Spartanburg economy continues recovery, local business leaders say

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) — Leaders of Spartanburg County’s Bringing Back the Burg business recovery task force say the local economy continues to show signs of repair. To help in the process, task force leaders want to help local businesses and nonprofits get financial aid.

According to September benchmarks tracked by the organization, the unemployment rate in the county is now near five percent, down from its peak at over 14 percent in April. Additionally, revenue from the local hospitality tax and the number of building permits are above 2019 levels.

“Our metrics are not only indicating a recovering economy, but an economy that is exploding out of this pandemic,” OneSpartanburg, Inc. President and CEO Allen Smith said. “We expect that to continue.”

However, other signs of the economy — particularly in the tourism sector — still show weakness. For example, the number of GSP passengers is below the task force’s goal: 80 percent of 2019 values for the same timeframe.

Smith on Thursday implored local nonprofits, small businesses and minority-owned businesses to take advantage of grant money made available by the state’s CARES Act.

“We now have $65 million available to small and minority-owned businesses and nonprofits,” Smith said.

Up to $25,000 is available to minority and small businesses. Up to $50,000 is available to nonprofits.

Businesses that wish to apply for assistance can contact the SC Cares Call Center at 803-670-5170 or sccares@admin.sc.gov, can visit this page or can schedule a complimentary appointment with a CommunityWorks coach by calling 864-235-6331 or by visiting this page.

Applications for grants are due Nov. 1.

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