About Richard Breen

Authored 42 articles.


  • Tariff Tussles: Economists Expect S.C. to Bounce Back

    Features, December 10, 2018

    Retaliatory tariffs imposed by China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union have created challenges for South Carolina exports for 2018, but the state could benefit under new trade agreements being negotiated.

  • Special Report: Panel Talks Opportunity Zones, Could Help Struggling S.C. Communities

    Features, December 07, 2018

    Curtis Loftis, Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin and ex-Gov. Jim Hodges participated in a panel at the conference, held Dec. 4 at the USC Alumni Center. Jeanne Milliken Bonds, community development officer with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, led the discussion.

  • Special Report: USC Economists Forecast Continued Growth Despite Uncertainty

    Features, December 06, 2018

    As the U.S. economy pushes toward a record, South Carolinians should expect continued job creation and growth in personal income in 2019, according to experts at the University of South Carolina.

  • Exclusive: South Carolina City Receives Recognition for Inclusiveness in High Tech

    Features, December 03, 2018

    This South Carolina city was recently listed among “eight of America’s most digitally inclusive tech cities” in an article from The Brookings Institution. The article pointed out that tech skills are unevenly spread across the economy.

  • Exclusive: South Carolina Counties Making Headway When It Comes to Attracting Talent

    Features, November 28, 2018

    South Carolina is making national progress when it comes to attracting and developing skilled workers. Lancaster County is the No. 9 small county this year in the Talent Attraction Scorecard, a ranking compiled by Emsi, a labor market analytics firm. Nine other Palmetto State counties made the top 100.

  • Exclusive: Trucking Trends Could Heat up Already Strong S.C. Industrial Market

    Features, November 01, 2018

    Rule changes in the trucking industry could work to the benefit of South Carolina’s warehouse market, according to a local real estate brokerage. Charleston and Greenville-Spartanburg are both considered to be secondary markets. Colliers cites both markets’ proximity to the Port of Charleston, its linkage to inland ports in Greer and Dillion, and interstate highway connectivity as advantages.

  • ManuFirst SC Helps Workers Accelerate into Manufacturing Jobs

    Features, October 22, 2018

    A training program originally developed for Volvo Car USA in the Lowcountry is being expanded statewide and rebranded as ManuFirst SC. The 62-hour program introduces workers to lean manufacturing and provides safety training.

  • Exclusive: Report Shows S.C. Aerospace Industry Continuing Rapid Job Creation

    Features, October 11, 2018

    South Carolina’s aerospace industry continues to produce jobs much more quickly than the state’s overall economy, according to updated research released by the S.C. Council on Competitiveness. The core aerospace cluster in South Carolina includes aircraft manufacturers as well as air transportation and related support services. There’s also a significant aviation-related military presence in the state.

  • Exclusive: Gasoline Credit Coming to 2018 S.C. Tax Returns

    Features, October 09, 2018

    The motor fuel income tax credit is designed to lessen the impact of South Carolina’s rising gas tax. The effective amount of the credit will be less than 2 cents per gallon for many taxpayers.

  • Exclusive: Area Development Magazine Ranks S.C. No. 5 for Doing Business

    Features, October 05, 2018

    Area Development magazine ranked South Carolina No. 5 in its annual Top States for Doing Business. Georgia was No. 1 for the fifth year in a row. North Carolina ranked sixth. South Carolina is a perennial inhabitant of the magazine’s top 10, having finished second in 2017, 2016, 2013 and 2012, and third in 2015 and 2014.

  • Exclusive: More Details About USC's New Lab and Corporate Research Partnerships

    Features, October 01, 2018

    The University of South Carolina continues to rack up corporate research partnerships and is now showing what some of that research looks like. The school announced Thursday expansions of agreements with IBM, Samsung, Siemens and Yaskawa. USC also conducted tours of its Digital Transformation Lab, which contains everything from an Apache helicopter to a neonatal incubator.

  • Hurricane Florence Delays South Carolina Tax Deadlines

    Features, September 18, 2018

    A disaster declaration means businesses in eight South Carolina counties will now have until Jan. 31, 2019, to make some of their federal filings and payments.

  • Exclusive: Homes Continue to Sell Briskly across S.C.

    Features, August 23, 2018

    In general, South Carolina homes are selling more quickly and for more money than in 2017, continuing a trend. Nationally, homeownership rates lag pre-recession highs, but the Palmetto State ranks No. 2.

