economic development

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    Life sciences booming in Charleston, across South Carolina see more

    By Dustin Waters, Charleston Business

     

    With almost 30 new residents moving to the region every day, Charleston County has no difficulty attracting talent and businesses. Instead, the main concern locally is maintaining a balance between industry and quality of life that keeps the region’s economic engines humming. 

    “I think it’s safe to say that manufacturing is alive and well. It accounted for about 33 percent of what’s going on,” says Steve Dykes, Charleston County’s executive director of economic development, describing industry growth over the past two years. “Manufacturing, that broad category, also includes automotive and aerospace.”

    He adds, “The other thing that I think is very noteworthy in Charleston County is life sciences. We had six announcements in the life sciences space. That includes drug makers, medical devices, research organizations that perform clinical trials.”

    Since 2017, Charleston County has been home to 39 major new business announcements, accounting for 2,246 new jobs created in the area and $241 million in capital investments. Including Charleston County’s ever-expanding lineup of brewers and distillers, manufacturing made up almost half of these new and expanding businesses, followed by the life science sector and IT. 

    Five to 10 additional projects in Charleston County are expected to be announced by the end of 2019, but the real takeaway is that a vast majority of activity in the area is related to expansions, rather than new businesses coming to the area. Of the 39 new projects announced over the past two years, 74 percent have been news of expansions—meaning that businesses already in Charleston County like what they see. 

    Working with a wide collection of organizations throughout the county, Charleston County’s Office of Economic Development relies on a healthy partnership between local school districts, municipalities, and private businesses to connect students with careers in the area. One example of this collaborative effort is the S.C. Aeronautical Training Center at Trident Tech. Providing training for those looking to enter into the region’s advanced manufacturing sector, the $80 million center received around a quarter of its funding from the county, according to Dykes.

    “We have 24 people a day moving here, two-thirds of which are college-educated. We’ve already got a very strong base of college-educated people living in Charleston County. Much higher than any of our neighboring counties,” says Dykes. “I think we are just going to continue to see a wave of brains, if you will, coming into the area. There was a time back in the ’90s when we were worried about brain drain. We had people go to school here, get educated here, and then promptly leave due to the lack of meaningful career choices. Everything is totally reversed now. We’re a center where people come.”

    Dykes points to the closure of the Charleston Naval Base in 1993 as the event that spurred local leaders to reconsider how they do business in Charleston County. Since that time, the area has become home to a diverse and healthy economy. Now, the focus moving forward is making sure all this growth doesn’t ruin what brought so many to Charleston in the first place. 

    “We never want to have growth in general compromise our quality of life here. There’s a lot of emphasis that’s going on now with all the governments here about the transportation system and affordability,” says Dykes. 

    In addition to an increased push to improve and expand regional public transportation, the Charleston Regional Development Alliance recently sponsored an effort called Reboot the Commute, for which members of the local business community announced they would be offering more flexible working hours to reduce rush hour traffic congestion. Meanwhile, Dykes says his office is working on outreach into the county’s more impoverished communities, making sure that these residents are aware of any new job openings that may be available. 

    “We’ve had wild success, but with that wild success has come a lot of infusion of money into the community, a lot of development, and development over time can cause gentrification. We’ve seen things becoming less affordable for some folks in our community,” says Dykes. “We have to be focused on workforce housing. We have to be focused on improving the commute and trying to get better public transportation inaugurated here in Charleston. That’s our big emphasis moving forward.”

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    Prisma Health has named its new President and CEO see more

    Prisma Health announced the selection of Mark S. O’Halla as the health company’s new president and chief executive officer (CEO). O’Halla, along with the members of the executive leadership team, will be responsible for advancing the health company’s goal to create a better state of health in South Carolina by improving clinical quality, the patient experience, access to care, and addressing rising health care costs. O’Halla will join Prisma Health in mid-August.  Prisma Health is a Mission Partner of SCBIO, the life sciences organization of South Carolina.

    O’Halla has been serving as executive vice president/chief operating officer of Michigan-based McLaren Health Care since 2014. He has more than 30 years of progressive experience in health care senior executive roles, including 13 years with the McLaren organization.

    The board of directors was pleased with the high-quality candidates they reviewed for this important role. “We are honored to select Mark as our next leader. We believe his experience leading a multiregional health care system will be a critical element in ensuring Prisma Health continues its journey to transform health care for our communities. We look forward to working with Mark to ensure that South Carolinians get the quality health care they need and deserve,” said James E. “Rick” Wheeler, chair of the Prisma Health board of directors and vice president of M-D Metal Source.

    O’Halla added, “Joining Prisma Health and its 32,000 team members is an exciting opportunity to help redefine and continue improving health care for patients in South Carolina. I am proud to be part of this vibrant new health company, focused on providing exemplary quality, smart growth and sustained financial strength. I am also excited to work with physicians and university partners to advance its academic mission.”

    As the executive vice president/chief operating officer at McLaren Health Care, a 14-hospital system with two health insurance plans covering 583,000 lives, O’Halla spearheaded initiatives to achieve top performance in areas of financial, operating and clinical quality, created a standardized patient-centered focus across the system that improved patient satisfaction, directed the alignment and growth of its Medical Group, and led efforts to integrate various clinical and administrative elements of the health system. 

    O’Halla earned his bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio; and master’s degree in Business Administration from William E. Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York. He is active in several health care organizations including American College of Healthcare Executives and served on several community boards.

