Call center in Myrtle Beach closes its doors, more than 50 people out of work

The company was leasing space at HGTC. (WPDE)

A new company to Myrtle Beach has already shut its doors, according to Josh Kay, CEO of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation.

Greenwood Hall, a California-based customer relationship management firm, closed Friday leaving more than 50 people without a job, Kay added.

“We learned last night, I got a call from the CEO that Greenwood Hall would be closing the operations here in Myrtle Beach for unknown reasons,” said Kay.

Kay said he had been working with Greenwood Hall for more than three years to open a facility here.

The company operated a call center on the Horry Georgetown Technical College campus in Myrtle Beach.

Kay added that SC Works would be working with the employees to find new jobs.

"It's always unfortunate to lose a job, it's especially unfortunate this time of year, so, again, SC Works has been in the lead in trying to find those folks additional or new employment," said Kay.

The company was just announced in October and held a job fair on Oct. 31.

At the time, the company's CEO, Brad Fields, said they were "committed to investing $1.4 million and creating 317 new jobs over the next five years."

Former employee Heather Paul told ABC 15 News she found out that the company was closing through a text message from her superior.

"So I thought 'is this a joke' so I decided to call back and she did answer the phone and she was upset. She was one of the people who was not in a position to be without pay for three weeks,” said Paul.

She said the wort part is that this is happening during the holidays.

“Those bills are going to come next months and they’re going to be behind,” said Paul.

The company was leasing space at HGTC.

HGTC released the following statement about the closure:

HGTC is disappointed to have lost a strategic service provider after many years of providing service to our college. We are working with state procurement to identify another service provider that can replace this vendor as soon as possible. As always, we remain dedicated to providing world-class services to our students and to the greater community.

The company was not given incentives, according to Kay, but they could have been eligible for them.

He said they would have been eligible for an incentive if they had met three separate performance measures: employing a certain number of jobs over a specific period of time, the average hourly wages of those jobs being above an agreed upon level, and investing a certain amount of their funds.

The incentive offered was a performance-based, reimbursable grant that would have been paid out over a 5-year period, he explained.

“Greenwood Hall did not receive any incentives from the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation or from Horry County,” said Kay.

We have reached out to Greenwood Hall for comment but have not received a response about why the call center closed.

John Hall, co-founder and former CEO of Greenwood Hall, released the following statement regarding the closure:

According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Hall resigned from Greenwood Hall on July 25, 2017.

An item filed with the SEC by Greenwood Hall shows that Hall's resignation came "within the 30-day period following the Board's notice to Mr. Hall of his gross negligence in the performance of his duties."

In a resignation letter also filed with the SEC, Hall said the company had been experiencing "major cash flow issues for much of 2017" and, with "lack of support of the Company" to better the situation, he felt he "had no choice but to resign."

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