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Upstate South Carolina provides an exceptional business climate for some of the world’s most forward-thinking companies. Many of them are world leaders in the development and application of cutting-edge technologies in aerospace, automotive, engineered materials and life sciences industries. With a talented workforce, a diverse range of industry, an accommodating infrastructure, and an attractive lifestyle, it’s no wonder top companies such Michelin, BMW, GE Power, Fluor, Milliken, and Fuji all call Upstate South Carolina home.

Indication of the cumulative business advantages offered by the Upstate is evidenced by the growth of both existing and new companies in the Upstate. Since 2010, we have announced more than $17 billion in capital investment and more than 52,000 jobs. In 2018, the Upstate SC region accounted for approximately 31% of the state’s new capital investment, and 30% of the state’s new job announcements.

And, often times, what is most important is what numbers cannot show. And, that is that South Carolina and the Upstate offer a pro-business environment supported by our government and the public. From the Governor and the South Carolina Department of Commerce to county and local governments, you will find partners that focus on supporting business and industry needs. Let us introduce you to local businesses that can share with you the value of the support they have received from public entities.

Favorable Cost of Business

Low energy costs, abundant water, low cost of living, a 5% corporate income tax rate combined with South Carolina’s right-to-work environment make the Upstate an affordable location for companies that want to maximize their output while minimizing costs.

In South Carolina, there are no state-levied state property taxes; no local income taxes; no inventory taxes; no sales tax on manufacturing equipment, industrial power or materials for finished products; no wholesale tax; and no unitary tax on worldwide profits. Additionally, the South Carolina Department of Commerce offers economic development incentives to businesses who choose to relocate or expand within the state.

South Carolina is a right-to-work state with the lowest unionization rate in the nation at 1.6 percent. The unionization rate for manufacturing in the Upstate is zero percent.

Internationally Welcoming Business Environment

As international investment has grown, so have outreach opportunities for the international community here in the Upstate. This region offers international schools, sister cities programs and most importantly, Upstate International, a resource for businesses and families who have relocated from overseas.

South Carolina stands out as a top destination for foreign investment, ranking #1 nationwide in attracting jobs through foreign investment for three of the last five years, according to analysis by IBM-Plant Location International (IBM-PLI) in its Global Location Trends: 2016 Annual Report.

See more on International Support & Resources.

Upstate Rankings

  • #2 North American Micro City of the Future, FDi Intelligence 2017-2018
  • #1 Micro City of the Future- American, FDi Intelligence 2017-2018
  • #8 Micro American Cities of the Future- Human Capital and Lifestyle, FDi Intelligence 2017-2018
  • #4 Micro American Cities of the Future Cost Effectiveness- Greenville, FDi Intelligence 2017-2018
  • #2 in Site Selection Executive Survey Business Climate Ranks
  • Tied 6 2017 Top State Business Climate Rankings- Site Selection
  • 2017 State of the Year, Business Facilities Magazine 2018
  • 2017 State of the Year, Business Facilities Magazine 2018
  • #1 Micro City of the Future, FDi Intelligence in 2016-2015
  • #1 Micro City for Economic Potential (Greenville) and #2 for Business Friendliness
  • #2 Top States for Doing Business, Area Development 2016
  • #3 among Atlantic states on the 2016 State Workforce Development Ranks, Site Selection 2016
  • #5 Pro-Business Regulatory Environment, Forbes
  • #1 Destination for foreign direct investment (4 of the last five years), Global Location Trends
  • 2015 Best Cities for Export Assistance, Global Trade Magazine