By: Mike Graney
I visited Montreal in May and enjoyed glorious weather. In many ways, the trip was a microcosm of the Charleston experience, and not just because of the fabulous weather. I met with companies in three of our target sectors – aerospace, software/IT, and medical technology.
Montreal has the world’s third largest aerospace cluster (after Seattle and Toulouse), and it has been a target market for aerospace for the past few years. I saw three companies for the second+ time, always indicative of interest in the Charleston market.
Like Charleston, Montreal has a growing technology (IT, software and med tech) sector, and both cities are “talent magnets” (my favorite expression about Charleston). Once they have their product or service established in Canada, Montreal firms look to the U.S. as a growth market. Charleston offers a competitive location in the same time zone, with a rapidly growing IT sector, and a quality of life that attracts the top talent companies need to succeed.
Interestingly, some of the aerospace and tech firms I spoke with prefer to enter our market via Merger & Acquisition. We experience this frequently in many global markets, particularly in these two sectors. Improving our readiness to support positive M&A projects (those that result in expansions and more hiring) is a key component of our ongoing Foreign Direct Investment (“FDI”) strategy, managed by my colleague Jenna Edwards. We expect multiple company visits to Charleston to result from this trip, and we have one significant aerospace project on the books, which will advance on their next visit later in the summer.
If you are seeking a location to expand your business, please consider Charleston and contact the Charleston Regional Development Alliance for your site selection needs.
Michael J. Graney
Vice President, Global Business Development
843.760.4526 | Michael Graney