Business Briefs: Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014

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Housing market slows in January

Home sales in the Sumter market fell in January when compared to the same time in 2013, the South Carolina Realtors reported this week.

The monthly decline in sales of 27 percent comes after a previous quarter when Sumter closings increased nearly 10 percent for the last three months of 2013.

Despite the drop, median sales prices increased in January when compared to last year. According to the Realtors, the median home in Sumter sold for $122,750 last month, compared to $144,500 in January 2013.

NBSC receives 16 awards

NBSC, a division of Synovus Bank, recently received 16 national awards from Greenwich Associates for excellence in Middle Market and Small Business banking. Of 750 banks evaluated nationwide, only 34 received national recognition for Middle Market and only 43 for Small Business banking.

Brown named to Leaders Initiative

Annie Brown, CEO of Sumter Family Health Center, is one of 42 leaders from the Midlands and surrounding areas selected to participate in the seventh Midlands class of the Riley Institute at Furman's Diversity Leaders Initiative. Brown will join 1,200 Riley Fellows across the state and meet during the next five months to work together on timely, relevant case studies and other experiential learning tools designed to maximize interactions among program participants.

These established leaders similarly desire to collaborate and improve the lives of those in their communities and throughout the state, explained Riley Institute Executive Director Don Gordan.

Goodwill offering free tax preparation

Goodwill Industries of Lower South Carolina is providing free income tax filing services to low- and moderate-income people in Sumter.

The free tax assistance is being offered at the Palmetto Goodwill Job Link Center. Individuals with an income of $65,000 and families with an income of $90,000 and below qualify for this service.

Individuals are asked to bring a complete copy of their tax return from last year, as well as wage statements (W-2), interest and dividend statements (1099INT and 1099DIV), mortgage interest statements (1098), pension and social security statements (1099R and SSA-1099), tuition payment statements (1098-T), property tax receipts for any property taxes paid in 2012, information on deductions, copies of their Social Security card, bank account number and routing number to deposit your refund and a valid picture ID.

For more information or to make an appointment, residents can call (803) 774-5006.