    O’Halla and his wife, Anita, will be relocating to Greenville, South Carolina. They have three grown children.

    In January, Prisma Health launched the national search for its new CEO to lead the organization formed by the partnership of South Carolina’s largest health care systems, Greenville Health System (GHS), now Prisma Health–Upstate and Palmetto Health, now Prisma Health–Midlands.

    Physicians who participated in O’Halla’s selection look forward to working with him as Prisma Health’s first president and CEO.

    The current Co-CEOs, Michael C. Riordan, former CEO of Greenville Health System and Charles D. Beaman Jr., former CEO of Palmetto Health, have been working together over the last two years to set a strong foundation of governance and leadership for Prisma Health. Six months ago, Beaman and Riordan began focusing on specific areas to ensure Prisma Health was operating efficiently. Riordan has been responsible for driving several strategic projects to position the organization for long-term success, including facilitating the CEO search. On Friday, May 31, he will conclude his final project and fulfill his commitment to the organization, at which time he will retire from Prisma Health. Beaman has been focused on Prisma Health operations and will fulfill his commitment to the organization and step down from Prisma Health upon O’Halla’s arrival.

     

    About Prisma Health

    Prisma Health is a not-for-profit health company and South Carolina’s largest private employer. We are committed to excellence in providing patient care, conducting clinical research and teaching the next generation of physicians, nurses, dentists and other medical professionals. Our organization was formed in late 2017 when Greenville Health System and Palmetto Health joined together, officially becoming Prisma Health in January 2019. With nearly 32,000 team members, 18 hospitals and more than 300 physician practice sites, Prisma Health serves more than 1.2 million patients annually – about one quarter of the state’s population. Our goal is to improve the health of all South Carolinians by improving clinical quality, the patient experience and access to affordable care. Our groundbreaking programs in cardiovascular, diabetes, neuroscience, oncology and orthopedics care – as well as our two renowned Children’s Hospitals – attract patients from throughout the Southeast. Ultimately, we are dedicated to transforming the health care experience for our patients and their families, our team members and our guests by bringing our purpose to life: Inspire health. Serve with compassion. Be the difference. For more information, visit PrismaHealth.org.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    SCBIO's expanded Board of Directors includes life sciences leaders from across South Carolina see more

    Organization’s Boards spans state, industry segments to provide unique blend of expertise for advancing South Carolina’s life sciences industry

     

    GREENVILLE, SC – February 8, 2019 – Less than two years after initiating a comprehensive relaunch of the state’s official life sciences organization, SCBIO has expanded its Board of Directors for its 501c6 operational entity and added a second 10-member Board for its 501c3 research and educational arm for 2019.  It does so having authored the state’s first-ever life sciences strategic growth plan, conducted an economic impact study validating the contributions of the $11.4 billion industry, tripled revenues and quadrupled membership – all since Spring 2017.

    And according to SCBIO President and CEO Sam Konduros, the best and most exciting days for the industry and organization are still ahead of it.

    “In a state perhaps best known for building BMWs and Boeing Dreamliners, there is a very strong life sciences story brewing as well, creating opportunities to diversify and accelerate growth of our state’s knowledge economy,” said Konduros recently.  He further cited rapid growth of such national and global brands including Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Arthrex, ZEUS, Abbott, Thorne and AVX as just a few examples of the state’s rapidly rising life sciences industry, which currently spans more than 400 companies in 44 counties and employs over 15,000 well-paid associates.

    Leading the policy- and strategy-making efforts of the 501c6 entity of the non-profit organization, the Board of Directors meets regularly to receive updates on SCBIO business objectives, domestic and global initiatives, and to help hone strategies and offer insight.  Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation CEO Lou Kennedy will serve as SCBIO’s 2019 Board Chair; Stephanie Yarbrough, Womble Bond Dickinson, LLP as Vice Chair; Michael Rusnak, Medical University of South Carolina Research Foundation as Treasurer; and Josh Ridley of ZEUS as Secretary. 

    Jeff Stover of Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, PA will serve as Legal Officer; Heather Simmons Jones of the Greenwood Partnership Alliance as Annual Conference Officer; Bryan Davis of Prisma/Greenville Health System’s Office of Innovations as Healthcare/Innovation Officer; Adam Hoots of DPR Construction as Talent/Workforce Officer; and Sam Konduros, President and CEO of SCBIO. 

    Recently added members of the SCBIO Board of Directors are:

    Mike Briggs – President & CEO, Central SC Alliance

    Caroline Brown – Director of External Affairs, Medical University of South Carolina

    Thornton Kirby – President & CEO, South Carolina Hospital Association

    Adam Klonecke – Senior Site Director, Abbott

    Angie Leidinger – VP of External Affairs, Clemson University

    Tom McKenna – Chief Operating Officer, Thorne

    Robert Ryan – CEO & Founder, Innova Therapeutics

    Dave Shalaby – President, Poly-Med, Inc.

