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Columbia Economic Notes

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Ahhh, good info on Aflac. The distance from Columbia to Charlotte being about the same as from Columbus to Atlanta was a point I thought of as well, but perhaps some flights could be taken out of CAE which certainly has a busier airport than Columbus's. But it sounds like it's a non-starter.

I also think that Columbia should take some plays out of Columbus, OH's playbook, as that city is like a larger Midwestern counterpart of Columbia, both being centrally located state capitals home to huge universities, located along a river, having large insurance clusters, and even being named after the same person.

Good points overall.

makes plenty of sense

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The story about USC's endowed professors needing more research space would imply that USC has basically given up on the economic development initiative and instead focused on turning Innovista into a research campus. If that's the case, what do we need Don Herriott for? I remember Hildy Teegan and Harris Pastides emphasizing his deep industry experience at Roche during the inaugural press conference, but it would appear that he has made very little progress over the past couple years. I know the ITology project is supposed to draw high tech companies, but that's not even in Innovista. It seems like USC should get serious about developing Innovista into a new tech district or adjust the initial plans and turn it into a true research park. This tepid progress is extremely frustrating.

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I'm reluctant to begin a new thread, although I feel this news deserves one. Columbia has emerged as the world's leader in insurance technology. The Capital City's role in the industry has expanded at an accelerated pace in recent years and is showing no signs of letting up. It gives naming the USC basketball facility the Colonial Life Arena a whole new level of meaning.

http://www.thestate.com/2012/05/13/2274150/sc-business.html

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I'm reluctant to begin a new thread, although I feel this news deserves one. Columbia has emerged as the world's leader in insurance technology. The Capital City's role in the industry has expanded at an accelerated pace in recent years and is showing no signs of letting up. It gives naming the USC basketball facility the Colonial Life Arena a whole new level of meaning.

http://www.thestate....c-business.html

nice

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I'm reluctant to begin a new thread, although I feel this news deserves one. Columbia has emerged as the world's leader in insurance technology. The Capital City's role in the industry has expanded at an accelerated pace in recent years and is showing no signs of letting up. It gives naming the USC basketball facility the Colonial Life Arena a whole new level of meaning.

http://www.thestate....c-business.html

Very very interesting stuff, particularly the history of how this came about. I still feel that the city could do more to take advantage of its status here, especially combined with the notable international business program at USC. It just sounds like a grand opportunity waiting to happen.

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Columbia ranked #21 in the nation among large metropolitan areas in manufacturing job growth from 2010 through 2011. The capital city needs to step it up in the level of "very high tech" and "moderately high tech" manufacturing jobs. Area leaders do have that goal in their focus. In the meantime, #21 out of 100 isn't bad for a place some claim is just a government-university-military-insurance-insurance technology town.

http://www.columbiabusinessreport.com/news/44003-growth-in-midlands-manufacturing-jobs-outpaces-national-average?rss=0

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The capital city needs to step it up in the level of "very high tech" and "moderately high tech" manufacturing jobs. Area leaders do have that goal in their focus.

As if on cue, a high-tech manufacturer is considering a location at a greenfield site in a multi-county industrial park that has been annexed into the city to invest more than $5 million and employ 50 to 100 people. The city of Columbia does not currently have a tax abatement tool to use in attracting businesses. But city economic development director Jim Gambrell noted that the cities of Charleston and Greenville have implemented such policies, and he urged Columbia officials to consider such a practice. “We don’t often get a chance to look at manufacturing in the city,” Gambrell said. But he added that the current prospect “loves the city.”

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The seem to have dropped it from the main USA Today article. I had to copy it from another city info website onto here.

http://www.usatoday....2011/34083932/1

Thanks for the link. However, it looks like Florence is forecast to have the highest percentage of job growth over the next year. Columbia appears to rank second.

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Thanks for the link. However, it looks like Florence is forecast to have the highest percentage of job growth over the next year. Columbia appears to rank second.

Oh, sorry. I only considered the larger metros. Myrtle Beach was the most tertiary place I looked at.

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SCBT signed a merger agreement Wednesday with Savannah Bancorp to buy that bank for $67.1 million, giving the Columbia-based parent of S.C. Bank & Trust its first presence in coastal Georgia. The Georgia company operates Savannah Bank and Bryan Bank & Trust, which together have 11 locations in South Carolina and Georgia. The two locations in South Carolina – in Beaufort and Jasper counties – likely will be merged into existing SCB&T branches, S.C. Bank and Trust president and chief executive Robert Hill said.