  • Exclusive: USC Tasks Andy Bernardin with Making Business Connections

    Features, August 09, 2018

    While managing relationships during a joint project between IBM and the University of South Carolina, Bernardin was exposed to a part of the university he hadn’t seen before. Now he’s switching sides, so to speak, going to work for USC to help build further relationships with industry.

  • Exclusive: South Carolina Logistics Industry Continues to Grow

    Features, July 25, 2018

    The opening of Inland Port Dillon and recent announcements totaling more than 250 new jobs underline the significance of South Carolina’s logistics industry. A nationwide study says the state still has room for improvement.

  • CNBC Places South Carolina 30th in ‘Top States’ Ranking

    Features, July 13, 2018

    Economic development officials around South Carolina aren’t fazed by the state’s middle-of-the-pack finish on a recent “top states” list – but they aren’t ignoring it, either. The “America’s Top States for Business” ranking by CNBC came out July 10. South Carolina finished 30th this year, down from 29th in 2017.

  • Aging South Carolina Population Creates Opportunities, Challenges

    Features, July 12, 2018

    According to recently released estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the median age in every South Carolina county rose between 2010-17. Statewide, the median age rose from 37.9 at the time of the 2010 census to 39.4 as of July 1, 2017.

  • Exclusive: Supreme Court Decision Expected to Help South Carolina Retailers

    Features, June 28, 2018

    One of the reasons buying online costs less is because many e-commerce sites don’t charge sales tax. That’s going to change following a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. The court ruled that state and local governments can seek to collect sales tax from businesses that sell to customers in that state, even if the business doesn’t have a physical presence or employees there.

  • Trade Journal Hands South Carolina Silver Shovel for Economic Development

    Features, June 14, 2018

    The economic development trade journal gives out annual awards in gold and silver, based on a state’s ability to score significant capital investment or job creation. States are analyzed based on their 10 biggest projects of the year and then categorized by population.

  • South Carolina Again a ‘Best State for Business’

    Features, June 04, 2018

    South Carolina has another opportunity to promote its economic development prowess thanks to a magazine’s business climate rankings. The Palmetto State tied for third with North Carolina in Chief Executive’s 2018 “Best and Worst States for Business.” Texas was No. 1, followed by Florida. Indiana was fifth.

  • S.C. Unemployment Rate Down, But So Is Labor Force

    Features, May 22, 2018

    The unemployment rate was down in every South Carolina county in April as the number of people looking for work dropped significantly.

  • S.C. Industrial Real Estate Remains Strong, with Help from Port

    Features, May 15, 2018

    Industrial real estate markets across South Carolina continue to show strength, thanks in no small part to the growth of the Port of Charleston. Colliers International Group issued quarterly analysis for the Charleston, Columbia and Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson industrial markets. It also put out a statewide report and an analysis of U.S. industrial seaports.

  • Tax Reform Brings Cheer to S.C. Breweries

    Features, May 08, 2018

    On May 11, R.J. Rockers Brewing Co. in Spartanburg will be celebrating its 21st birthday – a significant date because the beermaker will now be “legal,” so to speak.

  • South Carolina Unemployment Ticks Upward in Tight Labor Market

    Features, January 09, 2018

    During the University of South Carolina’s annual Economic Outlook Conference, Cheryl Stanton, SCDEW’s executive director, pointed out that there were 60,000 open jobs in South Carolina in October. With unemployment hovering around 4 percent – many economists consider that to be “full employment” – the challenge for Stanton’s agency has been to find willing workers for existing job openings.

  • Construction Job Growth Lags in S.C., Surprising Experts

    Features, December 13, 2017

    During another year of steady job growth and low unemployment in South Carolina, one industry has stumbled.

  • Joan Robinson-Berry of Boeing Sees Changes Coming to Aerospace

    Features, December 12, 2017

    Robinson-Berry, who is vice president and general manager of Boeing South Carolina, expounded on current and future workforce needs as part of the University of South Carolina’s recent Economic Outlook Conference. Boeing currently employs approximately 6,800 workers in the Palmetto State.

  • USC Economists Forecast Slow, Steady Growth in 2018

    Features, December 11, 2017

    USC researchers expect the U.S. economic expansion, currently in its ninth year, to eventually surpass those of the 1960s and 1990s.

  • Clemson's Bruce Yandle's Economic Situation Report

    Features, December 07, 2017

    In his quarterly Economic Situation report, Dr. Bruce Yandle says, “if you felt good about 2017, you should look forward to 2018. In other words, don’t expect to see major changes in the nation’s basic economic indicators.”

