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Fall 2010

Just the ticket S.C. tourism industry shows resiliency amid recession years

On the rebound The port enjoys a string of successes

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®

Contents VOL.4, ISSUE 3

CEO and Publisher - Grady Johnson gjohnson@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3103 Vice President of Sales - Steve Fields sfields@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3110

Fall 2010

COVER STORY Vital to the economy South Carolina’s tourism sector has remained a vital part of the state’s economic fabric throughout the Great Recession, continuing to attract business when sectors like homebuilding and commercial construction have gone flat. 8

Sustainable practices driving change in hospitality industry.

10 Economic impact of tourism in S.C. About the cover: Dan Simpson and Kylee Schuler of Boulder, Co., visit Charleston. Cover and table of contents photos by Ryan Wilcox

8

2010 BOOK OF

2010 BO OK OF

LISTS

LISTS

BUSINESS & FINANCIA L SERVICES ADVERTISING, .....14 & MARKETIN PUBLIC RELATIONS G FIRMS ........ ....................... CREDIT UNIO 14 NS ................ ....................... ACCOUNTING 15 FIRMS ........ ........ STAFFING AGEN ................ 16 CIES ................ LAW FIRMS ........ ........ 18 ........................ ......................2 0 EDUCATION ..................... ....................2 PRIVATE SCHO 2 OLS ................ ...................22 COLLEGES & UNIVERSIT IES ................ ......25 HEALTH & WELLNESS ..................... ....26 SPONSORE D BY:

Special Section: Page 13 The resource for the state’s top

HOSPITALS ........................ ......................2 TOP 20 HEAL 6 TH INSURANC E COMPANIE S ... 28 LOGISTICS ..................... ..................... FREIGHT FORW 29 ARDERS ........ ...................29 TRUCKING COM PANIES ........ ....................30 REAL ESTA TE & CONS TRUCTION .........32 SPONSORE D BY:

businesses in more than 15 Table Rock

Mountain (Photo

/S. Kevin Green

e)

ARCHITECT URAL FIRMS ........................ COMMERCIAL ...32 REAL ESTATE COMPANIES ENGINEERIN ... 34 G FIRMS........ ........................ GENERAL CONT ... 35 RACTORS ........ ................... 36 ww w. s c b i z

3 | Viewpoint

OGISTIC PORTS, L

IBU S & DISTR

Publisher, Columbia Regional Business Report Bob Bouyea bbouyea@scbiznews.com • 803.401.1094, ext. 204 Staff Writer - Mike Fitts mfitts@scbiznews.com • 803.401.1094, ext. 204 Staff Writer - Ashley Fletcher Frampton aframpton@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3129 Staff Writer - James T. Hammond jhammond@scbiznews.com • 864.235.5677 Staff Writer - Daniel Brock dbrock@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3144 Staff Photographer - Leslie Halpern lhalpern@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3123 Art Director - Ryan Wilcox production1@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3117 Senior Graphic Designer - Jane Mattingly production2@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3118 Director of Business Development - Mark Wright mwright@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3143 Account Executive - Bennett Parks bparks@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3126 Circulation and Event Manager - Kathy Allen kallen@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3113 Circulation and Event Assistant - Kim McManus

m | Fa ll 2010

13

AL S O INCL U DED DEE D

20 3, E SU

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.C. TION IN S

Cities Mean

BUSINESS

7 | Spotlight: Rock Hill 8 | Trends 38 and counting S.C. scores another ‘certified site’

On the rebound a string The port enjoys of successes

Green building CSX’s Florence HQ LEED certified

is

Page 47

Page 42

Page 39

TI A PUBLICA

IZ NEWS ON OF SC B

Ports, Logistics & Distribution in South Carolina 2

Senior Copy Editor - Beverly Morgan bmorgan@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3115

IS

S.C. Delivers

mag.co

10

S P E C I A L S EC T I O N PA G E 3 7

4 | Upfront

48 | 1,000 words

Special Projects Editor - Allison Cooke Oliverius aoliverius@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3149

kmcmanus@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3116

categories.

DEPARTMENTS

Managing Editor - Andy Owens aowens@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3141

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Viewpoint

S.C. government’s structural failures hold us back recent example was the “surprise” discovery they persistently fail to commit adequate tax that the Employment Security Commission revenue to support their growth and developwas in a state of financial collapse at a time ment? These schools are key resources needed when its resources were needed the most. to advance the prosperity of our citizens and Fingers were pointing in all directions the growth of our economy, and they deserve because there were so many players in the far more financial support than they receive game. Legislators had been warned of pend- from the state. tructural failure is not a good thing, for ing insolvency, it was said, but ignored the Yes, it’s one more structural failure. It’s a building or a bridge, to name two ex- warnings. Commissioners appointed by the true that tuition has risen even when state amples. It is also not a good thing for a Legislature (with perhaps support wasn’t falling, and it’s state’s government. In South Carolina, struc- more than a whiff of patrontrue that aggressive spending Where do tural failures are pervasive and lead to a con- age involved) appeared to by the schools to grow faculty legislators get tinuing failure to gain ground against other have been clueless about the and facilities is a major factor states in terms of economic development and coming debacle. behind tuition hikes. off telling the the prosperity of our citizens. Once again, legislators and But this is not a simple isschools where to There are, of course, the proverbial other leaders had to scramble sue, and it warrants more than “points of light,” those shining examples of to rescue the state from a periodic threats from legislaset tuition when success, like the BMW facility and other ma- structural failure. This wasn’t tors when the latest tuition they persistently jor manufacturers based in the Upstate, and the first time, and it certainly hikes are announced. It’s fair companies like Alcoa, Nucor Steel and the won’t be the last. to say that our leading colleges fail to commit dramatic arrival of Boeing as a centerpiece of More recently, attention and universities have earned adequate tax manufacturing in the Lowcountry. has been drawn to significant a reputation for high-quality Still, there’s no denying that for every step tuition increases at the state’s revenue to support educational performance and forward we take, we often take at least one four-year colleges and univerfor major contributions to the their growth and backward, thanks to our continuing struc- sities. And once again, legislapotential for future economic tural failures. The worst failure of all is that tors have thrown the penalty growth in our state. It is in evdevelopment? state legislators have never shown the cour- flag ex post facto, telling the eryone’s best interest for these age and wisdom needed to give the office schools that they’d better cut institutions to grow stronger, of the governor the power it should have to it out and shape up. but the same goes for making attendance at provide strong accountability and execuWhich is kind of funny, in a very sad way, state schools affordable for in-state students, tive leadership for the state. Instead, much since the schools pretty much deserve the based on both merit and need. of what should be executive power has re- PINO label (that’s “Public in Name Only”) Every once in a while, South Carolina mained firmly entrenched in the Statehouse. thanks to pathetically low state support for elects a strong governor who can work with The result is a disorderly and unpredict- higher education. Where do legislators get off the Legislature to move the state forward in able conduct of the state’s business. A prime telling the schools where to set tuition when a major way despite the constitutionally entrenched weakness of the office. Let’s hope we get such a governor this time around, and NEW SUBSCRIBERS: let’s hope legislators can put their hunger for power on the shelf for a while and consider Subscribe online at SCBIZ reaches thousands of South Carolina’s top the long-term interests of South Carolina. www.scbizmag.com or call

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w w w. s c b i z m a g . c o m | F a l l 2 0 1 0

3


Upfront

Upstate

R E G I O N A L N E W S | D ATA

Midlands

Lowcountr y

S.C. listed first for growth potential COLUMBIA — Business Facilities magazine has given South Carolina several high rankings for its business environment, including being named No. 1 for economic growth potential. The state also ranked No. 3 nationally for auto manufacturing and No. 4 for best business climate. In its coverage, the publication cites the coming of Boeing’s second 787 assembly line in North Charleston as the primary reason South Carolina was tops for growth potential. “We believe the selection of North Charleston as the manufacturing site for Boeing’s best-selling commercial jet cements South Carolina’s status as a top-tier aerospace player, providing the basis for tremendous growth potential in coming years,” the magazine wrote. Three other Southern states ranked right behind South Carolina in growth potential: Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina. The publication ranked South Carolina No. 9 among alternative energy industry leaders and No. 2 for wind energy-related manufacturing leadership. Photo/Boeing Co.

Greenville ranks as thirdstrongest job market GREENVILLE — Businessweek.com has ranked Greenville as the third-strongest job market in the nation. Greenville beat out the Raleigh, N.C., region in the ranking. The North Carolina capital area, which includes Cary, came in as the fifth-strongest job market. From January through June, the Upstate Alliance joined other economic development agencies in announcing the creation of 3,671 jobs within the 10-county Upstate region it markets. That’s well within range of surpassing the 3,906 jobs created in 2009 as well as the 2008 and 2007 figures of 6,063 and 4,196, respectively. At this year’s midway mark, the Upstate Alliance had nearly surpassed the number of job announcements it made during all of 2009. Businessweek.com ranked the country’s 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas based on Manpower’s data about companies’ hiring expectations. Washington, D.C., had the strongest employment outlook, followed by San Antonio and Greenville.

$9.87 billion That’s the amount domestic visitors spent in South Carolina in 2008. See story page 10

Photo/Ryan Wilcox

4 SC BIZ | w w w. s c b i z m a g . c o m

SC Launch recognized by Forbes magazine COLUMBIA — SC Launch, an SCRA collaboration, has been recognized by Forbes magazine as one of five top programs in the nation that support entrepreneurialism. The article, called “The States that Truly Bet on Small Business,” also recognized the SC Launch program as one of 11 “Serious State Small Biz Programs.” As a joint venture between SCRA and the research foundations of the Medical University of South Carolina, the University of South Carolina and Clemson University, SC Launch operates under a mission of supporting the commercialization of research, financing startup and spin-out companies, and providing formation support and other business services to companies as prescribed by the mandates in the S.C. Innovation Centers Act and the S.C. Industry Partners Act. The program’s ultimate objective is to help develop South Carolina’s knowledge economy. Since the start of the SC Launch four years ago, the program has assisted and helped form or land more than 230 knowledge-based entities in South Carolina, providing funding and services to more than 178. The program has attracted more than $104 million in add-on, private equity investment in S.C. companies.


S.C. universities rank among best

S.C. companies named fastest-growing in U.S. Twenty-five companies based in South Carolina have made Inc. magazine’s annual ranking of the top U.S. private companies. Inc. magazine’s 500/5,000 list ranks companies based on three-year growth percentage rates. The magazine surveys private independent businesses to take a comprehensive look at a critical part of the economy. The companies vary in what they do and include digital media companies, retailers, food and beverage companies, and software and telecommunications businesses. Ten companies in the Upstate were ranked on the list, with seven in the Midlands and five in the Lowcountry. The rest were scattered among the north central and north coastal part of the state.

