HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Governor Henry McMaster visited the Grand Strand on Tuesday for the first time after being named Governor.
Governor Henry McMaster was in the Grand Strand to attend an annual South Carolina Emergency Management conference and while this may have been the first time Governor Henry McMaster visited the Grand Strand as governor, but he's no stranger to the area.
"It is an economic engine and it is one of the most beautiful places across the country," Governor McMaster said.
Governor Henry McMaster using the term "economic engine" to describe the Grand Strand shouldn't come as a surprise.
"There's no doubt about it, the Grand Strand has been called that for a lot of years. There has been great economic growth and prosperity here as well as in other parts of the state - there has been a renaissance in a lot of towns and cities that don't look like they looked 20, 25 years ago," he said.
The Governor going on to say, now is the time to act on this trend.
"…with the economy starting to grow, we have just a few years to out run the competition, we've already been doing it. North Carolina, Georgia, and other states are looking at South Carolina as a model," he added.
In order to keep that lead, Governor McMaster says it will take a team effort from local and state leaders.
"When we collaborate in South Carolina and unite all of our strengths, there's nobody that can beat us," McMaster said.
Something local leaders have been pushing for years is Interstate 73.
"It would be a gateway, it's hard for people to get a lot of parts of the state. I've asked President Trump to make some expenditures in his trillion dollar plan and I hope we are able to do that and to get that money to help but raising taxes... in my book, is always the very last resort," McMaster explained.
Speaking of President Trump, the governor spoke highly of his address to congress Tuesday night, saying the President will take this country into economic prosperity other presidents have not in the past.
"I'm very proud of our president. I think he has us heading in the right direction," McMaster said. "I think it's a different direction, it's the direction of economic prosperity. One thing he understands more than many others who have sought that office, is the importance of our people and our systems to be strong. And he is looking to unleash the great economic potential in this country so we can all prosper."
McMaster believes this prosperity will help solve problems we see here locally.
"It's very important. We have opioid problem, we still have cocaine, crack cocaine…we have human trafficking all over this state... there are a lot of problems people are not aware of," McMaster said. "But one thing I do know, is that prosperity, economic growth and prosperity, solves a lot of problems."
Governor McMaster also said he believes no other state has more opportunity or potential to prosper than the state of South Carolina.