Biz Leaders Tired of ‘Getting Killed’

‘Losing Southwest Was A Wake Up Call’
“Look at what’s going on in the Upstate, in the Lowcountry, even Rock Hill,” he said. “We’re getting killed. Killed.” – Randy Halfacre

The quote above is from Lexington mayor, Randy Halfacre, regarding business development in the Midlands. Like it or not, he may be dead on.

According to an article in The State Newspaper, the local Chambers of Commerce are joining forces to recruit industry to the Midlands. Old examples such as the Upstate’s BMW, to the recent landing of Boeing in the Lowcountry, have Midlands leaders scratching their heads. Southwest Airlines’ decision to ‘fly by’ Columbia’s International Airport was a big and embarrassing blow. Now Midlands leaders have decided to scratch heads, collectively.

There are many good points in the article such as the fact that neighboring counties are such polarizing opposites politically and the fact that the coalition covers such a huge geographical area. These are both challenges the new coalition will have to address.

I’ve long thought the Midlands should stop using three underutilized rivers, cool swamps, and a fantastic zoo as a reason for world class brands to domicile their headquarters here.

Time will tell if this effort will work. On the surface it seems to me that this line of thinking will act as a dilution of what Columbia is trying to do. We’ll see.

All of this said, I hope this chamber partnershop works like a well-oiled machine and attracts the greatest companies on earth to Columbia, South Carolina.

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