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Cover and Table of Contents Photos: Beaufort Chamber of Commerce



Right Place Quality of life and a growing economy makes the Lowcountry a good fit for business.


Right People The Lowcountry is populated with young, energetic and talented individuals with a diverse range of skills and training.


Right Time Target industries have been identified for which our region offers the ideal opportunity for economic growth.


Right Place The Lowcountry offers more than 30 miles of Atlantic coastline, rivers and marshlands. It also offers a flat terrain that provides an exceptional natural environment to live, work and play. The region also is located between the ports and airports of Charleston and Savannah, Interstate 95 and the major East Coast rail corridor. Its quality of life coupled with a healthy and growing economy makes the Lowcountry an attractive location for businesses seeking access to their U.S. and worldwide customers, as well as a beautiful place to call home.



pportunities abound in the South Carolina Lowcountry. The area is one that is committed to responsible economic development with one foot solidly planted in its history and culture and the other ready to take a step forward to welcome new business and industry. This region is attractive in many ways, including its natural environment, geographic location, military presence, scenic beauty, visitor industry, friendly residents, active retiree community, burgeoning entrepreneurial climate, connectivity and location in the high performing Southeast. The most southern portion of the region is home to renowned Hilton Head Island, which has a strong economic base oriented toward active retirement lifestyles. Of equal importance, the area is also home to thriving industries such as high-tech, back office operations, health care and corporate headquarters. The northern portion of the region is well suited for light manufacturing, back office operations, logistics centers and aviation suppliers. Opportunities for general economic development are expanding rapidly and new doors are opening.

Creating an Environment to Recruit Industry In addition to preserving the incredible natural assets of the region, leaders also have created a rich environment to recruit industry. Aware of the competition, the region offers low corporate income tax rates, affordable labor and low-cost energy. Industrial property is readily available at a competitive price and innovation centers are popping up to aid startup companies. When you’re looking for a place to set up a new company, location is always key. You’ll find the Lowcountry’s geographic location provides lower cost shipping options for companies moving products globally and across the U.S. Established railways and highways (I-95 and U.S. Highway 17) provide easy access to the Port of Charleston and the Port of Savannah. Our proximity to these transportation corridors, as well as international airports in Charleston and Savannah, also connect the Lowcountry with the rest of the nation. In addition, policy makers are committed to ensuring the Lowcountry is competitive and proactive when it comes to economic development and long-term prosperity. Map/Ryan Wilcox

Railroad Key CSX Norfolk So.

Port of Charleston



Daily nonstop service from Savannah Hilton Head International Airport:

Bluffton Hilton Head Island

American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth

16 Savannah

Port of Savannah

Delta Atlanta NY LaGuardia Detroit

United Chicago - O’Hare Houston Newark Washington DC - Dulles U.S. Airways Charlotte Washington Reagan


Location ... Location ... Location ...


he Lowcountry is home to many great businesses and our region stands ready to help them grow and attract others. Strategic market targets have been established and we are gearing up our workforce pipeline to service all of your business needs. Existing building space and greenfield sites are available and competitively priced. For more detailed information, go to To search available sites, go to The following are examples of the types of space we have available, as well as target companies already located here.

Available sites Buckwalter Place is a 94acre knowledge-based, mixed-use, new town development located in Bluffton near Hilton Head Island. The goal of Buckwalter Place is to expand the economic base of the Town of Bluffton and the region by attracting knowledge-based companies that produce primary, high quality jobs. The Beaufort Commerce Park (BCP) is 160-acres of greenfield uplands well suited for manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution located in Beaufort, SC. The Park is situated between the Ports of Charleston and Savannah, and within 20 miles of I-95, and central in the coastal region to Boeing, Gulf Stream, Savannah, and three Military installations. The master plan provides for upwards of one million square feet of industrial/ warehouse and distribution space. BCP is fully equipped with onsite utilities including, roads, electricity, natural gas, and a master storm water system in addition to completed Phase I Analyses.