COLUMBIA — Several universities in South Carolina made the annual guide to “America’s Best Colleges” compiled by U.S. News & World Report. Clemson University ranked No. 23 among public institutions in the nation, down one spot from last year. The university ranked No. 64 overall, including both public and private schools, down three spots from last year. The University of South Carolina ranked No. 111 overall, down one spot. The university’s international business program retained the top spot in its category for the 14th straight year. Additionally, Furman University, Wofford College and Presbyterian College made the list of top liberal arts schools in the nation, ranking 41, 62 and 119, respectively. Claflin University ranked No. 8 nationally among historically black colleges and univer- S.C. companies named to Inc. magazine’s 500/5,000 list for 2010 sities. S.C. State University ranked No. 14 in 3-year that category. Rank Company name growth Revenue City Anderson University was ranked the No. 530 M33 Integrated Solutions 573% $44.5 million Greenville 1 “Up and Coming” liberal arts college in the 688 Levelwing Media 447% $17.3 million Mount Pleasant South, the first time it has achieved the top 691 Chit Chat Baby 444% $3.3 million Fort Mill ranking. Highlights of the rankings will be pub- 693 Dennis Corp. 442% $7.9 million Columbia lished in the September issue of U.S. News & 832 TrySports 364% $4.7 million Mount Pleasant World Report, available on newsstands. The 978 JH Global Services 305% $28 million Greenville 2011 Best Colleges guidebook is on news1512 Clickit Ventures 190% $3.4 million Fort Mill stands now. 1611 Mercom 177% $36.8 million Pawleys Island The guide ranks colleges in a variety of categories and disciplines. 1940 Total Beverage Solution 138% $21.8 million Mount Pleasant 2059

Data Network Solutions

128%

$13.7 million

Chapin

2245

Rhythmlink International

113%

$6 million

Columbia

2356

TGA Solutions

106%

$5.4 million

Inman

2404

SmartLinx Solutions

102%

$4.4 million

North Charleston

2592

Rent-n-Roll Custom Wheels and Tires

90%

$8.9 million

Spartanburg

2946

Human Technologies

72%

$25.6 million

Greenville

3096

Fortis Riders

65%

$3.1 million

Greenville

3434

ADEX Manufacturing Technologies

52%

$4.6 million

Greenville

3548

Customer Effective Solutions

48%

$5 million

Greenville

3594

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart

46%

$202.5 million

Greenville

3598

Southeastern Equipment and Supply

46%

$5.1 million

West Columbia

3969

Call Experts

33%

$2.6 million

Charleston

4238

General Information Services

25%

$54.7 million

Chapin

4620

Brothers Air & Heat

15%

$10.1 million

Rock Hill

4768

Find Great People

10%

$11.9 million

Greenville

4834

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough

8%

$193 million

Columbia

w w w. s c b i z m a g . c o m | F a l l 2 0 1 0

5


Spotlight

Rock Hill By Allison Cooke Oliverius Special Projects Editor

G

Photos supplied by the city of Rock Hill.

6 SC BIZ | w w w. s c b i z m a g . c o m

eographically, Rock Hill is located just off Interstate 77 a few miles south of Charlotte, and it is often referred to as a bedroom community for the Queen City. Historically, Rock Hill has primarily been known as a textile town, as it was home to several textile facilities, including the Bleachery, once the largest textile printing and finishing mill in the world. But while these two well-known facts are important pieces of Rock Hill’s story, they don’t define the area, and Rock Hill leaders are determined to prove it. “We are a major part of the Charlotte community,” said Mayor Doug Echols. “But we also believe we are working very hard to maintain and expand our own identity. I like to say sometimes that I like being close enough to Charlotte to stay warm, but not so close I get burned. We appreciate our proximity to Charlotte, but we very much have our own distinctive personality.” Top of mind for Echols is Riverwalk, a p planned 1,000-acre mixed-use community t that is being developed along the Catawba R River. From 1947 to 2005, the site was owned b Celanese Corp. and was one of the largest by t textile manufacturing facilities in the world. A About 350 of the 1,000 acres were used by t plant. In October 2005, Assured Group the o Companies, a brownfield developer, purof c chased the land and, according to Echols, h spent about $40 million restoring the has p property for sustainable development. The Riverwalk website explains that the m master plan includes a Town Center, River D District, professional office space and resid dential, all connected and complemented by pedestrian- and cycle-friendly streetscapes and trails. There will also be a YMCA, and 250 acres will be used for public recreation including river access, athletic fields, parks and trails. The first Riverwalk Trail opened July 1 and stretches 2¼ miles along the

Rock Hill F

Population es

acts

timate in Ju

Population ch

ly 2009: 69

ange since

,210 2000: +39.1 %

Catawba River. Riverwalk will also be the site of the Cycling and Outdoor Center of the Carolinas, which Echols says is a project he expects will transform Rock Hill into an international cycling destination. The plans include a $4 million velodrome, an Extreme BMX Supercross track and a Cyclocross course. The developer is expected to inject hundreds of millions of dollars into the project, according to Cary Smith, Rock Hill’s city manager. And the city will invest about $48 million in public infrastructure, roads, utilities and amenities. “The job growth that’s estimated from this project is about 5,400, and that’s pretty significant,” Smith said. “This is a transformational project. Build-out is expected to be about 15 to 20 years, and a lot depends on the economy and how things turn around.” The outdoor cycling center is a belated installment in the sports tourism industry that the city began with the Cherry Park baseball and softball complex, followed by the Manchester Meadows soccer complex and the Rock Hill Tennis Center, which hosted its first major tournament last fall. “When this velodrome and supercross track are built, we are hopeful it will attract Olympic-caliber cyclists to come and train here,” Smith said. In addition to focusing on sports tourism, Rock Hill has spent years creating plans to redevelop abandoned textile mills and rejuvenate its downtown. The result is the creation of the Textile Corridor, which includes mixed-use development plans for old factories. Additionally, the city’s downtown is now called Old Town and has been transformed into a hot spot for locals to eat, shop and participate in community activities. “Collectively, we have a good leadership and a great community,” Echols said, “and we are continuing to be a progressive community ... one that continues to look toward the future and looks for opportunities to put the pieces together to live, work and play.” SC

BIZ


Tr e n d s

Employment

Unemployment rate

Employment

May ’10

June ’10

July ’10

1,847,000

1,844,300

1,811,200

Government

369,600

359,400

320,100

Leisure & Hospitality

213,900

220,200

221,100

Manufacturing

208,100

208,700

211,000

Trade, Transportation & Utilities

346,000

348,000

345,500

Unemployed

238,300

230,200

230,800

Employed (Total Nonagricultural)

8% 6% 4% 2%

<

<

<

< <

<

<

<

<

<

<

< =

M A

M

J

J A

S.C. 2009

S

O

N

D

U.S. 2010

*Seasonally adjusted rates. Source: S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, U.S. Department of Labor

Higher than previous month

8.7% - 9.9%

V =

Lower

10.0% - 11.9%

Same

12.0% - 14.9%

< <

< < < <

<

=

<

<

<

=

<

< < <

<

<

Un Unemployment Rate Ra

=

F

S.C. 2010

V

<

<

10%

J

< <

<

< < < < <

<

<

Source: S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce

12%

15.0% - 19.9% 20% and higher Source: S.C. S.C Department of Employment and Workforce, July 2010. County rates are not seasonally adjusted

Economic Development Announcements: June 1 - Aug. 31, 2010 Month New/Expansion Company County Investment Jobs created June ......................N .................. Eberspaecher North America ...........................Greenville ............................................ $5 million ................................. 30 June ...................... E .................. Saint-Gobain Abrasives ...................................Greenville ......................................... $1.4 million .................................NP June ......................N .................. Parkdale Mills Inc............................................Cherokee ........................................... $45 million .................retaining 145 June ...................... E .................. U.S. Engine Valve ............................................Oconee .............................................. $18 million ................................. 10 June ...................... E .................. ArborGen ........................................................Dorchester...................................... $14.3 million ................................. 25 June ...................... E .................. Black Forest Container System........................Greenville ..........................................$1.5 mllion ................................. 10 June ...................... E .................. OpTek Systems Inc..........................................Greenville .......................................................NP ................................. 20 June ......................N .................. Champion Wood Pellets...................................Jasper ................................................. $2 million ................................. 22 July .......................N .................. CT&T and 2AM Group .....................................Spartanburg ...................................... $21 million ............................... 370 July ..................... N/E ................ Pulcra Chemicals ............................................York .................................................. $2.6 million ................................. 15 July ....................... E .................. Cooper-Standard Automotive...........................Spartanburg ........................................ $7 million ................................. 60 July ....................... E .................. Behr Heat Transfer Systems ............................Charleston ........................................... $3 million ................................. 70 July .......................N .................. Boeing ............................................................Charleston ......................................................NP ............................... 150 July ....................... E .................. ZF Group .........................................................Laurens ........................................... $350 million ............................... 900 July .......................N .................. Super Duper Glass ..........................................Marion ............................................................NP .................................NP Aug........................N .................. FPL Food LLC ..................................................Lexington .......................................................NP ................................. 75 Aug........................N .................. Supermetal Structures ....................................York .................................................. $6.6 million ............................... 125 Aug........................ E .................. Palmetto Synthetics ........................................Williamsburg ....................................... $7 million ................................. 75 Aug........................ E .................. TB Kawashima USA Inc. ..................................Kershaw .............................................. $9 million ................................. 50 Aug........................N .................. SAATI Americas ...............................................Greenville .......................................................NP ................................. 80 Aug........................N .................. Maverick Equipment Manufacturing Inc. ........Dorchester........................................ $1.5 million ................................. 71 Aug........................N .................. Jatco Inc. ........................................................Greenwood .......................................... $2 million ................................. 39 Aug........................N .................. I.T.I. Hydraulik .................................................Williamsburg ....................................... $1 million ................................. 30 Source: S.C. Department of Commerce, NP = Not Provided w w w. s c b i z m a g . c o m | F a l l 2 0 1 0

7


T

SUSTAINABLE

PRACTICES

DRIVING CHANGE IN

S.C. HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY BY ASHLEY FLETCHER FRAMPTON, STAFF WRITER

8

SC BIZ | w w w. s c b i z m a g . c o m

hey’ve become ubiquitous, those little hotel room placards suggesting that guests hang and reuse their bath towels to reduce the environmental impact of laundering them daily. Travelers know the routine without even reading the card. But these days, towel-hanging is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to sustainability measures in the hospitality industry. Hotels around South Carolina are pioneering energy-saving equipment like solar-paneled hot water heaters and installing environmentally friendly features like pools cleaned with salt water instead of chlorine. Restaurants, too, are taking on green initiatives that include recycling the heaps of glass bottles they serve daily, swapping plastic foam takeout containers for biodegradable materials and investing in more energy-efficient kitchen equipment. Some of these operational changes benefit the environment as well as business owners’ bottom lines over the long run. Other sustainability practices just plain cost more. Restaurateurs and hoteliers say they do them because they are important for the environment. In some cases, they’re also important for staying competitive as more consumers and businesses demand them.

