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Columbia Business Monthly

#ColumbiaAgenda: Carolina Panthers' Economic Impact, Dick Harpootlian Delays Bill, SmartState Successes, Jeff Duncan Swipes, SC Boeing Safety Concerns, Bee Pollen Glue, Male Birth Control Pill

Mar 29, 2019 09:39AM ● By Chris Haire
With South Carolina leaders wanting to offer the Carolina Panthers financial incentives to move their HQ to Rock Hill, it's a good time to ask: "What's the economic impact of the team?"

According to a University of South Carolina study, the Panthers had an annual impact of $636 million, with $512 million going to its home base in Mecklenburg County—and those were just the figures from 2012, a few years before Cam Newton took the team to the Super Bowl and finished the season with a 15-1 record.

Closer to home—and more recently—the Panthers’ summer training camp at Wofford had a reported economic impact of $13.24 million. That said, conventional wisdom suggests that if the team moves its HQ and facilities to South Carolina—again, Rock Hill with its short 20-minute drive from the Queen City seems to be a lock—they’ll likely be saying goodbye to the home of the Terriers and Spartanburg will be saying goodbye to good money.


SC's SmartState Program Gives University Researches The Funds They Need To Innovate: Established by the General Assembly in 2002, South Carolina’s SmartState Program has guided research and innovation here ever since.

The legislation authorized the state’s three public research institutions—Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina, and the University of South Carolina—to use education lottery funds to create Centers of Economic Excellence focused on specific industry sectors. These sectors include the biomedical field; advanced materials and nanotechnology; pharmaceutical; energy and alternative fuels; information science; and automotive and transportation.

Each of the schools was awarded $2 million to $5 million in lottery funds, which had to be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis with funds from industry, to create endowed chairs in each research area. According to the most recent annual report for the program, covering the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the initiative has stimulated $2.4 billion in economic activity, and led directly and indirectly to the creation of more than 12,000 jobs. (Columbia Business Monthly)
State Sen. Dick Harpootlian delays Panthers tax break bill, says he needs evidence the project helps SC (The State)

SC Boeing workers had safety concerns over production schedule, Senate hearing reveals (Post and Courier)

Under pressure to revamp the 737 MAX,  Boeing entered the jet into service before the first flight simulators were ready (WSJ)

The FCC Has Fined Robocallers $208 Million. It’s Collected $6,790. (WSJ)

Steel Producer Nucor to Build $1.3B Mill in Rural Kentucky (Manufacturing.Net)

The Wire
Gov. Henry McMaster Announces Next Director Of The S.C. Department Of Social Services

50 Most Influential
Fred Delk
Columbia Development Corporation 
Executive Director

For almost 25 years, Fred Delk, as the executive director of the Columbia Development Corporation (CDC), has been a catalyst for economic development and public-private partnerships, a champion of historic preservation, and a change agent for creative community ventures. 

Delk has been involved in dozens of high-impact community projects. A few years ago, a dilapidated, vacant Palmetto Compress and Warehouse building was widely considered a “tear down,” impossible-to-develop property; now, the character-filled building is home to hundreds of residents in 200 apartments. Just a few blocks away near the Congaree River is Stormwater Studios, phase one of a vibrant new artist community that will anchor a future riverfront park.
Delk and the CDC have set the stage for even more positive community and economic development in the coming years, including opportunities for improved pedestrian connectivity, sensitive, and sustainable recreational development of the Congaree River, and expansion of the Columbia Convention Center.