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Old 03-22-2016, 02:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlestondata View Post
There's an interview article in the Post and Courier today about the vice president of purchasing and manufacturing for Volvo. In the first paragraph, the writer refers to the plant as "Volvo's first U.S. manufacturing site in Berkeley County." In the second paragraph he refers to "construction at the site off Interstate 26 near Ridgeville." He begins the third paragraph with "Before moving to the Charleston region last year," etc. He begins the fourth paragraph with "Having found a Charleston-area home near the beach," etc. He ends that paragraph with a mention of the subject having been "overwhelmed with Charleston's famous hospitality." In the fifth paragraph he refers to the "$500 million Berkeley County campus..." For the entire second half of the article, the only word used to denote the concept of place is the word "region," when the writer asks the subject her favorite thing about doing business in the region and she replies that the region is very business-forward.

Why did I write all of that? The reason is that I have noticed for a long time that when The State Newspaper writes about business in Lexington County in the form of new manufacturing plants, Columbia is scarcely mentioned if it is mentioned at all. The writers don't talk about the region; they always mention Lexington County schools, Lake Murray, and Lexington and Lexington County, seldom Columbia or the Columbia region if ever. The reason given for a plant locating in Lexington County is never about the Columbia area. It's never about the proximity to Columbia. Neither Columbia nor the Columbia region is ever mentioned as a factor in what drew the company to Lexington County.

Is the difference a result of differing mindsets of the writers? Could it be that the writers with The State who cover Lexington County business reside in Lexington, whereas Post and Courier business writers all live in Charleston County? Does The State just try to keep Lexington County happy by writing glowing articles about their business climate without a mention of the Columbia region? If I had collected examples of what I'm talking about, I could write a paper on the topic. I know it's not my imagination.
I disagree with you on how it is commonly referenced, but I think your assessment here brings up a much larger issue and that is the lack of cooperation between governments within the Midlands.

Unless you are old school Lexington County (which is a slim portion of the population there today), you view yourself as being in a suburb of Columbia, which is exactly what Lexington has become. Columbia is better for that, Lexington is better for that but for whatever reason, these old school politicians on BOTH sides of the river want to continually get into a pissing contest rather than grow up and do their jobs in making the region better as a whole.

Columbia has missed out on so many opportunities simply due to the lack of cooperation and cohesion from the political "leaders" not the fact that they are far apart, not because of a lack of development between the two.

So while this immature third grade pissing contest is taking place, Greenville and Spartanburg (two stand alone cities with vastly different views, much further apart and have a fierce rivalry with one another) manage to put those differences aside because they're smart enough to see that they can both benefit from one another by coming together to offer more attractive incentives for industry (and airlines...like Southwest...). Meanwhile, Columbia cant offer enough tax breaks with the vast amount of government land and Lexington County cant offer the population needed to sustain growth. BUT...if you sell both together, you have an incredibly attractive incentive for an industry looking to relocate. And the worst part about this divide is that it is completely unnecessary. Richland County swings much more democrat and are more likely to raise taxes to put into public programs (like sidewalks, a revitalized downtown, etc) and residents are okay with that. Lexington County is more conservative and wants never raise taxes and offers tax breaks to industries, and thats okay because residents there are okay with that. If you look at it logically, Lexington County residents benefit from the ability to go to a revitalized downtown Columbia, and Richland County residents benefit from having more jobs and secure employment so the differences are actually a huge benefit and guess what...Richland County can't elect Lexington County Council or visa versa.