Marketability Leisure travelers are seeking out green hotels using a growing number of green travel websites, said Steve Lavelle, general manager of the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Mount Pleasant. Corporate and government clients are also increasingly interested in green practices, with some including questions about them on requests for proposals for meeting space and rooms. The Mount Pleasant hotel, which was opened in No-

vember, was built using green standards and is seeking certification through the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. Hotel features include lowflow showerheads, faucets and toilets, which conserve water; a reflective roof that reduces heat; an irrigation system that uses water collected from the roof; recycled building materials; and a saltwater pool. “I say within 10 years, you’re going to have to do these green aspects to building as a way of life,” Lavelle said. But right now, as one of the first hotels in South Carolina built using LEED standards, the Mount Pleasant Holiday Inn Express & Suites has a bit of a marketing edge with environmentally conscious travelers. “We use that as a sales tool,” he said. Similarly, sustainability practices have drawn corporate groups to the new Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Greenville, which opened this spring, said Beth Harris, director of sales for the hotel. Among the practices: the use of biodegradable flatware and other products on the breakfast buffet; a “green meetings” setup that is becoming standard across Marriott properties; and the use of 60 solar panels on the roof to heat the water. Companies booking meetings have set their own green standards, Harris said, and they are looking for hotels that can help them reach those goals. The Courtyard by Marriott’s green meetings setup offers tables without linens, allowing the hotel to save water and energy and reduce the use of laundry chemicals. Harris said a five-day meeting using 20 tables means 100 tablecloth washings in a week, just for one meeting. Green meetings come with


pads of recycled paper, biodegradable pens and water pitchers that don’t contain ice. The hotel can provide ice if asked, but Harris said leaving it out cuts down on the energy and water needed to produce it. “It seems like such a small footprint, but if you have 12 pitchers in there, and they all have water and ice, and you have five meetings a week, it can really add up,” Harris said.

Cost and benefit Bo Aughtry, principal of the Greenville-based Windsor/ Aughtry Co., which developed the Courtyard by Marriott, invested $250,000 in the solar hot water system for the new Greenville hotel. It is the first such system on a Marriott hotel in the United States. Aughtry estimates that the extra cost will have paid for itself in five or six years, a calculation that’s based on annual energy savings of $8,400 and a combination of federal tax credits and accelerated depreciation. After that, the value of the energy savings will continue adding up. Still, such investments require significant capital on the front end, and a project budget has to allow for that, Aughtry said. That means some businesses still won’t make them. “You gotta have the money,” he said. Aughtry said South Carolina could help make those investments more workable by offering state-level tax credits that mirror federal credits, as some other states do. Unlike the solar hot water heater, Aughtry said some choices he has made with sustainability in mind at the Courtyard by Marriott and other hotel properties don’t pay for themselves. For example, replacing plastic foam products and plastic flatware on the breakfast buffet with biodegradable products costs twice as

Bo Aughtry, whose company developed the Courtyard by Marriott in Greenville, said more hotels would go green if South Carolina would offer state-level tax credits that mirror federal credits. (Photo/James T. Hammond)

much. But he said making the switch is the responsible thing to do. “It drove me crazy to walk by one of our trash cans at breakfast and see it filled with Styrofoam,” Aughtry said. Lavelle, general manger of the Mount Pleasant hotel, said his saltwater pool reduces environmental impact as well as the cost of buying chlorine. Similarly, low-flow faucets, dual-flush toilets and compact fluorescent lightbulbs also save money over time. But recycling, he said, is an investment that does not. Although some local governments offer curbside recycling pickup for residents, most don’t provide the service for commercial properties. Recycling can reduce the volume and cost of private trash pickup for some businesses, but Lavelle said that hasn’t been the case for him. Recycling pickup service runs about $400 monthly, and the purchase of high-quality recycling bins that would fit in a hotel, in terms of aesthetics and durability, cost $6,700. Even so, recycling isn’t optional, he said. “That’s probably the most outward sign to our guests” of the commitment to sustainability,

Lavelle said.

Restaurant practices Many restaurant managers also cite recycling as an initiative that’s crucial — given the amount of beer and wine bottles, cardboard, paper and other waste they plow through daily — but can be costly. David Howard, president of Neighborhood Dining Group, said recycling at The Buccaneer restaurant in downtown Charleston has reduced waste by 80%. The restaurant recycles five to six large garbage cans’ worth each day. But Howard said he pays the same as he would otherwise for private trash disposal because The Buccaneer is one of several tenants in a building that all pay a fixed share of trash costs. “You occupy 20% of the space, you need to pay 20% of the trash collection,” he said. Like hotels, though, restaurants find some savings with green practices. The Buccaneer has cut energy consumption by about 25%, Howard said. That’s the result of equipment like occupancy sensors on the walk-in refrigerators and special kitchen exhaust hoods with heat sensors that adjust the flow of air

based on cooking temperatures, as well as the low-flow water faucets like those the hotels are using. Because the exhaust hoods run from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., they have the potential to gobble electricity. Maverick Southern Kitchens restaurant group installed an energy-efficient dishwashing machine in its High Cotton restaurant in Greenville. The machine reduces water and energy usage, said David Marconi, vice president of operations. Restaurateurs say their industry doesn’t have quite the same sales angle as green hotels. But their green initiatives do tie into a trend toward serving local, sustainable farm products instead of food that’s shipped across the country, said John St. John, general manager of High Cotton restaurant in Charleston. “I think there is a marketing aspect to that, and I think it’s all intertwined,” St. John said.

Supporting the changes Pushing the industry along the path to sustainability is the S.C. Green Hospitality Alliance, an initiative launched about a year ago by the S.C. HospitalSee SUSTAINABLE, Page 12

w w w. s c b i z m a g . c o m | F a l l 2 0 1 0

9


Tourist attraction By James T. Hammond, Staff Writer

W

hen Birmingham, Ala., travel consultant Patty George was putting together options for a group of women planning a girlfriends getaway, she proposed a cruise, a trip to Las Vegas and a weekend in Charleston. Charleston turned out to be just the ticket for the seven women, who wanted an affordable, easily accessible destination that offered a smorgasbord of entertainment, history and culinary experiences. And because the women could drive to their destination, that reduced the cost, allowing more of them to afford to participate in the three-night fling for a brideto-be and her pals. “Some of us had never been to Charleston and we really wanted to see it,” said 27year-old Ashley Baker, a bridesmaid and the youngest of the group. “I’d done Vegas, and I didn’t want to do that again.” Their requirements included shopping, a walkable environment, tour opportunities and safety. They economized on accommodations (seven women in two rooms) in order to spend more on food, tours and shopping. “We’re all friends, so we didn’t mind sharing,” Baker said. “Charleston is now my top place where I might live,” she added. “I’d like to take my mother to see Charleston; I’d never take her to New Orleans. This was one of our best trips ever.” Baker and her Birmingham-area friends are part of a demographic that is at the top of the target list for the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.

PRT’s primary target audience is the female decisionmaker. (Photo/Amy Dobelstein)

“Our primary target audience is the female decision-maker, who is such a huge factor in travel,” said Beverly Shelley, director of tourism sales and marketing for the department.

Vital to the economy South Carolina’s tourism sector has remained a vital part of the state’s economic fabric throughout the Great Recession, continuing to attract business when sectors like homebuilding and commercial construction have gone flat. Leisure travel has also held up better than business travel, in part because of changing

attitudes toward travel and leisure, said Marion Edmonds, director of communications at the state agency. He believes — and research supports his view — that Americans have elevated travel and leisure gratification above many other perceived necessities. In a presentation last year about the state of the industry, S.C. tourism economist Julie Flowers included research from The State of the American Traveler by Destination Analysts. That analysis showed that despite a deep and broad recession, people in a survey ranked leisure travel second on the list of ways they’d likely spend disposable income; giving gifts was No. 1. Leisure travel ranked ahead of entertainment, activities or hobbies, clothing and accessories, home improvement and dining out. “Americans have come to regard travel and leisure as a basic part of their lifestyle,” Edmonds said. “Because of the recession, there’s a lot of pent-up demand. Before the recession, young adults regarded quality travel higher than homeownership.” The leisure and hospitality industry accounted for 221,100 jobs in July of this year, down about 3,600 workers, or about 1.6%, from July 2009. But the season-sensitive industry added about 1,500 jobs between June and July, a monthly increase of 0.68%. Overall, the number of people employed decreased 6,918, or 0.4%, in South Carolina in July. The labor force (employed and unemployed combined) totaled 2,143,387. Among the employed work force of

Economic contribution of tourism in South Carolina Travel and tourism support the jobs of nearly 1 in 10 South Carolinians.

$1.2 billion in state and local tax revenues are generated by travel and tourism. Domestic visitors spent $9.87 billion in South Carolina in 2008, a 1.7% increase over 2007, following several years of healthier increases. Since 2003, it has increased 36.8%.

10 SCBIZ 10 SC BIZ | w w w. s c b i z m a g . c o m

Statewid e, travel and touri sm generate $18.4 billion a year in total econ omic demand.


1,811,200, leisure and hospitality was the sixth-largest classification in the Bureau of Labor Statistics data for July. In addition, the food services and drinking places category employed 158,800 people, and the accommodations sector provided 32,500 jobs. Those three sectors accounted for 412,400 jobs in July. Countless other retail, administrative, transportation and other jobs existed to serve the tourism industry. Overall, tourism supports almost 10% of the jobs in South Carolina.

‘Huge, untapped potential’ It’s not just the traditional destinations that benefit from the growing industry. Newberry, for example, has become a magnet for people who want to experience a performance at the restored Opera House and enjoy a small but vibrant culinary scene. Edmonds said communities like Newberry enjoy amenities and a quality of life — because of the tourism — that the local community alone would not be able to support. In some regions where hospitality businesses have relied mostly upon business travel, those businesses are now embracing leisure travelers as well. Greenville County, for example, was fourth in domestic travel revenue ($892 million) in 2008, after the three coastal juggernauts Horry ($3.12 billion), Charleston ($1.63 billion) and Beaufort ($1.02 billion) counties. Simon Hudson, director of the Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development at the University of South Carolina, believes the state has “huge, untapped potential” as a world-class tourism destination. Hudson, a native of Australia who was teaching in Canada befo coming to USC six fore months ago, said South Carolina continues to understate its historr fo s e ti

TOP FIVE

coun tic f domes receipt o g in d n e travel sp in 2008

BMW is marketing its Driving Experience as a tourist attraction. (Photo/James T. Hammond)

ic, cultural, natural and entertainment assets to the world. “There’s a genuine hospitality here that I found moving when I arrived here,” Hudson said. “Consumers are looking for very high quality, and they want an experience.” He noted the rising interest among travelers in tracing their roots: “I’ve been told 50% of African-Americans have their roots in South Carolina — what a magnificent opportunity.” He also said the unique historical, cultural and natural fabric of the state will attract travelers from far-flung corners of the world. “By 2020, the Chinese will become the largest travel group, and they’ll want to go see something they don’t have,” he said, adding that international travelers typically stay longer and spend more money.

