–Drew Grossklaus, Sales Director/BIC East Cooper
For the sixth year running, Charleston was named the #1 City in the U.S. and our area continues to grow at a rapid pace. This would seem obvious given the city’s history, food, beautiful beaches, and numerous other attributes that make Charleston so special. Another reason for the population growth are the jobs created by companies like Mercedes (Sprinter), Boeing, Google and Volvo. These major manufacturers also lead suppliers and support companies to Charleston. However, the high growth rate results in many people making inaccurate claims regarding statistics, and the factual numbers become embellished. Recently I heard someone quote that there are 70 people moving to Charleston every day. That seemed like an unrealistic number and in fact it is.
Recently I attended a luncheon where the President and CEO of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, Bryan Derreberry, gave a presentation on the region’s growth. The area is growing by about 2%. Mr. Derreberry pointed out that given the job growth, the metro area should really be growing by 3-4%. The current forecast has 22,000 net new jobs over the next two years. We are gaining a net of 38 people per day.
Of that 38, 28 are moving here, with 18 of those moving to Dorchester County, within close proximity to Mercedes, Volvo, Google and Boeing. Nearly half of the 28 people moving here are coming from within the state of South Carolina. South Carolina is currently the #1 state in the U.S. for current foreign investment. We also have a tourist industry that produces more than $7 billion dollars in Economic Impact per year. That huge economic impact comes from more than 7 million visitors per year.
The type of growth the Charleston metro area is experiencing, while sometimes exaggerated, is still quite large. It is taxing on infrastructure and housing. The plan is to spend more than $3 billion in interstate upgrades over the next ten years. New housing is falling behind growth by 500-1000 units every year.
Charleston has great people to drive tourism, businesses, and general growth. With a strategic approach to handling the city’s growth, this amazing place we call home can accommodate new faces and each one of us can enjoy a quality of life like no other.
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