    Will Williams – President & CEO, Economic Development Partnership (Aiken)

    Cynthia Young – Dean, Clemson University College of Science

     

    Returning members of the SCBIO Board for 2019 are:

    Mandy Brawley – South Carolina Department of Commerce

    Matthew Couvillion – Wyche Law Firm

    John J. Darby – Johnson & Johnson Services

    Tressa Gardner – SE Institute of Manufacturing & Technology

    Mike Graney – Charleston Regional Development Alliance

    Chad Hardaway – University of South Carolina Office of Economic Engagement

    Will Harms – Blue Cross Blue Shield of SC

    Erica Jackson – K&L Gates

    Marc Metcalf – Upstate SC Alliance

    Kathy Phlegar – Phlegar & Associates

    Christine Dixon Thiesing – SCRA

    Courtney Warren – Marsh & McLennan Agency

     

    Comprising the smaller Board of SCBIO’s 501c3 research and educational arm are Kathryn Becker of Translational Science Solutions; Michael Bolick of Treis Blockchain; Matthew Couvillion of Wyche Law Firm; Shontavia Johnson of Clemson University; Steve Johnson of SCRA; Chris Przirembel, retired Clemson University executive; Shawn Regan of Rhythmlink; Craig Walker of Hitachi Healthcare Americas; Erica Jackson of K&L Gates; and SCBIO CEO Sam Konduros.

    SCBIO is South Carolina’s investor-driven public/private economic development organization exclusively focused on building, advancing, and growing the life sciences industry in the state.  The industry has an $11.4 billion annual economic impact in the Palmetto State, with more than 400 firms directly involved and 15,000 professionals employed in the research, development and commercialization of innovative healthcare, medical device, industrial, environmental and agricultural biotech and products.  The state-wide nonprofit has offices in Greenville, Columbia, and Charleston, and represents companies in advanced medicines, medical devices, diagnostics, IT, and healthcare outcome industries.

    SCBIO is the official state affiliate of BIO -- the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology organizations.  SCBIO members include academic institutions, biotech companies, med-tech companies, entrepreneurial organizations, service providers, thought leaders, economic development organizations and related groups whose members are leading the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotech and med-tech products that will make a difference across the Palmetto State, and around the world.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    Top life sciences leaders from across the state have been named to the SCBIO Executive Committee see more

    Leadership team provides strategic blend of economic development, industry, higher education expertise

     

    GREENVILLE, SC – January 17, 2019 – SCBIO has announced its 2019 Executive Committee following formal confirmation at the life science organization’s December 2018 meeting in Columbia.  Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation CEO Lou Kennedy will serve a second term as SCBIO’s 2019 Board Chair.

    Ms. Kennedy joined Nephron Pharmaceuticals in 2001, and assumed the position of President and CEO in 2007. She has held a variety of marketing and operational roles during her career and has helped Nephron Pharmaceuticals grow by more than 300% and increased shipped product to one billion doses each of the last seven years.  Nephron constructed a state of the art manufacturing facility in West Columbia, South Carolina and, with her husband Bill, helped establish the Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center in conjunction with the USC School of Pharmacy.  The organization was honored as an inaugural winner of the South Carolina Life Sciences Pinnacle Award for Organizational Contribution to the industry in October, 2018.

    Joining Ms. Kennedy on the SCBIO Executive Committee will be Stephanie Yarbrough, Partner with Womble Bond Dickinson, LLP as Vice Chair; Michael Rusnak, Executive Director of the MUSC Foundation for Research Development as Treasurer; and Josh Ridley, Global Business Development Director of ZEUS as Secretary.  

    Additional members of the Executive Committee are Jeff Stover, Special Counsel with Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, PA as Legal Officer; Heather Simmons Jones, CEO of the Greenwood Partnership Alliance as Annual Conference Officer; Bryan Davis, Operations Manager with Greenville Health System’s Office of Innovations as Healthcare/Innovation Officer; Adam Hoots, Life Sciences Market Leader for DPR Construction as Talent/Workforce Officer; and Sam Konduros, President and CEO of SCBIO. 

    Recognized for completing their terms as contributing members of the SCBIO Executive Committee were former Vice Chair Craig Walker, executive with Hitachi Healthcare Americas, and former Secretary Kathryn Becker, Principal with Translational Science Solutions LLC.

    SCBIO President and CEO Konduros praised the Executive Committee noting, “With the critically important efforts we are undertaking to advance pharmaceuticals, life sciences R&D, biotech, med-tech, and the health IT industries in South Carolina, we require strong, expert leadership from across the state, fully integrating our business, education and economic development sectors. These diverse leaders who represent the width and breadth of our state and industry will effectively champion our vision of building the business of life sciences in South Carolina for years to come.”

    SCBIO is South Carolina’s investor-driven public/private economic development organization exclusively focused on building, advancing, and growing the life sciences industry in the state.  The industry already has an $11.4 billion annual economic impact in the Palmetto State, with more than 400 firms directly involved and 15,000 professionals employed in the research, development and commercialization of innovative healthcare, medical device, industrial, environmental and agricultural biotech and products.  The state-wide nonprofit has offices in Greenville, Columbia, and Charleston, and represents companies in the advanced medicines, medical devices, equipment, diagnostics, IT, and healthcare outcome industries.

    The Executive Committee and Board of Directors is the policy- and strategy-making body of the organization, and meets regularly to receive updates on SCBIO business and objectives, as well as domestic and global initiatives. The Executive Committee serves roles specific to SCBIO operations, focus areas and strategies.

    SCBIO is the official state affiliate of BIO -- the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology organizations.  SCBIO members include academic institutions, biotech companies, med-tech companies, entrepreneurial organizations, service providers, thought leaders, economic development organizations and related groups whose members are leading the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotech and med-tech products that will make a difference across the Palmetto State, and around the world.