Efforts in Greenville Greenville is also growing its leisure industry on a combination of a thriving entertainment and culinary scene, the surrounding region’s natural beauty, and special assets such as the BMW Performance Driving School nearr Greer. Recognizing that the BMW ties for

TOP FIVE

plant in Spartanburg County has become a powerful attraction for the Upstate, the automaker has crafted a package to draw even more visitors to the region and boost the local hospitality industry in the process. For $99, car enthusiasts can now get a tour of the Zentrum, BMW’s highly visible museum and welcome center on Interstate 85; a tour of the plant that turned out 9,544 cars in March 2010; and a two-hour driving experience at the BMW Performance Center. “I think they have hit the nail on the head with the price point,” said Chris Jennings, director of the Spartanburg Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We just need to turn up the noise about this.” About 40,000 people a year visit the Zentrum and 10,000 participate in the BMW driving programs. “We have become a destination,” said Bobby Hitt, BMW Manufacturing’s director of corporate affairs, noting that the plant near Greer is one of the few auto plants in the country that conduct tours. About 300,000 people have visited the plant since it began operations 1 years ago. About 60,000 have experienced 15 the Performance Center in 10 years. See TOURISM, Page 12

coun jobs from tourism c travel domesti 2 in 008

Horry H

$3.12 $3 12 billion

H Horry

38,600 38 600

Charleston

$1.63 billion

Charleston

20,500

Beaufort

$1.02 billion

Beaufort

12,840

Greenville

$892 million

Greenville

9,660

Richland

6,100

Richland

$503 million

w w w. s c b i z m a g . c o m | F a l l 2 0 1 0

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SUSTAINABLE, continued from Page 9

ity Association and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. The free, voluntary program recognizes and certifies hotels and restaurants for environmentally friendly efforts. After completing an extensive audit of operations, properties can earn between one and three green palmetto trees based on their level of commitment to sustainability. Douglas OFlaherty, director of operations for the S.C. Hospitality Association, said the alliance was the result of industry members’

TOURISM, continued from Page 11

“We realized that the museum, the plant and the performance school present a unique opportunity,” Hitt said. “It needed to be packaged in a different way.” Hitt said he aims to pitch the package to Upstate residents and across South Carolina first, develop a social media marketing campaign and then evaluate whether to launch a national marketing campaign. Fabian Unterzaucher, general manager of the Westin Poinsett Hotel in downtown

requests for a credible green certification program. He said South Carolina was the second state to offer such a program. Diners, especially tourists, are beginning to search online for green restaurants, and the program has helped certified restaurants stand out, said Lindsay McConnell, marketing coordinator for CentraArchy Restaurant Management Co., which includes five California Dreaming restaurants and five other restaurants statewide. McConnell said restaurants in the group, all of which have received palmetto trees under the state program, were beginning to re-

cycle and switch to environmentally friendly products on their own. “When this program came along, we kind of made it a little more mandatory,” she said. OFlaherty said the program’s rigorous audit has helped raise awareness about small steps that hotels and restaurants could be taking, like changing their cleaning products and paint. Once management and employees start thinking that way, they continue to find ways to improve, he said. So far, 18 hotels and restaurants have become certified; OFlaherty said he expects that number to double by the end of the year.

Greenville, offered to let BMW install a kiosk at his hotel. “It will be a great offer for people looking for something to do,” Unterzaucher said. “At $99, this could be a destination attraction.” A quarter-century of investment in performance venues, restaurants and new hotels also has given Greenville an appeal to visitors that is the envy of many midsize cities. For example, the Peace Center for the Performing Arts 47,978 tickets in its three-week run of the Broadway show Wicked in February. About 53% of the more than $4 million

in ticket sales for Wicked came from outside Greenville County, Peace Center officials said. And those visitors booked hotel rooms in the central business district and filled restaurants. A rule of thumb for the impact of arts on hospitality and retail is 2.5 times ticket sales, Peace Center President Megan Riegel said. That means the 24-performance run of Wicked would have pumped $10 million into Greenville’s economy in the form of meals in restaurants, hotel rooms and parking. But Riegel thinks that underestimates the value of spending in the entertainment district.

SC

BIZ

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SC BIZ | w w w. s c b i z m a g . c o m

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BIZ


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13


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16

SC BIZ | w w w. s c b i z m a g . c o m

 " " "


w w w. s c b i z m a g . c o m | F a l l 2 0 1 0

17


Business & Financial Services

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18

SC BIZ | w w w. s c b i z m a g . c o m

 " " "


w w w. s c b i z m a g . c o m | F a l l 2 0 1 0

19


Business & Financial Services

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Artist’s rendering of proposed Innovista waterfront park

Locate and innovate Innovista is an innovative, 21st-century approach to combining research, people, opportunity, and creative ideas. Unfolding adjacent to the University of South Carolina’s 200-year-old academic campus in Columbia, Innovista is becoming a place to live, learn, earn, and play— the nexus of new knowledge developed in University research laboratories in partnership with start-up companies and expanding industry. Coming soon to Innovista is a new home for the internationally recognized Darla Moore School of Business. Acclaimed for its world-class programs in international business as well as entrepreneurship, accounting, supply-chain management, and other business disciplines, the Moore School brings business acumen, training, and support opportunities for high-tech companies. Explore the possibilities of partnering with us. Locate and innovate in Innovista. Don Herriott, Director, Innovista Partnerships, University of South Carolina • dherriot@mailbox.sc.edu • 803.777.0066 Hildy Teegen, Dean, Darla Moore School of Business • teegen@moore.sc.edu • 803.777.3176 Explore www.sc.edu/innovate and discover more about the University, Innovista, and the Moore School.


Cities Mean

BUSINESS A P U B L I C AT I O N O F T H E M U N I C I PA L AS S O C I AT I O N O F S O U T H C A R O L I NA

|

ISSUE 2

|

2010

A different approach New ways to stimulate economic development

Tourism means business Small cities and towns create plans to increase tourism

Recycling is key to growth Recycling programs are a new tool for attracting businesses


You see a street. We see a lifeline that is a hometown with planned traffic flow, fire stations, thousands of visitors each year, low unemployment rate, city parks and community centers for children of all ages. Our streets take us to our jobs, our churches, our fun places and even to grandma’s house.

www.citiesmeanbusiness.org

Cities Mean Business


CONTENTS 7

A new approach City leaders and economic development experts consider new ways to stimulate wealth. By Amy Geier Edgar, Contributing writer Cover photo: Downtown Anderson (Image provided by Pixel Point Graphics and the Main Street Program, Anderson, S.C.)

COVER STORY 10 Tourism means business

BUSINESS

Small cities and towns are creating plans to attract tourists as part of an economic development strategy.

A publication of Municipal Association of South Carolina

By Ashley Cook, Contributing writer

1411 Gervais St., P.O. Box 12109 Columbia, SC 29211 803.799.9574 mail@masc.sc www.masc.sc

12 Recycling is key to growth Recycling programs are a new tool

Miriam Hair Executive Director, Municipal Association of SC Reba Campbell Deputy Executive Director, Municipal Association of SC Editorial staff Casey Fields Mary Brantner

for attracting businesses. By Amy Geier Edgar, Contributing writer

DEPARTMENTS 5

Contributing writers Ashley Cook Amy Geier Edgar

Outlook: Creative economic development strategies By Kevin Johnson

6 Published by

FEATURES

Cities Mean

Perspective: Municipalities vital to statewide economic development By April Allen

www.scbiznews.com A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina

www.citiesmeanbusiness.org | Cities Mean BUSINESS 3


Letter from the

EDITOR As we start to see a few positive signs that the state of the economy is getting better, leaders in cities and towns around the state are observing that our economic development efforts will look different when we come out on the other side of this economic crisis. This issue of Cities Mean Business magazine examines a variety of approaches cities and towns are taking to look at economic development through a new lens of collaboration and partnership. Leaders in the field of economic development agree that the days of focusing primarily on recruiting large manufacturing companies is a thing of the past. Today’s economic development efforts mean looking strategically at diverse partnerships and public/private collaborations locally, regionally and statewide. A story on new approaches to economic development shines a light on the important advances in clusters of similar businesses. This story also examines what two Upstate cities are doing to step up efforts to retain existing local businesses. Tourism has long been considered a driver of the state’s economy. Read about the way small towns — that may sometimes be considered “off the beaten track” compared to traditional destinations — are getting in on the action and working with SCPRT to help market their local assets. Trash may not be the first thing you think of when planning for local economic growth, but a statewide focus on recycling as an economic development tool is taking hold. From innovations in curbside recycling to collection of oysters and grease, read how cities and towns around the state are working closely with local businesses to make recyclables a significant contributor to our economy.

Reba Hull Campbell rcampbell@masc.sc

Editor

4 Cities Mean BUSINESS | www.citiesmeanbusiness.org

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina


OUTLOOK

Everyone benefits from working together using creative economic development strategies By Kevin Johnson

In recent years, we’ve watched economic

recycling cluster for instance. With government and

development in our state move from a primary focus

business support, recycling is recognized as both good

on industrial development to a more diverse strategy

for the environment and good for the economy. By

of collaboration and regionalism. In today’s context,

bringing together companies and governments that all

economic development includes not only recruiting

see the benefits of recycling as an economic develop-

manufacturing or industrial companies but also grow-

ment tool, everyone benefits.

ing clusters of similar businesses and encouraging growth of existing businesses. Kevin Johnson

In large cities and small towns all over South Caro-

There’s also the concept of the creative cluster where entrepreneurs translate their creative passions into thriving and successful business models. In many

lina, we are seeing an increased spirit of cooperation

cases, it’s the direction provided by the leaders in our

within regions to stimulate economic growth. Leaders

cities and towns that serves as a catalyst for attracting

recognize that a win for the region is a win for the city

these innovative — and often young — entrepreneurs.

and a win for the city is also a win for the region. The more we can tear down the turf barriers that

Leaders in our cities and towns are also working to grow their existing businesses. From façade grants to

often exist regionally as we vie for economic develop-

streetscape projects, local leaders understand support-

ment projects, the more successful we can be in col-

ing the businesses already located in their communi-

lectively marketing our state’s assets and bringing new

ties brings tremendous value to economic develop-

jobs to our residents.

ment efforts.

We are seeing the results of our successful col-

Throughout this economic downturn, we keep

laborative efforts with the growth of clusters among

hearing about the “new normal.” This “new normal”

several types of business around our state. Take the

may mean a more collaborative and creative approach to economic development in our state. Kevin Johnson is the Mayor of Manning and president of the Municipal Association of SC.

