New Strategies to Attract New Businesses
-- Via Comporium Business Connections - Fall 2016 Newsletter --
Both York County and Rock Hill are rebranding to strengthen their economic development efforts.
Significant activity is currently taking place in both York County and Rock Hill — in the form of expansions, new development and redevelopment — all supported by assets readily recognized by both the county’s and city’s economic development arms. Although each department is charged with
unique objectives, you’ll find the collaboration involved in retaining and recruiting businesses and talent to the area is the same.
This is reflected in the current rebranding initiatives. York County Economic Development promotes the area as “The Location You Need. The Life You Want.” Rock Hill Economic Development Corp. uses the slogan, “Connecting Bright Minds and Big Ideas.”
Both entities tout area advantages that are key to attracting certain industries such as tech companies, call centers and financial intuitions. Assets such as Comporium’s Zipstream Gigabit service are essential when it comes to garnering interest from prospective businesses and talent. And these assets are getting better everyday.
York County: A Premier Place to Do Business
York County offers the advantages of a South Carolina location and business climate with adjacent access to the largest metropolitan area in the two Carolinas — Charlotte. “Simply put, our goal is to attract more jobs and investment to
York County,” shared David Swenson, Director for York County Economic Development. This effort can take on many forms including assisting companies with expansions, helping to facilitate the availability
of more product development and ultimately recruiting new companies to the area.
“We have made a concerted effort to focus more on marketing and promotion by means of communicating the assets the county has to offer, both with existing businesses and those businesses we want to attract to York County,” Swenson added. “One of goals in the rebrand was to make sure people know what we have to offer them here,” said Caroline Floyd, Marketing Director for York County Economic Development. “Collectively, we have the assets. We just need to make sure people know about them. The tag line merely states what we all already knew, only now it serves as a storytelling pathway, paving the way for those assets to emerge, shaping market perception,” Floyd added.
Rock Hill: Focusing on Entrepreneurs and Tech Companies
Rock Hill Economic Development Corp. has created new branding and marketing strategy initiatives to give the city a fresh image, establishing itself as a technological and knowledge economy hub. You may have seen billboards on Interstate 77 targeting commuters to Charlotte with headlines such as “You Could Have Hit Snooze” and “You Could Have Finished Your Coffee.” They’re part of an overall campaign based on “Connecting Bright Minds and Big Ideas.”
The campaign is deigned to position Rock Hill as 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 — Knowledge Park, TechPark, SouthCross Corporate Center, Waterford Business Park and Riverwalk Business Park — and it continues to develop more. Stephen Turner, Executive Director of Rock Hill Economic Development Corp. noted, “Our main mission is to support the development of business parks in Rock Hill where entrepreneurs and tech companies can locate. We need to have the land and facilities to market to prospective businesses.
We have smooth, seamless collaboration with York County Economic Development. One area in which we overlap is our support for their efforts to recruit businesses to Rock Hill.” “Connecting Bright Minds and Big Ideas” focuses on recruiting talent since Rock Hill is going after human-intensive businesses with a need for educated and innovative employees. Turner said, “We asked ourselves the question, ‘How do we create job opportunities for the next generation of businesses?’ For Rock Hill, it’s all about growing talent.” He added, “When we first started two years ago to develop Knowledge Park, it was about the same time as Zipstream’s launch in Rock Hill. Our city was the first in South Carolina to have Gigabit internet speed available, and the first Zipstream customers were small tech companies in our downtown.
Comporium’s Zipstream is Sales Tool
Both Rock Hill and York County leverage Zipstream when their economic development staffs are talking with prospective businesses.
Turner explained, “Comporium’s Zipstream is important to the businesses we’re targeting for Rock Hill. SPAN Enterprises is a ‘poster child’ for this. One reason this growing software
company is still here in Rock Hill is Zipstream. While it’s starting to become more common to have Gigabit speeds, probably 80-90 percent of U.S. communities don’t yet have them. Comporium was ahead of the curve by offering Zipstream in downtown Rock Hill in 2014 along with fiber to homes and business parks. Rock Hill beat Charlotte, which just recently got Google Fiber.”
Zipstream is also highly valued by York County Economic Development. Swenson said, “Zipstream is a tool in our tool box when selling our region — similar to roads, sewer lines and other infrastructure. In a tech world, Zipstream Gigabit service is a vital asset. Our locations for business require this asset and Comporium delivers.”
Comporium’s role in helping with economic development is appreciated. Turner sums it up this way: “Comporium takes its role as a locally owned business very seriously. They’re willing to make community-spirited investments that are about much more than their company’s bottom line. Comporium is a great corporate citizen.”
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