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TM

Imagine More

2017 Midlands Regional

COMPETITIVENESS REPORT TALENT

INNOVATION ENTREPRENEURIAL & BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY CLUSTERS LIVABILITY www.EngenuitySC.com

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Indicators of

TM

Imagine More

“By 2025, Columbia will be one of the Southeast’s most competitive and prosperous metropolitan areas.” Sounds lofty, right? That’s EngenuitySC’s goal – and we plan to work with local leaders to get there. It’s tough to define success when you’re not able to measure what it looks like. Since 2014, EngenuitySC has published the Midlands Regional Competitiveness Report to do exactly that – provide the Columbia region with benchmarks to see where we’re succeeding and what areas must be improved for Columbia to be recognized as the preeminent place to live, work, play and visit for all people. In this fourth edition of the Competitiveness Report, we’re continuing to see signs of growth around the region. Downtown Lexington, Columbia, Cayce and West Columbia are all booming, thanks to successful private investment. And the Midlands Business Leadership Group has taken on one of the largest private sector-led initiatives in recent history to accelerate improvement by catalyzing action to enhance regional competitiveness. However, we continue to see areas of concern where we’re either slipping or struggling to keep pace with the national average. This includes livability, where a rising violent crime rate - among other drivers - brought us down from last year’s #2 ranking. In these areas, greater action is needed to drive change. It’s important to note that this report is not the end-all, be-all of success in the region – there are numerous groups doing phenomenal work, and a quick tour of the region shows the exciting potential of all that Columbia has to offer. And when leaders from business, government, education and economic development sectors want to work together to bring that potential to fruition, they’ll continue to partner with EngenuitySC for results. Front Cover Photo/Tucker Prescott and Experience Columbia SC

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2017 Midlands Regional Competitiveness Report

Competitive Communities Measuring success around the five indicators of economically competitive communities

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TALENT

A region’s ability to attract, develop and maintain a skilled workforce that meets the demands of industry in its economy 2

INNOVATION

A region’s capacity to support creation of new knowledge and to generate new ideas, products and processes 3

ENTREPRENEURIAL & BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT

A region’s support system for the startup, growth and maintenance of businesses and relative ease of doing business 4

INDUSTRY CLUSTERS

A region’s relative size, strength and density of high-impact clusters and its ability to grow industries that are competitive on an international scale 5

LIVABILITY

A region’s ability to attract and retain talent through building a dynamic live, learn, work and play environment


Reading this Report How to read the data

This report is based on data produced by various federal government agencies. Data was compiled and analyzed by economists at the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business.

What is considered the Columbia MSA?

The data in this report is for the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), the primary MSA that covers the South Carolina Midlands. It includes Richland, Lexington, Kershaw, Fairfield, Saluda and Calhoun counties. (More details about the region on the next page.)

What is an index?

This report examines many indicators of regional economic competitiveness. Each indicator is compared to the national average. For example, an index of 110 for the Columbia MSA means that our region is performing 10% above the U.S. average. Likewise, an index of 90 means our region is performing 10% below the U.S. average.

(Indicator/U.S. Value) x 100 = Index Value

Other Content in this Report The Indicators • •

Individual metrics that, together, make up the overall index in each area of competitiveness Each indicator has an icon beside it denoting improvement, worsening or no change (year-over-year) - or if it is a new or revised metric

+

= improved

= worsened

=

= no change

= new metric

Trends • •

Positive: the individual metrics within a category where the Columbia MSA showed improvement year-over-year Negative: the individual metrics within a category where the Columbia MSA worsened year-over-year

What’s Next?

For each indicator, we’ve identified regional short-term priorities where concerted action has the potential to drive growth and positive change.

www.EngenuitySC.com

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Geography

Fairfield

Columbia MSA The Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area consists of six counties Richland, Lexington, Kershaw, Fairfield, Saluda and Calhoun - in central South Carolina. Its anchor city is the state capital, Columbia. As of 2016 Census Bureau Estimates, the Columbia MSA is the second-largest Metropolitan Statistical Area in South Carolina, with a total population of 817,498.

