray that you will be very successful in your business.”

K L.

“Dear Phil, Thank you and your team for providing the great help and assistance during this summer. The care givers that we had were excellent and very professional. Thanks for being so flexible with the scheduling.”

John A.

What is Non-Medical Senior Care in Fort Lawn, SC?


Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it is especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.


When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.


The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.


At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one gets older, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 Senior Care Fort Lawn, SC

Types of Elderly Care in Fort Lawn, SC

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

Personal Care

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming

Respite Care Fort Lawn, SC
Home Helper

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading
 Caregivers Fort Lawn, SC
Companionship Services

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite local activities, such as visiting Trails End Park with friends while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community
  • Events and Social Outings
Home Care Fort Lawn, SC
Respite Care

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy nearby activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress reduces the risk of caregiver burnout. So, if you've always wanted to eat at the local Wagon Wheel Restaurant or visit Carhartt Mansion Ruins, don't feel bad. Doing so is great for both you and your loved one.

At the end of the day, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible.

If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

 In-Home Care Fort Lawn, SC

Benefits of Home Care in Fort Lawn, SC

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for patients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

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Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit - something that is unavailable to many older people today.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a strange nursing home, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, then, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old.

With the help of elderly care in Fort Lawn, SC, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors.

Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like a nursing home. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier and more affordable to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, seniors who age in the comfort of their homes can save thousands of dollars per month.

In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, are often less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

 Elderly Care Fort Lawn, SC

Affordable Care

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

If your loved one qualifies, Medicaid may help reduce in-home care costs. Review your SC's Medicaid program laws and benefits, and make sure your senior's financial and medical needs meet Medicaid eligibility requirements.
Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.
 Senior Care Fort Lawn, SC

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers.

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Fort Lawn, SC understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Assisted Living Referral Services

While it's true that many seniors prefer to age at home, sometimes in-home care isn't the best fit. For those seniors and their families, choosing an assisted living facility makes more sense. Unfortunately, finding the optimal care facility is easier said than done in today's day and age. That's when Always Best Care's assisted living referral services begin to make a lot of sense.

Assisted living is a form of housing intended for seniors who require varying degrees of medical and personal attention. Accommodations may include single rooms, apartments, or shared living arrangements. Assisted living communities are typically designed to resemble a home-like environment and are physically constructed to encourage the independence of residents.

Respite Care Fort Lawn, SC

At assisted living communities, seniors receive help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They may also benefit from coordination of services with outside healthcare providers, and monitoring of resident activities to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Caregivers who work at assisted living communities can also provide medication administration and personal care services for older adults.

Other services offered within assisted living communities can include some or all of the following:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Recreational Activities
  • Social Outings
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Medication Monitoring
  • Family Visitation
  • Personal Care
 Caregivers Fort Lawn, SC

At Always Best Care, our representatives can match your senior's emotional, physical, and financial needs with viable assisted living communities nearby. Results are based on comparative data, so you can select the best choice for you or your loved one.

Always Best Care works closely with local senior living communities to gain valuable knowledge that we then use to help seniors and their loved ones make informed decisions. This information can include basic care and rent, resident availability, and services provided. Because Always Best Care is compensated by these communities, we provide senior living referral services at no extra cost to you.

Some of the most popular assisted living communities to consider in our area include the following:

  • Helms-Gordon Residential Care
Home Care Fort Lawn, SC

For many seniors, moving into a senior living community revolves around how and when they want to make a transition to more involved care. Some seniors are more proactive about transitioning to independent living. Others choose to remain home until their care needs or other requirements are satisfied. Remember - our staff is here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about assisted living communities and how we can find a facility that exceeds your expectations.

 In-Home Care Fort Lawn, SC

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Always Best Care Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

A discussion of your needs and how our trained caregivers can offer assistance in the most effective way


A draft of your care plan, which includes highly detailed notes and a framework for the care that you or your senior will receive


Discuss payment options and help coordinate billing with your insurance provider


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

At the end of the day, we only hire the best of the best at Always Best Care. Whether you need home care in Fort Lawn, SC 24-hours a day or only need a respite for a couple of hours, we are here to serve you.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

 Elderly Care Fort Lawn, SC

Latest News in Fort Lawn, SC

E. & J. Gallo Winery opens first piece of planned $1 billion Chester County complex

When E. & J. Gallo Winery announced its plans and began construction last June for a massive East Coast hub in Chester County, company leaders targeted October 2022 to open the first piece of the operation. The nation's largest winemaker held a ceremony today to celebrate the fact it achieved that goal despite supply-chain challenges stemming from the Covid...

