Soda City Market to host 3-day holiday shopping event on downtown Columbia streets | Columbia Business

COLUMBIA — Soda City Market is hosting a three-day European style holiday market on Main Street in downtown Columbia over the Thanksgiving holiday. 

The Holiday Market on Main, running from Nov. 27-29, will feature local vendors such as Granger Owings menswear that normally would not be part of the market on Saturday, said Emile DeFelice of Soda City. 



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The holiday event, which will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, will stretch along the 1400 and 1600 blocks of Main Street. Cross-streets also will be blocked off, making the event even more pedestrian-friendly, he said. A regular Soda City Market will be held on Saturday morning as part of the holiday market.

Snacks such as hot chocolate, live music and a chance for photos with Santa Claus in the Arcade Mall should add to the festive atmosphere, DeFelice said.



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Coronavirus safety rules that are in use at Soda City Market, such as the spacing out of vendors and the requirement of masks, will be in place for the holiday market.

Attendance has been rising through the fall at Soda City, and mask use rates continue to be very high, DeFelice said. 

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Columbia, Motown and Warner Execs Talk Gender Disparity and Leadership at Variety’s Power of Women: Conversations

For Ethiopia Habtemariam, president of Motown and EVP of Capitol Music Group, being a woman and leader in the music industry means a more compassionate approach to all aspects of the business. In the world’s current climate — with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging on and the fight for racial justice at an all-time high — she believes this quality is needed more than ever.

“There is something about the level of empathy that we have as women, right? An emotional intelligence to really be there for our teams during this time, and the need for that,” Habtemariam said during Variety‘s Power of Women: Conversations, presented by Lifetime. “People look to the places that they work more now than ever, to have that level of understanding and a place to lean on in the midst of everything that’s happening in their world or at home.”

In addition to Habtemariam, the panel consisted of Ty Stiklorius, manager to John Legend, Charlie Puth and more; Fadia Kader, head of strategic partnerships of music at Instagram; Carianne Marshall, co-chair and COO of Warner Chapel Music; and Jenifer Mallory, EVP and general manager at Columbia Records. Together, they discussed gender disparity across the music industry, what they look for in a leader and how the business can change for the better.

Stiklorius pointed out that although generous strides have been made, staggering gaps still exist concerning the exposure that female artists receive compared to their male counterparts. This pattern was already apparent in radio with major stations refusing to enforce an equal split of the songs they play by female artists versus male artists, but it also exists within the digital age’s music giant: streaming.

“We’re seeing clear bias from whoever’s coming up with the playlist,” Stiklorius said. “Having managed Alanis Morissette at one point, I remember looking at Spotify and seeing the rock in the ’90s playlist. I counted out of 160 songs on the rock in the ’90s playlist, only six of them were women and Alanis Morissette was not even on it. And she has the biggest selling rock album of all time for women.”

Stiklorius added: “We’re going to keep seeing bias in these spaces unless we constantly hold ourselves accountable to the data and understand where we are.”

Though there is still a ways to go in terms of equaling out airtime for female artists, women in the music industry workplace are beginning to dominate. Mallory reported that Columbia Records’ workforce consists of 52% women and 48% men, and they are working on ensuring more women ascend to executive positions.

“I think we have a lot of women across the organization in positions of leadership. Our head of publicity, our head of branding, our head of sync, our head of international,” Mallory said. “But it’s important that myself and Ron [Perry] and the senior team are making sure that it’s not just obviously junior level positions, that we’re making sure that the women are rising in the ranks

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For a Columbia beauty salon, city’s assistance beings a revamped building and a new start | Columbia Business

COLUMBIA — First the COVID-19 shutdown closed a longtime beauty salon. Then, in the middle of a building renovation backed by city funds vandals broke in, damaging a wall and flooding part of the building.

Now Mary’s Beauty Salon, which has been at the corner of Millwood and Gervais for four decades, is completing repairs and renovation and looking to reopen before the end of the year. 

The revitalization of the property has been possible thanks to Columbia’s Commercial Retention and Redevelopment Program, which in recent years has been giving businesses forgivable loans to work on facades and other needed changes to improve appearances.

The most recent version of the program is focused on such areas as Gervais, Harden and Taylor streets near downtown. 



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In a decade of making facade grants, the city has spent more than $900,000 on more than 60 loans, according to the city website.

Businesses must maintain the work for at least two years after the project is complete in order to be eligible for the loan to be forgiven.

Joan Morton, co-owner of the building, said she spent more than $3,500 and the city put $25,000 into the work.



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The completion of the renovation marks the end of a tough year for Morton and her business.

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Her mother who started the business, Mary Vance Norton, died in July. She wanted the business to reopen as a salon, and Joan Morton wanted it to remain in her mother’s name after her passing.

Even the new security bars have the initials “MS” for Mary’s Salon. 

“It will always carry her name,” Joan Morton said.

The exterior has been repainted and a new sign, with black type on a white background is in place. “We thought it looked more business-like,” Morton said. 

The renovation project first was slowed by the city, as coronavirus concerns caused a delay in funding. Then, in August, vandals damaged windows and a wall, also cutting the lines for the security system and water, which left some water on floors in part of the building. 

Nothing apparently was stolen by the intruders, and the water was limited. Still, the need for repairs pushed reopening back again.



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Now Morton is looking forward to getting open before 2020 ends, moving chairs and other equipment back into the beauty shop. Morton is considering hiring a second stylist to share the space with her 

While some equipment has been replaced, much of it will be the same equipment the small shop has used for two decades. 

“They don’t make it like they used to, and it still functions,” she said.

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