MBREDC brings in record number of jobs to Horry County

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation has brought in 400 jobs so far in 2012, and 56 more are likely on the way.

Right now the MBREDC has 23 active projects in the works, meaning 23 companies across the nation are interested in possibly making their way into Horry County.

The details behind a project code-named "Project Volunteer" are expected to be announced within the next few weeks. At Tuesday's council meeting a first reading will be heard regarding the company that will bring in 56 manufacturing jobs to Horry County if it is passed.

If all 23 projects end up moving into Horry County, it would be a $1 billion impact to the economy and bring in nearly 5,000 jobs.

Coastal Carolina University Research Economist Robert Salvino said all 23 projects passing is unlikely.

"I think viewers should probably understand not every lead is a guarantee and you know, you look at Myrtle Beach and what kind of industry is a strong fit for the region and so those are some of the challenges the professionals in economic development recruitment have to deal with themselves" Salvino said.

MBREDC Executive Director Brad Lofton said last year at this time only 10 to 12 projects were in the works. Lofton said the companies are realizing Horry County has more to offer than just a tourist destination.

"It's a great quality of life, low cost of doing business, low cost of living. We've got a major airport here, we've got a major university here and so we just had to get out and tell the rest of the world that we're not just a tourism destination but we're also a good place to do business and that message is starting to resonate around the country," Lofton said.

Lofton said there are challenges when trying to lure in potential companies to the area. One is that there is not a major highway and also the capability of inclement weather hitting the county.

"Overcoming the perception of a hurricane and inclement weather, even though we have the data to show it's a pretty safe community from a weather standpoint that's still an issue that folks struggle with." Lofton said.

Lofton said even if only four or five of the interested companies come to Horry County, the MBREDC will likely still reach its 2013 goal to bring 500 new jobs to Horry County.

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