When E. & J. Gallo Winery announced its plans and began construction last June for a massive East Coast hub in Chester County, company leaders targeted October 2022 to open the first piece of the operation. The nation's largest winemaker held a ceremony today to celebrate the fact it achieved that goal despite supply-chain challenges stemming from the Covid-19 outbreak.

Gallo welcomed a number of state and local leaders, including S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster, to mark the opening of its regional distribution center in Fort Lawn. The distribution operation occupies just a piece of a large, 1.5 million-square-foot building that is under construction to accommodate the first phase of Gallo's East Coast operation.

Erich Kaepp, Gallo's vice president of eastern operations, said it was "a push up to the end" to prepare to launch the distribution operation, which officially opened on Oct. 3.

"Having achieved that milestone further demonstrates that choosing South Carolina was the correct decision," CEO Ernest Gallo said of the company staying on schedule despite pandemic-related challenges. "Although we are here to celebrate the opening of this facility, it is just the first of many anticipated phases."

Gallo pledged a $423 million investment and the creation of nearly 500 jobs for the first phase of the project that includes the regional distribution center, a production facility, warehousing, bottling, canning and an import and export hub.

The company plans to open the next piece of the operation in February, when it is targeting the opening of its first production line in Fort Lawn. That line will serve the company's High Noon brand. Kaepp said he is still eyeing May and August of next year, respectively, to open the second and third production lines at the first phase.

The Modesto, California-based Gallo has acquired well over 600 acres at the intersection of S.C. Highway 9 and U.S. Highway 21 for the East Coast hub. The first portion of Gallo's Chester County operations is expected to take up around 300 acres, leaving significant room for growth beyond the initial $423 million commitment.

In total, the master-planned site could have as many as five major phases. A construction timetable for the following phases is still being finalized. Upon full buildout of the site, Gallo's total investment is expected to surpass $1 billion and create over 1,000 jobs over the course of several decades.

Kaepp said Gallo has hired just shy of 80 workers thus far and will have another cohort of around 30 employees coming in November. The hiring process has been constant in recent months and will continue to move quickly, Kaepp said.

"We have much, much bigger plans for South Carolina in the future," Gallo's Rob Donoho said on Friday. "In the future, we envision have many more buildings similar to this over the decades to come. We see tremendous growth opportunities in South Carolina."

Gallo's announcement last year came after it secured incentives packages and S.C. lawmakers changed the state's alcohol laws for Gallo's operations. The project has widely been seen as a transformative one for Chester County and Fort Lawn, the tiny town with a population under 1,000.

McMaster said Friday was a "glorious day" for S.C. because of Gallo's investment. Friday's ceremony was McMaster's second visit in as many days to the S.C. portion of the Charlotte region. He attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday for Nutramax Laboratories' latest expansion in Lancaster.

McMaster echoes the confidence of other local leaders that Gallo's investment could kickstart more development momentum along I-77 between Charlotte and Columbia. He and other state and local leaders have compared Gallo's potential impact on the I-77 corridor to that of BMW's on the I-85 corridor between Greenville and Charlotte.

"This is a great step forward not only for the state, but for this area," McMaster said.

Wine giant set to start building its first East Coast facility in Chester County, SC

Construction of a California wine giant’s facility in Chester County, SC, will begin Wednesday. State officials say the project is a significant step toward revitalizing a poor former mill town.Gov. Henry McMaster and the South Carolina Department of Commerce announced Tuesday E&J Gallo Winery, the largest family-owned winery in the United States, is officially coming to the small Chester town of Fort Lawn.The facility will provide bottling and canni...

Construction of a California wine giant’s facility in Chester County, SC, will begin Wednesday. State officials say the project is a significant step toward revitalizing a poor former mill town.

Gov. Henry McMaster and the South Carolina Department of Commerce announced Tuesday E&J Gallo Winery, the largest family-owned winery in the United States, is officially coming to the small Chester town of Fort Lawn.

The facility will provide bottling and canning as well as warehousing and distribution. It is the company’s first facility on the east coast.

The project is on track to be completed by October of 2022, a press release from the South Carolina Department of Commerce said.

The facility will be on 650 acres between Lancaster Highway and Catawba Creek Road, said Robert Long, Chester economic development director.

