December 10, 2017

Issues Forum Summary – December 2017

December 2017: County Administrators Talk Business


Joe Mergo, III, Administrator, Lexington County
Gerald Seals, Administrator, Richland County


The administrators for Lexington and Richland counties discussed the importance of preparing for the rapid population growth that the Midlands will experience over the next decade, including taking a serious look at public transportation in the Midlands, and the opportunity to work with COMET to create solutions to the growing transportation needs of the Midlands’ workforce. Additional topics discussed include positioning the Midlands to be more attractive for employers to locate or expand, potentially through joint industrial parks and various forms of public private partnerships, and creating an environment conducive for small business growth by consistently engaging the business community, through the Chamber and other avenues, on issues and areas of concern in order to capture the innovative culture of the private sector when planning and problem-solving. The administrators believe that there are additional opportunities for collaboration between Lexington and Richland counties that can support growth and development as one region.

Throughout the next year, you can expect the Columbia Chamber to:

  1. Advocate for public transportation solutions that are specifically designed to better connect employers with job seekers throughout Lexington and Richland counties.
  2. Support efforts to initiate creative public private partnerships that advance regional initiatives.
  3. Implement an intensive public leadership program — a new initiative of the Chamber tasked with providing leaders from the private sector with a toolkit for effective public service, especially on government boards and commissions, committees, and formal working groups.
  4. Re-convene the Chamber’s Business-Friendly Taskforce to assess progress on previous recommendations, and evaluate the need for further recommendations that promote the creation of a stronger business climate.
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