Friday, July 18, 2014

Cities as centers of economic growth

Last week's Municipal Association Annual Meeting was a great way to showcase the importance of cities and towns as a critical part of the state's economic success.

If you missed the session that covered the topic of how cities can be "entrepreneur ready," take a minute to read the article in the Charleston Regional Business Journal. To listen to the audio of this high energy session featuring Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt and four entrepreneurs from around the state, click here or read the earlier blog post here.

Another session focused on a city's role in helping smaller businesses leverage the Internet to extend their reach beyond Main Street. Cities have an important role to play in helping local merchants understand technology and how it can expand their customer base. Successful Main Street merchants from Newberry and Laurens joined the Association's Main Street SC manager for a conversation focused on what businesses can do to leverage online reach and what cities can do to support them. Read about it here.

SC cities are clearly on the rebound from the recession. In a blog post this week, the SC Economic Developers Association examines a study by Area Development magazine that looks at how cities are prepared for economic growth. Nine South Carolina cities and their surrounding metro areas were identified using 21 measurements such as unemployment rates, manufacturing job creation, wages and educational attainment of the local workforce. 

Another recent SCEDA blog post discusses why downtown locations are increasingly appealing to corporate headquarters. The post quotes a Brookings Institution study noting many corporate leaders are realizing the importance of working locally with mayors, businesses and universities. 

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