Gallo has invested $423 million in the project, which is estimated to create 496 new jobs over the next eight years.

According to census data, 17.7% of citizens in Chester County live in poverty, compared to the United States average of 10.5%. Employment in Chester dropped 8% from 2019 to 2020, data shows.

“Gallo’s $423 million investment and the 496 new jobs in Chester County will transform the region,” SC Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt said in a statement Tuesday.

Lawmakers and local officials believe this project will bring economic progress all over Chester County.

“Fort Lawn is one of those communities that was hit hard by the textile mills,” Long said, which is the story in most towns in Chester County. The small town, which was chosen for its proximity to railroads, will benefit greatly from this new venture, he said. “This is a once in a decade project.”

McMaster said in a press release that the “Gallo’s investment will transform Chester County and contribute greatly to South Carolina’s economic prosperity. Creating a business environment in which world-class brands can grow and thrive is critical to South Carolina’s long-term economic success, especially in our rural communities.

Fort Lawn Mayor Carlton Martin said the project is just what the town needed. “We are confident this will attract other companies to join in what is sure to be great things for the Fort Lawn community.”

In May, the governor signed into law a measure tweaking the state’s alcohol legislation, and green-lighting the Gallo project.

Representatives for Gallo had said they would not proceed with the project until the measure was passed, The State reported in March.

The legislation, will allow Gallo to open three off-site tasting rooms and sell customers up to six bottles of wine. The facility is required to close at 5:30 p.m. to avoid competition with local businesses.

This story was originally published June 15, 2021, 1:07 PM.

Gallo is building its first East Coast facility in Chester County. But why there?

California-based wine giant E&J Gallo approached South Carolina officials last March with a proposal: the company wanted to build its first East Coast facility in Fort Lawn, a small town in Chester County.By June, the company broke ground and started construction on a facility that will provide bottling, c...

California-based wine giant E&J Gallo approached South Carolina officials last March with a proposal: the company wanted to build its first East Coast facility in Fort Lawn, a small town in Chester County.

By June, the company broke ground and started construction on a facility that will provide bottling, canning, warehousing and distribution. Gallo will have invested $423 million in the project that is estimated to create 496 jobs over the next eight years.

Gallo is the largest family-owned winery in the United States. Officials have predicted this investment will be a game changer for Fort Lawn and Chester County. The areas have struggled economically since the textile industry declined and left mill towns in depression.

The project also could be life-changing for people in neighboring Lancaster county. Fort Lawn sits right on that county’s border.

S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster said it would “transform Chester County and contribute greatly to South Carolina’s economic prosperity.”

The county’s Economic Development Director, Robert Long, called it a “once in a lifetime project.” In economic development, he said, you step up to the plate often. With Gallo, Chester hit a home run, he said.

The company will pay $21 an hour.

Census data from 2018-2019 shows the average person in Chester County made $22,324 that year, which amounts to about $11.63 an hour for a 40-hour week. The new jobs and higher wages will be key.

Gallo is estimated, after incentives, to pay $17.8 million in property taxes over the first 10 years, and $38.5 million within 20 years. And when all 496 jobs are filled, the Fort Lawn site’s payroll will be about $21.7 million a year, Long said.

Chester County certainly stands to gain. But why did Gallo choose this small, rural town? This is what we know.

Fort Lawn sits on the Chester County-Lancaster County border.

“From a talent recruitment perspective, it puts us in a good position,” Long said.

Being able to recruit from neighboring counties is a big part of attracting companies to Chester County, Long said.

Also significant is Chester County’s location about equidistant between Columbia and Charlotte, as well as its proximity to York County, all areas that have seen significant growth in recent years.

Fort Lawn’s location makes it easy to transport goods.

The name “Chester County” is strategically placed on the Lancaster & Chester railroad, nicknamed L&C, which Long says is an incentive.

According to the Gulf and Ohio Railways website — the company that owns the L&C railroad — the railroad “provides South Carolina and the Charlotte region with a strong transportation ally for industrial growth.” The railroad provides dual-rail access to 3000 acres of industrially-zoned property.

The Chester County site also will have easy access to Interstate 77, allowing shipment of products and direct commutes for employees, Long said.

South Carolina Highway 9 also goes directly through Fort Lawn and connects the town directly to North Carolina (where the highway becomes N.C. 9), and extends as far east as North Myrtle Beach.

