New plan from Upstate SC Alliance aimed at growing local economy

(WSPA)–The industrial landscape is shifting in Upstate South Carolina, according to the findings of the Upstate SC Alliance’s 2017 Strategic Plan.  The organization is in the middle of completing an action plan to help roll out the new strategies within 60 days.  The plan is to make the Upstate a competitive place for new jobs and investment.

The CEO and President of the Upstate SC Alliance says the area has a lot to offer.

“Our quality of life is fabulous,” said John Lummus.  “Our cities in the Upstate are wonderful.  We’re near the mountains.  We’re near the lakes.  Our climate – we really push that.  It’s our people and our workforce.  Companies want to come here because we’ve got a great workforce.”

South Carolina has been on an economic upswing for several years and Governor Henry McMaster wants it to stay that way.  He visited Greenville for the March unveiling of the Strategic Plan during the annual Upstate SC Alliance luncheon.  He spoke about South Carolina’s low cost of doing business and the attention the state received from overseas companies wanting to expand in our area.

The Governor spoke about the Port of Charleston, which is one of the driving forces for foreign investments, and also the inland ports in Greer and Dillon.  McMaster says few regulations and low taxes are the key economic drivers in South Carolina.  He said he’s considering drafting an executive order requiring state agencies to require certain findings be made before any new regulations are issued.

The Strategic Plan unveiled by the Upstate SC Alliance found that the area’s sustained economic growth now relies on region-building and industry cluster development.  It’s a shift from the “low-cost” location of doing business, that once attracted industry to the area.

The Upstate SC Alliance adopted a new mission statement aimed at establishing the Upstate as a unified economic region with strategic marketing, collaboration and thought leadership.

The findings show that there are fewer opportunities for large-scale developments by foreign and domestic companies that involve millions in investment and create hundreds of jobs.  More projects include foreign companies taking a more cautious approach to the market with join ventures, mergers and acquisitions.

The Upstate SC Alliance work over the next five years using these 5 strategies:

1.    Lead Regional Marketing and Business Attraction
2.    Move Up the Manufacturing Value Chain
3.    Engage Intentionally in the Global Economy
4.    Establish the Upstate Alliance as an Economic Thought Leader
5.    Anchor Efforts in Robust Research

JPMorgan Chase gave the Upstate SC Alliance a $100,000 grant to put toward their plans for global engagement.

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