Largest cities in MSA (by population): • • • •

Columbia - 134,309 Lexington - 20,988 West Columbia - 16,282 Cayce - 14,233

Kershaw

Population: 22,653

• • • •

Irmo - 12,177 Forest Acres - 10,361 Camden - 7,126 Batesburg-Leesville - 5,362

Why are some Midlands counties not included in this report? Some counties that are often thought of as part of the Midlands are not included in the Columbia MSA. These counties include Newberry, Orangeburg and Sumter, among others. We use the geographical area of the Columbia MSA - not the loose definition of “The Midlands” - in order to compare the region to the other regions in the most fair way possible.

Population: 64,097

Richland Population: 409,549

Saluda Population: 20,197

Lexington Population: 286,196

Columbia Population: 134,309

Calhoun Population: 14,796

Who determines what is included in the Columbia MSA? MSAs are defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and used by the United States Census Bureau and other federal agencies for statistical purposes. By definition, an MSA is a geographical region with a relatively high population density at its core and close economic ties throughout the area; typically, MSAs are anchored by a single large city that has a large amount of influence over a region.

Population source: US Census Bureau, 2016 Census Bureau Estimates

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2017 Midlands Regional Competitiveness Report


Our Comparative Locations 1. Raleigh, NC MSA* Population: 1,242,974 2. Knoxville, TN MSA Population: 857,585 3. Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC MSA Population: 862,463 4. Columbia, SC MSA Population: 810,068 5. Greensboro-High Point, NC MSA Population: 730,966

9

7 5 2

3

*Raleigh is an aspirational MSA, meaning it serves as a target for Columbia, as opposed to a peer MSA. Population data source: US Census Bureau, 2016 Census Bureau Estimates

How were the comparative locations chosen? 4

8

10

1

6. Charleston-North Charleston, SC MSA Population: 726,969 7. Winston-Salem, NC MSA Population: 659,330 8. Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC MSA Population: 583,632 9. Lexington-Fayette, KY MSA Population: 500,535 10. Tallahassee, FL MSA Population: 375,645

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The metro areas were chosen based on a diverse set of economic assets comparable to the Columbia MSA. These assets vary across the metros, with all metros having at least one of the following similar assets to Columbia: • Entrepreneurial environment • State capital • Strength in technology • Major university in region • Similar geographic situation and landscape • Strong higher education system (2-year and 4-year) • Comparable population

South Carolina counties included in this report: Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC, MSA • Aiken • Edgefield • Burke, Columbia, Lincoln, McDuffie and Richmond Counties, GA

Charleston-North Charleston, SC MSA • Berkeley • Charleston • Dorchester

Columbia, SC MSA • Calhoun • Fairfield • Kershaw • Lexington • Richland • Saluda

Greenville-AndersonMauldin, SC MSA • Anderson • Greenville • Laurens • Pickens

www.EngenuitySC.com

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The Indicators

Talent

A region’s ability to attract, develop and maintain a skilled workforce that meets the demands of industry in its economy

100

109

U.S. Avg.

84

90

90

91

91

92

92

93

GDP per Worker: Measure of regional workforce productivity

STEM Degrees: Percentage of degrees awarded in science, technology, engineering and math

Knowledge Workers: Percentage of population employed in knowledge-intensive occupations

+

Educational Attainment: Percentage of population with: • + Associate’s degree • – Bachelor’s degree or higher

Global Talent: Percentage of population that is foreign-born

93

STEM Salaries: Weighted average salaries in STEM occupations

Change in Index Value -5 points from 2014 to 2017

95

96

96

90

Knoxville

6

Augusta

Greenville

Tallahassee Columbia Greensboro

2017 Midlands Regional Competitiveness Report

Lexington (KY)

Charleston

WinstonSalem

Raleigh

85

91 87 2014

2015

2016

2017


Talent

Trends Positive

Building the Tech Pipeline

Negative

A steady stream of tech-savvy workers is crucial to almost all forms of industry growth. Luckily, Columbia - which has the state’s highest concentration of computing and mathematics employment - is wellpositioned for growth, with a host of programs that expand the talent pipeline.