And, S.C. 9 connects Fort Lawn to the town of Lancaster, where most of the infrastructure for the Gallo project is in place. The project will utilize Lancaster County’s water, electric, gas and sewage services.

The state and county offered Gallo financial incentives.

The state of South Carolina offers discretionary incentive packages — programs designed to persuade investors to come. In Gallo’s case, representatives from the Department of Commerce confirmed that the state is offering incentives in multiple areas.

Projects developed in Chester County qualify for special incentives because Chester is classified as a “Tier IV” county. This is a designation given by the S.C. Department of Revenue; the lower the county’s per capita income and unemployment rate, the higher its ranking.

Being a Tier IV county allows the state to offer more money in “job development credits.”

These credits essentially withhold taxes on new employees to reimburse the company. The Department of Commerce website says job credits are given to companies that “add value to South Carolina.”

Companies who receive these credits must provide their full-time employees with benefits, including a comprehensive health plan, and pay at least 50% of an eligible employee’s health plan premiums.

In a Tier IV county, a company can receive $25,000 per year, per job, for up to five years.

Chester’s ranking as a Tier IV county also means investors in Chester qualify for grants from the Rural Infrastructure Fund.

Rural Infrastructure Fund grants assist “qualified counties in the state’s rural areas,” by providing assistance for economic opportunities. In this case, documents show that Gallo will get a one-time Rural Infrastructure Fund grant in the form of $16,000,000 for “job development and/or product development.”

The Department of Commerce also received approval from the South Carolina Joint Bond Review Committee (which approves spending on capital expenses) to appropriate $8 million in funds for the Gallo project. This money will go to “offset costs of off-site mitigation,” Alex Clark, director of marketing and commerce at the Department of Commerce said.

The state also will give Gallo a one-time investment tax credit to offset the costs of its investment in Chester, as well as an ongoing exemption of up to $19,840,000 in sales tax -- meaning Gallo will not have to pay that. This money must go for infrastructure improvements or paying “rollback taxes” -- which are taxes applied by the state when land that was once used for agricultural purposes is transformed for a new use.

Gallo will receive a “Fee-in-Lieu of Taxes” (FILOT) agreement from the county.

Under a FILOT, the county can reduce the amount of property tax the business will pay. The FILOT agreement is set to last 30 years, early versions of the incentive package show. Over those 30 years, Gallo is estimated to save $178,194,595 in property taxes.

The company also was offered a “special source revenue credit” or SSRC. That credit will further reduce property taxes, but the business has to retain the tax savings to use for local investment or project costs.

Companies must hold up their side of the deal to keep this agreement, Long said. If they do not create the number of jobs promised, they will have to pay back a proportional amount of any tax money saved.

Gallo plans to finish building its facility by October 2022. Long predicts the jobs offered by Gallo probably will be split 50-50 between Lancaster and Chester counties.

Clark said it is difficult to rank this agreement among other incentive packages due to the intricacies involved in each agreement.

However, she said, “this project will be transformational to Chester County and the surrounding community, and will certainly have a significant impact on South Carolina’s economic prosperity.”

This story was originally published August 6, 2021, 5:48 PM.


Tobie Nell Perkins works for the Herald in partnership with Report For America. She covers Chester County, the Catawba Indian Nation and general assignments. Tobie graduated from the University of Florida and has won a regional Murrow Award as well as awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Florida Society of News Editors.

Woman reported missing from senior-living facility in ‘good spirits’ after being found

CHESTER COUNTY, S.C. — A 79-year-old woman who was reported missing on Sept. 13 from Helms-Gordon Residential Care in Fort Lawn has been found alive, the Chester County Sheriff’s Office said.ALSO READ: Fight involving parents, students on Chester County school bus leads to arrest, officials sayAuthorities said Thursday a dron...

CHESTER COUNTY, S.C. — A 79-year-old woman who was reported missing on Sept. 13 from Helms-Gordon Residential Care in Fort Lawn has been found alive, the Chester County Sheriff’s Office said.

ALSO READ: Fight involving parents, students on Chester County school bus leads to arrest, officials say

Authorities said Thursday a drone spotted Judy Pate in a wooded area along Cemetery Road, which had already been searched.

“Around 11 a.m., a group of guys looked at that map again that was reviewed a thousand times and said, ‘This is what we’re going to do,’” said Chester County Sheriff Max Dorsey. “They got our drone operator and said, ‘Let’s go down and do this,’ and it happened. There’s no doubt God led them down there.”

