The current economic climate is causing leaders in the Carolinas to reevaluate the statewide budget numbers and work to reduce expenses in an effort to meet financial expectations. Just as most businesses and individuals show fiscal responsibility to adjust spending when income decreases the income for the state - taxes - are down considerably and require similar cuts.
There are two areas we hope that see little reduction: education and tourism. It is unfortunate that either of these items would be on the chopping block, but in today's environment everything is on the table for consideration. Yes, there are probably some areas within the educational field that could be trimmed, but overall we hope educational reductions are limited.
In our local view, a quality educational system is the most critical need for any state, especially South Carolina. If the educational system is strong, it typically results in a strong showing in almost all other criteria.
And tourism, being the No. 1 industry of the Carolinas, consistently proves that for every dollar invested there is a significant return. In a down market, businesses, as well as tourism, can gain market share from other entities because there is typically less competition vying to reach that consumer.
Share of voice means share of market, and when there are fewer voices out there the share of market can grow. Now is the time to NOT reduce marketing efforts. If anything, the level should remain steady or increase so when the economy begins to turn the state will have gained that increased share.
Let's keep an eye on the statehouse. We understand budget cuts are required, but let's encourage lawmakers to find those cuts in areas other than education and tourism.