Existing industries CareCore National helps large health insurance companies manage their customers, provide higher quality service, and keep costs down. The company has grown to over 400 employees in the Lowcountry in just three years and is located in Buckwalter Place. (Photo courtesy CareCore National) Greenline Industries has been a leading supplier of high-end marine and architectural plywood for over 20 years. It operates a 60,000-squarefoot custom hardwood plywood and HPL panel manufacturing facility in Beaufort, as well as a facility in Canada. Local employees produce 800-1,000 sheets of plywood per day. (Photo courtesy Greenline Industries) Parker Hannifin Corp. is a global leader in filtration solutions. The company’s Racor Division, which includes a facility in Beaufort, is the most trusted name in the engine, mobile, marine and stationary fuel filtration and water separation industries. (Photo courtesy Parker Hannifin Corp., Racor Division, Beaufort, S.C.) Vetronix Research Corp. is a recognized leader in the rapid creation, development and manufacturing of rugged, electronic systems and components for mission critical environments. In addition to the company headquarters in Hilton Head, Vetronix also has a facility in Michigan. (Photo courtesy Vetronix Research Corp.)

Beaufort Rail Trail. (Renderings/Lawerence Group) Top Right: Beaufort County Open Land Trust has preserved nearly 17,000 acres. Bottom Right: Oyster bed restoration program. (S.C. Department of Natural Resources)

Environmental compass The Beaufort County region has always highly valued its natural and historical assets. This value system is what provides our citizens a tremendous sense of place and quality of life. Leaders have been unwilling to compromise those assets preserving our area for quality business development. Businesses of today and the future know that their employees also value quality in the community in which they live, work and raise a family. We realize in this competitive investment environment that businesses have choices in location and when they make that choice to invest, they want quality and they want it for their employees too. Shorter commute times, air quality, outdoor amenities and so much more are what set the Beaufort region apart from all the others. This is the Right Place for Business.

Alternate route The wheels are in motion to create a green corridor called the Beaufort Rail Trail. This 20-mile long pedestrian and cycling trail will eventually link Port Royal to the East Coast Greenway in Sheldon on

Highway 17. The first phase of this trail is a $2 million 2.1-mile section that will parallel U.S. 21 and Ribaut Road in Beaufort. As each section of the trail is complete, it will improve the quality of life and provide an alternative mode of transportation to link people with jobs. The project also provides opportunities for recreation and ecotourism businesses. Hilton Head Island already has a vast network of more than 60 miles of pedestrian and bike paths and plans are underway to upgrade the paths.

Land preservation Protecting the Lowcountry’s precious environment, ecosystem, rural lands and historic properties has long been a high priority to county leaders and citizens. In 1998, the county and a group of citizens formed the Rural and Critical Lands Board to prioritize the protection of land most at risk of development and conserve that land for citizens to enjoy as parks, community gardens, historic sites, rural lands and other natural places, ensuring a livable community for generations to come. Since that time, by using a combination of outright purchase, purchase of development rights, and conservation easements, the Program has preserved nearly 17,000 acres.


Right People The Lowcountry is a unique melting pot of talent, including young entrepreneurs, professional families, experienced business owners, exiting military veterans and retired executives. Your business needs good people to impact the bottom line. Those people are already here and they want to stay because of the quality of life this region affords. We know that ultimately the Right People are what make your business successful. Beaufort Shrimp Festival. (Photo/SCLRITC)


A little fresh air

Building a strong foundation

Outdoor enthusiasts can get their fill of activities throughout the year. The Lowcountry offers opportunities for saltwater fishing, freshwater fishing, kayaking, birding, hunting, as well as golf, tennis and more. Jasper County is home to the Blue Heron Nature Center and the Savannah Wildlife Refuge, a protected environment where you can catch a glimpse of native wildlife ranging from ducks to alligators. Jasper County’s Sergeant Jasper Park offers 132 acres of trails, picnic areas and more. Beaufort County boasts numerous waterfront parks and beautiful Hunting Island State Park, which offers miles of trails and unspoiled beaches.

Education is an important topic in any region. After all, education is the foundation for success, and making sure schools provide quality programs for K-12 students, as well as opportunities for higher education, is a key factor in attracting new businesses and new residents. Two quality public school districts serve more than 23,500 students in the Lowcountry region. Both districts, with 38 schools between them, received an overall excellent growth/improvement rating from the state for the 2011 school year. Private schooling is also available in both communities, as are opportunities for businesses to partner with schools to provide students a look at “work in the real world.” These partnerships not only help build stronger schools and students, but show the commitment between businesses, schools and the community. Higher education facilities for the area are provided by a branch of the University of South Carolina in Beaufort, the Technical College of the Lowcountry. Nearby Savannah Georgia is home to two four-year colleges. In addition to opportunities offered by the counties, the state of South Carolina is prepared to address a workforce with specialized skills through ReadySC, a statewide employment training resource that can be easily implemented through the Technical College of the Lowcountry.

