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Greenville ‘on the Forefront of America’s Economic Recovery’

May 10, 2021

Upstate city featured as “breakout” in Wall Street Journal

Midsize American cities are leading the nation’s economic recovery, and the Wall Street Journal explores how Greenville is among those “rising stars” in its May 9 article “The Breakout Cities on the Forefront of America’s Economic Recovery.”

With smaller populations, ample access to outdoor space, and less congestion, the publication cites Greenville, South Carolina, alongside Des Moines, Iowa, and Provo, Utah.

“Even before Covid-19, these rising stars … had been quietly building out vibrant economies in the shadow of bigger metropolises,” reporter Justin Baer writes. “During the pandemic, they have drawn workers and businesses with large and affordable homes, ample access to outdoor space and less congestion.

They also have a mix of high-tech jobs and old-line industries, including manufacturing and finance, that turned out to be more resistant to the downturn. They came through the year with fewer job losses and service cuts, and made quicker recoveries.”

Economic data shows the area’s economic resilience: for March, Greenville’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.3%, compared with 6.0% nationally.

And, from April 2020 to March 2021, jobs in the Greenville region grew by 11.9%, compared with the country’s job growth rate of 10.7% in the same timeframe.

Beyond the data, author Baer explores the Upstate’s decades of manufacturing success, high-tech jobs and growing high-impact entrepreneurial ecosystem. And, business leaders share their stories about locating to the Upstate:

  • Cultivation Capital’s Cliff Holekamp, who moved to Greenville in January 2021 after realizing that remote work meant his family could live anywhere — and his firm could find more growth opportunities by spreading out.
  • Worxbee Founder Kenzie Biggins, who moved to Greenville in 2017 and grew her company with support from the chamber’s minority business accelerator program. Worxbee, which offers remote executive assistant services, is on pace to hit $1 million in annual revenue and expects to have 100 assistants in the next year.
  • Proterra Inc., which manufacturers electric busses in Greenville and will go public this year with an IPO in partnership with ArcLight Capital Partners.
  • DC Blox, an Atlanta-based builder and operator of data centers, making a $200 million investment in the community.

Read the full story in the Wall Street Journal.

TOPICS: Business, Business Recruitment, Rankings & Recognitions, Innovation, Technology, Talent