South Carolina’s deeply business-friendly environment draws few complaints from entrepreneurs operating in the state.
Many business people have moved from other states to put down roots and expand their operations in the Palmetto State.
Palmetto Business Daily canvassed a range of voices on the best of doing business in the state.
James Trimble, who heads Trimble Private Brokerage, a real estate firm, moved his business to Charleston after working for 30 years in Maine.
“I had a real estate company for 30 years in Maine, and I always felt the state was doing everything it could to tax me and put me out of business,” Trimble said. “So I think the business climate here is very good from that standpoint...It is open for business, wants business and is pro-business."
“I do not see any challenges other than that I am a new brand, but that has nothing to do with the state." Trimble said. “The real estate market is good as you know, (and) the state is not doing anything to interfere with that.
“They are doing things right," Trimble said. "The future looks good.”
Marc Fetten, CEO of Cooper River Partners and chairman of the Trident CEO council, said South Carolina is “one of the most business-friendly states that I have ever worked in."
There is just a sense of alignment within the community, at state and regional levels, to make good businesses successful,” Fetten said. “You can feel that support from across local, city and state governments.”
And it is not just when a business first arrives in the state, Fetten said.
“That level of support remains as long as you operate here, so if you have a number of issues down the line, you still have a number to call and people still willing to help,” Fetten said.
“Expansion is really a testament to ‘Hey, I have been here, I have lived here, I have experienced here and I like it and I am going to do it again,’’ Fetten said. “That’s really the ultimate testament. I see a lot of people doing that, and we are doing that, so that’s what I like about South Carolina.”
Secondly, there's workforce, which Fetten describes as an “incredibly hard-working, loyal, union-free work force."
David Wolle is chief operating officer of KOS Services, which manages Family Dental. It has clinics in Greenville, Rock Hill and Columbia, and is an affiliate of Dental Dreams, a provider of dental services with 65 locations in 11 states.
”Without a doubt, the thing that we appreciate most about doing business in South Carolina is the forward-looking policies fostered by the state of South Carolina,” Wolle said.
“At a time when many states have taken a short-sighted approach to dental services for those enrolled in Medicaid, South Carolina recognizes that providing dental coverage for both children and adults covered by Medicaid has tremendous benefits from both a public health and economic perspective,” Wolle said.
“As a result, they have improved public health in South Carolina while also saving taxpayer dollars.”
Ted Pitts, president of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, sums up the views of many business people.
“The people. South Carolina workers are second to none,” Pitts said. “That is why you see so many companies moving to the Palmetto state.”