In a special session this week the legislature discussed giving tax breaks to big companies to move into South Carolina. South Carolina Chamber of Commerce President Otis Rawl says this type of investment comes every few years.
“When you talk about a company that’s going to invest over $750 million and hire over 3,500 people. That’s a significant investment in this state and when you look at what that contributes back to the community in property taxes and the income taxes that come off of it. Those significant investments mean a lot to communities and to this state,” says Rawl.
In discussion right now, the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer, Boeing, may choose Charleston to set up a new 787 jetliner assembly line. Rawl says he thinks South Carolina has a good chance for more business.
“I think the big thing is I don’t think Boeing is using us. I think the real issue there is they’ve had some major work stopages as a result of union activity in Washington state, and if you’re gonna run a business, you can’t just continue to be shut-down and not produce a product and be profitable. So, I think they are genuinely looking at a place that’s non-union where you’ve got people with good work ethic that will give you a good days work for a good salary, and that’s what South Carolina can offer to Boeing,” says Rawl.
And with the possibility of the new Boeing line coming to Charleston, Rawl says the state’s unemployment numbers will see a drastic change.
“When you start talking about an unemployment rate approaching 12 percent in South Carolina, and you put 3,500 people to work, that’s significant. And, that doesn’t even include new jobs that will be created by small business in the area that supply a company this big. The turn effect on our economy will be significant,” says Rawl.
Rawl says South Carolina is not giving up anything to invest in these big businesses, like Boeing, due to the jobs and revenue they will create.
Boeing is expected to make a decision between Charleston and Everett, Washington by November.