  • Fed Report Generally Positive about Economy, South Carolina Analysis

    Features, December 04, 2017

    The Federal Reserve recently issued one of its periodic Beige Book reports, which gives a sampling of economic conditions from the 12 Federal Reserve Bank districts around the country. The Nov. 29 edition reported “modest to moderate” economic expansion in recent weeks, continued manufacturing and employment growth, and an optimistic outlook toward holiday retail sales.

  • Special Report: Insurance Experts Talk Tech Risks at USC

    Features, October 30, 2017

    With Halloween less than a day away, it sounds like the plot to the latest scary movie. Instead, it was just a sample of the topics – not all of them scary – covered by expert panels Wednesday during Risk Management and Insurance Day at the University of South Carolina.

  • Report: Industrial Real Estate Market Brisk across S.C.

    Features, October 26, 2017

    Industrial real estate activity is brisk across South Carolina and major employers could spur additional activity, according to a series of recent reports.

  • South Carolina and Georgia Play Role in AT&T’s Hurricane Maria Response

    Features, October 13, 2017

    As the response to Hurricane Maria continues in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AT&T is utilizing South Carolina and Georgia resources in its recovery efforts.

  • South Carolina Ranked 17th on the Aerospace Manufacturing Attractiveness Rankings

    Features, October 06, 2017

    South Carolina ranks 17th in an annual listing that focuses on aerospace manufacturing, and experts from around the Palmetto State believe it is “punching above its weight” when it comes to competing for business.

  • Aerospace Industry Looks at Future of Workforce Development in South Carolina

    Features, August 31, 2017

    As South Carolina’s aerospace industry continues to grow, the state’s workforce will need to keep pace, said speakers and attendees at an industry gathering this week in Columbia. Workforce development was among the main topics at the South Carolina Aerospace Conference & Expo. The industry now accounts for 55,000 workers in the Palmetto State, with 5,400 new jobs announced since 2011.

  • Incredible Technology and Innovation: Annual Aerospace Expo Begins Tuesday in South Carolina

    Features, August 28, 2017

    Members of academia, the business community and government from around the Palmetto State will focus attention on the burgeoning aerospace industry this week during the South Carolina Aerospace Conference & Expo.

  • S.C. Demonstrates Silver Touch, Economic Development Officials Sound Off

    Features, July 13, 2017

    South Carolina continues to rack up large projects, as evidenced by a recent honor from a national economic development magazine. Area Development’s annual Shovel Awards program honors states based on a combination of capital investment and job creation initiatives.

  • South Carolina Treasurer Loftis Sees Continued Pension Problems Despite Bailout Attempt

    Features, May 02, 2017

    We sat down with South Carolina's Treasurer to discuss a variety of issues. Having complained for years about the management of South Carolina’s public employee pension plans, it’s not surprising Curtis Loftis had mixed emotions about the bailout bill recently signed into law by Gov. Henry McMaster.

  • S.C. Economic Developers Say Elephants, Buffaloes Are Always in Season

    Features, January 23, 2017

    They're the big projects that bring in hundreds of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in investment. Experts have their own special terms for this type of much-sought-after economic development. “I've heard it called elephant hunting or buffalo hunting – either one,” says Carter Smith, executive vice president of the Economic Futures Group in Spartanburg.

  • Analysis and Comment on South Carolina's Recent Unemployment Data, Expected to Stay Low in 2017

    Features, December 20, 2016

    South Carolina has been continuously growing its population, so some new workers could have come from out of state. Also, some people not officially looking for jobs - a group that doesn’t get counted in the unemployment figures - may have come off the sidelines and re-entered the workforce.

  • University of South Carolina's Peter Brews, Darla Moore School Raising Bar for Business Education

    Features, December 06, 2016

    The school has raised performance standards while moving from a two-year curriculum, where students completed business courses in their junior and senior years, to a four-year curriculum, where business courses start in the freshman year. Here, Brews talks about the initiative, as well as the broader landscape of higher education.

  • As Executive Director of USC's 24,000-member Alumni Association, Jack Claypoole Explains How My Carolina Looks to Engage Every Generation

    Features, December 01, 2016

    My Carolina boasts a $26-million building that just celebrated its first birthday and is also taking on a new mission in supporting USC. Jack Claypoole talks about an eventful past year and an exciting future for the organization.

  • Period Film Costumes Land Starring Role at Columbia Museum of Art

    Features, November 17, 2016

    “It is the very first costume or fashion exhibition we’ve had at the Columbia Museum of Art,” said Karen Brosius, CMA executive director. The fact that the costumes on display were the actual outfits worn by stars such as Johnny Depp and Nicole Kidman “has an authenticity to it that I find incredibly exciting.”