Thursday, September 29, 2011

Consultants unveil first phase of economic-development analysis

A new economic assessment of Beaufort and Jasper counties SC by Avalanche Consulting of Austin, Texas, and McCallum Sweeney of Greenville paints a mixed picture.

Their report says the region lags the nation in job creation, but opportunities for growth exist. Further, a wide majority of the 530 residents surveyed support more funding for economic development. The study is the first of a three-phase analysis local leaders hope will create a framework for growth.

The consultants surveyed area residents and they gave the Lowcountry a C-minus for its economic performance over the past five years.Thirty-nine percent of respondents said job creation should be the highest priority, and 72 percent support higher funding for economic-development initiatives.

Yet many were concerned that might mean smokestacks and urban sprawl.

"Some people in the community associate economic development with a deteriorating quality of life," Avalanche's Amy Holloway was quoted as saying.  "And that's just not the case," she said. More here.

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