• GDP per worker decreased over last year ($94,107 to $93,971) • Percentage of STEM degrees awarded decreased (21.15% to 19.46%), though this is still above national average and our rank remained the same • Percentage of knowledge workers decreased (18.64% to 18.34%) and is below the national average; rank decreased 3rd to 5th • Percentage of workers with a bachelor’s degree decreased (31.7% to 30.8%) • Foreign-born talent slipped, though our rank remained the same. We’re far below national average, much like most of the Southeast.

Midlands TechHire at Midlands Technical College is a comprehensive initiative offering young adults accelerated programs in network support and programming. Students’ costs are fully funded and industry partnerships provide paid internships post-completion. The program also funds companies’ employee development in these fields. Says program director Rose Heath, “The ultimate goal is a clear path from the education world to the workplace for young Midlands residents interested in IT careers.”

• Percentage of workers with an associate’s degree increased; Columbia is best among our peers at 9.1%. This indicates a workforce well-prepared to fill positions in manufacturing, healthcare and IT-related careers • Our overall index value and position in the rankings rose, despite slipping in several indicators

The Foundation for Innovation Midlands school districts recognize that innovative thinking starts at the earliest stages. To provide the best environment possible for teachers and students alike, districts are building high-tech innovation centers, such as Lexington One’s Technology Center and Richland Two’s Institute of Innovation (R2i2), with details more often found in corporate headquarters, such open floorplans, top-notch equipment and integrated technology. Innovation doesn’t just stop with the space, though - it includes inquiry-based programs such as entrepreneurship, alternative energy and financial analysis, where students can learn skills preparing them for high-paying careers. By working with local businesses to apply curriculum to real-life problems, students have unrivalled opportunities to learn about modern-day innovation.

IT-oLogy looks to fill the tech pipeline starting at an early age through fun, innovative K-12 programming that introduces students to various IT and technical concepts through an interactive, outside-the-classroom perspective. Their workshops include robotics, animation, electronics, programming and more. One favorite? IT-oLogy’s Innovation Challenge enables students in grades 3 - 12 to create a project that uses technology to solve problems in their community - the heart of modern innovation.

What’s Next?

• Expand and encourage the development of young professionals in community leadership by working with the Midlands Business Leadership Group (MBLG) to encourage the preservation or creation of board seats for young leaders by major, board-driven organizations and commissions in the region • Create a talent retention initiative with structured programming targeting Columbia’s interns, including facilitated networking, access to business leaders, local connections and a platform for feedback • Ensure today’s students understand the needs of tomorrow’s careers by pursuing strategies for greater alignment of business and school district leadership • Begin developing a shared regional jobs platform, enabling job-seekers to easily find and connect to local companies www.EngenuitySC.com

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Innovative Capacity A region’s capacity to support creation of new knowledge to generate new ideas, products and processes

Why is Raleigh’s index so high?

380

The Raleigh area’s Research Triangle Park has been in existence for decades and has served as a model for research parks in other areas. Drawing on the brainpower of 3 highlyrated universities, it’s been a catalyst for economic growth.

What are SBIR and STTR awards?

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are two of the largest sources of early-stage capital for technology commercialization in the United States. They allow USowned and operated small businesses to engage in federal research and development that has a strong potential for commercialization. SBIR awards can be awarded directly to small businesses, while STTR awards require formal collaboration with a research institution.

183

Innovation Awards: SBIR and STTR Awards per 100,000 residents

=

Intellectual Property Creation: Utility patents per 10,000 workers

+

Research & Development: University and college R&D expenditures per 1,000 people

Academic Achievement: Percent of population aged 25 years and older holding a graduate degree

+

Research & Development Funding: Amount awarded from all sources per 1,000 people

Change in Index Value

157

100

No change from 2014 to 2017

75

U.S. Avg.

