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Local businesses succeed despite virus
Beall's Outlet
Flanked by Effingham County Chamber of Commerce representatives and Bealls Outlet employees, Beall’s Outlet manager Kristan Lemos cuts the ribbon for the Fort Howard Square store Friday. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

RINCON — Effingham County’s business environment remains healthy despite the lingering COVID-19 pandemic.

Bealls Outlet became the latest business to open here last week at Fort Howard Square. It conducted a ribbon cutting Friday.

“We had no apprehension about opening,” Bealls Outlet manager Kristan Lemos said. “We opened (other stores) at the end of April and they have been going good ever since. We take all the precautions.”

Bealls Outlet, which originated in Florida, had its eye on Rincon for a while. A previous effort to move into Fort Howard Square didn’t pan out.

“I think now is the right time,” said Dawn Wikle, a Bealls district manager for 23 years.

Bealls Outlet sells clothing, shoes, handbags and bed/bath items.

“We have over five hundred stores in our chain and we are growing,” Wikle said. “In the spring, we are going to try to open sixty stores in other states.”

Lemos said customer service is key to the success of Bealls Outlet.

“We cater to everyone,” she said. “We are basically family oriented. We try to have the wife come in and shop for her family. We have a little bit for everybody.”

Before the ribbon cutting, Effingham County Chamber of Commerce CEO Andy Cripps vowed to assist Bealls Outlet if needed. The chamber helps businesses connect with customers through special events and promotions.

“We also keep them informed, not just about chamber events but what’s happening legislatively and business trends so that they can make knowledgeable decisions,” Cripps said. 

The chamber also has the ear of local and state government leaders, Cripps said.

“The chamber is the voice of two hundred or three hundred businesses instead of just one voice,” he said. “We are trying to build more tangible benefits among our membership.”

Cripps said most Effingham County businesses have weathered the COVID-19 storm well since it swept the nation last spring.

“Manufacturing had some hiccups at the beginning with the supply chains but  now they are going strong. Some of them are doing better than before the pandemic,” he said. “That’s going to continue to grow. This will continue to grow.

“It’s not as vulnerable as other areas. It’s not like we didn’t get affected, but we weren’t devastated.”

The following is list of Effingham County businesses that opened during the pandemic:

Central Station Bakery & Eatery

Rebecca Tebeau          

116 N. Laurel St., Springfield


Norburg Chiropractic & Wellness Center

Terri Greenslade Norburg       

505 N. Laurel St., Springfield

(912) 754-3218


Brandy Riley   

336 S. Columbia Ave., Rincon

(912) 675-5879

Horton's General Store

Tammy Leggett  

293 S Columbia Ave., Rincon

(912) 295-3170

Coastal Performing Arts Academy

Dawn Kuster 

701 South Laurel St , Springfield

(912) 656-1744

Veteran's Fence Company

Sunni Dellinger 

895 Ebenezer Road, Rincon

(912) 407-0570

Ally’s Bakery LLC

202 E. 4th St., Rincon

(912) 655-7778

Lo’s Shop

Lauren Tippett

69 Central Ave., Guyton 

(912) 438-3992

Peachy Clean Pet Salon         

Sophia Scott

129 Waterford Court, Rincon


For more information about the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce, call (912) 754-3301.