Family members were relieved.

“It’s really emotional because you expect the worse, but here today, we’ve come to realize that God had a plan,” said David Elliot, Pate’s nephew.

“She’s in good spirits,” Elliot said. “She was moving a little. She was found at the bottom of a ravine. A creek bed. She was talking.”

Volunteers, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division helicopter and multiple agencies helped with the search.

Pate’s pastor, Rev. Trent McLaughlin, helped with the search.

“She is a strong lady,” McLaughlin said. “She trusts God. She has faith in God and that is what we’re putting our hope and faith in that. That she’s going to be found alive and safe.”

An ambulance rushed her to a medical helicopter that flew her to the hospital to be checked out.

On Tuesday, Sept. 26, the Pate family announced that DHEC was launching an investigation into Helms-Gordon Residential Care.

They issued a statement regarding the investigation saying:

“The Pate family has received and reviewed the results of the initial investigation into the Helms-Gordon Facility performed by DHEC. To say they are disgusted and upset with the findings would be an understatement. Helms-Gordon was cited multiple times for violations of the State imposed standards of care. The investigation indicates that Ms. Judy was missing for hours before anyone at Helms-Gordon was even aware. Furthermore, the investigation states that upon discovering that Ms. Judy was missing, Helms-Gordon waited hours before contacting the Chester County Sheriff’s Office. This delayed response to authorities is abhorrent, and unforgivable. We intend to pursue every avenue of justice to ensure that no other person or family has to undergo this type of nightmare due to the inactions of an irresponsible facility.”

VIDEO: Chester County Schools makes safety changes

South Carolina Considers Changing Its Alcohol Laws to Attract $400 Million E. & J. Gallo Wine Bottling Plant

The proposed facility would make the tiny town of Fort Lawn the winemaker's east coast hub—assuming it's also allowed to open some tasting rooms.Earlier this week, the South Carolina House of Representatives approved a piece of legislation that would allow E.& J. Gallo Winery to open a bottling plant and three tasting rooms in the state. The bill's supporters say that Gallo's proposal would provide several hundred jobs for South Carolina residents, while those who oppose it worry that it will negatively affect local wineries...

The proposed facility would make the tiny town of Fort Lawn the winemaker's east coast hub—assuming it's also allowed to open some tasting rooms.

Earlier this week, the South Carolina House of Representatives approved a piece of legislation that would allow E.& J. Gallo Winery to open a bottling plant and three tasting rooms in the state. The bill's supporters say that Gallo's proposal would provide several hundred jobs for South Carolina residents, while those who oppose it worry that it will negatively affect local wineries and restaurants.

The plant—which will actually start out as a large warehouse and distribution center—is expected to employ around 500 people. It will be located in Fort Lawn (Pop. 940) a rural town in equally rural Chester County. According to Wine Searcher, one tasting room could also open in Fort Lawn, while the others are likely to be in more tourist-friendly locations like Hilton Head and Charleston.

Bringing Gallo to South Carolina requires some modifications to the state's existing liquor laws. The Johnson City Press reports that the proposed legislation, SB 619, would allow breweries, distilleries, and wineries to open "satellite locations" where they can sell their products—and that's where the tasting rooms would come in.

Each of those facilities would only be allowed to sell wine, and they would be required to close by 5:30 p.m. Although the Gallo properties would have to purchase the wines they sell from wholesalers within the state, the bill's critics say that the tasting rooms would still be detrimental to local retailers, restaurants, and smaller wineries.

"We always seem to be in a rush to fashion new laws for some shiny object coming from out of state, bend over backwards to get rid of a system that we've had in place for a number of years," Sen. Marlon Kimpson told The State. "But the local restaurants tell me that these testing rooms unnecessarily drive up the competition."

But those in favor of the bill—and of the California company's willingness to open these facilities in South Carolin—say the positives absolutely outweigh the negatives. "This is a world player choosing to locate only its second [bottling and distribution center] in this teeny town," Sen. Mike Fanning said.

The plant is expected to be constructed on around 600 acres of land in Fort Lawn, and Gallo would invest more than $400 million in the county within the next eight years. Rob Donoho, the head of Gallo's global chain functions, said that the company "actively wants" to open this facility in South Carolina. "This is really intended to be our East Coast home for the Gallo enterprise for decades and decades to come," he told legislators this spring.


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