Top: Lighthouse on Hunting Island. Bottom: Kayakers. (Photo/Beaufort Chamber of Commerce).

In your spare time There is always something going on in the Lowcountry. Festivals in Beaufort abound, including the Beaufort Air Show, the Beaufort Shrimp Festival, the water festival an international film festival and much more. Jasper County also has several fun festivals each year, including the Blizzard at the Blue Heron Trail, Taste of the Lowcountry-Jasper Style and the annual Gopher Hill Festival. Historic downtown Beaufort is the focal point for many of the area’s festivals, historic and holiday tours, and the farmer’s market. Downtown also is a “hot spot” to grab a bite to eat and listen to some music. Bay Street runs along the Intra-Coastal Waterway and a variety of restaurants back up to the water offering a direct view of the sailboats and shrimp boats floating by. In addition to restaurants, there are plenty of places to shop, as well as art galleries to browse.

Bluffton Farmer’s Market. (Photo/SCLRITC)

Great dining is available at the areas many restaurants. (Photo/Ryan Wilcox)

Beaufort Shrimp Festival. (Photo/SCLRITC)


Workforce pipeline Companies settling in the Lowcountry can pull from a reliable available workforce, as well as access programs created to ensure the workforce is trained to meet a company’s exact needs.

Advantages in the Lowcountry include: • • • • • • • •

University of South Carolina - Beaufort. Technical College of the Lowcountry. A high-level of uniquely skilled retirees returning to the workforce. Steady supply of transitioning military and military spouses fueling the workforce. Collaborative pipeline programs and transfer agreements across K-12, Technical College and USC-B. Early college programs and career academies across the region. ReadySC. Lowcountry lifestyle makes recruiting employees easy.

TWEAC The Lowcountry region has always had the greatest admiration and respect for the men and women that serve our country and populate our bases. Now as some of them transition out into the civilian world we want to make sure we honor their value to us and to the business community with a full service transition program. Transitional Workforce Educational Assistance Collaboration (TWEAC) is a multidisciplinary team of stakeholders from government, education, industry and the military. The purpose of this team is access, recruit, and train exiting military personnel for transition into private job opportunities. While there is an immediate and direct link with their skills sets to the aeronautics industry, this labor pool is also very attractive to many other high skill manufacturers.

Quality education equals a quality workforce In addition to quality K-12 programs, opportunities for higher education is key to attracting new businesses and new residents. Lowcountry leaders want our students to have the opportunity for careers that align with jobs here in the Lowcountry. They are listening to the business community and working tirelessly to make sure our education programs are aligned with the future needs of our businesses.

University of South Carolina – Beaufort USC-Beaufort offers baccalaureate degrees and continuing education programs at its campuses in Beaufort and Bluffton. One of its offerings is a B.S. in Computational Science, considered to be one of the five college majors on the rise and one that’s central to the nation’s long-term technical leadership. Corporate organizations and government and Students in front of the Hargray Building on the University nonprofit institutions employ of South Carolina – Beaufort campus. (Photo/USCB) graduates of Computational Science programs, including AT&T, Boeing, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Aerospace Corp., the U.S. Dept. of Energy and many others.

Don Ryan Center for Innovation In a world of innovation, the better the idea, the faster you need to get it to market. The Don Ryan Center for Innovation in Bluffton offers an incubator program that provides the resources entrepreneurs, inventors and small business people need to make their vision a reality. The center is a public-private partnership with the support of Clemson University.

Technical College of the Lowcountry The Technical College of the Lowcountry is one of 16 public two-year technical colleges in South Carolina. It serves Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties. TCL offers four programs of study, including arts and sciences, business technology, industrial technology and health sciences.



A prepared workforce

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Emory-Riddle University is sponsoring two college-level courses at Battery Creek High School this year. Students who take the courses will learn about aviation careers, flying and aviation operations.












