Moving into a New Year: Excitement and Concerns through the Economic Development Lens.
Though moving into a new year brings both excitement and concern, through the economic development lens in York County, excitement prevails across the board. Our economy continues to progress in a positive direction, with more firms committing to our future prosperity and economic diversification.
No doubt, forward motion is being seen throughout the entire county. Over the past 12 months we have seen 17 companies commit to York County, adding over 900 new jobs and investing more that $124 million of capital. These firms represent a mix of manufacturing, office and warehouse operations. We have a number of new industrial buildings planned and several under construction. Budding entrepreneurial platforms and small business start ups programs are also being embraced.
Reviewing various economic forecasts, we see projected growth in the US to be a target rate of 2.1% in the coming year – this versus 1.6% in 2016. Economists predict consumer spending will remain solid, new housing growth to continue, as new commercial and industrial real estate development remain steady.
Infrastructure projects in the US and across the state should continue to see activity with new investments in roadways as well as water and sewer systems. Conversely, changes both in the US and local marketplace will also become evident as we see interest rates rise and labor markets tighten.
While we can’t dismiss concerns regarding our future economic development efforts, we can be aware and make decisions based on a variety of new messages being communicated on the federal level, and being mindful of those impacts that inevitably come with a new President and Congress in place.
On the horizon, we see the efforts of the SC legislature that will endeavor once more to address bridge and road funding, appropriate funding levels for education, as well as critical state retirement funding. We could see tax reform that carries the ability to impact challenges to our property tax structure in SC. Regarding labor, a tight workforce will give cause to modify and adjust our approach as the unemployment rate has dropped below 4 percent.
With this awareness and a watchful eye, none of these concerns are showstoppers to our local and regional economic prosperity. Collaborative efforts have helped enable our team to remain steadfast in our efforts this year, assisting in our mission and purpose for economic development. We know this to be true as we reflect on the information below, just a few more reasons why York County is —The Location You Need. The Life You Want.