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Charleston’s Year-In-Review

December 31, 2019

Charleston’s Year-In-Review
A look at 2019’s Top 10 Headlines

In 2019, companies continued to choose Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties to locate and grow their businesses, and 26 people per day moved to the region seeking opportunity in Charleston’s globally competitive economy. Here are some of the noteworthy highlights:

  1. Dorchester County added a significant logistics asset, announcing construction on a DHL Supply Chain distribution center, a $100 million investment projected to create approximately 450 new jobs.
  2. Investment banking firm Charles Towne Holdings opened its doors in Charleston adding bench strength to the existing venture community aiming to position Charleston as a “deal hub.” The firm provides investment resources to middle-market companies both in Charleston and around the globe.
  3. The South Carolina Department of Commerce’s Office of Innovation, in partnership with Build Carolina, officially launched SC Codes. This first-of-its-kind, state-funded resource, SC Codes connects South Carolinians with the resources needed to launch a career in tech and is now offering in-person training.
  4. Local employers committed to reducing traffic congestion in the three-county region by joining Reboot the Commute. The initiative launched with 18 local businesses participating and two additional companies joined in the fall.
  5. The Port of Charleston experiencing a decade of record growth, ended the year ranked #1 in the mid-size North American ports category, and secured full federal funding to deepen the harbor to 52+ feet. The SC Ports Authority plans to diversify its portfolio and embrace retail cargo.
  6. Sapience Automation established operations in Berkeley County, investing $500,000 and creating 26 new jobs. To support workforce initiatives, the company launched a non-profit to enrich mechatronics and robotics programs in area high schools. Berkeley County also saw the expansion of IFA Group as the company decided to consolidate its South Carolina operations into one location in Summerville.
  7. Nearing the completion of its third building, the WestEdge Development fulfilled its goal of attracting tenants from the biotechnology and life sciences industries adding Vikor Scientific, a life sciences startup.
  8. Charleston received top marks from major publications, Forbes and Inc. Magazine, ranking in the top 5 metros of “where the jobs will be in 2020” and number 7 in “the 50 Best U.S. Cities for starting a business in 2020.” As talent continues to move out of large metros like New York City and Los Angeles and into mid-size, Southern markets, Charleston’s growing tech scene is expected to thrive.
  9. Leading manufacturer of fleet, work truck, and specialty service vehicles, Spartan Motors Inc., launched operations in Charleston County with a $1.15 million investment and is expected to create 308 jobs.
  10. Industry Today recognized the Charleston region’s booming life sciences industry and revealed why global leaders choose Charleston to locate their companies.

*Bonus: Ranked as the #1 city in the U.S. by Travel + Leisure for the 7th consecutive year, Charleston is no stranger to international attention. 2019 also garnered coverage from British Airways’ in-flight magazine and The Japan Times, highlighting the region’s growing tech sector and foreign direct investment-friendly climate.

2019 was a year full of promise and progress for Charleston’s economic outlook and we hope to continue that momentum through 2020.  Check out Charleston Regional Development Alliance’s news page and social media channels to stay up-to-date on news and announcements in the Charleston region.

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Phone: 843.760.4539
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