Reflecting the Region’s Reality

Mirrors have an annoyingly reliable habit of reflecting reality. They show us as we actually are regardless of our mental self-image.

Holding up a mirror to reflect the region’s reality is the goal of the Chamber’s Investment Opportunity Study, a new report released at the Business Leaders’ Summit in January.

By compiling demographic, economic and real estate data, along with information on the development approval process, we can see ourselves the way a prospective investor sees us.

How investors see our region matters because most of our aspirations hinge on private investments. Job and wage growth, diverse housing choices, revitalized neighborhoods, retail and restaurant options – all of these quality of life factors depend on independent capital decisions.

The Investment Opportunity Study opens with five megatrends shaping investments region-wide: strong job growth, population growth, housing stress, shifting employment centers and rising traffic congestion. These are mostly well-known, but each has a different context based on where you reside within the region.

The study then reports core metrics – everything from workforce participation rate to median rent – for our region’s five largest municipalities: Goose Creek, Summerville, Mount Pleasant, North Charleston and Charleston. It also shares the project development timeline as reported by municipal staff and experienced by design professional firms.

This clear-eyed look at our core metrics highlights some obvious opportunities – opportunities to better leverage assets, to strengthen our policy climate and to streamline processes.

When those opportunities aligned with goals established by municipal leaders, we wrote them down. These “Partnership Priorities” are our regional advocacy playbook for the year. They are the shared goals the public and private sectors can work together to achieve in 2019.

Ticking the box on multiple “Partnership Priorities” this year will take a lot of input and encouragement from people like you… and you have a golden opportunity to get involved coming up very soon.

On Tuesday, February 19, the Chamber is partnering with Goose Creek Mayor, Greg Habib, to hold the first Exploring Opportunities session. At the upcoming Business in your Backyard, we’ll unpack the Investment Opportunity Study data related to Goose Creek and hear how Mayor Habib would like to work with the private sector to achieve their top priorities.

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