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Spring is here and most South Carolinians are beginning their love affair with cooking outdoors, eating outdoors and just plain being outdoors!

There's no better place to enjoy those things than on your own backyard deck.

Depending on its size and design, a deck can be a good do-it-yourself project. If you and your buddies are handy, you might even be able to build one over a weekend. Some home improvement stores will provide you with design help, recommend materials, and volunteer advice if you hit a snag. There are even online guides to show you how to build a deck step by step.

But maybe you'd prefer to bring in a pro so you can kick back and just observe the deck building process. What should you ask before you hire that pro?

First Reliance Bank Deck Building TipsNo matter how you plan to move forward with your deck project, there are some important ...

When you see an RV rolling down Interstate 95 or heading toward the coast, do you take a long hard look and imagine yourself inside?

Are you tired of vacationing in hotel rooms, facing the hassle of air travel and paying the cost of it all? Maybe you've already cut vacation costs by squeezing the family into your pop-up camper, but feel ready to move up to a more luxurious option.

First Reliance Bank RVIt might be a good time to get an RV. Over 8 million households enjoy the cost-savings and freedom that comes with owning an RV. In fact, more and more families are buying RVs every year, according to a recent survey of consumers by the University of Michigan.

It's easy to see why. An RV is a very cost-effective way to travel — especially for families of four or more. A recent study by travel firm PKF Consulting revealed ...

Thinking of starting your own business? Here are our recommendations for making that dream a reality with a small business loan.small_business_loan

Few things are as gratifying, (or challenging) as leaving the relative safety of working for someone else to start your own small business. After all, every decision you make, from who you hire, to where you’re located, has the potential to make or break your business. It’s a nerve wracking endeavor that not everyone is cut out for, but for those who have the drive and do their homework, it can be tremendously rewarding. So if you are up to the challenge, the first obstacle you must overcome is financing the start of your business.

Unless you have already accumulated a little nest egg for your small business venture, you will likely need to get a small business loan. This a place where people mess up, either getting more ...

officeWhen starting a business, one of the first decisions you must make is to lease space for your office, store, or restaurant, or purchase a property. Each comes with its share of benefits and disadvantages, but with a little planning, you can make an informed choice that helps your business succeed in the long run. Here are our tips when it comes to choosing to lease or buy your business property.

Leasing vs. Buying

Here are a few things to consider regarding leasing vs. buying your business space:

Leasing Property

  • Doesn’t require a down payment, excluding a deposit

  • Certain upgrade and renovations, such as complying with code, will be paid for by your landlord.

  • Generally are not responsible for building repairs and preventative maintenance.

  • Option to transition to a larger space as your business grows.

Buying Property

  • Usually must provide a down payment of 10% -- 25%.

  • Eligible for tax ...

Free yourself from the toil of a 9 to 5 job with these helpful tips.small_business

Do you ever dream of the freedom and flexibility of self-employment as you “punch the clock” each work day? With a little initiative and ingenuity, you can drop your day job for something more rewarding and become a self-sufficient professional who only answers to you. Read below for some helpful tips for making the transition from employee to successful entrepreneur.

No guts, no glory: This may not come as a surprise, but in order to invoke change in your life, you must be willing to make changes and step out of your comfort zone. Put yourself out there, and rather than fear the possibility of failure, accept it as a normal step on the path to success.

Whether you’re considering relocating to a new city for more opportunities, or starting a business, you are guaranteed ...

We are thankful for our customers, businesses and the great communities we are in. We truly appreciate your support and interactions in all that we do throughout the year to make our communities great places to live. Our associates and management remain committed to our purpose ‘to make the lives of our customers better’ and we hope you continue to enjoy our brand of banking. Wishing you and yours a safe Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. F.R. “Rick” Saunders, Jr., President/CEO And the First Reliance Bank Team

web_securityWhile the holiday season is typically regarded as a time to show goodwill towards others, scammers use increased shopping traffic, holiday travel, and consumer generosity to take advantage of well-meaning individuals. As you prepare for the holidays, here is a list of common scams to watch out for to ensure you and your family have a merry, Grinch-free Christmas and a happy New Year.

Too Good to be True Online Discounts

If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Beware new websites offering unrealistic deals on merchandise. You could pay for a product you never receive, or give personal information that can be used by scammers to steal your identity. Also avoid opening unsolicited emails offering deals as they could infect your computer with malicious software designed to steal your information.

When shopping online, look for a green padlock icon at the top or bottom of ...

Use these tips to buy great gifts for friends and family without going into debt.christmas_presents

Once again, the holiday season is upon us, which means it’s time to light the Christmas tree, have a peppermint mocha (or two), and begin the search for the perfect gift for the important people in
your life. But how do you cut costs without looking like a Grinch? Read below for our six tips on how to save while shopping this holiday season.

Get gift cards at a discount – Have you ever received a gift card that you couldn’t use? Thanks to sites like, people can sell their unused gift cards at a discount. They get cash for a card they can’t use, and you get instant savings. Get deals like 25% off a $100 gift card that you can either gift, or use to buy presents this season.

Follow retailers on ...

Learn more about factors such as age, employment, taxes, and more that can impact your Social Security in retirement. social_security_retirement

If you work and live to be 62, you will be eligible for Social Security benefits. However, there are many factors and strategies that can produce benefits at higher rates, adding financial security to you and your spouse’s retirement. Here are some of the things you should consider before claiming your benefits so that you get the outcome that best meets your needs.

Eligibility – People obtain eligibility for Social Security through employment. As you earn income and pay Social Security taxes, you are awarded credits. You can earn a maximum of 4 credits per year, and once you have obtained the minimum necessary, you can claim your benefits at age 62 or older. The number of required credits for eligibility varies, and is dependent on your year of birth.

Timing ...