The more things change, the more they stay the same. That old saying holds true for the S.C. I-
77 Alliance and the five counties we serve between Charlotte and Columbia. Despite high fuel
prices, high inflation, and lingering supply chain issues that are roiling the global economy, we
remain an ideal location to start a new enterprise, relocate, or expand.
Many of those factors that are hindering growth in so many parts of our nation in this latest
economic cycle – and it’s always cyclical – highlight just how solid an opportunity we continue
to present for industrial development. That hasn’t changed.
First, there’s the cost of land and buildings. Real estate is typically one of the more inflation-
resistant sectors and developable land remains relatively inexpensive in the corridor, in, and
outside the ready-to-roll industrial parks we can offer.
Then, let’s consider supply chain issues. Proximity to major markets and ports has taken on
increased importance, and that’s also one of our strengths as approximately 45% of the U.S.
population is within a single day’s drive to us. Our transportation infrastructure is robust, with
easy proximity to Charleston’s seaport and crisscrossed by major interstates, rail lines, and air
service (Charlotte Douglas International Airport and the thriving air freight hub at Columbia
With the I-77 Region seeing a daily population growth of 35 people per day, these new
residents are finding the right mix of good jobs, affordable living and amenities to fit their own
families’ needs and preferences, adding to a labor shed that stands at about 1.2 million people
on its own, and nearly 2.5 million people if you include the entire Charlotte metro.
We also continue to occupy spots at the top of lists for such areas as workforce development
and other business incentive programs, and favorable regulatory environments such as speed
of permitting. In fact, South Carolina was recently ranked overall 3rd in Area Development’s 13th Annual Site Consultants Survey, “2022 Top States for Doing Business.” In addition, South Carolina ranked in the top 10 in numerous individual categories, including ranking #1 for Favorable Regulatory Environment and #2 in Business Incentives Programs, plus tying for #2 for Available Real Estate and Speed of Project Permitting. These high rankings are the result of a long-nurtured tradition of positive, mutually beneficial relationships between business interests and local and state governments that continues to deepen.
No one knows exactly what will happen with inflation, interest rates, consumer and industrial
demand as well as all those other factors that make up an economy. However, we can be
confident that change will continue, as will the I-77 Region’s capacity to respond to all these
variables with a foundation built on people and places ready to work and grow together with
new industries and long-standing partners alike.