Know your insurance deductibles this hurricane season.

Many people don’t think about their insurance until after a disaster has happened. It’s important to plan ahead and know what your deductible will be in the time of a hurricane.

The deductible is the amount of loss paid by the policyholder before insurance kicks in. Most homes along the coast of South Carolina have a special percentage deductible for named-storm or hurricane damage. The percentage deductible is higher than a traditional dollar deductible. In return for the higher deductible,  homeowners receive a premium discount on the wind portion of the policy. With a policy that has a $1,000 deductible, for example, the policyholder must pay the first $1,000 out of pocket.

MJ Hennesy of Discount Furniture and Mattress Outlet never takes anyone for granted.

Looking for some inspiration these days?

Meet MJ Hennesy, an entrepreneur whose approach to life is a fine example for other business owners or anyone who’s simply seeking light at the end of the tunnel.

Hennesy just celebrated the 20th anniversary of her business, Discount Furniture and Mattress Outlet, which has had its share of ups, downs and everything in-between.

When Hennesy started her Hilton Head business, she took a giant leap of faith. She was living in Boston and had a wonderful career managing sales for a subsidiary of Gillette.

Pearlstine legacy began in the 1850s and thrives today.

Susan Pearlstine, Edwin Pearlstine Jr., Jan Pearlstine Lipov, and Larry Lipov carry on the family tradition of community support.ONE OF THE BUSINESS AND community leaders Sea Pines developer Charles Fraser turned to for support of his first Heritage Golf Tournament was Edwin Pearlstine Jr., who in the 1960s was at the helm of one of South Carolina’s oldest privately held companies, Pearlstine Distributors Inc.

In 1969, on Thanksgiving weekend, the first Heritage teed off at Harbour Town Golf Links in Sea Pines. The Pearlstines’ faith in Fraser’s idea of a major golf tournament on Hilton Head continues to pay dividends for South Carolina: a 2005 Clemson University study estimated that the tournament pumps $84 million into the state annually.

Plantation Station in Sea PinesAt Plantation Station in Sea Pines you can fuel your car, select a case of vintage cabernet sauvignon, arrange a catered dinner for 30, pick up today’s newspaper and grab a meal-to-go.

Need a certified sommelier, a classicallytrained chef or a lottery ticket? You’ll find those at Plantation Station, too.

Orchestrating this most curious and delightful mix of services and products is Gabe Pica, proprietor of Plantation Station since 2006. Paying equal attention to preparing the hot lunches served daily, individualizing catering menus and selecting fine wines for clients, he brings new meaning to the “full-service” station.

Plantation Station has been transformed from a tired convenience store to four gas pumps and a fresh, well-stocked shop with traditional and contemporary food and a topshelf topshelf wine selection. Plantation Station also offers breakfast on the weekends and a gas discount for residents.

Nimble, safe and efficient, the Biotrike makes its mark.

John Giljam’s imagination has kicked into overdrive with the Biotrike, a “reverse” tricycle with two wheels in the front and one in the back.The automobile of the future has arrived and it doesn’t look or perform like the one parked in your garage. To begin with, it has three wheels. It can also run on fuel derived from vegetable oil and electricity, and can take you some 800 miles down the road before sipping the last drop from its 9-gallon tank.

The Biotrike is the brainchild of John and Julie Giljam, the heart and soul of Cool Amphibious Manufacturers International (CAMI), creators of some of the most imaginative vehicles ever devised. Their credits include a 49-person tour bus, an RV and sports car, all of which happen to be amphibious.

Business EXPO 2009 brings movers and shakers together.

Business EXPO is an ideal opportunity to find new suppliers, customers and partners.The Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for one of the largest business-to-business networking events in the region, Feb. 11-12 at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa. More than 100 companies will present products and services during Business EXPO 2009, a two-day event sponsored by the chamber and Hilton Head  Regional Healthcare.

This year’s expo will include a luncheon featuring Elizabeth Conklyn as guest speaker.

Conklyn, an outstanding human resources executive, will present her enlightening views on leadership development, leading through change, and leading people in difficult times.

Island Fudge Shoppe indulges our inner yearnings.

Gus and Maureen RobinsonThe making of fudge, that delectable, irresistible  and  potent confection locked into the memories of our youth, has been called a science.

For Gus and Maureen Robinson, long-time purveyors of Island Fudge Shoppe in Coligny Plaza, it could be called psychology.

“We find out what the customer wants, if it’s just plain chocolate fudge or one of 20 flavors,” said Gus, who earned a degree in psychology from Davidson College.

The Robinsons have gotten good at making fudge, chocolates, pralines and other candies since they bought the business and recipes from original owner Jerry Weber in 1990.

The Jazz Corner, an island icon, celebrates a decade of swingin’ success.

Bob Masteller, The Jazz Corner’s talented co-founder & ownerOn March 30, 1999, international jazz icon George Shearing took the stage in a brand new little club tucked in a corner of the Village at Wexford on Hilton Head Island.

The performer’s very presence was testament to the determination of the club’s owners to provide the very best in jazz entertainment for their community. Media coverage of the performance put The Jazz Corner on the map.

“We created a market image as an international jazz club but, because we had to charge a lot for admission that night, our local image started out as a costly place to go,” said Bob Masteller, co-founder and owner of the club.

“Also in the early years, the perception was that jazz clubs had heavy blue smoke and terrible food,” Masteller’s wife Lois recalled.

With the economic crisis hitting everyone in the pocketbook, it’s  more important than ever for parents to talk to their children  about how to manage money. New Year’s — a prime resolution time for millions of Americans — is a great time for children and their parents to learn better spending and savings practices together.

Forty-six percent of American families hold a credit card balance according to the U.S. Census Bureaus 2004 statistics. And in 2007, more than 800,000 bankruptcy cases were filed in the United States.

Managing money is a family affair. By resolving to set financial goals and working together to practice management, families can enjoy independence and security. “Parents and their children can learn from and challenge each other to plan better ways to use the money they earn and save,” says Scott Oberkrom, director of Community Investments at American Century Investments.

Changes in federal law to impact tax liabilities in 2009.

Qualified, seasoned and prepared, trust the estate, tax and probate division of Novit & Scarminach to effectively structure your estate, minimize your tax burdens and prepare for the unexpected. Based on the changes enacted in 2001, the federal estate tax exemption will increase to $3.5 million for taxpayers dying in 2009. (The exemption in 2007 and 2008 was $2 million.)