An Ohio-based firearms manufacturer says it plans to expand its manufacturing operations to the Myrtle Beach area.
Ithaca Gun Company says its $6.7 million investment near Aynor will create 120 high-skilled jobs, including machine operators, gunsmiths, engineers and assemblers. Ithaca plans to build a new 20,000-square-foot facility at Horry County’s Cool Springs Business Park. The company hopes to begin production next year. Ithaca manufactures shotguns and pistols. “Ithaca Gun Company is excited about locating to Horry County,” Ithaca’s chief operating officer Mike Farrell said in a statement. “We have received great support from the state and the local officials to make this happen. South Carolina offers us the right mix of business-friendly climate, a steady workforce with training opportunities and an excellent quality of life we were looking for in establishing a new facility.”
Farell said factors that contributed to the company’s site selection included the quantity and quality of the area labor force, proximity to technical colleges for training workers in Conway and Florence, and quality of life. Ithaca is the second guns manufacturer to establish new operations in Horry County over the past few months. In June, Connecticut-based PTR Industries announced it was leaving its home state and moving its operations to South Carolina, citing the Palmetto State’s friendlier gun laws.
State Rep. Alan Clemmons (R-Myrtle Beach) was actively involved in recruiting both companies to the region. Clemmons said he first reached out to Ithaca after learning from WPDE-TV general manager Billy Huggins that the gun manufacturer was considering an expansion.
“South Carolina is well on her way to building a reputation around the nation among gun manufacturers looking to expand or relocate as a ‘short-list state,” he said in a press release.
Bringing this project to the state involved coordination between the South Carolina Department of Commerce, the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation, North Eastern Strategic Alliance (NESA), the Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology (SIMT) located in Florence, Horry County Council, Santee Cooper, the Horry County legislative delegation and Horry-Georgetown Technical College.
The release did not say the amount of incentives (if any) Horry County offered to Ithaca Gun Company. South Carolina is not offering any financial benefits besides training future employees through its “ReadySC” program, according to a Department of Commerce spokeswoman.
South Carolina and Horry County offered to Ithaca Gun Company.