The merger agreement has been approved unanimously by the board of directors of each company and is expected to be completed by November. The combined company will have about $5.3 billion in total assets, $4.5 billion in total deposits and $3.8 billion in total loans; as of now, SCBT has total assets of $4.4 billion. The merger will give SCBT 85 branches in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia.

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The Midlands leads the state in job creation for the year. In the 2011-2012 fiscal year, BMW kept the Upstate afloat and Boeing kept the Lowcountry afloat, while Midlands job growth was across the board. "We've been telling people it's the Midlands' time."

http://www.thestate.com/2012/08/18/2403764/midlands-leads-the-state-in-job.html#.UC8WYaBrLww

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That's good news and it's obviously private sector growth is making the difference. Surely the developments in Lexington County are helping, along with Aflac's expansion in Columbia

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Some good stuff here: of the 150 largest metro areas in the country, Columbia ranked second for high-tech employment growth from 2010-2011 and fourth from 2006-2011 according to the report "Technology Works: High-Tech Employment and Wages in the United States" (the rankings are on pages 13,14, and 33), prepared by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute for Engine Advocacy, an advocacy  group of technology innovators and entrepreneurs which seeks to shape public policy. While the overall share of high-tech jobs in Columbia, 2.5%, is below the average of 5.6% for the 150 metros included in the study, it's good to see Columbia making great strides in this category. 

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SCBT and First Financial Holdings Inc. of Charleston announced today that they agreed to a $302 million mergerWhen the deal closes in the fall, the combined bank will be the fifth-largest in South Carolina based on deposits. The merged companies said they will have about $8.3 billion in total assets, $6.9 billion in total deposits and $6.1 billion in total loans.

 

The holding company will operate under the name First Financial Holdings. A news release did not say what name the combined 148 branches in the Carolinas would use or where the bank will be headquartered.

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SCBT and First Financial Holdings Inc. of Charleston announced today that they agreed to a $302 million merger. When the deal closes in the fall, the combined bank will be the fifth-largest in South Carolina based on deposits. The merged companies said they will have about $8.3 billion in total assets, $6.9 billion in total deposits and $6.1 billion in total loans.

 

The holding company will operate under the name First Financial Holdings. A news release did not say what name the combined 148 branches in the Carolinas would use or where the bank will be headquartered.

I hope they HQ in Columbia. that would be Awesome! if so we might be looking at a new tower in downtown.

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The hard copy of The State Newspaper today says Columbia will be the headquarters.

 

I'm not surprised. Columbia is the bigger banking center and is more centralized.

 

With the decrease in office vacancies in the CBD and this merger, I'm pretty sure we'll see a tower emerge within the next year.

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More info from an article in the MB Sun:

 

The combined bank will be headquartered in Columbia. When the deal closes in the fall, it will be the fifth largest operating bank in South Carolina, based on deposits, and the 14th largest in the Southeast, officials said. The deal also will give SCBT a strong presence along the S.C. coast – an area where it had been lacking.

 

In a conference call with financial analysts Wednesday, Hill said the bank’s buying spree will be put on hold for the rest of 2013 and most of 2014 as it integrates its latest merger and, after that, likely will shift outside the state.

 

“In the latter part of (2014), if things are going well … then we will begin to plan for the next steps,” he said. “The odds of us doing additional acquisitions in South Carolina would not be really high … maybe one or two (deals). The bulk of the opportunity would come from outside of South Carolina.”

 

But as the bank grows its assets to a projected $20 billion from its current $8.3 billion over the next five to seven years, more support jobs will be added, Hill said. He anticipates the bank will add 1,000 to 1,500 jobs at support centers in Charleston, Columbia and Orangeburg, where SCBT has its roots.

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Also, the newly combined bank will become the largest state-based commercial bank by assets--but just by a hair. Currently that honor belongs to First Citizens, with $8.2 billion. So I supposed I could see a new headquarters tower having about the same amount of space as First Citizens' headquarters, but hopefully they'll opt to go taller.

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I could easily see this bank anchoring a new building in Columbia.  Their current building on Gervais seems small for a bank with over $8b in assets.  If I read correclty, SCN had a little over $8b in deposits when they were at the Palmetto Center.  Of course, banks are much larger now, $8b seems like a community bank compared with the big 4.  But, like it was stated, First Citizens is a similar size and has a very nice building on Main St.  While it could be taller, the building looks great.  If they (SCBT) do build, I hope they leave a lot of the existing buildings on Main intact, some of the surface lots need to be developed. 

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