MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The slogan "Catch the rising tide," supports the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation's plan to continue economic growth for the future.
At an annual review Thursday, the group discussed, that the tide is rising and new opportunities in the Grand Strand, marks 2013 a record year for job creation.
"Roughly a thousand new jobs created just in 2013, so far and away the best year we've ever had," says MBREDC President and CEO Brad Lofton. An estimated $126-million dollar estimated economic impact.
New jobs announced in 2013 includes but is not limited to, a new call center, Startek, expected to bring over 650 jobs. 2013 was also labeled, "the year of the gun manufacturers," for bringing in two of the nation's top gun companies, Ithaca Gun Company and PTR Industries.
The MBREDC recently announced a new opportunity to Little River. "A company called Laudisi Enterprises," says Lofton, "They do businesses at smokingpipes.com, they're the largest online pipe distributor in the country."
Laudisi Enterprises will bring around 40 jobs to our area.
Lofton is celebrating a strong year, but also looking forward to what another will bring.
"Our pipeline is as strong as we've ever seen going into a new year. We've got some initial preliminary commitments from companies, that we believe will hopefully be getting over the finish line in 90 days," he says."
While tourism will always be the economic draw to Myrtle Beach, Lofton says, growth is about expanding your horizons.
"We found that most of the successful communities in the country that specialize in tourism, diversify and also have pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, corporate headquarters, advanced manufacturing, aerospace, so that not all their eggs are in one basket," he says.
The target industries for the area are service centers, aviation and marine manufacturing. The MBREDC says our area would undoubtedly continue to thrive, with an interstate like I-73, the road to continued growth in manufacturing.
A recent pew research report predicts South Carolina will be the 7th in the nation when it comes to job creation in 2014, with an expected 40-thousand positions created in the state, throughout the year.