But if these old school Columbia and Lexington folks want to continue to flip off the other side of the Congaree, thats okay because that just means more opportunities will keep coming up 26 to The Upstate!
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Old 03-22-2016, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
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I don't mind when people disagree with me. Regardless, I know what I have seen over and over as a subscriber to The State and as a nightly viewer of local news in Columbia. I have been a student so to speak of how the media handle business stories in all three major SC metros. It's just one of the things I do out of interest. It is not, nor has it been, my imagination.
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Old 03-22-2016, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Columbia SC
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<b>But if these old school Columbia and Lexington folks want to continue to flip off the other side of the Congaree, thats okay because that just means more opportunities will keep coming up 26 to The Upstate!</b>

And down I26 to Charleston. What is needed is a 24/7 Mayor of Columbia elected by the people. Someone to take charge in the area. As long as Columbia has a City Manager form of government controlled by City Council, no one will be in charge. It will continue to be neighborhood versus neighborhood and missing the big picture.
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Old 03-23-2016, 04:29 PM
 
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Personally, I think opportunities going to the Upstate and Charleston has more to do with the historic balance of power in the state and the traditional makeup of the economies of those regions and less to do with any sort of lack of cooperation in the Midlands. Even so, you can't easily discount the wins that the Midlands has scored in recent years.
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Old 03-23-2016, 05:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
Personally, I think opportunities going to the Upstate and Charleston has more to do with the historic balance of power in the state and the traditional makeup of the economies of those regions and less to do with any sort of lack of cooperation in the Midlands. Even so, you can't easily discount the wins that the Midlands has scored in recent years.
There have certainly been some good wins in the Midlands, but there could have been far more and Columbia could be much further along today with more cooperation.

What exactly are you referring to when you mean balance of power and historic makeup of the economies?
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Old 03-23-2016, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
1,710 posts, read 1,504,222 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColaClemsonFan11 View Post
There have certainly been some good wins in the Midlands, but there could have been far more and Columbia could be much further along today with more cooperation.

What exactly are you referring to when you mean balance of power and historic makeup of the economies?
Charleston's lifeblood always has been and always will be its port (the lovely downtown is what it is because of the wealth the port has generated for hundreds of years). The legacy of the textile industry in the Upstate is reflected in its healthy manufacturing and engineering industries today. Columbia has traditionally been a banking, insurance, legal driven economy. The rise of Charlotte as a national, even international banking center sucked a lot of the wind from Columbia's banking sails and we have not fully recovered from that, although we're doing pretty well in many ways.
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Old 03-23-2016, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
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Columbia makes Zagat's list of 16 southern food destination cities under the radar.

https://www.zagat.com/b/16-under-the...estinations#10
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Old 03-24-2016, 05:14 AM
 
Location: SOB-Charleston.SC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlestondata View Post
Columbia makes Zagat's list of 16 southern food destination cities under the radar.

https://www.zagat.com/b/16-under-the...estinations#10
I know that this is posted in the Columbia thread .... but it would have been "nice" to mention that Greenville and Sullivans Island also made this list... resulting in having 20% of this list being places in South Cackalacky.
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Old 03-24-2016, 05:57 AM
 
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
9,617 posts, read 13,752,578 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cynic1 View Post
I know that this is posted in the Columbia thread .... but it would have been "nice" to mention that Greenville and Sullivans Island also made this list... resulting in having 20% of this list being places in South Cackalacky.
I knew someone else would mention it.
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Old 03-24-2016, 10:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCxpBrussel View Post
Charleston's lifeblood always has been and always will be its port (the lovely downtown is what it is because of the wealth the port has generated for hundreds of years). The legacy of the textile industry in the Upstate is reflected in its healthy manufacturing and engineering industries today. Columbia has traditionally been a banking, insurance, legal driven economy. The rise of Charlotte as a national, even international banking center sucked a lot of the wind from Columbia's banking sails and we have not fully recovered from that, although we're doing pretty well in many ways.
I agree with this assessment and is also why I think there have been missed opportunities for Columbia.

When they saw Charlotte beginning to suck the finance sector away from Columbia, leaders should have tried to fill that gap with other economic development strategies just like The Upstate did with the exodus of the Textile Industry.

One thing Columbia needs to capitalize on more is its location. If a company is doing business statewide, their SC or Regional HQs need to be located in Columbia. From a perspective of logistics, to sales territories, and other benefits, Columbia connects you with all areas of the state by putting you in one of the top population centers, and within an hour and a half drive from the other two along with the rest of the state.
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