2021: Charleston’s Economic Year-in-Review

December 23, 2021
By Jamie DeMent

Despite the pandemic, it’s been a solid year for Charleston economic development. CRDA is excited to close out the calendar year with expectations of an even stronger 2022 for the region. As we gear up for the new year, let’s look back over some highlights from 2021.

  • 2021 kicked off with Mainstream Pine Product, LLC’s plans to build an estimated $90 million crude tall oil biorefinery at the Charleston International Manufacturing Center (CIMC) in Berkeley County.
  • Charleston | SC’s Life Sciences and IT sectors continue to thrive, and international companies are taking notice. Evolt, a digital body composition analytic company headquartered in Australia, chose North Charleston for its North American operations.
  • Health information tech company XIFIN chose Berkeley County to establish its East Coast operations, creating 150 new jobs in the next two years.
  • The Charleston Tech Center opened the Flagship in 2021, offering a “vibrant, energetic, and flexible” workspace to support Charleston’s growing tech community. In 2022, startups and growing companies can look forward to even more offerings from the Charleston Digital Corridor.
  • South Carolina’s fastest-growing industry is Life Sciences. In 2021, the momentum of this sector continued to build with Governor Henry McMaster’s initiative to expand recruitment of pharmaceutical companies and SCBIO announcing a new CEO to lead economic development efforts.
  • CRDA’s Global Business Development team facilitated the announcement of Elbit Systems of America, LLC. Charleston | SC was chosen for its advanced manufacturing prowess, workforce and training programs, and strong logistics sector.
  • Charleston International Airport is “beating its best year ever” with record travel coming through CHS regularly. It has also added 16 new domestic flights since January 2021.
  • TELUS International, a customer experience innovator that designs, builds, and delivers digital solutions for global brands, chose Charleston County for its new operations. The $3.4 million initial investment will create approximately 1,200 new jobs by 2022.
  • Talent attraction was at the forefront of economic development in 2021. CRDA developed numerous tools and resources for local companies and local workers, as well as talent looking to relocate to greater Charleston. Check out these webpages, job boards, and internship sites.
  • Charleston | SC’s existing industry continued to grow in 2021, with noteworthy expansions and acquisitions from Google, PhishLabs, eGroup, and Thorne. New resources were also created to promote and support local, minority-owned businesses, including the Lowcountry Minority Business Directory.
  • Charleston’s lifestyle, economy, and community rely on environmental, social, and corporate governance throughout the three-county region. In 2021, a renewed emphasis on sustainability moved to the forefront of CRDA’s global business development strategy.

These news articles represent just a handful of the many developments and noteworthy events that occurred in Charleston in the past year. To keep up with all the news in the Charleston region, keep an eye on CRDA’s news page and social channels. As we move into 2022, we have plenty of reasons to believe that Charleston | SC will continue to see recovery and growth. After all, Charleston | SC is a great place to do business.

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