State agency to refund businesses over high unemployment insurance rates

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South Carolina Small BusinessSeveral businesses in South Carolina are about to receive refunds from the Department of Employment and Workforce as the state Legislature reaches a decision on what to do with a surplus of funds. Businesses have had a turbulent past with unemployment insurance rates in the past as the state made attempts to free itself from federal debt. The Department of Employment and Workforce had offered insurance coverage for businesses at rates far lower any private insurance company could offer. This quickly put the agency in financial turmoil as it ran out of money to support jobless benefits without generating enough revenue.

According to Abraham Turner, director of the agency, businesses that had spent $22 million in higher rates in the second quarter of this year will be eligible to request a refund from the agency. A system is currently being built to process the tide of requests coming from businesses. Payouts will not begin until October 1.

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The agency will also be lowering its rates on unemployment insurance by an average of 22%. Turner hopes that this will encourage businesses to exercise more freedom when making investments and, perhaps, help some smaller businesses grow.

Turner is working with Governor Nikki Haley to bring some reforms to the state agency as well in regards to unemployment insurance and drug tests for employees.

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