$600,000 and 10 new jobs.
That's the promised first-year result of Fitness First USA's move to Mt. Pleasant, SC.
The company, a division of A&Z Pharmaceutical, Inc., was welcomed to town in a ribbon-cutting ceremony held earlier today.
The 20-year old company is relocating its headquarters to Mt. Pleasant from Portsmouth, NH. In addition to the headquarters, it will have a flagship retail and e-commerce distribution facility off Long Point Road, for which a public grand opening will be held this Saturday.
“We are very excited to open our first retail store and e-commerce facility in beautiful Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, a location known for abundant wellness activities and health-focused, active residents," said Kevin McCourt, V.P. of Sales & Marketing, A&Z Pharmaceutical, Inc. "Charleston is a perfect community and market to build our brand.”
Fitness First USA bills itself as "a one stop Health and Wellness Center" with a retail store offering vitamins, supplements, fitness products, digestion aids & superfoods, holistic products, personal care items, children’s products, healthy food, snacks & drinks, accessories, and apparel. The center will also offer a variety of fitness, personal training and wellness programs, and the company also ships its products worldwide via its e-commerce platform.
While only 13% of Mt. Pleasant voters in a recent Palmetto Business Daily poll said that "attracting new business and jobs" was their most important issue, a promised initial first year investment of $600,000 by the company will help broaden the town's tax base. Expanding the tax base will help provide funding for continued infrastructure improvements in the town, which should be popular with voters, 41% of whom said that "traffic" was their most important issue.
“We’re delighted to welcome Fitness First USA to Mount Pleasant. Mount Pleasant is committed to a healthful citizenry in both physical well-being and in economic opportunity," said Mount Pleasant Mayor Linda Page.
The South Carolina Department of Commerce and the Charleston Regional Development Alliance (CRDA) tout the company's relocation as a success in its "Landing Pad" program, which works with companies, such as Fitness First USA, looking to enter the Palmetto State market.
“We’re excited to celebrate this announcement by Fitness First USA, as well as the continued growth of South Carolina’s new Landing Pad program," said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. "Announced last year, this program is critical toward ensuring that our state provides the most welcoming environment possible for businesses from all corners of the globe.”
Todd Gallati, chair of the CRDA board, echoed Hitt's sentiments, saying, “This was a seamless team effort, and the region’s healthy lifestyle, great weather, and business-friendly climate made all the difference."