Big businesses invest billions in Lowcountry

By Nicole Johnson  bio | email | twitter

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - More than a dozen companies have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the tri-county area in just the past three years.

The tri-county's recent business boom began when Daimler-Chrysler opened a Ladson facility in March, 2007. It was an investment of $35 million and 180 jobs.

A month later, Google announced a $600 million investment at Mount Holly in Berkeley County. Initally the search engine giant employed 200 people, adding to that number as the facility grew. Each year the company has paid the county almost $2 million in property taxes as well, furthering the economic gains in the area.

Finishing out 2007, DuPont announced a $500 million dollar investment in Berkeley County, producing life-saving Kevlar vests.

Next, TRUMPF Medical Systems, a German company that makes hospital products, opened its manufacturing facility and showroom near Charleston, adding another $5.5 million in Lowcountry big business investments.

American LaFrance announced earlier this year it would invest nearly $2 million and create more than 200 jobs near Summerville. The company makes fire trucks and automotive parts.

In October alone, three major companies announced investments in the Lowcountry.

The TBC Corporation, parent company of Tire Kingdom, announced plans to build a distribution facility in Berkeley County, the Scientific Research Corporation announced an expansion of its North Charleston facility, and then Wednesday Boeing announced its intent to build a new line of 787s in North Charleston.

Earlier in the year the company acquired the business operations Vought Aircraft Industries.

The commerce department says statewide there has been an increase in job creation and business investments.

In 2006: $3-billion in capital investments and 14,420 jobs
In 2007: $4.045-billion in capital investments and 15,666 jobs
In 2008:  $4.1-billion in capital investments and 18,993 jobs

These job recruitment numbers do not include the thousands of construction jobs that come with these new or expanded facilities.

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