    For additional information on SCBIO, visit www.SCBIO.org

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    SCEDA Bill passage portends more opportunity for life sciences growth see more

    On Wednesday, October 3, the South Carolina House of Representatives overrode the veto of the SCEDA bill, S.1043, with a vote of 112-4. Passage of this bill shows the true team effort that SCEDA represents.

    “These important enhancements will add another arrow into our economic developers’ quiver when it comes to attracting professional jobs to South Carolina and supporting our local agriculture industry,” said Mark Warner, SCCED, SCEDA president and vice president of business development and marketing at Davis & Floyd. “We are grateful for the action of our South Carolina lawmakers and economic development professionals across our state who answered our call to action.”

    SCEDA would like to thank current SCEDA Legislative Committee chair, Stephanie Yarbrough, past Legislative Committee chair, Tushar Chikhliker, our current lobbyists, Sunnie Harmon and John DeWorken, past lobbyist, Sara Hazzard, and all the members who worked to create this legislation, called their legislator and encouraged them to vote and override this bill.

    “This is the culmination of years of collaboration by our state’s economic development sectors – both public and private – to respond to the ever-changing competitive landscape as we work to further diversify our state’s already robust economy,” said Tushar Chikhliker, SCEDA’s past Legislative Committee chair and an economic development lawyer at Nexsen Pruet.

    Please feel free to reach out to your legislator and thank them for voting to override the veto of this bill.  These changes will go into action immediately.


    Highlights of the bill are outlined below.

    Incentives for Professional Services / Office Jobs

    For professional services/office jobs, the changes below will encourage South Carolina to excel in all areas of economic development.

    •  Makes modifications to the State’s primary discretionary incentive, Job Development Credits (JDCs), for professional services/office jobs.

    •  Reduces job and wage thresholds applicable to qualified service-related facilities (QSRF) for the highest three tiers:

    • 125 jobs (down from 175) at a single location;
    • 100 jobs (down from 150) at a single location comprised of a building that has been vacant for at least 12 consecutive months; and
    • 75 jobs (down from 100) at a single location that pay more than 1½ times the lower of the state per capita income or per capita income in that county.

    •  Allows businesses engaged in legal, accounting, banking, or investment services to apply for JDCs. (Per the discretion of the Coordinating Council).

    •  Allows businesses engaged in retail sales to apply for JDCs as long as retail sales are not actually conducted at the facility.  (Per the discretion of the Coordinating Council).

    •  Suggests the Coordinating Council consider these factors in making a determination for qualification:

    • The percentage of the businesses’ annual gross receipts derived from outside of South Carolina for the previous 12 months and such percentage must not be less than 75%;
    • The nature and the wages of the new jobs created;
    • The capital investment of the project; and
    • The potential for expansion or growth of the business or industry.

     

    Details of the economic incentive enhancements include:

    Incentives for Agriculture Operations

    •  Provides a tax credit program for agribusinesses that is mirrored after the Port Tax Credit Program.

    •  Allows an agribusiness operation or agricultural packaging operation that increases purchases that are certified as South Carolina grown by a minimum of 15% in a year to claim an income tax credit or employee withholding credit in an amount determined by the Coordinating Council.

    •  Products must be approved by the SC Dept. of Agriculture as Certified SC Grown.

    •  Maximum amount phased in over a four-year period:

    • 2017 – $500,000
    • 2018 – $1,000,000
    • 2019 – $1,500,000
    • 2020 – $2,000,000

    •  The Coordinating Council has sole discretion in allocating the credits.

    •  The base year total dollar purchases that are certified as South Carolina grown must exceed $100,000 for a taxpayer to be eligible.

    •  The tax credit sunsets after 10 years. It will need to be reauthorized through legislation if the General Assembly would like to continue the program.

    A taxpayer may not be awarded a tax credit under this program in excess of $100,000 in any tax year.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    U.S. bioscience industry has reached $2 trillion in annual economic impact while continuing to grow see more

    Boston, MA (June 5, 2018) –  A study released today at the BIO International Convention shows that the U.S. bioscience industry has reached $2 trillion in annual economic impact while maintaining accelerated venture capital investment and job growth numbers. Among U.S. technology sectors, the bioscience industry has held a leading position as an economic driver and job generator.

    The report, Investment, Innovation and Job Creation in a Growing U.S. Bioscience Industry 2018, finds U.S. bioscience firms directly employ 1.74 million people, a figure that includes more than 273,000 high-paying jobs created since 2001. The average annual wage for a U.S. bioscience worker reached $98,961 in 2016. These earnings are more than $45,000 greater, on average, than the overall U.S. private sector wage. The report further shows that since 2014, the bioscience industry has grown by 4.4 percent with four of its five major subsectors contributing to this overall job gain.

    For the first time, the biennial report includes a full assessment of the economic impact of the bioscience industry and finds its total economic impact on the U.S. economy, as measured by overall output, totaled $2 trillion in 2016. This impact is generated by the direct output of the bioscience industry combined with the indirect (supply chain) and induced (employee spending) impacts. The industry and its associated economic output support 8 million jobs throughout the entire U.S. economy through both indirect and induced effects.

    “This report highlights the enormous economic impact delivered by our industry. This strong performance is due to the vital and wide-ranging collaborations between industry partners, universities, and policymakers that provides a business climate that supports the development of innovative bioscience products and high paying jobs,” said Jim Greenwood, President and CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization."

