As more and more businesses make their home in Rock Hill, this city just south of the South Carolina-North Carolina border has become an economic force of its own in the greater Charlotte region. Along with an innovative and progressive business climate, Rock Hill offers favorable tax laws, low gas prices, excellent training and education opportunities, and appealing business incentives.
The business sector of Rock Hill, which has a population of 70,000 and is the fifth largest city in South Carolina, is a mix of traditional business and new ventures. Manufacturing, distribution and healthcare industries remain strong thanks to the area’s great location, infrastructure and workforce. Meanwhile, the city is committed to significantly growing its knowledge economic base by attracting design, IT, financial services and engineering businesses in part through investment in facilities and new infrastructure. Rock Hill’s Knowledge Park initiative offers an attractive package for knowledge businesses to move to Rock Hill, including a skilled talent pool, gigabit broadband service and affordable office space.
The new businesses that have flocked to Rock Hill have made it a regional center for technology and creative companies where business breakthroughs and big ideas are encouraged. Rock Hill is home to a number of business and industrial parks, including TechPark, SouthCross Corporate Center, Waterford Business Park and Riverwalk Business Park, and it continues to develop more. All offer high-quality sites and are close to hotels, conference centers, restaurants and I-77. A downtown Rock Hill technology incubator provides innovators and technology start-ups with downtown office space, mentoring and assistance finding investors. The incubator helped one entrepreneur who was working in his attic in Rock Hill build Cimplx, which works with Affordable Care Act compliance, into a business with more than 40 employees in 18 months.
Rock Hill is ripe for even more business growth. More than 30,000 people, many of them skilled, experienced workers, are willing to commute as much as an hour into Charlotte from York County every day. A recent research study showed that many would eagerly take jobs in Rock Hill if they were available at the same or possibly lower rate of pay.
Rock Hill’s commitment to expanding its business community with creative and modern industries is mirrored in its longtime emphasis on culture and the arts. The city was named the first Cultural District in South Carolina in 2015, and numerous state and local publications have listed Rock Hill as one of the best places to live. Its walkable downtown, which is undergoing a revitalization project that already has drawn retail, dining and entertainment, soon will include residential spaces. The city hosts festivals year-round, including the award winning Come-See-Me Festival and ChristmasVille. Nationally known bands such as TOTO and America have visited Rock Hill as part of the city’s summer Old Town Amphitheater concert series, and residents regularly enjoy downtown’s beautiful Fountain Park, Food Truck Fridays and the local Old Town Farmers Market, which hosts artisans, farmers and musicians throughout the summer.
The city is home to several unique athletic venues and community events that have made Rock Hill a haven for amateur sports. The Giordana Velodrome and Novant Health BMX Supercross Track have hosted local, state, national and international cycling competitions. The 68-acre Cherry Park complex hosts the girls' softball World Series each year, and other Rock Hill facilities have served as sites for professional tennis matches, national disc golf tournaments and BMX competitions.
Rock Hill’s highly ranked school system provides excellent public education, and the talented graduates of Rock Hill’s three colleges—Winthrop University, York Technical College and Clinton Junior College—contribute to the skilled labor force available to businesses in Rock Hill.