63 39

46

Augusta

Greensboro

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The Indicators

72

81

85

88

70

74 72

72

65 60

WinstonSalem

Columbia Charleston

2017 Midlands Regional Competitiveness Report

Greenville

Knoxville

Tallahassee

Lexington (KY)

Raleigh

55

62 2014

2015

2016

2017


Innovative Capacity

Trends Positive

• Total research and development awards increased over last year • R&D expenditures jumped once more, to $257,000 per 1000 people, as USC continues to grow as a major research university in fields such as public health, aerospace and energy

Negative • The number of SBIR and STTR awards decreased and remains below the national average on a population basis, though Columbia companies such as ZillionInfo (geodata analytics and optimization) and MagAssemble (nanomanufacturing) received large awards this year NOTE: Patent data hasn’t been updated from 2016

A Closer Look

Local companies receiving SBIR/STTR awards over the past year $1,608,000 - Doty Scientific - nuclear magnetic resonance $774,000 - MagAssemble, LLC - nanoscale optical manufacturing $705,000 - MicroVide - microdialysis medical technologies $225,000 - PPI Pharmaceuticals - cancer research $200,000 - TerraStride - land management software $166,000 - ZillionInfo - geovisual data analytics

What’s Next?

• Build innovation into the K-12 experience by developing a regional internship and apprenticeship program at the high school level with high-tech companies • Create corporate partnerships to leverage our largest companies’ collective buying power to negotiate the development of college-level co-op programs with suppliers to work on innovative projects in Columbia • Develop research-oriented asset maps of the University of South Carolina and Midlands Technical College to aid economic developers and prospective companies in identifying resources, areas of expertise, lab space and equipment needed for R&D and innovative activity

Thinking Outside the Box: Innovation in Business Services REsimplifi

Software company REsimplifi is out to change the way commercial real estate professionals do business. In response to the industry’s outdated transaction management and project lifecycle practices, REsimplifi focuses on platforms that provide a comprehensive, end-to-end transaction management system that eliminates messy paperwork and automates mundane transactions. Started in 2015, they’re now launching their second product and their team is growing rapidly. To co-founders Henry Moore and David Collier, Columbia was the perfect place to start up. Talented workers are key: Columbia software companies have “the pick of the litter” in developers thanks to a strong supply of graduates from USC who want to stay and work in Columbia. The USC/City of Columbia Tech Incubator and the support provided by SCRA and USC’s Office of Economic Engagement and McNair Institute for Entrepreneurism and Free Enterprise have also been instrumental in REsimplifi’s growth. A combination of business-friendly incentives, such as the SC Angel Investor Act, and the top-notch quality of life, make Columbia a place to stay. Says Moore, “It would be hard for us to have done this anywhere else.”

Nelson Mullins Encompass It’s not common to see a major law firm on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies. Yet, Columbia-headquartered firm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough has done just that - 5 times in the last 8 years - and it’s landed them in The American Lawyer’s Top 100 Firms. A major portion of their growth has resulted from Encompass, the firm’s innovative e-discovery division targeting Fortune 50 companies in heavily regulated industry sectors.

Valuant Valuant represents a classic startup story: develop an awesome idea and spin it off a larger company on a trajectory for growth. Starting as a division within accounting firm Elliott Davis Decosimo, Valuant - a financial software and consulting firm specializing in valuation for mergers and acquisitions - launched in 2016 as a separate company. Boasting an impressive roster of clients consisting of banks located around the country, Valuant makes complex financial transactions simple through their proprietary ValuCast software suite and related consulting practice. For the third straight year, the University of South Carolina broke its record for the amount of sponsored award funding received $253.6 million, to be exact, for research and training in FY2017. Source: USC Office of Research www.EngenuitySC.com

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Entrepreneurial & Business Environment

The Indicators +

Small Business Activity: Measure of a region’s capacity to produce new startups

A region’s ability to commercialize innovation and provide an environment that supports the growth of business ventures

100

U.S. Avg.

86

90

91

92

92

93

98

102

103

109

Proprietors’ Income Share: Percentage of income in a region generated by business ownership

Business Density: Number of establishments per 1,000 employees

Business Services: Share of population employed in professional and technical services occupations

What’s different?

Since last year, we’ve revised the metric for small business activity to capture small startups with high potential.