    The report also takes the pulse of the broader U.S. innovation ecosystem for bioscience companies and finds it advancing with positive results. The U.S. is experiencing strong gains in bioscience venture capital funding, growth in patents, a recent ramp-up in bioscience-related university R&D expenditures and increasing research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

    “The bioscience industry is vital to the U.S. not only as an innovation engine that is improving lives, but also as a major economic driver that is consistently generating high-quality jobs and significant economic output across the nation,” said Ryan Helwig, Principal and Project Director with TEConomy Partners.

    The state-by-state industry assessment is the eighth in a biennial series, developed in partnership by TEConomy and BIO, presenting data on national, state, and metropolitan area bioscience industry employment and recent trends.

    Additional highlights from the industry economic analysis include:

    • The industry is a major economic driver and is well distributed across U.S. states and cities:
      • 41 states experienced net job growth in the biosciences between 2014-2016
      • 38 states and Puerto Rico have an employment specialization in at least one bioscience subsector
      • 213 of 383 U.S. metropolitan areas have at least one bioscience specialization

    Highlights from the analysis of the innovation ecosystem for the bioscience industry include:

    • Strength in recent venture capital and patenting trends:
      • Venture capital investments have reached new highs. More than $66 billion in venture capital was invested in bioscience companies during the 2014 through 2017 period, including a new annual high in 2017 at $20 billion invested.
      • Innovation continues to drive the biosciences, since 2014 the U.S. has increased patent totals in bioscience-related technology classes by nearly 5 percent, or 1.6 percent per year, on average. 2017 had a total of nearly 27,000 patents awarded to U.S. inventors, another new high.
    • Growth for academic biosciences R&D in 2016
      • After several years of concerns raised about the declining and/or flat NIH research budgets and the subsequent effects on academic and other research, NIH funding is back on the rise. There have been budget increases sustained each of the last three years.
      • Across America’s colleges and universities, the pace of R&D spending in bioscience-related research areas has increased. Following a 1.5 percent decline in 2015, academic R&D expenditures in the biosciences increased 5.5 percent to $42 billion in 2016.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    South Carolina Named Top 3 in Best States for Business see more

    South Carolina has another opportunity to promote its economic development prowess thanks to a magazine’s business climate rankings.

    The Palmetto State tied for third with North Carolina in Chief Executive’s 2018 “Best and Worst States for Business.” Texas was No. 1, followed by Florida. Indiana was fifth.

    “A high ranking like this is a great tool that drives industrial prospects to consider South Carolina and our region for new investment and jobs,” says Will Williams, president and chief executive of the Economic Development Partnership, which serves Aiken, Edgefield, McCormick and Saluda counties.

    It was a slight improvement for the Palmetto State, which finished fourth in 2017. Economic development officials say there’s value in “best” lists.

    “We certainly use these types of rankings in our marketing to differentiate ourselves from other states and regions,” says John Lummus, president and chief executive of the Upstate SC Alliance, which serves a 10-county region. “I feel that these rankings are important not only because they shine a light on the positive, but also often show where improvements may need to be considered.”

    This latest ranking, which is based on a survey of CEOs, is in its 14th year. Publications devoted to business and/or economic development produce various types of state-by-state rankings throughout the year.

    “The Palmetto State consistently scores near the top due to a number of factors, such as low unionization rates, strong cooperation between government and business, low-cost utilities, established transportation and infrastructure, competitive wage rates, and availability of a talented workforce,” Lummus says.

    South Carolina ranked 10th overall in the Chief Executive rankings in 2015, fifth in 2014 and eighth in 2013.

    “This doesn’t just happen by accident,” says David Ginn, president and chief executive of the Charleston Regional Development Alliance. “The S.C. Department of Commerce is one of the best-performing economic development teams in the country.”

    Texas, Florida and North Carolina have been one-two-three for each of the past four years. Texas has been No. 1 all 14 years of the ranking’s existence.

    “The difference between the top five states is negligible, roughly within the statistical margin of error,” says John O’Toole, executive director of the Beaufort County Economic Development Corp.

    Meanwhile, California anchored the bottom of the list at No. 50 for the seventh consecutive year. The seven lowest-ranked states were all the same as in 2017.

    The magazine speculated that the reputations, leadership and governing philosophies in the top and bottom states don’t change much, while states in the middle of the rankings move up and down in response to those factors.

    “Our legislature has provided us tools to be competitive and our state and local permitting agencies understand the importance of keeping it simple,” Williams says. “Our collective economic development team has an enviable global reputation for delivering projects, both big and small, on time. And our focus on existing industry success demonstrates we take good care of you once you get here.”

    This year, the magazine noted that South Carolina was a right-to-work state and cited the South Carolina Innovation Plan, an initiative to support the advanced manufacturing, life sciences, biotech and computer software sectors.

    “In our targeted industries – aerospace, agribusiness, automotive, manufacturing and technology industries – we can compete with any state or nation,” O’Toole says.

    There were three subcategories used in the ranking: taxation/regulation, workforce quality and living environment. South Carolina ranked 10th, 14th and seventh in those three categories, respectively.

    Living environment is a selling point for O’Toole.

    “To punctuate our value proposition, at the end of the day you can be in Hilton Head, Beaufort, Bluffton or Port Royal,” he says. “What could be finer?”

