March 5, 2020

Issues Forum Summary – March 2020

March 2020:  Regional Economic Development

Speakers: Ryan Coleman, City of Columbia, Sarah Johnson, Lexington County, Tracy McMillin, Central SC Alliance and Jeff Ruble, Richland County  

The Chamber’s March Issues Forum featured the region’s chief economic development officers who shared their thoughts about recruiting people and companies to our region. It’s a common theme that economic development is a process not an event. All stated that working together and with the SC Department of Commerce is beneficial for growth. All agreed the region has to do a better job of telling the story about its positive attributes such as livability, education, USC, Midlands Technical College, cultural centers, Lake Murray, highway system and a cost competitive market. On the contrary, attributes that deter economic development include the high tax rates, infrastructure, road conditions and traffic congestion.

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

  • Work to enhance the region’s talent pool and enlist existing businesses to help develop the region.
  • Assess industry needs and foster partnerships to ensure educational institutions are providing skills for the future.
  • Continue to work with local governments to encourage comprehensive tax reform that encompasses local, state, and education funding.
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