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State recognized for economic development efforts

Staff Report
Published May 30, 2013

Area Development magazine has awarded South Carolina a 2013 Silver Shovel award for the state’s economic development efforts last year.

The Palmetto State was one of three states with populations between 3 million and 5 million to receive the award, joining Kentucky and Louisiana. Area Development categorizes its awards by population. Other honorees were California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Mississippi, North Dakota, Utah and West Virginia.

Additionally, the national magazine recognized four states — Alabama, Georgia, Kansas and Texas — with its highest distinction, the Gold Shovel.

The annual program recognizes state economic development agencies that drive job creation through innovative policies, infrastructure improvements, processes and promotions that attract new employers as well as investments in expanded facilities.

“The states receiving 2013 Shovel awards deserve special recognition for their efforts to attract new businesses and to help their existing corporate citizens to expand their businesses,” said Geraldine Gambale, editor of Area Development. “They have managed to thrive and emerge from the recession as economic leaders.”

In its review of South Carolina, the magazine singled out the $900 million expansion at BMW Manufacturing Co. in Spartanburg County and also mentioned job growth in marketing, software development and medical laboratory sectors.

“South Carolina continues to strengthen its reputation for being the ‘it’ state for business. It’s exciting to see our state again receive the Silver Shovel award for our strong economic development efforts. We understand what businesses need in order to do well, and that has played a key role in landing the large deals we’ve seen over the past few years,” Gov. Nikki Haley said in a news release.

This year marks the eighth year of the awards and the fifth time South Carolina has been recognized. In 2011 and 2012, South Carolina was awarded a Gold Shovel for its economic development efforts, and had previously been awarded a Silver Shovel in both 2009 and 2010.

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