(Columbia, SC) — Richland County achieved its second-highest level of capital investment in 2021 — attracting $359.6 million for plans that included a new brewery, development of industrial parks, expansion efforts by BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Westinghouse and more.
Richland County Economic Development Office (RCDEO), the economic team charged with bringing business and vital jobs to Richland County, hosted their Annual Report Launch event on Tuesday, Jan. 18 where County officials shared recent economic wins and growth in the region.
“Over the past year, Richland County has worked diligently to attract new companies to our area and to encourage growth of existing businesses,” said Richland County Councilwoman Yvonne McBride, chair of council’s Economic Development Committee. “We are making great progress in executing our comprehensive economic development plan and becoming a global center for innovative businesses, technologies and people.”
The 2021 Annual Report highlights successes throughout the year in the County, including new jobs, recent company moves and capital investment. For 2021, the County recorded $359.6 million in new capital investment. That total includes 14 companies announcing a combined 1,468 new jobs. Since 2012, the County has attracted $2.3 billion in investment.
Richland County is on an upward trend economically — with record-setting investments over the past several years and a dynamic workforce with a median age of 34.5, the youngest in the state. 2021 economic development successes in Richland County include:
- BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina expanding operations. The company’s more than $60 million investment will create about 702 new jobs over the next five years.
- Homegrown biotech company IMCS, a world-class leader in enzyme development, is investing $4.1 million in the County.
- Westinghouse expanding operations. Over the next five years, the company will invest $131 million in facility development and environmental safety improvements.
- Tyson Foods establishing operations. A total investment of $55 million will bring 330 jobs to the County over 3-5 years.
“Our team works hard behind-the-scenes to attract large companies and create new jobs,” says Jeff Rubble, RCDEO’s director. “Success isn’t an accident. After years of strategically promoting Richland County as a desirable business region, we’re proud to have reached our second-highest level of capital investment and to have logged four of our best years in history in the past five years.”
In addition to the investments above, the County worked throughout 2021 to absorb and develop 460 acres acquired by the County in November 2020 that are helping drive future growth. Highlights of those efforts include:
- Constructing a $4.5 million, one-mile rail spur to Mark Anthony Brewing in Columbia, which encompasses 430 acres acquired by the County in 2020, and will add significant value to that property.
- Grading a 300,000-square-foot building pad at Blythewood Industrial Park.
- Signing a lease agreement with Magnus Development, allowing the company to construct a 200,000-square-foot speculative building on County-owned property at the Northpoint Industrial Park in Blythewood.
In 2020, the RCEDO led the effort to generate the Columbia region’s first comprehensive economic development plan. Currently, the RCEDO is partnering with the region’s economic development organizations, local universities and colleges, and statewide organizations to implement major segments of the action plan.
- Building Columbia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
- Building a stronger information technology community.
- Marketing growth of the region’s IT cluster.
The 2021 Annual Report is available at www.richlandcountysc.com.