    The Charleston area also makes many “best” lists related to quality of life and tourism.

    “National rankings make great headlines so we use them to grab attention and reinforce our strengths as a globally attractive location for business and talent,” Ginn says.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    Italian BioAg Firm Valagro launches $14 million production facility in Orangeburg County, SC see more

    COLUMBIA, S.C. – Valagro, a producer of biostimulants and fertilizers for the agriculture industry, is launching its new production operations in Orangeburg County. The company’s $14 million investment is projected to create 47 new, high-skilled jobs.

    Founded in 1980 and headquartered in the Abruzzo region of Italy, Valagro is a global leader in the world of biostimulants. The company specializes in the production and marketing of specialty nutrients for use in agricultural production and other industrial applications. Valagro operates through its 12 subsidiaries and owns a commercial network covering more than 80 countries worldwide. Providing innovative and effective solutions for plant nutrition and care, the company’s mission is to increase the quantity and quality of plants and harvested crops while enhancing productivity and reducing environmental impact.

    Located at 397 Millennium Drive in Orangeburg, S.C., Valagro’s new, 65,000-square-foot Orangeburg County facility is expected to come online in the third quarter of 2019. Construction is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2018.

    For more information on Valagro, visit the company’s website at https://www.valagro.com/en.

    The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits, as well as a $100,000 Rural Infrastructure Fund grant to Orangeburg County to assist with the costs of building construction.
     

    QUOTES

    “The construction of this U.S. production facility greatly supports our ability to better serve some of the most strategically-important markets, such as the U.S., Canada and Mexico. This means fully implementing Valagro’s principle of putting the customer in the center; the new facility will allow us to improve our ability to meet customers’ needs by providing them with a wide range of sustainable and effective nutritional solutions.” –Valagro CEO Giuseppe Natale

    “Today, we celebrate yet another international firm choosing to do business in South Carolina, a further testament to our business-friendly climate and well-trained workforce. I congratulate Valagro and Orangeburg County on this terrific new partnership and look forward to watching it thrive for years to come.” –Gov. Henry McMaster

    “When a new business comes to South Carolina, it speaks volumes not only about our business climate, but also about our workforce. I am excited to see what the future has in store for Valagro and their new home in Orangeburg County.” –Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

    “We welcome Valagro to South Carolina and to Orangeburg County. Valagro is joining one of the state’s top industries, and we’re eager to share our agribusiness-friendly climate with this international company as it builds its new U.S. production facility.” –S.C. Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers

    “South Carolina Ports Authority welcomes Valagro to our state and looks forward to serving its import needs. The Port plays an important role in the international supply chains of manufacturers across our state, and we look forward to supporting their addition to our growing economy.” –S.C. Ports Authority President and CEO Jim Newsome

    “Orangeburg County welcomes Valagro to our community. We are grateful they have chosen Orangeburg County as your first manufacturing facility in the U.S. It is a testament to our skilled workforce, location and pro-business environment. We thank Valagro for their investment in our county and our citizens.” –Orangeburg County Council Chairman Johnnie Wright Sr.

    “I join with the Orangeburg City Council in welcoming Valagro, a leader in the production and marketing of biostimulants and specialty nutrients. Their commitment is a positive reflection of our workforce and will provide quality careers for our citizens. By creating these jobs, 47 families will benefit, and our community will continue to prosper. We look forward to working with the company and celebrating its success.” –Orangeburg Mayor Michael C. Butler

    “We’re delighted that Valagro has selected Orangeburg County for its next facility. The company’s expansion into Orangeburg County is a boon for the local economy and workforce and further confirms South Carolina’s position as a strong competitor in attracting international companies looking to grow their business in the U.S.” –Central S.C. Alliance Chairman Mike Brenan

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    SCRA, SBA form Strategic Alliance to further economic development, innovation see more

    The U.S. Small Business Administration’s S.C. District has partnered with SCRA to form a Strategic Alliance Memorandum.

    The alliance is expected to further economic development through entrepreneurship, educational opportunities and access to capital and technical assistance.

    “We recognize the common goals of SCRA and SBA in helping start, maintain and expand small businesses,” R. Gregg White, S.C. SBA district director, said in a statement. “This is an opportunity to leverage the resources of both organizations for the benefit of South Carolina small businesses.”

    Bob Quinn, SCRA’s executive director, joined White in signing the memorandum at the Applied Technologies Center in Summerville.

    “By supporting entrepreneurs, small businesses and early-stage companies, we are creating opportunities for the citizens of South Carolina,” Quinn said. “We are excited to formalize our relationship with the S.C. SBA and look forward to our future collaborations with their team.”

    SCRA, chartered in 1983, is a public nonprofit that supports entrepreneurs and academic research and connects industry to innovators.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    South Carolina Commerce awards $700K in innovation grants... see more

    Nine organizations receive state funds as part of Startup Fuel Challenge

    The S.C. Department of Commerce Office of Innovation announced more than $719,000 in grant awards to nine organizations as part of its Startup Fuel Challenge grant series. Tasked with advancing innovation, entrepreneurship and technology-based economic development, this grant program focuses on projects that are outcome-oriented and aim to build stronger entrepreneurs and companies.

    “As South Carolina has become a leader in advanced manufacturing, an innovation economy has developed within our borders. To ensure that our industry partners have access to cutting-edge technology and a high-tech workforce, the continued growth of our innovation economy is critical,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “I congratulate these nine awardees and look forward to all they’ll achieve in the years to come.”

