Commerce Salutes Business and Industry and Recognizes State’s Economic Success

September 16, 2008

COLUMBIA, SC – September 15, 2008 – Today Gov. Mark Sanford and the South Carolina Department of Commerce kicked off Industry Appreciation Week at the annual South Carolina Ambassadors for Economic Development awards ceremony.  The event recognizes individuals who contributed to economic development in their local communities.  Individuals from all 46 counties were recognized.  During Industry Appreciation Week, the achievements and contributions of business and industry will be recognized throughout South Carolina.

“Industry Appreciation Week is a great time to recognize the contributions of so many diverse and growing businesses in South Carolina.  Business and industry of all sizes represent the backbone of our state’s economy.  Businesses continue to recognize the many benefits of doing business in South Carolina.  Our state’s tremendous business-friendly climate, skilled workforce, access to markets and quality infrastructure, including the Port of Charleston, make South Carolina an ideal place to grow a business,” said Joe Taylor, Secretary of Commerce.  “Governor Sanford’s commitment to further enhance our state’s economic soil conditions has provided more businesses with the fertile ground they need to succeed.  Now is a perfect time to reflect on all the positive attributes South Carolina has to offer.”

Business and industry have continued to make great gains over the past year.  In the first six months of this year alone, the Department of Commerce and its allies have announced more than 9,200 new jobs and over $2 billion in capital investment.  South Carolina added to its strong list of marquee companies with expansions and investments from companies such as Monster Worldwide Inc., H.J. Heinz Company, BMW, Shaw Industries Group Inc., Target, Home Depot and many more.

“Our state has seen back-to-back record-breaking years for industry recruitment, as well as some real success over the first half of this year,” Gov. Sanford said.  “To that end, I’d again give credit to the Department of Commerce and more importantly I’d give credit to all of the individuals throughout South Carolina whose efforts have worked to grow economic opportunity and spurred job creation in our state.”

So far this year, Commerce and its allies have announced a new investment or expansion in every workforce area of the state.  These efforts build on announcements made in 2007, in which 34 percent of all jobs recruited by the Commerce and its allies went to rural areas of the state where 21 percent of the state’s workforce resides.

In 2007, the Department of Commerce and its allies recruited more than $4 billion in capital investment and more than 15,600 jobs to the state. The 179 public announcements made by Commerce meant that either a new company or existing business committed to expand operations in South Carolina more than three times each week of the year.

Growth of existing businesses was also a strong component of last year’s recruitment.  Nearly half of the jobs and nearly two-thirds of the capital investment Commerce and its allies recruited in 2007 came from the expansion of existing businesses. 

High-skilled manufacturing continues to be a sector of growth for South Carolina. Three out of every five of jobs recruited by Commerce and its allies in 2007, nearly 9,500, were in the manufacturing sector.


South Carolina’s exports continue to be a substantial source of revenue for businesses large and small throughout the state.  In 2007, exports totaled more than $16.5 billion in goods sold to 198 countries around the world, representing a 21.6 percent increase over 2006 totals.  South Carolina led the Southeast in export growth in 2007.  This year, South Carolina is on track to continue this growth.  In the first six months of 2008, South Carolina saw its exports increase by more than 26 percent when compared to the same timeframe last year.


The ambassador awards presentation is one of many events that will occur across the state as part of Industry Appreciation Week.  Local communities will also host a variety of activities to recognize and thank business and industry leaders.