With the resurgence of manufacturing to the U.S. and South Carolina, the Lowcountry is poised to serve as a base for these operations. The Lowcountry has a particular interest in the aerospace industry for several reasons. First, Beaufort has long been a military community, as its home to the Marine Corps Air Station, Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot and the Navy Hospital. Second, the region also is home to a tremendous workforce pool. The skills our exiting military possess are tremendous, including security clearance, aeronautics skills, and reliability and productivity like none other. With Gulfstream in Savannah and Boeing in Charleston, the Southeast is becoming a global hub for advanced aerospace manufacturing, materials and components. The Lowcountry is a great place for suppliers of all sizes, as well as defense contractors, to come be a more integrated part of the supply chain and to tap into the existing labor force.

Cpl. Jeffery Ruff, a Marine Fighter Attac k Squadron 533 aviat electrician, is amon ion g the many skilled personnel who stand ready to fuel the wo rkforce pipeline wh en they exit the military. (Photo/U.S. Marine Corps.)


Right Time The groundwork is complete and now is the right time to merge the Lowcountry’s assets with the needs of growing business and industry. Right now there is a resurgence of investment in manufacturing back to the U.S. and into South Carolina. At the same time, the Lowcountry has lower-cost property to offer manufacturers, and other industries, on which to build their manufacturing centers. Business investment is returning and our timing could not be better. We have the right place and the right people, and we’ve identified target industries for which our region offers the ideal opportunity for economic growth at the Right Time.

Photo/SCLRITC 12

The Lowcountry Economic Alliance recently completed three economic development studies, the results of which clearly outlined the region’s strengths and assets, as well as four industry clusters for which this region is the “right fit.”

Target Clusters

Healthcare & Biomedical

Light Manufacturing

This sector includes both health care service providers and biosciences research and manufacturing (equipment, devices, and pharmaceuticals). Health care and biomedical industries are clearly complementary, as they benefit from being located in close proximity. Niche targets include research and development, records management, medical-related back office and regional headquarters.

Back Office & Information Technology Back Office encompasses operations such as call centers, technical support, processing facilities and data centers. Information Technology is an important backbone to any industry. It is particularly important to a region’s ability to support back office operations. Niche targets include IT and technical services, records management, medical-related back office and regional headquarters.

Light Manufacturing is a broad category that includes the assembly and manufacture of light components, materials and equipment that supply larger end-use original equipment manufacturers. The aerospace industry provides some of the best examples in this category. Niche targets include assembly and kitting, military vehicle components, aircraft and aerospace components and training and green products.

Logistics & Distribution

This cluster includes freight carriers (sea, air, rail and trucking), warehousing, materials handling and logistics. The industry is a complex network of freight-forwarders, shipping companies, and logistics consultants. The Lowcountry has direct access to railways, highways, two ports and two international airports. Niche targets include warehousing facilities, military vehicle components, aircraft / aerospace components and training, and logistics management.


Recent Investments New business Be Green Packaging announced a new facility in Jasper County. With a $7.3 million investment, the company expects to create at least 175 new jobs over the next few years. Be Green Packaging manufactures and distributes consumer, tree-free and food-grade compostable packaging.

Photo/Be Green Packaging

Daniel Defense Inc. established a new manufacturing facility in Jasper County in 2012. The company engineers and manufactures parts, accessories and rifles for military small arms. Daniel Defense invested more than $5.3 million to up-fit an existing facility in Jasper County and is on target to create 100 new jobs.

Photo/Daniel Defense Inc.


Expansion CareCore National recently completed a $4.4 million expansion to establish its Bluffton facility as its national headquarters. The expansion is expected to generate up to 125 new jobs. LowCountry Biomass announced in 2012 it would invest $16 million into its existing plant in Jasper County and add 26 new jobs. LowCountry Biomass manufactures wood pellets. Start-up Duer High Performance Composites opened a 15,000-squarefoot manufacturing facility in the Hardeeville Industrial Park. Duer manufactures composite components serving the Department of Defense, marine, medical, industrial, transportation and automotive industries. It plans to employ 10 workers in the first year.

Here is a snapshot of the Lowcountry’s recent investments. to intellectual property, technology evaluation, product development services, seed financing, business mentorships, corporate relationships and hands-on consulting support. The center is a public-private partnership with the support of Clemson University. Re-investment Hilton Head Island is a major destination for tourists. As such, several hotels and resorts are embarking on multi-million dollar projects to improve and expand existing facilities.

Photo/Westin Hilton Head Resort & Spa

Photo/The Inn at Harbour Town

Innovation The Don Ryan Center for Innovation is a Bluffton incubator that provides entrepreneurs, innovators and small business people the resources they need to help their business succeed. The center offers start-ups office space and resources, and it links participants

facility’s status being upgraded to the new boutique family of hotels known as The Beach House.