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina

www.citiesmeanbusiness.org | Cities Mean BUSINESS 5


PERSPECTIVE

Municipalities vital to statewide economic development efforts By April Allen

In South Carolina, discussions of large-scale

workers who tend to cluster in communities that offer

economic development often have a county

interesting cultural and recreational options. As municipalities work to attract the talented and

or regional orientation. While it’s true that mostmanufacturing- and distribution-related projects seek

creative people who help drive economic growth, they

large spaces that are often available outside city limits,

are joining with other public and private partners

the importance of municipalities to the broader eco-

on economic development initiatives that emphasize

nomic development process must not be overlooked.

quality-of-life features such as higher-density and pedestrian-friendly districts in which people can live,

Cities and towns provide the amenities — invitApril Allen

work and play.

ing downtowns, cultural and recreational offerings, specialty retail, advanced health care facilities, higher

Columbia’s Innovista, located on the USC campus,

education institutions and so on — that give a region

is an incubator focused on high-growth areas. The

character and a sense of place. Increasingly, company

Charleston Digital Corridor consists of five districts

decision-makers want to locate in an area with a high

that are promoted as locations with the ideal business,

quality of life that includes these amenities. That’s why

physical and social environment in which technol-

the municipality’s role in the economic development

ogy companies can thrive. In Greenville, there is the

process — and its weight as a factor in location deci-

Clemson University International Center for Au-

sions — is so important and is increasing.

tomotive Research, as well as a downtown that has diversity in business, food, music and sports. Cities

“The amenities that our municipalities have — places like Beaufort, Port Royal, Bluffton and

such as Pendleton, Sumter, Newberry, Florence and

Hilton Head Island — each have their own identity

Spartanburg have all capitalized on their downtowns’

and are a key factor when trying to recruit com-

uniqueness as a draw to their communities.

panies,” says Kim Statler, executive director of the

At its core, economic development is about

Lowcountry Economic Network and Alliance. The

increasing a region’s economic strength and stan-

Network is recruiting on all fronts for mixed-use

dard of living. At SCEDA, we know the value that

developments as well as commercial and industrial,

municipalities bring to the table is a critical factor in

including “green” industry.

our members’ ability to win a project, whether it’s a

“We rarely have a prospect who doesn’t have

manufacturing facility or a call center locating outside

familiarity with (communities in) the region” Statler

city limits, or a corporate headquarters moving down-

says. “Our municipalities are a very important factor

town. We are very thankful for our members and al-

in what we’re trying to accomplish.”

lies at all levels — municipal, county, region and state

The growing emphasis on adding knowledge-based businesses to South Carolina’s industry mix is another reason that municipalities are becoming a more inte-

— who are working together to bring jobs, investment and prosperity to South Carolina. April Allen is board chairman of the SC Economic

gral part of the economic development process. These

Developers Association.

kinds of businesses rely on highly educated and skilled

6 Cities Mean BUSINESS | www.citiesmeanbusiness.org

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina


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F

www.citiesmeanbusiness.org | Cities Mean BUSINESS 7


FEATURE STORY

Anderson’s downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (Photo/Pixel Point Graphics and the Main Street Program, Anderson, S.C.)

One new approach to economic development is through the formation of “clusters.” New Carolina, South Carolina’s Council on Competitiveness, is a public-private partnership that aims to increase the state’s economic competitiveness by building clusters of similar businesses. Companies within clusters get together to increase efficiency and innovation within their industry, while boosting the overall economy in their region, said New Carolina’s Executive Director George Fletcher. The clusters work together to support new business development, enhance existing business and recruit new companies to an area, he said. “Robust clusters have innovation, efficiency and entrepreneurship,” Fletcher said. South Carolina has numerous clusters both statewide — such as automotive, recycling, textiles and tourism — and regionally, such as aerospace in the Lowcountry, hydrogen and fuel cells in the Midlands, and medical devices in the Upstate. Some of the clusters extend over multiple states, like the nuclear cluster, which spans the Carolinas and Georgia, Fletcher said. One of the great things about a cluster development strategy is that it provides opportunities for diverse areas throughout a region, said David Ginn, president and CEO of the Charleston Regional Development Alliance.

“Take the aerospace cluster, for example,” Ginn said. “Larger scale manufacturing and assembly will locate in the region’s industrial parks while many of the supporting businesses can locate in more commercial areas. Some businesses may need direct interstate access while others can locate further from the major transportation corridors. R&D operations will likely want to be close to our academic institutions.” Cities are an important consideration in the cluster approach because they are the principal economic drivers of the region, Fletcher said. Strong cities result in a strong state, he said. “One of the unfortunate things is that we’ve had a longtime state policy of choking the growth of our cities,” Fletcher said. He said North Carolina and Georgia, which have policies that make room for growth of cities, have per capita income rates 10 points higher than South Carolina because of their large cities. “We don’t have Atlanta, with large corporations like Coca-Cola, or Charlotte, with the banking industry,” Fletcher said. With state law allowing little opportunity for municipalities to offer incentives to new and prospective businesses, cities must provide some of their own incentives in order to be competitive, said Arlene Young,

8 Cities Mean BUSINESS | www.citiesmeanbusiness.org

City and county leaders worked together to bring the Boeing Co. to North Charleston. (Photo/Boeing Co.)

downtown development director for the city of Anderson. Anderson has an economic development incentive program designed to attract new businesses downtown. To qualify for the grant, potential businesses must have a minimum threshold investment of $300,000. The city determines the grant incentive amount based on the amount of the capital investment and new revenue generated as a result of the capital investment as calculated over a period not to exceed five years, Young said. Eligible businesses include certain types of retail, tourism-related businesses, cultural arts activities and businesses, corporate headquarters, research and development, and high technology growth businesses, Young said. It is a helpful tool for Anderson, where the downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many businesses that locate downtown need to make some type of renovation to their buildings, Young explained. Downtown is the pilot area for the incentive program, but the city structured the ordinance so that it can apply to other locations in the future, said Anderson Assistant City Manager Linda McConnell. Once the city has established a track record and evaluated

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina


FEATURE STORY

Business owners in hip, historic Greer Station may take advantage of the Greer Development Corp.’s business retention program, which has helped downtown thrive despite a struggling national economy. (Photo/Steve Owens, City of Greer)

the program, it may be extended to provide a boost to neighborhood areas. If applied to other geographic areas, the city may adjust the minimum threshold investment and the types of eligible businesses, McConnell added. For now, officials are hopeful that the grant program, which began in April, will encourage more private investment downtown. “Recruiting new businesses that complement the downtown’s retail and service mix will boost the downtown’s overall market effectiveness,” Young said. The city of Greer has a business retention program that makes sure businesses stay put once they are recruited and operating. The program is a partnership among the city, the Greer Development Corp., the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce, the Greer Commission of Public Works, and several other workforce training and educational groups. Through the program, officials schedule visits with companies, said Reno Deaton, executive director of Greer Development Corp. They try to assess challenges and growth possibilities, and offer assistance and resources to business owners. “New business recruiting gets the most attention, but business retention is the most important thing we do,” Deaton said. “Companies that have already made the

decision to invest here — they participate in our schools, volunteer for our organizations. They are great corporate citizens. Our goal is to do all we can to keep them in the community.” The program has helped business owner Carmen Geschke. Her company, Protec Enterprises LLC, is an automotive supplier of services and products. Geschke said the program has been very helpful for her business, which opened in 2004. Her business has taken advantage of additional training offered by the business retention program in 2008. These needs were identified through the business retention program visits. Business retention programs like Greer’s are important for all cities, Geschke said. “We provide jobs, even if we are small businesses. Even if we have only five employees, that’s five families that can eat,” she said. “It should be a give and take. We are taxpayers. We receive support from the city, and we also give back to the city.” Deaton said the program has been wellreceived by local businesses and brings value back to the companies that choose to invest there. “We want to see them not just survive, but to thrive and grow,” Deaton said.

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina

Cities that focus on both retention and new business recruitment can often benefit the most by taking a regional approach to economic development. Ginn’s group in the Lowcountry, CRDA, represents the entire market, which includes three counties and 27 incorporated cities and towns. “Even with all those designated county and city lines, we really do function as a single metropolitan area,” Ginn said, noting that the entire area benefits from the Port of Charleston in Charleston County and from Interstates 26 and 95 intersecting in Dorchester County. When working with the cities in a region, it’s important to understand the kinds of businesses they’re looking to attract and what sorts of real estate opportunities they have to support those businesses, Ginn said. That way, if a company is interested in the area, the regional alliance knows what’s available in each city that might meet the company’s requirements. “At the end of the day, our job is to attract new opportunities to this region,” Ginn said. “We rely on our cities and counties to have the right product in place to meet their needs.”

www.citiesmeanbusiness.org | Cities Mean BUSINESS 9


TOURISM MEANS

BUSINESS FOR F CITIES AND TOWNS ‘OFF THE BEATEN TRACK’ By Ashley Cook ourism is one of South Carolina’s most important economic drivers. Natural beauty abounds all over the state, while historic and hospitable towns attract their fair share of visitors. However, to get visitors to a destination, a marketing strategy is critical. In today’s world, tourism marketing in the state means more than just attracting visitors to the coastal areas, major historic sites or large cities. Smaller cities and towns that some visitors may consider “off the beaten path” are developing tourism marketing plans and regional collaborations as part of their local economic development strategy. Chad Prosser, director of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, believes tourism could be a $40 billion industry by 2020 if South Carolina plays its cards right. “We have to look at our assets through the eyes of a visitor,” said Prosser. “They don’t care where one town ends and the next begins — we must work together regionally to attract tourists.” Cities and towns looking for guidance on how to attract tourists are finding help in SCPRT’s eight Tourism Action Plans in development for each region of the state. These multi-faceted plans highlight each region’s tourism strengths (natural, commercial, historical, etc.) and suggest plans for the work to be done. These improvements cannot be done without what Prosser calls the “essential collaboration” between the public and private sectors — local officials and business owners. “For tourism to impact the state and local economies,” suggests Prosser, “the effort must happen at the municipal level — passing ordi-

T

Riverwalk Park in West Columbia. (Photo courtesy Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports & Tourism)

nances, providing infrastructure and bringing community leaders together.” The town of Cheraw is a place where these public/private strategies are working. “The prettiest town in Dixie” has worked hard to promote its heritage by embracing the business community in its historic downtown as well as its many antebellum houses, military history and its famous son, musician Dizzy Gillespie. Last year, Cheraw was honored as a Preserve America Community. The designation rewards preservation and heritage tourism efforts with a White House recognition and increased visibility on a national level. “It certainly gives us a lot of credibility,” said Phil Powell, tourism director for the town.

