COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — With just a few weeks left in 2022, companies have promised about $10 billion in new capital investments in South Carolina. The most the state has ever seen in a calendar year.
According to data from the South Carolina Department of Commerce, this is double the record set in 2021 with about $5 billion in capital investments announced.
New capital investments were made in 33 out of the state’s 46 counties this year.
SC Secretary of Commerce Harry Lightsey said, “The model that has served South Carolina well is when a business relocates to our state, we want to help them grow.”
In just the last few months alone, some of the largest investments have been publicized.
This week, Nevada based Redwoods Material announced they were building a battery recycling facility in Berkeley County. The company said they’ll be investing $3.5 billion and create more than a 1,000 jobs.
In Florence last week, Japanese company Envision AESC announced they were investing more than $800 million for a new battery cell gigafactory. Back in October, BMW announced a $1.7 billion investment in Spartanburg County to produce electric vehicles in the Palmetto State.
These investments are all electric vehicle or battery related and reflects changes in the auto manufacturing industry, Secretary Lightsey said, “This industry is undergoing the biggest change and transformation in it’s history since the days of Henry Ford.”
To help lure these investments, South Carolina and counties have offered millions of dollars in incentives and job tax credits. Secretary Lightsey said, in addition to vetting these companies, the Department of Commerce does have clawback provisions in their agreements.
“It would allow us to require them to repay any proportionate amount where they fail to make their commitments in either the investments or number of jobs created,” he said.
Prior to an announcement, details about these agreements are kept under wraps. Since being confirmed by the state Senate for his role in 2021, Lightsey said the Department has taken steps to be more transparent while also balancing the state’s competitiveness to secure new jobs and investments.
“We are dealing with public money and the public has a right to know how they’re money is being used and we cannot do anything that hurts our competitive position as a state,” said Lightsey.
Lightsey said they have updated their annual reports with more information and are looking at other ways to be more transparent.
For more information on recent capital investment announcements click here.