Returning from recent a transatlantic trip, Mike Graney, who serves as global business development VP for the Charleston Regional Development Alliance (CRDA), offered salient advice for European firms considering potential development in the United States.
While traveling for CRDA by air and land, Graney noticed that many European businesses maintain headquarters or operations in outlying areas, in direct contrast to American corporate locations.
“In Europe, many companies are located in the rural countryside, seemingly away from population centers,” Graney said. “In the U.S., the converse is typically true. Most of our job growth occurs in proximity to urban metro areas.”
In fact, he stated, the top 100 most-populated metro areas in our nation generate 75 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The takeaway for neighbors across the pond contemplating westward expansion, therefore, would be to focus relocation or expansion efforts on metropolitan areas.
The reasons for choosing urban locales are plentiful, including heightened prospects for a qualified workforce, diversity in real estate choices and select pockets of rural settings within the metropolitan area, along with growth potential related to proximity to many resources.
Graney pointed out that CRDA can be instrumental in helping foreign entities with FDI (Foreign Direct Investment). The organization actively seeks international firms with robust business models to join the Charleston community for mutually beneficial economic opportunities.
CRDA spans South Carolina’s Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties.