McCormick invests $1M into rebranding and revitalizing county, joins Economic Development Partnership

MCCORMICK COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – The smallest county in South Carolina is making big moves to attract new industry.

McCormick County has invested more than one million dollars into economic development and leaders are just getting started.

Leaders are paving a more thriving future for the area by doing a complete re-branding, as the “natural pace of life” county, and becoming the newest member of the Economic Development Partnership.

New murals are adding curb appeal to McCormick’s downtown, but it’s also one of the ways the county is highlighting its positive features.

McCormick has less than 11,000 residents, making it the least-populous county in South Carolina.

A challenge McCormick County Economic Director Thessa Smith is working to overcome in order to jump-start business.

“We understand when you look at us individually it may look like we don’t have a sustainable workforce, but what we try to put forth is we are able to pull Greenwood. We are able to pull from Lawrence, we are able to pull from Saluda, Newberry all the other surrounding counties.” Smith told WJBF NewsChannel 6.

Many industries require natural gas, which McCormick County can’t offer.

However, Smith says they have one amenity other surrounding areas can’t compete with.

“Fiber Optic is vibrant, is well and most people don’t know that when they come here.” Smith said.

Smith says pouring resources into revitalization is a good move, but the county needed to do more.

Which led to a partnership between McCormick and the Economic Development Partnership – which serves Edgefield, Aiken and Saluda county.

“This allows them to be able to get some funding through the state of South Carolina.” Economic Development Partnership President and CEO Will Williams said. “We are able to get matching funds to help do produce development and marketing for them.”

Williams says the additions of McCormick County benefits the entire region, and helps him sell the area to big industries.

“Because ultimately the companies we are talking to, they are not interested in county lines, they are interested in where they can find a workforce and being able to attract those workers.” Williams told WJBF NewsChannel 6.

County leaders are excited to announce that a Canadian-based food company has chosen McCormick County as its first U.S. location.

Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story. 

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