10 Cities Mean BUSINESS | www.citiesmeanbusiness.org

“We’ve worked with the Merchants Association and the Chamber of Commerce for more than 20 years repurposing historic buildings, streetscaping and marketing ourselves.” In the Upstate, the city of Pickens is working hard to promote tourism. Although the city doesn’t have a full-time tourism director, Pickens’ marketing campaign is in full force. City officials teamed up with business leaders to establish a steering committee dedicated to attracting visitors to Pickens. According to George Case, the owner of a downtown antique store, getting tourists in town hasn’t been too hard. “We didn’t have to change who we are, just how we made our case,” he said. The recent effort includes a new slogan, beautification and a welcoming committee for potential businesses. The steering committee also recognizes the importance of embracing the mountain region. “There are a lot of retirees buying homes in the mountains in our county. We are doing everything we can to lure them into town,” explained Case. In the Midlands, West Columbia is focusing on tourists who may be in the area for something else, such as a University of South Carolina sporting event or the art museum. “It would be foolish to try to separate ourselves from Columbia,” said Donna Smith, economic development director for West Columbia. “In fact, part of our marketing has always been that we have the best view of the capitol.” West Columbia has traditionally been a place for overflow, not the destination. But that is changing. Palmetto Outdoors, a rafting outfitter located on the Riverwalk, brings in tourists

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina


FEATURE STORY from the entire east coast, boasting a river adventure attractive to all ages. “Last year, about 10 percent of the folks we sent down the river were from out of state,” said Michael Mayo, owner of Palmetto Outdoors. He credits the leadership of city officials with part of his enormous success. “They let me operate on the Riverwalk, which is huge,” Mayo said. “They know that when people get out of the rafts they check in to a local hotel and dine at West Columbia restaurants.” Happy rafters also check out West Columbia’s new antique district. Created by businesses owners and designated by the city, the new district encompasses a few blocks of stores near the river. “They came to us and asked us to designate the area,” said Smith. “We were glad to support them.” Down the road in Orangeburg County, the small town of Elloree is making strides in marketing itself as a tourist destination. In Elloree it’s all about community events and activities. “Everyone pitches in and helps,” said Elloree Mayor Van Stickles. “We have a town-wide yard sale, a barbecue competition and a huge Fourth of July celebration. We may not have a lot of money to put into tourism promotion,” he continued, “but we feel like if we can provide the infrastructure — clean streets, parks and such — then our business community can take it from there.” Business leaders are also doing their part. They established the Elloree Business Association to develop the town as a tourist destination. Building on the popularity of the privately-owned Elloree Heritage Museum as well as the SC Heritage Corridor that runs through town, the Association works to promote Elloree as a historic place with modern flare. Further south in Walterboro, officials started the Walterboro Tourism Council to promote the city’s assets — from nature sanctuaries to antiques and art. The council is made up of business and education leaders as well as local government officials. Together, they came up with Walterboro’s new tag line, “The Front Porch of the Lowcountry,” as well as a logo — a red rocking chair. Now, the city is teeming with red rocking chairs — in front of businesses, on stickers in shop windows and adorning billboards along

Interstate 95 — as everyone in town shows their support for the initiative. “We have proactive, energetic business owners,” said Hank Admundson, economic development coordinator for Walterboro. “They are partners in our strategy.” While Admundson is proud of what the city has done to increase tourism, he stresses the city can’t take the credit. “We are very happy to be playing a role in this machine — not being the machine,” he said. “This has been a long-term vision,” agreed local business owner David Evans. “We all worked together to bring out the natural wonderfulness of Walterboro.” All that work is paying off. “When I first got here, there were 30 empty storefronts downtown,” said Evans. “Now, if I don’t get to the shop before 8 a.m., I can’t find a parking spot.” Across the state, parking spots in small cities and towns are filling up as local officials partner with local businesses to showcase their communities and entice tourists “off the beaten path.”

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina

Top: Bright red rockers outside Interstate 95 Antiques in Walterboro. (Photo/Jorge Ruiz) Middle: Sidewalk sale in downtown Elloree. (Photo courtesy/Town of Elloree) Bottom: Antique district in West Columbia (Photo/ Donna Smith, City of West Columbia)

www.citiesmeanbusiness.org | Cities Mean BUSINESS 11


W O R G Y E K S I Y R

G N I L C Y C RE

T S U dgar E r e i D e G IN y Amy B

ustainability is no longer a â&#x20AC;&#x153;nice to haveâ&#x20AC;? goal for business and government. Leaders in the public and private sectors are concerned about conserving materials and saving energy. A large part of their focus is recycling. The growing recycling industry benefits businesses, taxpayers, governments and the environment, and some experts are touting it as the latest economic development tool.

S

12 Cities Mean BUSINESS | www.citiesmeanbusiness.org

We know that recycling is good for the planet. It helps the environment by conserving natural resources, reducing pollution and saving energy. But recyclables also contribute significantly to the economy. They fuel manufacturing industries, making them more competitive and sustainable. Recycling helps businesses and communities avoid disposal costs associated with landfills and incinerators.

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina


G N I W M E P N O T L E V E D C I M O N TO ECO

The iRecycle and Win prize patrol PT Cruiser. (Photo/Brandy Gutierrez)

A 2006 study conducted by the College of Charleston’s Department of Economics and Finance showed that the recycling industry has a $6.5 billion impact on the South Carolina economy and provides more than 37,000 jobs to South Carolina residents. It is also one of the fastest growing sectors of our economy, with a 12.5 percent annual growth rate. In comparison, the tourism industry has an annual growth rate of about 3.9

percent, according to Chantal Fryer, with the S.C. Department of Commerce. Fryer manages the S.C. Recycling Market Development Advisory Council. Along with the Advisory Council, New Carolina — South Carolina’s Council on Competitiveness — has focused its attention on the recycling industry by creating a “recycling cluster” in 2007. The industry’s size and economic impact, and the fact that the aver-

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina

age annual income of those involved with the recycling industry was well above that of the average South Carolinian, fit nicely with New Carolina’s goal of increasing the per capita income in the state. “Recycling really is like a ‘field of dreams,’” said Gerry Fishbeck, chairman of the Recycling Market Development Advisory Council and vice president of United Resource Recovery Corp. “If you build it, they will come.”

www.citiesmeanbusiness.org | Cities Mean BUSINESS 13


Left: Residents recycle oyster shells in Mount Pleasant. (Photo/courtesy of Town of Mount Pleasant) Right: John Crocker, BI-LO #519 store director, and Betty Jo Godfrey, an iRecycle and Win gift card winner. (Photo/Sonya Culbreth)

Recycling businesses will be created when another new business is built, he explained. For instance, when BMW came to town, new businesses were created to supply parts and others were created to deal with the waste products. The prevalence of a recycling industry also will impact some new business recruits that might be looking for a supply of recycled products, a way to handle their waste, or simply the good quality of life that comes from having fewer landfills in an area, Fishbeck said. Municipalities play an important role by ensuring recycling is available in their communities and by partnering with local businesses to encourage new and creative recycling efforts. “If municipalities make a commitment to collect and to recycle, it’s amazing what kind of businesses will be attracted the area,” Fishbeck said. Those businesses include entrepreneurs and developers of green technology. Many businesses have utilized the low-cost materials from local recycling programs to develop cutting-edge technologies and products. One example is waste tires, which are used in many applications including rubberized asphalt for paving roads. South Carolina has been a national leader in developing this technology, thanks in large part to the work of the Asphalt Rubber Technology Service, which is housed at Clemson University and funded through an S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control grant. Several cities have developed unique education, outreach or payment programs to encourage residents to recycle.

Earlier this year, the city of Spartanburg began a new recycling promotion with CocaCola and BI-LO supermarkets. Sponsored by Coca-Cola of Spartanburg, “iRecycle and Win!” was designed to reduce the amount of material going into landfills by offering prizes to city households that recycle using their new blue curbside recycling carts. Coca-Cola delivered stickers with its “Give it Back” message to homes with the new recycling roll carts. The program’s Prize Patrol visited neighborhoods on recycling collection days, looking for recycling carts with the sticker. Randomly selected carts were inspected, and the household was awarded a $50 BI-LO gift card if the residents followed the recycling guidelines established by the city’s Public Works department. One winning household was selected each recycling collection day. The city of Columbia has launched a glass recycling program in partnership with restaurants and bars, thanks to a $100,000 grant from DHEC. “This grant will allow the city of Columbia to tap into a virtually untouched recycling market, both in terms of increased collection of glass and diversion of materials from the landfill,” said Mary Pat Bauldauf, sustainability facilitator. “The program will also offer restaurants and bars a financial incentive to participate — a reduction in garbage disposal costs — which is particularly important during these tough economic times.” The city’s goal is to involve 125 restaurants and bars in areas of high restaurant/ bar density, such as the Congaree Vista and Five Points.

14 Cities Mean BUSINESS | www.citiesmeanbusiness.org

One city moving to the relatively new concept of “Pay-As-You-Throw” waste management program is Chester. A PAYT program charges residents for the garbage they throw away. Waste, therefore, is treated like a utility. You pay for what you use, said Richard Chesley of DHEC’s Office of Recycling. The city of Chester provides residential curbside garbage collection through a variable size roll cart. Residents pay a fee based on the size of the container they choose. Annual fees range from $84 for a 40-gallon roll cart to $204 for a 90-gallon roll cart. By reducing waste and recycling, residents have the opportunity to cut their solid waste service fee in half. Recycling is more than curbside collection, however. In Chapin, leaders are encouraging residents to recycle household grease to avoid sewer clogs. Chapin Utilities is distributing free fat-trappers at Town Hall. “The purpose is to pour greasy or oily food waste into the container and not down the drain or garbage disposal,” says Town Clerk Adrienne Thompson. The containers of grease can then be recycled or taken to the dump. In Mount Pleasant, town officials are working with local businesses to increase oyster shell recycling. The used shells are recycled to build and restore oyster reefs along coastal marshes. Several years ago, the town of Mount Pleasant partnered with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources to provide a recycling location East of the Cooper. Located at the town’s maintenance facility, this site is one in the top oyster shell collection sites for the South Carolina coast, according to Hillary Repik, stormwater manager in Mount Pleasant. Individuals or businesses can bring shells to the drop-off site. DNR collects and sanitizes the shells so they can safely be used in reefs to encourage growth of new oysters. Not only does this project encourage public-private partnerships and help improve water quality, it also encourages community involvement. “We cross-promote their reef planting activities and businesses often volunteer to help plant the reefs. Ours was done in coordination with a local middle school,” Repik said. “Recycling is not going away,” DHEC’s Chesley said. “There are environmental benefits and economic benefits. People have accepted that it’s a way of life.”

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina


You see a police car. We see a police ofďŹ cer named Hal who works closely with ďŹ re departments and EMS, who knows every business owner downtown, who can name every city street and who buys 12 snow cones on Saturdays even though his T-ball team has never won a game.

www.citiesmeanbusiness.org

Cities Mean Business


Magnets for good living

Quality of life is an essential element in attracting new businesses. 7KHJRRGOLIH,QWKLVVWDWH\RXRQO\KDYHWRORRNDVIDUDVRXUFLWLHVDQGWRZQVWRÂżQGLW$SUR EXVLQHVVDWWLWXGHGLYHUVLÂżHGHFRQRPLHVDQGDFRPPLWPHQWWRHQKDQFLQJRYHUDOOTXDOLW\RIOLIH are the cornerstones of the almost 300 hometowns across our state. 3HRSOHDQGEXVLQHVVHVDUHGUDZQWRWKHSRVLWLYHTXDOLW\RIOLIHVWURQJFLWLHVDQGWRZQVRIIHU IURPWKHDUWVWRUHFUHDWLRQWRTXDOLW\FLW\VHUYLFHV This is a proven formula for success and a primary reason cities and towns are strong catalysts for growth and prosperity. But this doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t happen by accident. Hard work, vision and regional cooperation have helped make our cities and towns the centers of commerce they are today. $QGWKHEHVWLV\HWWRFRPH

Cities Mean Business To learn more about how strong cities contribute to the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economic prosperity, visit www.citiesmeanbusiness.org.


