Minority-owned Company Leads Successful Renovation of Vista Restaurant
CARBRA Construction and Design, Inc., a minority- and woman-owned general contracting company, recently completed the successful renovation of a new establishment in Columbia’s bustling downtown entertainment district, the Vista. In addition to CARBRA, three other minority-owned businesses provided services for the project, bringing the minority participation rate to more than 50 percent.
In an industry where a 20 percent participation rate is considered ambitious, Betty Price, CARBRA’s President and CEO, utilizes as many qualified minority businesses as possible for her projects. “My mission is to grow other businesses as I grow,” Price says. “I’ve been an entrepreneur for over 12 years, so I know the struggles minority businesses have trying to get meaningful work. We don't always get the construction opportunities other businesses get, especially in areas like the Vista.”
City Bar and Fondue, the new martini and fondue bar, required heavy renovation consisting of the demolition of dated walls and installing new walls, flooring and a commercial kitchen. The makeover also included the renovation of the bar and dining areas, as well as extensive carpentry work. Price self-performed the drywall, painting and construction of the metal framing wall. The rest, she subcontracted to Empire Drywall, Basil Carpentry, Gillette Plumbing and Dursey Mechanical and Maintenance. Dursey was the only non-minority firm used in the project.
Director of the Minority Business Development Center - Columbia, SC, Camille Shaw, is ecstatic about the success of CARBRA, a longstanding Center client. “It is not only admirable but wise for minority business owners to subcontract with other minority businesses, as doing so has a positive impact on the community,” Shaw says. “We are excited for CARBRA and proud of its many successes.”
Price says, “Networking and lifelong learning are a must! The Center has been a valuable resource, providing training and networking opportunities.”
CARBRA has six full-time employees and currently provides services for Richland County School District One, The Comet, University of South Carolina and Richland County Judicial System. Past projects include work with Columbia Housing Authority, Midlands Technical College, Richland County, the Township Auditorium, and numerous retail establishments.