Change in Index Value +2 points from 2014 to 2017

95 90

Augusta

10

Columbia Greenville

WinstonSalem

Lexington (KY)

2017 Midlands Regional Competitiveness Report

Greensboro Tallahassee

Knoxville

Charleston

Raleigh

85

88

88

88

2014

2015

2016

90 2017


Entrepreneurial & Business Environment

Trends Positive

• Proprietors’ Income Share increased by 11%, indicative of greater entrepreneurial success in the region • Columbia continues to have a higher-than-average level of small business activity, with a greater number of successful small-to-midsize establishments than the national average • The index as a whole increased, though it continues to slip in the rankings

Negative • Business density decreased, meaning there are fewer early-stage companies and greater consolidation within large companies • The share of employment in business services - an indicator of the support ecosystem for entrepreneurs and for small business - decreased more rapidly locally than the national average

A Closer Look

The Growth of Lexington Supported by a favorable business climate with easy access to highways, rail and air, Lexington County is growing - quickly - and that makes it an attractive place for both residents and industry alike. • Michelin Tire originally located in Lexington in the early 1980s with just under 700 employees. During a time when many other manufacturers have closed their doors or relocated, Michelin has expanded tremendously, adding new product lines and capacity to reach their current employment level of over 2,500 workers - a testament to the area’s friendly business climate over the long term. • General Information Services (GIS) took a different route to success, going from startup in small-town Chapin to employing over 1,100 people. The background check and related services provider is now a major provider for America’s largest employers.

The Cost of Doing Business The most prosperous and fastest-growing metros are those in which government and the business community collaborate to break down barriers to growth, providing the environment for business success while expanding the tax base to provide more effective services. That’s the goal of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce’s Cost of Doing Business and Business Friendly Task Forces. These task forces bring together business leaders and representatives from Richland County and City of Columbia to work on shared issues, including taxes, zoning and utility costs. Ultimately, they’re working towards a connected region that is a premier destination for business.

3rd in workforce digital skill Columbia is 3rd among comparative metros, according to a Brookings Institute study on workplace digitalization

12.5%: Lexington County’s labor force growth rate in the last 10 years vs. a national average of 4.7%

What’s Next?

• Create a one-stop shop - both physical and digital - for the region’s entrepreneurs to easily access all licenses, permits and other resources needed to start and grow successful businesses • Continue to work collaboratively with local governments to address the cost and ease of doing business, including taxes, permitting costs, processing times and utility costs. • Create a collaborative environment between downtown development groups and government to ensure prioritization and follow-through on key projects • Pursue avenues to reduce the impact of untaxable government property, easing the burden for taxpayers

www.EngenuitySC.com

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High Impact Clusters A region’s relative size, strength and density of high impact clusters and ability to grow industries that are competitive on an international scale

What’s a traded cluster?

326

Traded clusters are comprised of industries where the market is national or global, as opposed to local clusters, which focus on the immediate area. Traded clusters represent about 1/3 of businesses, but these pay higher wages and generate 90% of innovative activity.

190

100

116

U.S. Avg.

129

138

142

151

205

The Indicators +

High Impact Density: Share of regional employment in traded clusters

+

Employment Diversity: Concentration of employment in top 5 occupations

High Wage Employment: Concentration of jobs in high wage occupations (annual pay of $43,500+ per year)

=

High Impact Growth: Establishment growth rates in traded clusters

+

Employment Density: indicator of clustering activity via infill development, with symbol indicating positive vs. last year

Change in Index Value

154

+9 points from 2014 to 2017

130

129

125

125

120

89

115

120

120

2014

2015

110 105

Augusta

12

Knoxville

Columbia

WinstonSalem

Tallahassee Greensboro Greenville

2017 Midlands Regional Competitiveness Report

Lexington (KY)

Charleston

Raleigh

100

2016

2017


High Impact Clusters

How Clusters Form

Trends Positive

• The percentage of employment in traded clusters increased, signalling a region more competitive at the global scale - while traded clusters make up less than ⅓ of total jobs, they generate half or more of all income and almost all innovation. • The concentration of employment in top 5 occupations decreased, indicating greater diversity of employment opportunities.