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SC BIZ | w w w. s c b i z m a g . c o m

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32

SC BIZ | w w w. s c b i z m a g . c o m

 ! ! !


Strength through Integrity Quality through Responsibility In todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economic climate, there are a multitude of challenges that may prevent your project from being successful. York Constructors has set the standard of dependability with decades of experience, a reputation of client satisfaction and uncompromising integrity. Whether your companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s challenges are large or small, let York Constructors take some of the risk and uncertainty out of your project.

www.YorkConstructors.com 1200 Woodruff Road, C-16 Greenville, SC 29607 864.288.6000

Level One Call Center Greer, South Carolina


Real Estate & Construction

Sponsored by York Constructors

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34

SC BIZ | w w w. s c b i z m a g . c o m

    


Sponsored by York Constructors

Real Estate & Construction

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w w w. s c b i z m a g . c o m | F a l l 2 0 1 0

35


Real Estate & Construction

Sponsored by York Constructors

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10 20 3, E SU IS

S.C. Delivers

PORTS, LOGISTICS & DISTRIBUTION IN S.C.

38 and counting

On the rebound

Green building

S.C. scores another

The port enjoys a string

CSX’s Florence HQ is

‘certified site’

of successes

LEED certified

Page 38

Page 44

Page 47

A P U B L I C AT I O N O F S C B I Z N E W S


BRIEFS $1.4 million in grants awarded for S.C. airports U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., recently announced more than $1.4 million in grants to airports across the state. The state of South Carolina will receive a $121,580 grant for the removal of obstructions at the Aiken Municipal Airport and the Oconee County Airport. Barnwell County will receive a $28,793 grant for runway rehabilitation and crack sealing at Barnwell Regional Airport. Dorchester County will receive a $300,000 grant for the initial stages of runway extension at the Summerville Airport. Georgetown County will receive a $395,275 grant for environmental mitigation, land ac-

quisition and runway safety area improvements at Georgetown County Airport. Lancaster County will receive a $38,070 grant for taxi lane rehabilitation at Lancaster County Airport. The city of Orangeburg will receive $111,461 to update the outdated and obsolete airport layout plan at Orangeburg Municipal Airport. The city of Spartanburg will receive a $431,000 grant for water line improvement construction and an automobile parking lot at Spartanburg Downtown Airport. The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Blue Bell breaks ground on North Charleston facility NORTH CHARLESTON — Blue Bell Creameries recently broke ground on a new, 2,000square-foot transfer facility. The center at 7396 W. Spartan Blvd. in the Ashley Industrial Park will serve coastal South Carolina, where Texas-based Blue Bell has cultivated a strong following over the past five years. “This will be one of the few distribution centers, in my region at least, where we’ve already got the business,” said Scott Evans, a regional manager for the company. “Usually we build the building and go out and get the business,” he said. SouthCon Building Group will construct the Charleston facility. It’s expected to be done late this year. Officials wouldn’t go

38 | S.C. DELIVERS

Charleston has largest airfare increase in first quarter CHARLESTON — While average airfares at airports nationwide increased nearly 5% from the first quarter of 2009 to the same period in 2010, fares at Charleston International Airport jumped by 16%. Charleston had the highest average airfare increase among the nation’s 100 busiest airports, according to data released this summer by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The report also said Charleston has the second-highest average ticket cost among the top 100 airports, after Huntsville, Ala. Airfare out of Charleston averaged $443.45 in the first quarter

in to specifics but said the company has experienced double-digit growth every year since entering the Charleston market in 2005. Eight employees will be based at the new facility. Blue Bell currently operates a 14,000-square-foot distribution center in Columbia, one of 48 such GREENVILLE — The Matrix branches nationwide run by the Business and Technology Park 103-year-old company. in Greenville County has been awarded the designation of certified site by the S.C. Department of Commerce. A certified site is guaranteed to meet or exceed established criteria in demand by industries seeking a site for immediate development and is a key requirement by many businesses looking for a new location. Located in southern Greenville County, the Matrix park is an 1,100-acre, master-planned park with a special I-2 zoning classification and restrictive covenants suited for industry, warehouse and distribution operations, re-

of 2010, up from $382.02 a year earlier. The average U.S. domestic fare in the first three months of this year was $328.12. The local increase comes after the December departure of AirTran Airways, which was the only discount carrier serving Charleston International Airport. The federal data are based on round-trip and one-way domestic fares. Average fares include prices charged by airlines plus any taxes and fees levied by outside entities at the time of purchase. Charleston is the only S.C. airport included in the top 100. It was ranked 85th in terms of the number of U.S.-originating domestic passengers.

Matrix business park receives site certification search and development, and headquarters campus facilities. Current tenants include GE Aviation, JTEKT, Gordon Food Service and The Blood Connection. To be certified, a site must pass a rigorous evaluation during which more than 100 types of site information are reviewed. The site must be free of ownership or use issues, free from environmental issues, and meeting or exceeding all infrastructure requirements of typical industrial projects. Matrix’s application was prepared by B.P. Barber, a regional engineering firm. Currently, 38 sites in South Carolina are certified as having completely met all criteria.


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BRIEFS S Sunland Distribution adds staffing division GREENVILLE — Sunland Distribution Inc. has added a new division, Sunstaff, that will provide contract labor and staffing services to companies throughout South Carolina. Sunstaff Contract Labor provides production and skilled workers for the manufacturing, distribution and packaging industries. “We understand the employment demands and cyclical nature of the manufacturing, distribution and packaging industries and have served these business sectors for over 20 years,” said Sunland President and CEO Arch Thomason. “Through Sunstaff, we’re using our logistical expertise to help clients meet labor demands in the most efficient way possible and provide employment to workers

in this tough economy.” The division provides recruitment and operations management, facility orientation and training, management and scheduling, productivity, quality assurance and cost management, labor management, capacity and labor optimization and resource and production optimization. Founded in 1982, Greenvillebased Sunland Distribution is a July, Regal announced in June. The deal will see more than 80 third-party logistics company that containers move through the S.C. employs more than 200 people. State Ports Authority’s Wando Welch and North Charleston terminals in the first month, with several hundred more containers expected throughout the 2010 reCHARLESTON — An apparel tail season. Regal will hire between 10 company known for its pajamas is setting up importing operations and 20 local workers to support in the Lowcountry. American Marketing Enterprises American Marketing Enter- and other import-export business prises Inc. will use Regal Logis- at its Charleston facility, the comtics’ 200,000-square-foot Charles- pany said. This marks the first time ton warehouse to import and ship children’s sleepwear to Walmart American Marketing Enterprises distribution centers starting in will use a U.S. Southeast port, ac-

New import b business comes to Charleston

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40 | S.C. DELIVERS

cording to Garry Neeves, Regal Logistics’ vice president. Neeves said that with increasing transportation costs and the 2014 Panama Canal expansion, operating out Charleston was the most “cost-effective way to reach 60 million consumers stretching from New York to Florida.” The apparel company currently imports millions of dollars’ worth of merchandise through the Pacific Northwest. American Marketing Enterprises will use all Regal Logistics services for the receiving, handling and distribution of its products, including special technologies necessary for Walmartcompliant shipments, Regal said. American Marketing Enterprises is a U.S.-based private-label sleepwear firm headquartered in New York. It holds licenses for an array of children’s entertainment characters including Spiderman, Hannah Montana, High School Musical, Cars, Dora the Explorer, Barbie and Disney Princesses.

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COMING NEXT ISSUE TO SCBIZ MAGAZINE 2011 Economic Forecast Winter 2009

Price $6.95

South Carolina’s developers ttake ake steps toward green building

The grind Small-time coffee roasters infuse art and business into a genuine S.C. product

Wave W ave of developmentt

Special section: Book of Lists

Back to the future

Waterfront W aterfront communities ttoo transform lower PeeDee

Vacant V acant textile mills finding a new purpose as homes, offices

The state’s top businesses in more than 15 major categories

Special Section: Construction South Carolina Under Construc ction A car is i iimmersed d in i a chemical bath at tthe he cutting-edge paint shop BMW recently built in Greer.

Pullout Section: INClusion TThe he power of diversity in the workplace

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TRUCKING G Gedore Tools Inc. opens U.S. distribution center NORTH CHARLESTON — Gedore Tools Inc. recently celebrated the grand opening of its new U.S. distribution center. The ceremony was the culmination of a three-year effort by the hand tool company’s parent, Gedore Group of Remscheid, Germany, to grow U.S. operations. Gedore offers an expansive array of tools, such as pliers, torque wrenches and 12 types of hammer. The company will stock 4,500 of its 18,000 items at the North Charleston facility, at Suite 700 of 7187 Bryhawke Circle. The products serve four core markets: automotive, aviation, industrial and renewable energy. Each of those sectors has a presence in South Carolina, the latter being led by a massive wind

Transloading involves moving turbine drivetrain testing facility set to open in North Charleston cargo on rail directly into these warehouses, where equipment is in 2012. used to containerize the cargo. Trucks then dray the containers from the warehouses to the port, where they are loaded onto ocean vessels. The SPA said this process can save shippers on transportation costs and provide environCHARLESTON — The S.C. mental benefits. State Ports Authority is teaming The rail-served warehouses up with the region’s rail-served have diverse cargo-handling cawarehouses to change the way pabilities. Norfolk Southern and cargo is moved from warehouses CSX serve the sites individually or to cargo ships, which could help together. Commodities like cotton, target specific export accounts for lumber, woodpulp and food prodthe Port of Charleston and reduce ucts are suited to transloading, truck traffic. which tend to be heavier cargoes. The new business developThe partners in the project ment program aims to build are: ATS Warehouse, Blackhawk new business through the port Warehouse, Brown Distribution, and 14 warehouses that are di- Dixie Box and Crating Inc., Garrectly served by rail access using net Logistics, Maybank Propera process called transloading. The ties (two locations), Neal Brothwarehouses account for 2.7 mil- ers, Pax Azalea Warehouse, Pax lion square feet of space in the Goer Warehouse, Premier LogisCharleston area. tics Solutions Warehousing LLC.,

Ports authoriity launches new warehouse program

Schneider Logistics, Sunland Distribution and Trans-Hold Inc.

S State S.C. b begins construction on transportation research center ORANGEBURG — S.C. State University began the first phase of construction on the James E. Clyburn Transportation Research and Conference Center in July. This phase of the project will consist of the Transit Research Center, an 8,474-square-foot structure that will be used to conduct research on transportation vehicles. This phase is estimated to cost $8.4 million; it is expected to be completed in 350 days. The Transit Research Center also will have a fueling station with an underground gasoline/ diesel storage tank, office space and training rooms.

