Article/Photo Credit: Joshua Lloyd, Morning News
FLORENCE, S.C. – Every year for the past 16 years business leaders and politicians from Florence County have converged in state’s Capitol for a legislative day that entails a statehouse tour and a talk with politicians about current affairs. This year the progress of major industry in Florence County was the hot-ticket item.
Twenty-five stories above Columbia at the Capitol City Club, Gov. Henry McMaster addressed the movers and shakers of Florence County, and had nothing but positive remarks for the county’s progress.
“Right now Florence County is going off the charts,” McMaster said. “I’ve been going to Florence since I was a child and it’s inspirational to see the changes happening now. The people have always been great but now the performance is catching up with the vision.”
McMaster said Florence is growing right along with places like Charleston and Greenville, something that’s good for the Pee Dee region as a whole. He said business expansions in the county, like GE’s upcoming $40 million project and Honda’s $45 million expansion, are pushing the state’s economy forward.
“We have all the assets in this state to go straight to the top, but the question is what we will do with it,” he said. “We have the vision. We have the institutions. We have the people.”
In addition to McMaster, some of Florence County’s House delegates attebded the event.
Democratic Rep. Roger Kirby said the county is positioned to see even greater growth in the coming years.
“We’ve got the infrastructure. We’ve got the higher education. We’ve got industry. We’ve got solid leadership,” he said. “All the pieces are there. Plus we have a team effort, which will go a long way. We’re quickly becoming a part of the statewide conversation.”
Republican Rep. Phillip Lowe echoed that sentiment.
“The pace that we’re setting with growth is unbelievable,” he said. “Great things have been happening, and I think some more major things are going to happen in the next few years.”
Attendees wrapped up the day with a reception at the Columbia Museum of Art, where state officials got a chance to meet with Florence County businesses.
The Florence County legislative day is funded by Florence County, the city of Florence and Florence County Progress.