Negative • Employment concentration in high-wage occupations, those with average pay above $43,500, slipped - in line with the Columbia area’s longer-term decrease in income relative to national levels

Columbia’s Clusters

Did you know?

Top Clusters by Location Quotient and Employment

Columbia is bucking a national trend. Since 1998, our insurance services cluster has created nearly 2900 jobs; while during the same time, the average MSA nationally has seen a loss of 200 jobs.

A location quotient above 1.0 means the region has a higher concentration than the national average.

Insurance Services cluster job growth since 1998 Columbia –200 Jobs

The past year has provided Columbia with a perfect example of industry cluster formation. Fiberglass manufacturer China Jushi announced a $300M, 400-job plant with the potential to double in size with a second phase - Richland County’s largest announcement since the 1980s. Shortly afterward, China Hengshi - a consumer of Jushi’s fiberglass products and a major supplier for the aerospace, automotive and wind turbine industries - announced a plant just down the road. Industry clusters are built when competitive advantages, like the Midlands’ strong advanced manufacturing workforce and foreign investment-friendly business culture, lead to companies throughout the supply chain locating in the same area; Jushi and Hengshi give Midlands residents a fantastic up-close look at the concept.

+2,900 Jobs

Insurance

Distribution & E-Commerce

Communications

National Average Source: U.S. Cluster-Mapping Project

What’s Next?

• Leverage the red-hot insurance tech industry through iTs|SC, Columbia’s insurance technology and services cluster, to bring new companies into the region and launch innovative startups • Organize the region’s fast-growing pharmaceuticals industry, led by companies such as Nephron, a woman-owned corporation deeply involved in the community, and Ritedose, to collaborate, innovate and generate greater economic impact with a local focus • Use the region’s strong military presence as an asset in attracting major defense industry suppliers and contractors • Conduct interviews through an existing-industry program with the region’s largest employers, fastest-growing companies and innovative leaders to capture missed opportunities, identify new ideas and spur entrepreneurship

3.64

Location quotient

11,124

2.13

Location quotient

1.26

Location quotient

1,725

employment

14,141

employment

employment

Emerging (employment growth)

Biopharmaceuticals

Automotive

Engineering

Source: U.S. Cluster-Mapping Project www.EngenuitySC.com

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The Indicators

Livability

A region’s ability to attract and retain talent through building a dynamic live, learn, work and play environment

100

U.S. Avg.

92 76

94

101

102

102

104

107

108

79

+

Arts and Entertainment: Compound annual growth rate of the share of employment in the arts, entertainment and recreation (2011-2016)

+

Healthcare Access: physicians per 100,000 residents

Commute Time: Average commute time to work

Vitality: Percentage of population 18-44 years old

+

Cost of Living Index: Cost of living

Crime: Violent crime rate per 100,000 inhabitants

Gallup Wellbeing Index: A 5-part index measuring community vitality, health, and financial and social well-being

Change in Index Value -5 points from 2014 to 2017 110 105 107

104

100

WinstonSalem

14

Knoxville

Augusta

Greensboro Tallahassee

2017 Midlands Regional Competitiveness Report

Lexington Columbia Greenville (KY)

Raleigh

Charleston

95

107

2014

2015

102 2016

2017


Livability

Trends

A City of Rivers

Positive

• Columbia’s rapid improvement in livability is underscored by the growth of employment in arts, entertainment and recreation, where we’re growing 36% faster than the national average. • We continue to have a well-above-average number of physicians, indicative both of growing research and high-tech medicine and of access to neighborhood care. • Our cost of living decreased relative to the nation as a whole, indicating a great environment for people to live and for businesses to locate. Columbia’s cost of living is slightly higher than that of our peers, however.

Negative • Our average commute time continues to increase, ticking up by 20 seconds - a symptom of dispersed growth - though it’s still shorter than the national average. • Violent crime rates jumped drastically - from a rate of 585.5 per 100,000 to 650.6 - a major factor holding the MSA back. • While we saw slight improvement over last year’s national ranking, our place in the Gallup Wellbeing Index - a comprehensive index for how people in a region believe they’re doing - dropped among our peers.

