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Hidden beneath our roads, rail, office and industrial space, there’s another crucial part of infrastructure: water and sewer. When you think about it, no business can exist without clean water and sanitation for workers. When water is an integral part of the core business, such as with manufacturing in the Upstate, it becomes even more important.  

Investments in our water-sewer infrastructure yield large payoffs. Spartanburg Water, for instance, has found that every dollar spent on water yields $12 of economic development investment. It’s nearly double for sewer spending: $1 spent on sewer yields $23 of direct economic investment. The agency makes economic development part of its focus, working closely with the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce Economic Futures Group to understand and help meet economic development goals.    

A standing-room-only crowd gathered in Greenville at SCBIO Live on November 9 and 10. The aim was to learn and collaborate to continue the steady expansion of South Carolina's life sciences ecosystem.

The event was full of practical takeaways for industry practitioners, from research and collaboration to funding and product development. Several broader takeaways from the general session offered a positive outlook for those with an eye on economic development. 

Last month, the Upstate SC Alliance welcomed six site selection consultants for a familiarization tour of the Upstate. While the primary purpose of the visit was to educate these business location experts on our region’s capacity to accommodate new industries and to showcase innovation assets, the visiting site selectors also shared their insights during a panel discussion sponsored by Nexsen Pruet and Alliance Consulting Engineers.

There’s more to Upstate research and development (R&D) than RPMs. Given our region’s success in creating an ecosystem for automotive manufacturing and research, it’s understandable that many people think of cars first when it comes to research and development.

This week, the Upstate SC Alliance will be part of a South Carolina delegation to the world’s largest rubber and plastics trade show, K 2016 in Düsseldorf, Germany. Occurring just once every three years, the last event drew 218,000 visitors and 3,200 exhibiters from 59 countries.

Japan’s footprint in the Upstate is worth pausing to consider.

South Carolina was named the #2 State for Doing Business in Area Development's Top States for Doing Business 2016 analysis, which is in its 30th year of economic development rankings based upon consultant surveys. 

Business in the Upstate has been globally influenced as far back as the 1700s, but now it’s more important than ever that global connection and competitiveness are top of mind.

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