By BRUCE SMITH
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - More than a decade ago, historic Charleston implemented an economic development strategy to attract high-tech, computer-based businesses.
It came at a time when property values were skyrocketing, but average wages in an economy largely based on tourism and service industries were not keeping pace.
The result was the Charleston Digital Corridor, a public-private effort to help startup technology companies.
Now, the corridor operates two business incubators providing affordable office space, tech support and help finding workers. The incubators have helped 51 companies, which in turn have created 200 jobs and an estimated $15 million in payroll.
The corridor now has 94 member companies that pay their employees an average yearly salary of about $67,000, well above the regional average of about $40,000.