In a recent article in Area Development, a quarterly development magazine, South Carolina was ranked 2nd best in the country for conducting business. South Carolina was in good company as nine of the top 20 spots ranked are located in the South East with neighboring Georgia being ranked #1.
Several factors earned the Palmetto State this distinction, namely incentives, governments and the state’s permitting process. According to the magazine, “The tax environment gets high marks — and no wonder — the corporate income tax rate is 5%, and there are no state property taxes, inventory taxes, local income taxes, taxes on manufacturing equipment or materials for finished products, nor wholesale taxes.” In particular, South Carolina ranked the highest for their business incentive programs. This has helped the state lure and establish desirable and a diversified base of industry such as Blackbaud, Boeing, Mercedes and Volvo. “New and expanding businesses invested more than $4 billion last year and created more than 17,000 jobs, and the state boosted its exports for the sixth straight year, topping $30 billion,” the magazine said. The Post & Courier published findings from Wells Fargo Securities economists earlier in the year that South Carolina is expected to see economic growth of 3.6% in 2016, to be surpassed by a 3.8% rate of growth in 2017—this is exceeding the predicted growth of the US economy which is expected to expand by 2.1% in 2017. Clearly businesses have done due diligence and recognize the benefits of calling South Carolina their home.
South Carolina also received the top ranking for speed of permitting. South Carolina has a Small Business Regulatory Review Committee that aids in the expediency of this process. It is a group of business owners who assess the state’s regulations, ordering economic impact studies and flexibility analyses. “Our low unionization rates, competitive utility costs and competitive tax structure complement our business-friendly policy environment to make South Carolina a top choice for companies seeking to locate in the United States and in in the Southeast,” said John Lummus, president and CEO of Upstate SC Alliance, in an emailed statement.
Area Development complied these rankings based on surveys completed by site consultants. The surveys consisted of 10 categories that have a direct impact on both the companies’ location and facility plan. Each response earned a weighted score with a No. 1 selection receiving three points, No. 2 two points and runners up earning one point.
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