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GADC report says 2019 was one of county’s strongest years for economic expansion

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The Greenville Area Development Corp., charged with promoting and enhancing quality of life in Greenville County by facilitating job growth and investment, today announced one of the county’s strongest and most rewarding years ever in terms of economic development.

“Early in 2019 we were concerned about a slowdown, but it’s frankly been a tremendous year for Greenville County by virtually any metric we monitor,” Mark Farris, president and CEO of the GADC, said in a news release announcing a composite of the 2019 results. “We’ve seen announced capital investment of $401.8 million, which greatly adds to our community’s economic vitality, diversity and tax base.  We’ve announced 2,178 new high-paying jobs, with mean wages well above both county and South Carolina averages. Each of those metrics ranks 2019 as among our three best years ever on record.”

“The industries are diverse, with 17 of our newly located or local expansion projects being in our core manufacturing industries, while 13 others are in IT, office, headquarters, sales or distribution/logistics,” he said in the news release.  “That diversity and balance is essential to developing and maintaining a varied economy that is robust and multi-faceted, and which can better withstand the inevitable economic dips and surges that today’s global economies must face. And the fact that 20 of the 30 announcements came in the GADC’s defined target industries indicates that we continue to put the right emphasis and resources against key verticals of highest potential.”

County Council Chairman H.G. “Butch” Kirven Jr. said the real benefit comes from what business does for residents.

“The numbers are great, but what’s behind the numbers is the most important thing for County Council,” Kirven, also a member of the GADC board, said in the news release. “Our purpose is inclusive economic development that opens paths for people to improve their quality of life through meaningful employment, contributing to the broader community, resulting in self-improvement and financial security. This report shows that we are building on the depth and breadth of our solid economic foundation. The future in Greenville County looks good indeed.”

Farris also said Greenville County’s emphasis on ensuring a robust and pro-business environment continued to pay off during 2019, with 20 of the year’s 30 announcements being expansions of existing industry. The 30 announcements are the county’s second most in any single year, surpassed only by 2016’s tally of 31 announcements, the release said.

“We can be confident that our community is doing the right things when we find existing industry deciding to invest limited and precious resources in expanding here in Greenville County,” Farris said in the release. “The decision on where to place those investments and where to expand is incredibly competitive nationally and globally, and there is no stronger endorsement of a community being business-friendly than winning more than our fair share of such expansions right here in Greenville.”

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