Go Fish (For Businesses) It’s no secret that the Columbia region is a fishing destination. Lake Murray attracts anglers from around the world for top bass tournaments such as the FLW’s Forrest Wood Cup, while the Saluda River provides topnotch trout fishing right in the downtown area. So, it’s not a surprise that Columbia was the chosen location when Pure Fishing - an industry-leading company with brands such as Shakespeare and Berkley in its portfolio - decided to relocate its headquarters. It’s the perfect place to reel in the big one - and that means companies, too.

Economic Impact of the Arts

80% increase

Throughout the area, increased interest in the arts is fueling economic growth. According to a recent study by Americans in the nonprofit arts and for the Arts, the nonprofit arts and culture sector generates culture sector in Lexington and Richland Counties. $64.7M in economic activity in Lexington and Richland Counties. That’s an 80% increase since 2010 ($36M).

The Columbia region’s greatest connector, tying together all its counties, is becoming one of its greatest attractions: the Congaree River system. Formed by the confluence in Columbia of the south-flowing Broad and the east-flowing Saluda, the rivers are one of the longest stretches of clean downtown riverfront in the country and are a centerpiece for recreation and the region’s future. Photo/Expe rience Colum The Three Rivers bia SC Greenway is one of the area’s top draws. Already consisting of 12 ½ miles of beautiful, accessible trails stretching from the Congaree River south of Cayce to the Broad River north of Columbia, the next phases will extend all the way up the Saluda to the Riverbanks Zoo and the Lake Murray Dam. The River Alliance, a regional collaboration between businesses and governments, has overseen the completion of all of this - attracting over 500 visitors per hour at any given point along the Greenway. The next step for the region’s future? Completing the downtown section, from Gervais Street south to Granby Park. Columbia has a tremendous opportunity to build an internationally recognized riverfront destination, making this the top downtown riverfront in the nation.

What’s Next?

• Complete the development of the Lexington and Richland County Regional Waterfront Park in a way that tells the story and history of the area, generating private development while providing a top recreational asset • Coordinate marketing and branding for the region, both internally and externally helping residents tell their own city’s story while attracting visitors to our world-class attractions, dining and entertainment • Implement recommendations to make major downtown streets safer and friendlier to cross, connecting Columbia’s entertainment and business districts through a seamless feel www.EngenuitySC.com

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Gold Sponsor

TM

Imagine More

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

1000 Catawba Street, Suite 130, Columbia, SC 29201 803.354.5720 | engenuitysc.com

About EngenuitySC

EngenuitySC Board Members

Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., EngenuitySC is a nonprofit focused on long-term competitiveness and prosperity in the Midlands. EngenuitySC specializes in managing collaborations between business, government, education and community leaders to help build a more prosperous region.

• Founding Co-Chair: Mayor Steve Benjamin, City of Columbia • Founding Co-Chair: Dr. Harris Pastides, University of South Carolina • Chair: Councilman Paul Livingston, Richland County Council • Chair-elect: Lee Bussell, Chernoff Newman • Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine, Columbia City Council • Chairman Todd Cullum, Lexington County Council • Scott Graves, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina • Steve Hall, Ovation Partners • Commissioner Cheryl Harris, Richland County School District One • Lou & Bill Kennedy, Nephron Pharmaceuticals • Bill Kirkland, University of South Carolina • Lasenta Lewis-Ellis, LLE Construction • John Lumpkin • Ted Nissen, First Community Bank • Mayor Elise Partin, City of Cayce • Dr. Ron Rhames, Midlands Technical College • Chairwoman Joyce Dickerson, Richland County Council • Dr. Keith Shah, Palmetto Health

For more information, visit www.engenuitysc.com.

Designed and published by: SC Biz News, publisher of the Columbia Regional Business Report

STEVE HALL JOHN LUMPKIN

Public and Education Partners

2017 Midlands Regional Competitiveness Report  

It’s tough to define success when you’re not able to measure what it looks like. Since 2014, EngenuitySC has published the Midlands Regional...

2017 Midlands Regional Competitiveness Report  

It’s tough to define success when you’re not able to measure what it looks like. Since 2014, EngenuitySC has published the Midlands Regional...