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All Clear Plumbing & Sewer MaintenanceLocal residents and businesspeople who have a problem with their hot water heater, sewer line, toilet, sink, or other plumbing can count on All Clear Plumbing and Sewer Maintenance to make that problem become nothing but a bad memory.

Master Plumber Scott Smith started All Clear with his wife, Trina, and their daughter, Anja, in 2012. Today they hold licenses in several different upstate communities, including Simpsonville and Greenville.

“He had worked in the Upstate for more than 15 years when he decided to start his own plumbing company,” Anja, managing partner, recalled. “We wanted to create a company that would allow him to exclusively do service plumbing – repairs, maintenance and drain cleaning – with integrity and in a way that would bring value to his customers.”

“We do not get involved in new construction or additions and remodeling projects because we want to make sure that our crews are always available to handle plumbing emergencies and provide the best response times possible,” she added.

The company is also structured so that plumbers and apprentices are paid on an hourly basis, rather than the typical commission basis. The Smiths worry that sales-focused pay structure becomes a conflict of interest for plumbers who would rather focus on performing the repairs anyway.

“We want to make sure that only repairs that are absolutely necessary and in the best interests of the home and the safety of our customers’ families are suggested,” Anja said.

Today All Clear has four service trucks on the road, manned by plumbers and apprentices (trained under the U.S. Department of Labor’s three-year plumbing education program). In addition, the ownership team mans the phones 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year so that customers can always reach someone in case of a plumbing emergency.

“I can’t say enough about how supportive and welcoming the people of the Simpsonville Chamber of Commerce have been to our business and we are so grateful,” Anja stated. “They allow us to become involved in all aspects of the community – even handing out candy during Goblinfest in Heritage Park – because they are so in-tune with what is going on in Simpsonville. They are my go-to resource. The Chamber will cheer you on, support your business, and eventually become your biggest fans.”

It was through her involvement with the Chamber that Anja had the opportunity to join its Business Development Committee, which recently released a downloadable Entrepreneur-Friendly Tool Kit for new and prospective businesses in Simpsonville.

“We were able to work with someone from the Appalachian Council of Governments who led us through the process of developing a tool to make Simpsonville even friendlier to business. We analyzed Simpsonville’s strengths and weaknesses and figured out how to shore things up and make them better,” she said.

In the end, they developed a downloadable guide that provides local businesses with demographic information about the area, marketing resources, municipal regulations and other resources ranging from how to get financing for your business to how to find the right location.

“It is designed to be a ‘quick start’ program to help entrepreneurs launch a business from scratch, but it can be helpful to existing businesses, too, that want to learn a better way to do something business-related,” Anja said.

“If we had had a guide like this when we started All Clear, it would have saved us from a lot of mistakes and headaches. I believe that most business owners want to do things the right way, but they just aren’t sure about the rules. On the other hand, governmental entities are so focused on making and enforcing the rules that they don’t think about conveying them to businesses in any easy-to-understand format,” she noted.

The Entrepreneur-Friendly Tool Kit was designed to be an indispensable tool for new business owners and a shortcut guide for existing businesses of everything from signage requirements to other permits. Representatives of the city helped to develop it through their membership on the Chamber’s Business Development Committee.

All Clear Plumbing and Sewer Maintenance can be reached at 979-7059 or at AllClearPlumbingUpstate.com.cornell sweeney allstate insurance agencyThe Cornell Sweeney Allstate Insurance Agency has been protecting the homes and automobiles of upstate residents since 1985. In fact, Sweeney is the longest-tenured Allstate agent in the upstate area and has been operating from the same Simpsonville location all 31 years.

A native of nearby Piedmont, Sweeney got into the insurance business by answering a newspaper advertisement and back then, was given nothing more than a phone book and a phone so that he could start prospecting for clients by making cold calls, his daughter, Brittany Brockman, said.

Now, of course, business is done totally differently but Brockman said that many of those original clients who Sweeney reached by phone are still loyal customers of the agency and so are their children and grandchildren.

“We are now providing insurance to three generations of some families. In fact, our clients have become an extension of our family business,” Brockman said.

“We don’t take it lightly that our loyal clients have helped us grow this business over the years,” she added.

The Simpsonville Chamber of Commerce has also become like family to the Sweeneys.

“My dad has been part of the Simpsonville Chamber since he opened his business. They offer us the opportunity to network with other businesses, but also to reach out to residents with the fact that we can bring them peace of mind for their homes and autos,” she added.

Brockman joined her father in his business straight out of college.

“I enjoy working beside him and learning from him every day. He teaches me his old school way of doing things and I try to push him to try some of my new ways,” Brockman said.

In addition, she has taken over the role of the agency’s representative to the Chamber.

“We take very seriously the fact that we are the face of Allstate Insurance to many of the people of Simpsonville,” she said.

The Cornell Sweeney Agency is located at 100 W. Curtis St. at the clock tower and can be reached by calling (864) 967-2362.

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