Greenville Chamber releases the 2012 Regional Economic Scorecard

Media Contact: Hank Hyatt
864-239-3714, [email protected]

(GREENVILLE, SC) The Greenville Chamber released the 2012 Regional Economic Scorecard results at an ACCELERATE! Investors Meeting on Tuesday, July 10. This fifth annual Scorecard reveals the first uptick in Greenville County’s Per Capita Income relative to the United States since 1999.

The Scorecard is the region’s objective analysis of the local economy and serves as the catalyst for engaging business and community leaders in thoughtful dialogue about progress, roadblocks, and solutions to improve economic competitiveness. To ensure the objectivity and technical accuracy of the Scorecard information, the Clemson Institute for Economic and Community Development was hired to conduct the research and to help craft the final community report. The 2012 report was funded in part by ACCELERATE!, the Community Foundation of Greenville, United Way of Greenville County, University Center of Greenville and the Upstate SC Alliance.

Overall 2012 Scorecard results indicate that while the area’s economy has gained ground relative to the nation in terms of personal income growth, there are underlying issues which still need attention. Greenville County’s per capita income in 2010 was $33,917, significantly less than the national average of $39,937. If Greenville’s income was on par with the national average, there would be $1.59 billion in extra spendable in our community each year. Expanded to the Upstate region, there would be over $11 billion.

According to Mike Riordan, CEO of the Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center and 2012 Chairman of the Greenville Chamber, “The Scorecard provides a tool for the community similar to what businesses employ in their own organizations. With a set of relevant metrics allowing the region to compare how it fares against competitor communities, we are better able to focus resources where they will make the most difference. While we may be uncomfortable at times because of the data, the report prompts the region’s leadership to engage in a thoughtful conversation about how we can move our community forward.”

In response to previous Scorecard results, the Greenville Chamber launched ACCELERATE!, an economic development initiative to address the lack of income competitiveness by focusing on key drivers of income growth: Human Capital, Innovative Activity, Entrepreneurial Environment, and Industry Strength. The business-led initiative provides critical funding and leadership to new development programs.

“The overall message of the 2012 Regional Economic Scorecard is that Greenville is making progress toward closing the per capita income gap and that we are situated for greater progress in the future. However, our position relative to some of our competition is not where we would like it to be,” said Craig Brown, co-chair of ACCELERATE! “The good news is that business, community and political leaders are coming together to discuss and formulate an action plan of priority steps to address these issues. We will build on what has already been accomplished by the many organizations aligned with the goal of increasing income competitiveness.”

Ways for community members to learn more about the Regional Economic Scorecard and get involved:

• View the 2012 Scorecard Summary at http://issuu.com/scbiz/docs/2012greenvillescorecard.

• Attend the GSA Power Hour event on July 26 for a full presentation. Details available at https://www.gsabusiness.com/events/PowerBreakfastSeries.

• Find out more about the Scorecard and schedule community group presentations by contacting Hank Hyatt at [email protected] or 864-239-3714.

• Be an ACCELERATE! Investor. Contact John Moore at [email protected] or 864-239-3717 for information.

About the Regional Economic Scorecard
The Greenville Chamber launched the Regional Economic Scorecard project in 2007 after having noticed a long-term downward trend in per capita income relative to that of the United States. The Chamber contracted with economic researchers at Clemson University to help the region better understand what contributes to strong income growth. The authors of the report identified four major drivers of per capita income and 11 peer communities with whom Greenville should compare to in these areas. The intent of the Scorecard is to report objectively on the region’s economic performance and to identify economic development strategies for leveraging community strengths and addressing community weaknesses.

About ACCELERATE!
In response to previous Scorecard results, the Greenville Chamber launched ACCELERATE!, an economic development initiative to address the lack of income competitiveness by focusing on key drivers of income growth: Human Capital, Innovative Activity, Entrepreneurial Environment, and Industry Strength. The business-led initiative provides critical funding and leadership to new development programs. For more information about ACCELERATE!, visit www.accelerategreenville.org or contact John Moore at [email protected] or 864-239-3717.

About the Greenville Chamber
The Greenville Chamber is the largest business organization in the Upstate. The Chamber's mission is to build one of the premier business communities in the world by leading through collaboration, building community prosperity, being the voice of business, and enhancing quality of life. For more information about the Greenville Chamber, visit www.greenvillechamber.org or call 864-242-1050.

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