by Nia Watson
Florence County is wrapping up 2019 with success in business and job growth.
This year the area secured a total of $89 million in industry investment along with 403 incoming jobs.
There were two big projects announced this year.
It was announced in August that the Texas chain gas station and convenience store, Buc-ees, will be located at the intersection of Interstate 95 and S.C. 327. And McCall Farms announced another major expansion back in October.
Stephanie Bosch, with the county’s Economic Development Partnership, said that education training, workforce and quality of life are selling points to attract new industries to the area. She hopes to continue the momentum in 2020.
“We hope to have multiple new announcements for new industry that’s going to locate here in Florence, as well as our existing industry, and continue to be involved with our different community partners,” Bosch said.
In downtown Florence, two major businesses opened its doors: The Hyatt Place Hotel and Carolina Bank.
Mike Miller, the president of the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce, said they also continue to see small and hospitality businesses springing up in and around the area.
“From your restaurants to your hotels, they continue to grow,” Miller said. “We’ve had population growth, we’ve had job expansion and they’re good jobs, they’re solid paying jobs.”
The Hyatt Place opened its doors back in February. Assistant General Manager Jenine Shaffer said business has been steady since.
“We get a lot of hospital business so that helped pick us up. We picked up for the holiday season,” Shaffer said.
With continued success expected for not only the new year but for years to come, city leaders plan to increase their partnerships with universities and technical colleges to provide the education and training employers are looking for.
“It’s critical for the continuation of the growth that we’ve seen. We can’t grow if we don’t have people to fill the jobs,” Miller said.