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42 | S.C. DELIVERS

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Who’s Who in Logistics Top Executive: Jimmy Connelly Address: 137 Acres Drive, Ladson, SC 29456 Phone: 843-818-2332 E-mail: jconnelly@candcwarehouse.com Web Site: www.candcwarehouse.com

C&C Warehouse is forging new, green ground

C

&C Warehouse’s new warehouse and distribution headquarters off College Park Road in Ladson was a year in the making. The design and build process was painstakingly deliberate because owner Jimmy Connelly’s goal was to construct a large facility to serve his distribution and warehouse customers, and build a structure that was as green as possible. As a result, the S.C. Department of Energy has conÀrmed that Connelly has one of the greenest public warehouse facilities in the Charleston region. “I love this building,” Connelly said. “For one thing, I own the building and the land around it. Another is that I have room to expand another 100,000 square feet. I’ve learned a lot about energy efÀciency and conservation in building this building and I’ve implemented as many things as I can afford. I have many things in place that meet LEED certiÀcations and that will not only save the company money, but make money. And I plan to pass those future savings on to my customers in the long-term.” Connelly said a growing number of his customers are concerned about reducing their carbon footprint. And now his company can provide them not only with top-notch services, but peace of mind as well. In the 3,000-square-foot ofÀce, Connelly installed high bay lights and large Áoor-to-ceiling windows to maximize the use of natural sunlight. He implemented a light harvesting system that senses the amount of natural light and adjusts the output of each light Àxture accordingly. Other efÀciencies include a digitally-controlled HVAC system with a built-in humidiÀer. The HVAC units are oversized and were a big investment, but the payoff is that they don’t have to operate at full force to keep the building comfortable. They are also set to operate at a minimum during non-business hours and to gradually adjust the temperature prior to the beginning of a business day. The bathrooms include motion-sensor low-Áow faucets and hand dryers, as well as waterless urinals and dual-Áush toilets. The concrete Áoor is accented with non-toxic stain and carpet was limited to the conference room and ofÀces to absorb noise. The walls, which are insulated with recycled denim, are painted with non-toxic paint. And while most of the ofÀce space is decorated using earth tones, there is a splash of color in the countertops made by Fisher Recycling using recycled beer bottles. Additions this summer will include a system that will pull water from a pond to Áush the toilets. A geo-thermal system will also be installed to circulate cool water from a well through the

Rooftop solar panels bring solar power at your Àngertips.

air conditioning system to ensure further efÀciencies. “This building is energy conscious, energy efÀcient, we use less water and physical energy which lessens our impact on the environment. We recycle. We recycled 330,000 pounds of cardboard in 2009. We are really trying to do our part to preserve the environment,” Connelly said. Keeping employees more comfortable and products cleaner were important factors in the design of the new facility. The aluminum building includes upgraded insulation and a large exhaust system that pulls air from the open dock doors with the assistance of a Big Ass Fan, which has blades that extend 24 feet. Each of the 150 light Àxtures in the warehouse is equipped with a photo cell that detects motion and an LED sensor that measures the amount of natural light. Both features make sure the lights are activated only when necessary. Connelly’s building also will be one of the Àrst in Berkeley County with solar panels that tie into the electric grid. When the panels are activated, they will generate energy that Connelly will sell to SCE&G. At Àrst, this will result in discounted monthly power bills, based on the amount of energy generated by the panels. But eventually, after more “banks” of solar panels are installed, he will produce enough electricity to generate a proÀt

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from selling the power back to SCE&G. In addition, Connelly focused on making an otherwise utilitarian building inviting for customers. The landscaping is a big part of this. Bamboo will be used as a border around the property and between the customer reception area and the loading dock. The plants will create an inviting visual and sound barrier from the trucks being unloaded on the docks. “It all adds up and at the end of the day, we’re making a big effort to save energy, do something good for the environment and reduce our carbon footprint. That sets me apart from the guy down the street.”


PORT

Port enjoys string of successes while future remains uncertain By Daniel Brock, Staff Writer

Good news has been arriving at the Port of Charleston in recent months, seemingly with every cargo and cruise ship that pulls into the Southeastâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s deepest harbor.

Photo/Ryan Wilcox

44 | S.C. DELIVERS


On almost every front, the S.C. State Ports Authority has made gains as it tries to rebound from a bad year for the shipping industry in 2009. A sampling of the highlights: • Container volume rebounded enough in the first half of 2010 that it exceeded budgeted numbers for the just-ended fiscal year. • Three new shipping services — drawn here by Charleston’s deepwater capabilities — arrived in the past 12 months. • A pilot program enacted by the S.C. Department of Transportation at the beginning of the year allows truckers to haul 100,000 pounds of refrigerated cargo, instead of 90,000. “Reefer” volume, as it is called, has doubled since the program’s inception. • And the S.C. DOT recently began permitting drivers to haul 100,000 pounds of bulk agricultural cargo in the immediate vicinity of port, a move

state officials say will benefit everyone, whether S.C. farmers, shipping lines or others. • The SPA settled a long-running legal battle with the Coastal Conservation League over the maritime agency’s new terminal at the former Navy base in North Charleston and an access road to it. “Birds are chirping across the state,” SPA spokesman Byron Miller said of the latter development. The authority, as part of the agreement, will monitor emissions, work to accommodate a regional rail plan that would provide near-dock service to its terminal, and reduce by 85% the number of emissions-heavy pre1994 trucks that call on all of its facilities. In return, the SPA will be able to proceed with construction of the Navy base terminal, set to open in 2017, unencumbered by legal hurdles. “This is an important settle-

ment for us,” said SPA President and CEO Jim Newsome. “The Navy base terminal is a major strategic priority for the ports authority, the city, the state and, really, the region.” Part of the $77 million the SPA plans to spend on facilities in the coming fiscal year will include work at the new terminal, as well as a new cruise terminal in downtown Charleston. And there’s more good news for the SPA. A recently launched rail-served warehouse initiative is off to a good start; millions of square feet of business-luring distribution center space is being constructed in the region; and Charleston will host a record 67 cruise calls this year and more than 94 in 2011. In addition, a College of Charleston study found that the cruise industry will be worth $37 million for the city. Those findings played a part in the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce’s recent decision to give the leisure

ships a thumbs-up. The tide seems to be rising at the port, while its depth is moving toward being increased. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently concluded a yearlong reconnaissance study for the post-45-foot Charleston Harbor deepening project. The review found federal interest in moving forward with the process. Already, Charleston Harbor is hosting post-Panamax ships — those that carry 8,000 or more twenty-foot-equivalent units — and is the only port in the Southeast with the depth to do so. A feasibility study, the process’s next step, would further flesh out the time requirements and costs. And language approved recently in the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee encouraged the study’s expedition. S.C. lawmakers, though, are still looking for $400,000 in federal support that would match SPA money in funding an evaluation

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S.C. DELIVERS | 45


PORT

Photo/Ryan Wilcox be regulated are becoming vociferous. The Coastal Conservation League and community groups are pushing for a cap on the number of annual cruise visits and tighter oversights of the industry’s waste disposal. League Executive Director Dana Beach, who signed the terminal agreement with Newsome, said that in a town where house color and porch column alignment “merit grave discussion and © 2010 Rogers & Brown Custom Brokers, Inc.

by the corps. Meanwhile, rival ports, like the one in Savannah, are moving ahead with deepening plans. That’s not the only challenge faced by the SPA. Newsome and other officials have urged caution, saying that the five straight months of double-digit volume growth are likely not indicative of what lies ahead as the global economy struggles to rebound. “I think we’re in the peak of the cycle right now,” Newsome told the SPA board at its August meeting. “I’m very concerned for the second half of the year.” Newsome said the global economy has yet to prove it has fully rebounded and that some signs point to business expansion slowing in the coming months. Recent increases could also merely be a result of inventory restocking, early shipments other short-term drivers, he said. Meanwhile, as the cruise industry increases its presence in Charleston, calls for the ships to

DELIVERING PEACE OF MIND.

debate” it would be strange not to set standards for cruise ships. “Federal regulations are not adequate to ensure a healthy harbor,” Beach said. The SPA has resisted signing any regulation but has indicated that cruise calls would top out at about two per week. At the Navy base terminal, the S.C. DOT has yet to receive a permit for the access road that is supposed to tie the facility to

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Interstate 26. The agency’s last request was flatly rejected by Federal Highway Administration officials, who said it represented an about-face in the DOT’s stance on the road’s regional traffic impact. There’s also an ongoing debate about the way rail will best serve the new terminal, with the city of North Charleston and S.C. Public Railways pitching opposing plans. A resolution on that front doesn’t seem to be near, and the SPA is firm in its stance that a rail solution must provide dual access for CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Corp., the East Coast’s top two railroads. While Newsome, who celebrated his one-year anniversary in charge of the SPA on Sept. 1, feels the agency is heading in the right direction, he said that more work needs to be done. “I’m certainly not satisfied with our position, and we need to do a lot more,” Newsome said. “We need to get better.”

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RAIL

C

CSX’s Florence facility receives green building certification

SX Corp. has obtained its first green building certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The building, certified for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a 22,500-square-foot division headquarters in Florence that includes 32 offices, a large conference room, a fitness center and a dispatch center. “Reducing our carbon footprint is a major focus of our everyday operations, and that translates to constructing facilities which are environmentally friendly,” said W. Wayne Bostic, CSX’s director of facility design. The building, constructed by Breaking Ground Contracting and the construction firm Dana B. Kenyon Co., includes a

CSX was recently awarded its first LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for its 22,500-squarefoot division headquarters in Florence. (Photo/CSX Corp.)

6,200-square-foot command center with a raised supervisor’s platform and technology equipment for 10 dispatchers. To obtain LEED certification, the building’s design and construction met requirements including water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental

quality, and innovation and design process. Since 2000, CSX has invested more than $1.5 billion toward the purchase of new Tier I and Tier II clean-air locomotives and modernization of existing locomotives to further reduce emissions and fuel consumption. CSX has also entered into public-private partnerships around its network to expand the use of new ultra-low-emission GenSet locomotives, which also meet stringent noise level requirements. CSX was the first railroad to join the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Leaders program and in 2009 voluntarily committed to an 8% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions per revenue ton-mile by 2011.

“Reducing our carbon footprint is a major focus of our everyday operations, and that translates to constructing facilities which are environmentally friendly.” W. Wayne Bostic CSX, director of facility design

S.C. DELIVERS | 47


1,000 words 48

SC BIZ | w w w. s c b i z m a g . c o m

Riding out the storm

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Lightning flashes during a storm as an airplane makes its initial approach into Charleston International Airport. (Photo/Ryan Wilcox)

2010 SC Biz - Issue 3  

This issue includes the annual Book of Lists as well as SC Delivers. Feature stories focus on tourism

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