Have you ever dreamed of being an entrepreneur … of having your own successful business? Controlling your own destiny? Being beholden to no one other than yourself in your work?

Many of us have had this dream. 

Lots of have stepped forth to achieve it and found bitter disappointment for one reason or another.  There are many others, however, who have in fact experienced the satisfying fulfillment of creating a new enterprise, seeing it blossom and experiencing the financial and personal rewards that follow.

SunGate Medical Group has acquired Aqua Medical Spa in Port Royal, adding to their practices across the Lowcountry. Aqua Medical Spa is Beaufort’s first all-inclusive medical spa and salon, which provides convenient and luxurious accommodations while enhancing their clients’ natural beauty.


Kids scanning the skies around Hilton Head Island for the approach of Santa Claus got to see something a little different this year.

Rather than approaching by sleigh, dragged along by his nine trusty reindeer and propelled by Christmas spirit, Santa opted for a slightly more modern mode of transportation. Namely, a helicopter.


EDITOR’S NOTE: As part of Monthly’s yearlong 30th anniversary celebration, we are highlighting 30 years of different industries in each issue. This month, we feature the retail experts that helped shape Hilton Head Island, Bluffton and the surrounding Lowcountry.

If the surging population growth on Hilton Head Island and Bluffton over the decades has cast an economic shadow, then the retail industry has been the shade-loving flower that bloomed alongside it. Of course, the construction and tourism industries have been robust for the most part, too, but residents need to shop, tourists need to shop, and retail stores need to employ staff to provide the goods, services and customer-friendly smiles.

An article in the business section of The New York Times on Oct. 24 caught my attention recently. It was written by Neil Irwin and titled “A Guiding Principle That May Lead the Fed Astray.” It brought me back to Economics 101,” as taught by my professor Charlie Hyde, as inspired by famed economist Paul Samuelson. In those days, economic principles were carved in stone and we knew we could depend on the laws of supply and demand and diminishing returns. The Times article discussed how the Federal Reserve — more precisely, its Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) — relies on the “Phillips Curve” to provide a warning signal when unemployment falls to a level that will cause unwanted levels of inflation. The Fed has a dual mandate: to provide for full employment, generally considered to be a 4.9 percent unemployment rate, and to control inflation. The Fed targets a 2 percent “core” inflation rate as a desired indicator of healthy economic stimulus.


The words “economic development” evoke a myriad of responses. Economic development is often confused with “development” or “real estate development” and for many, it is synonymous with business recruitment. But literally, “economic development” means the development of an economy.

When I learned that the theme of this month’s Hilton Head Monthly is “Luxury,” I decided to take a look at the definition of the word. Webster’s Dictionary says luxury is a noun and means: “A condition or situation of great comfort, ease and wealth; something that is expensive and not necessary; something that is helpful or welcome and that is not usually or always available.” My reaction was, “Yep, not much of a surprise there.”

From an economic, or business, point of view, how do we indulge in luxuries here on Hilton Head Island? Let’s start with the premise that by living in such a beautiful place, we are blessed daily with the luxury of our environment. We have the luxury of walking our beaches, enjoying our mild climate, breathing in the freshness and scents around us, and having a community that is focused on protecting these gifts. Some of life’s greatest luxuries may not easily fit Webster’s definition.

EDITOR’S NOTE: As part of Monthly’s yearlong 30th anniversary celebration, we are highlighting 30 years of different industries in each issue. This month, we feature the financial experts and institutions that helped shape Hilton Head Island, Bluffton and the surrounding Lowcountry.

Hilton Head, Bluffton have always been good places to do business

Hilton Head Monthly has undergone many changes over the past 30 years. What started as a 16-page, black-and-white newspaper in 1985 has grown into the 207-page, glossy magazine you hold in your hands today. The publication’s ownership, format and name changed several times over the past three decades, but its mission to serve readers has not.

The winner of the business pitch competition will receive funding and professional support to help launch their startup or expansion.

The Hilton Head Island Economic Development Corporation is looking for the next big idea — and has created a business pitch competition to give entrepreneurs a chance to compete for the opportunity to bring their business ideas to life on Hilton Head Island.

The “Bring Your Business Idea to Life” competition is being launched during Global Entrepreneurship Week, Nov. 16– 22. Beginning on Nov. 16, local entrepreneurs and others will be able to submit their new business or business expansion idea to the HHIEDC. Six finalists will compete in the final business pitch competition, which will be held on Hilton Head Island on Feb. 23. 

Summer is usually a volatile time for the stock market. After all, summer is vacation time and Wall Street high rollers love to head for the beach. Vacationing portfolio managers lead to significantly reduced trading volume, and thus greater opportunity for stock price swings as floor specialists look to match buyers and sellers. One of my favorite indexes to watch is the CBOEVolatility Index (VIX).