Due to changes noted in the regional economy, the Upstate SC Alliance has put together a strategic plan that focuses on attracting small and mid-sized economic development projects rather than seeking out larger ones.
It also maintains the regionalization approach that yielded over $1.3 billion in new capital investment across the Upstate in 2016.
John Lummus, Upstate SC Alliance president and CEO called the plan “an augmentation” of the approach to economic development the alliance currently takes.
“South Carolina, as a whole, and the Upstate in particular, has marketed as a low-cost market, but that economy is changing,” Lummus said. “We have to look at how we can market ourselves in different ways and look at more international markets and smaller projects.
“If we continue to do the same things we have been doing in economic development we will have some success but, we aren’t going to be as successful as we have been.”
The strategic plan includes five strategies:
- Lead regional marketing and business attraction
- Move up the manufacturing value chain
- Engage intentionally in the global economy
- Establish the Upstate SC Alliance as an economic thought leader
- Anchor efforts in robust research
The alliance has also adopted a new mission to go along with the five strategies:
“Firmly establish Upstate South Carolina as a unified and innovative economic region and position it to excel in the global economy through strategic marketing, collaboration and thought leadership.”
The strategic plan was developed with help from McDearman Associates and RM Donahue Consulting.
In addition to unveiling the strategic plan, Gov. Henry McMaster delivered the keynote speech on economic competitiveness and JPMorgan Chase presented a $100,000 grant to the Upstate SC Alliance to support the Alliance’s “global engagement strategy.”
VIDEO: John Lummus, president and CEO of Upstate SC Alliance, talks about one of the new strategies