The Inn at Harbour Town recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation of all its guest rooms, common areas and meeting space. The Beach House, a Holiday Inn Resort, also recently completed a multi-million dollar revitalization, which resulted in the

Several other establishments are following suit, as The Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island, The Westin Hilton Head Resort & Spa, Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort, Sea Pines, and Hilton Head Marriott Resort and Spa have all announced plans to upgrade facilities amounting in tens of millions of dollars worth of upgrades. Other Hilton Head Island improvements include a $13 million investment by the town to convert the existing enclosed Coligny Mall

into an open-air mixed-use development containing retail, restaurant and residential components, as well as a community park. The town of Hilton Head Island also has announced plans to redevelop Shelter Cove Mall. The plan includes a lifestyle shopping and dining facility as well as residential and waterfront redevelopment of the Shelter Cove Park area. The retail center would be anchored by the two existing Belk stores. The remaining commercial space would be redeveloped to include a Kroger grocery store plus a mix of retail, restaurant and shops. The proposed residential use includes apartments.

Show of support RBC Bank and Boeing will invest more than $25 million over the next five years in what’s now known as the RBC Heritage, a major golf tournament that’s been played on Hilton Head Island since 1969. However, the tournament is more than just a round of golf at Harbour Town Golf Links. The tournament is transmitted around the globe and the exposure translates into a stream of tourism and sales that fuels the economics of the Lowcountry and the entire state of South Carolina. A 2010 Clemson Economic Impact Study said the tournament infuses $81 million into the state each and every year.

S.C. a Leader in Manufacturing Renaissance South Carolina is a leader in the manufacturing renaissance with nearly 27,000 jobs announced and $7.7 billion in investments made since January 2011. The announcements include both new industry and expansion of existing industry. Companies including Continental Tire, Bridgestone, Michelin and BMW call South Carolina home. So does Boeing, which recently delivered a newly built, made-in-South Carolina 787 to its first international customer. South Carolina is bringing manufacturing back and making way for a solid middle class with thriving communities able to hire new generations of talented people. Manufacturing activity remains high. Since mid-2011, South Carolina has experienced a 15% increase in new projects monthover-month and that level has essentially remained throughout 2012. From January to July of 2010, S.C. was average 34 new projects a month. We’re now averaging 43 per month.

Want more in fo


We love it here , our existing companies lov e it here, and y ou will too. Want to know more? Visit www.low countryallianc or call us at 84 3.470.3502.


Phone: 843.470.3502 • Fax: 843.525.7013

The Lowcountry is a special place. Its climate, water access, beach access, and salt water life-style is like nowhere else you will ever visit or live. Many people dream to retire here or at the very least slow down for a vacation. Why not bring your business here too? No person or business should miss out on this location; local leadership is aggressively taking the steps to make that possible.

leadership leading the effort, Beaufort was awarded the basing of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter bringing with it operational and training squadrons. Anchored by its three major military installations; Beaufort is a proud military community and home to a tremendous workforce pool. We know the value of this pool to industry and see this workforce as our competitive game changer for economic development in our region and around our state.

Right Place The Lowcountry is the ideal location for business and industry. With locational proximity between the Ports of Charleston and Savannah, giving customers the option of two viable Ports for shipping and receiving, and access to major transportation corridors and railways, movement of goods and products within our region rivals those in other parts of the nation.

Right Time Prospective business and industry from around the world know the State of South Carolina. South Carolina has made a name for itself in its competitive ability to bring quality jobs to our state. We want you to know Beaufort and the Lowcountry too. Our region stands ready to compete for your business. The Right Place, Right People, Right Time is right here.

Right People Having long valued its military, Beaufortonians embrace the “sound of freedom” and the investment that comes with it. With impassioned


Designed & Published by:

Photography provided by:

Beaufort Chamber of Commerce, S.C. Lowcountry & Resort Islands Tourism Commission, U.S. Marine Corps. University of South Carolina-Beaufort

Lowcountry Economic Alliance  

Lowcountry Economic Alliance – Prospective business and industry from around the world know the State of South Carolina. South Carolina has...

Lowcountry Economic Alliance  

Lowcountry Economic Alliance – Prospective business and industry from around the world know the State of South Carolina. South Carolina has...