Thursday, February 25, 2021

Catch Up on Coronavirus Recovery in the Latest Issue of Cities Mean Business

The Municipal Association of SC recently published the latest issue of its Cities Mean Business magazine, which features multiple examples of the work that South Carolina’s cities and towns have pursued to maintain the critical services of local government during a pandemic, and to reduce the impacts of COVID-19. 

In the last year, local mask ordinances have served as an important tool for South Carolina’s fight against the virus’s spread. An analysis of ordinances by the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control found that jurisdictions with mask ordinances experienced a 66.5% greater decrease in cases in the first week as jurisdictions with no ordinance. These ordinances require ongoing communication efforts to help residents and businesses understand the requirements of these ordinances. The facemask communication outreach efforts of Greenville, Florence and Hartsville appear in an article that examines how cities can be creative under trying circumstances

Cities and towns don’t just provide police, fire, sanitation and utilities — they often offer cultural and recreational opportunities as well. Beginning in the spring of 2020, local governments began canceling festivals and other special events, and the loss of these vital elements of community identity has been felt ever since. Another article in this issue looks at the ways that Newberry, Walhalla and Seneca developed to keep these activities alive, even during the pandemic. 

Finding ways to make city services virtual remains a focus throughout South Carolina, and two of the articles feature examples of the increasingly online nature of local government work. A story on online transactions, such as submitting building permits and paying water bills, highlights North Myrtle Beach, North Charleston and York. Another article takes a look at the e-newsletters developed in Greenwood, Mauldin and Beaufort. 

This Cities Mean Business magazine will be inserted in the spring issue of SC Biz magazine. It is also distributed to legislators and state policymakers, and mailed to  business leaders around the state. 

Those who missed the issue of Cities Mean Business from last summer can read it here. It featured stories on downtown revitalization, pandemic business assistance, economic development communication and municipal customer service.