    Established in 2013, the Office of Innovation announced grant awards in 2014 and 2015. As a result, more than 25 entrepreneurship programs were supported, and more than 6,000 South Carolinians were educated in technology curriculum.

    Read on for full details on awardees...

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    A Charleston neighborhood is being transforned into a hotbed for life sciences firms see more

    A plan from the early 2000s to transform part of Charleston’s Westside neighborhood into a hotbed for life sciences firms, medical device companies and innovative medical research is now in motion.

    A large-scale development known as WestEdge is in the works on land bounded by Lockwood Boulevard, Fishburne Street, Hagood Avenue and Spring Street. A few hotels and office buildings, Brittlebank Park, Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park and expansive gravel parking lots dot that part of the Westside today.

     

    Read full details from the Charleston Regional Business Journal report here...

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    S.C.-based Global Transplant Solutions received investment see more

    The South Carolina Research Authority’s S.C. Launch program has finalized a $200,000 investment for Global Transplant Solutions, a Duncan-based company that develops and distributes products for the human organ procurement and transplant marketplace.

    The investment will be used to finalize global sales, develop proprietary products, and further the company’s research efforts, according to a news release.

    “We are proud to partner with SC Launch and the state of South Carolina as we establish, build, and grow our worldwide organ transplant business,” said John Bruens, CEO of Global Transplant Solutions. “As a company exclusively focused on supporting the critical need for more donated organs and partnering with the dedicated professionals in this market who every day save countless lives around the world, Global Transplant Solutions Inc. is poised to position South Carolina as the epicenter for the advancement of transplant technologies, products, and policies.”

    Global Transplant Solutions currently supplies products to the Canadian transplant market. The company has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to distribute its first product in the United States and is awaiting FDA clearance for a second product.

    The company also plans to gain clearance from the FDA for four additional products, which together will represent 99 percent of all organ preservation solutions used worldwide. It already has distribution agreements with several national and international partners, according to a news release.

    “There is a worldwide demand for Global Transplant Solutions’ products, and to see the demand being fulfilled by a company in Duncan, S.C., is very exciting,” said Jill Sorensen, director of entrepreneurial programs at the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA).

    The SCRA is a state-chartered organization that fosters job creation and grows the innovation economy. The S.C. Launch program is the authority’s entrepreneurial platform that provides mentoring, grants, and investments to qualified companies in the advanced materials, information technology, and life sciences industries.

    For more information, visit scra.org.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    Zeus Industrial continued its growth announcements, revealing plans to expand again in Aiken, SC. see more

    Polymer Extrusion Manufacturer Creating 51 New Jobs

    Zeus Industrial Products (Zeus), a leading polymer extrusion manufacturer and material science innovator, is expanding its existing operations in Aiken County. The company’s $15.7 million investment in Aiken County complements a $15.9 million expansion in Orangeburg County and $76 million expansion in Calhoun County, both of which were announced over the last several weeks. With this project, Zeus is expected to create an additional 51 new jobs in Aiken, S.C.

    Founded in 1966, Zeus develops and manufacturers polymer tubing for a variety of industries, including the medical, fluid handling and electrical markets. Zeus works with customers in collaborative relationships to design, engineer and produce fluoropolymer and specialized plastic tubing that delivers the temperature resistance, chemical resistance and high tensile strength demanded by today’s applications.

    Located at 9150 Levels Church Road West in Aiken, S.C., Zeus intends to convert its warehousing operations and floor space to manufacturing space in order to increase production of existing products by installing additional manufacturing lines. The plant will also be increasing its product portfolio as several new products and new manufacturing processes are introduced over the next few years.

    The initial hiring for these new positions has already begun and will continue into 2019. Interested applicants should visit the company’s zeusinc.com/careers for more information.

    The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits related to the project.

    QUOTES

    “We are truly excited about expanding our manufacturing presence in Aiken. We have been pleased with the community support that we have received since commencing our Aiken operations in 1999. We remain committed to being a good citizen of the county, meeting and exceeding the needs of our customers, and most importantly, providing quality careers for all of our employees in an atmosphere that will allow them to flourish.” – Zeus Industrial Products, Inc. President and CEO John Winarchick

    “This expansion by Zeus is an affirmation that Aiken County continues to provide an environment for manufacturing growth. We are excited that this company will add more jobs for our citizens.” –Aiken County Council Chairman Gary Bunker

    “We are very grateful for this expansion announcement by Zeus. This is a great win for Aiken County, and we look forward to more growth by Zeus in our region.” –Economic Development Partnership Chairman Gary Stooksbury
     

    FIVE FAST FACTS

    • Zeus Industrial Products is expanding its Aiken County operations.
    • $15.7 million investment to create 51 new jobs.
    • This project complements a $76 million Calhoun County expansion and $15.9 million Orangeburg County expansion, both of which were announced recently.
    • Located at 9150 Levels Church Road West in Aiken, S.C., the company will beconverting its warehousing operations into manufacturing space in order to increase production of existing products.
    • Hiring for the initial positions is already underway and will continue into 2019, and interested applicants should visit zeusinc.com/careers for more information.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    Industry subject matter experts to cover what businesses need to know about state industry see more

    GREENVILLE, SC – February 14, 2018 – SCBIO will host a half-day program March 14, 2018 -- South Carolina Life Sciences Boot Camp: Essentials of a Growing Industry – to inform and update businesses and professionals from across the state on opportunities, trends and issues facing South Carolina’s fastest-growing industry segment.

