Regional Leaders Announce Effort to Safely Reopen Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester County Businesses

One Region
May 1, 2020

Today, leaders from Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties announced a collaborative effort, led by One Region, to establish a consistent roadmap for employers and residents that inspires confidence as we prepare to safely reopen our local economy.

The strategy, named re | IGNITE, leverages expertise from business, healthcare, nonprofit, and government sectors to create a coordinated, science-based plan to restore the local economy.

At the request of the region’s elected officials, One Region, a collaborative initiative focused on building a stronger, more inclusive regional economy, is convening stakeholders from across the region to develop and finalize a phased plan, including industry-specific guidance on how and when to safely reopen.

“Our economy needs to reopen and reopen safely. I have every confidence that aligning and working together as One Region is the right approach for reigniting our regional economy and ensuring employers and employees have the consistent guidelines and confidence they need to safely get back to work,” said One Region Chairman, General Hank Taylor.

Led by the Medical University of South Carolina and guided by medical experts at Roper St. Francis Healthcare and Trident Health System, the plan is being developed to ensure reopening does not set back progress made from current social distancing and stay-at-home orders.

“MUSC is providing expertise and guidance for monitoring, testing and tracing efforts as we move forward with the initial steps of safely opening our economy, and we must remain focused on keeping the rate of new infections low,” said MUSC, President, David J. Cole, M.D., FACS. ” Through efforts such as the One Region re | IGNITE Strategy, and in alignment with the CDC, DHEC and accelerateSC, our region can thoughtfully and successfully move forward and get our economy and lives heading back to normal.”

One Region will work closely with the Governor’s office to ensure that re | IGNITE is aligned with accelerateSC. The phase one plan will be released in the next two weeks.

View video announcement from regional leaders and for more information visit

About One Region

Launched in May 2016, One Region is a values-based strategy to build global competitiveness, prosperity and inclusion across our three-county region. Moving forward, One Region will lead the creation of re | IGNITE, a coordinated plan that provides guidelines to businesses on how and when to safely reopen.


“During this time of uncertainty, it is critical that we come together for a united recovery effort in restoring our local economy. Collaborating and sharing resources will better educate and equip each and every person to safely and effectively emerge from this challenging season.”

  • Berkeley County Supervisor Johnny Cribb

“We know our citizens and businesses are eager to get back to work and return to a new ‘normal’ as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Charleston County is currently working with our local, regional, and state partners on a plan to ensure safety is a top priority as businesses begin plans to reopen. We appreciate everyone’s patience during these trying times and I know if we work together we will come back stronger than ever.”

  • Charleston County Council Chairman Elliott Summey

“History has proven that when we work together in a collaborative effort, we can accomplish great things. Dorchester County is proud to be part of the One Region initiative to ensure a high quality of life for our residents while working to reignite our economy. By working together we will come out of this pandemic stronger and more resilient.”

  • Dorchester County Councilman Bill Hearn

“Finding a safe, responsible path to reopening our economy is, and must be, a shared responsibility, with the medical community, government, business and private citizens all working together toward that common goal. The re | IGNITE initiative is where that critical, cross-sector collaboration is taking place in our region, and I’d like to thank One Region and the Medical University of South Carolina for their leadership and hard work on this important project.”

  • City of Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg

“Goose Creek is proud to join our regional partners to find a way to safely reopen. This crisis has affected us all in similar ways – here in the Lowcountry and across the nation. Developing a cohesive plan across the region will help ensure that we get back to work, and just as importantly, that we keep our citizens safe.”

  • City of Goose Creek Mayor Greg Habib

“The best way to re-start our economy is the safe way. Our businesses will thrive again because their team members and their customers will know their health and safety come first.”

  • Town of Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie

“Over the years, the Charleston region has faced historical challenges, and time and time again, the people and businesses of our community have pulled together. Today and going forward, the health and well-being of our citizens are at the forefront as we work to implement a prudent plan to get our economy back-on-track.”

  • City of North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey

“The Town of Summerville small businesses are hurting from the effects of the coronavirus. We’re pleased to be part of this regional plan to ensure that our economic recovery is strong, safe and aligns with guidelines developed at the state and federal levels.”

  • Town of Summerville Mayor Ricky Waring

“Working collaboratively, especially when facing the biggest challenges, has long been a hallmark of our three-county region. The collective efforts and resolve of the public and private sectors, informed by guidance from some of the country’s most respected medical officials, place us in a position of strength as we undertake the considerable task of returning to our best.”

  • Berkeley Charleston Dorchester Council of Governments (BCDCOG) Executive Director Ron Mitchum

“Our region is strong and we have a long history of overcoming challenges. By working as one region, we will responsibly and confidently reignite our economy.”

  • Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce Chairman Willis Cantey

“It does little good for businesses to reopen only to find there is no business. With the help of One Region’s re | IGNITE plans, employers can utilize consistent safety precautions and standards appropriate for businesses of all sizes. Employees and customers need to feel confident their health and safety is paramount. Acting together as One Region, we can reopen quickly, safely, and rebuild our thriving economic and social community.”

  • Charleston Regional Development Alliance Chairman John Hagerty

“The spirit of collaboration is a hallmark of our region and state, especially in times of adversity. This roadmap to recovery is an important mechanism in coordinating the work of accelerateSC with the critical efforts occurring across the tri-county area.”

  • Explore Charleston CEO Helen Hill

“The arts and culture sectors are a vital part of the region’s economy and have suffered tremendous losses alongside restaurants and others in the hospitality field. These organizations will be an important part of helping our communities heal emotionally and getting our economy back on track. The re | IGNITE initiative will help those organizations open as quickly and safely as possible and reassure patrons that precautions are in place for their well-being and enjoyment.”

  • Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation Director of Lowcountry Programs Kerri Forrest


Media Contact:   Peter LaMotte, Senior Vice President, Chernoff Newman
Direct:  202-375-8787 or [email protected]


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