    To be held at the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health in Columbia, the program will run from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. and will feature a light breakfast followed by presentations from over half a dozen noted life sciences industry leaders.  Confirmed presenters and their topics are:

    • Burnie Maybank, Author of the SC Life Sciences Act; Partner, Nexsen Pruet, “Life Sciences industry Economic Development Incentives”
    • Stephanie Yarbrough, Partner, Womble Bond Dickinson, “M&A 101 in the Life Sciences Space”
    • Kathryn Cole Becker, Principal, Translational Science Solutions, “FDA 101 for Medical Devices”
    • Jeff Stover, Partner, Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, “IP Essentials for Life Sciences”
    • John Osborne, Partner, Good Growth Capital, “Introduction to Life Science Innovation & Entrepreneurship”
    • Public Policy Hot TopicsSpeaker to be announced

    Attendance is free to SCBIO members and employees of SCBIO member companies, and available for only $75 to Non-Members.  Advance registration is required, and space is limited.  To register, visit www.SCBIO.org/Events

    SCBIO is South Carolina’s investor-driven public/private economic development organization exclusively focused on building, advancing, and growing the life sciences industry in the state.  The industry has an $11.4 billion annual economic impact in the Palmetto State, with more than 400 firms directly involved and 15,000 professionals employed in the research, development and commercialization of innovative healthcare, medical device, industrial, environmental and agricultural biotech and products.  The state-wide nonprofit has offices in Greenville, Columbia, and Charleston, and represents companies in the advanced medicines, medical devices, equipment, diagnostics, IT, and healthcare outcome industries.

    SCBIO is the official state affiliate of BIO -- the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology organizations.  SCBIO’s diverse membership is leading research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotech and med-tech products that will make a difference across the Palmetto State, and around the world.

    For additional information on SCBIO, visit www.SCBIO.org.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    Polymer extrusion manufacturer ZEUS Industrial is creating more than 350 new jobs in South Carolina see more

    COLUMBIA, S.C. – Zeus Industrial Products, Inc. (Zeus), a leading polymer extrusion manufacturer and material science innovator, is expanding its existing operations in Calhoun County. The company’s $76 million investment is expected to create an additional 350 jobs over the next several years.

    Founded in 1966, Zeus develops and manufacturers polymer tubing for a variety of industries, including the medical, fluid handling and electrical markets. Zeus works with customers in collaborative relationships to design, engineer and produce fluoropolymer and specialized plastic tubing that delivers the temperature resistance, chemical resistance and high-tensile strength demanded by today’s applications.

    The expansion will occur approximately two miles from Zeus’ existing Gaston, S.C. facility, located off of I-26 near Exit 119. When completed in 2019, the facility will contain approximately 148,000 square feet of manufacturing space. Hiring for the initial phase of new positions will begin during the first quarter of 2018. Interested applicants should visit the company’s careers page online(link is external) for more information.

    The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits related to this project. A $1 million Rural Infrastructure Fund grant was also awarded to Calhoun County to assist with the costs of site preparation and building construction.

    QUOTES

    “We are truly excited about expanding our presence in Calhoun County. We have been pleased with all of the local and state support that we have received since commencing our Gaston operations back in 1996. We remain committed to being a good citizen of the county, meeting and exceeding the needs of our customers and, most importantly, providing quality careers for all of our employees in an atmosphere that will allow them to flourish.” –Zeus Industrial Products President and CEO John Winarchick

    “Zeus has been a friend to South Carolina for decades, and we’re grateful for the continued commitment they’re showing to our people and the Calhoun County community by investing and creating more than 350 jobs there.” –Gov. Henry McMaster

    “Zeus has been a longtime member of Team South Carolina, and I’m excited to see their operations grow once again. Over the last several decades, South Carolina has built an international reputation as a place that not only makes complex products, but makes them well. This announcement is a further testament to that.” –Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

    “It is always exciting when a business chooses to invest its dollars into Calhoun County, but when an existing industry with a long-term relationship in our county chooses to expand their operations, it is a cause for celebration. We are thrilled that Zeus’ footprint in Calhoun County will be growing, and we know their future endeavors will be successful. Calhoun County continues to provide low taxes, reasonable regulation and a business-friendly environment, making a fertile field ripe for new investments. We are proud to have Zeus as part of the Calhoun County industrial family!” –Calhoun County Council Chairman David K. Summers Jr.

    “We congratulate Zeus on this outstanding announcement. Zeus’ decision to construct another facility in Calhoun County will provide hundreds of local workers with top-notch employment while expanding the visibility of a much-admired brand. Zeus’ continued growth and success in the region is something we look forward to celebrating for many years to come.” –Central S.C. Alliance Chairman Mike Brenan

    FIVE FAST FACTS

    • Zeus Industrial Products is expanding its Calhoun County operations.
    • $76 million investment to create more than 350 new jobs.
    • Zeus Industrial Products is a developer and manufacturer of fluoropolymer tubing for a variety of industries.
    • When completed in late 2019, the facility will contain approximately 148,000 square feet of manufacturing space.
    • Hiring for the initial phase of new positions should begin in the first quarter of 2018, and interested applicants should visit the company’s careers page online(link is external) for more information.