About Richard Breen
Authored 80 articles.
Columbia Growing, but Competition is Growing Faster
Features, January 30, 2020
EngenuitySC released its 2019-20 Midlands Regional Competitiveness Report on Monday during an event at Central Energy.
Exclusive: S.C. Unemployment Shrinks, Where are the Workers Coming from?
Features, January 27, 2020
South Carolina’s ever-expanding workforce hit new milestones in December, according to data from the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce. And it appears workers aren’t simply coming from the ranks of the unemployed.
Exclusive: In South Carolina, Women Gain Ground in Economic Development Leadership
Features, December 20, 2019
When Karlisa Parker Dean retires as economic development director in Chester County at the end of December, she will have spent 25-plus years serving the county in multiple roles. She will have also been one of a dozen different women to serve as economic development chiefs in South Carolina counties in 2019.
Women Gain Ground in Economic Development Leadership
Features, December 19, 2019
When Karlisa Parker Dean retires as economic development director in Chester County at the end of December, she will have spent 25-plus years serving the county in multiple roles.
Exclusive: Economist Says U.S. Has ‘Less Room for Error’ in 2020
Features, December 10, 2019
As the U.S. economic expansion continues its unprecedented length, there are mixed indicators of its health heading into 2020. Is a recession imminent?
Exclusive: USC President Outlines Construction Projects, Research Opportunities
Features, December 09, 2019
USC President Robert Caslen outlined millions of dollars in upcoming construction spending – as well as ideas how the school can bring in millions in research dollars – in a keynote speech at the school’s recent Economic Outlook Conference.
Exclusive: South Carolina Economy Expected to Continue Slow, Steady Growth
Features, December 05, 2019
The 39th annual Economic Outlook Conference, held Tuesday at the school’s alumni center, featured economists from the Darla Moore School of Business. USC President Robert Caslen and Wells Fargo economist Sarah House also spoke.
Kansas City ‘Tax Truce’ not a Match for Charlotte
Features, December 04, 2019
South Carolina CEO spoke with multiple officials involved in economic development, both on and off the record. They said that while companies have moved from county to county or state to state around the Charlotte region, it’s typically due to business growth and the need for new facilities.
Exclusive: Demand for Warehouse Space Strong across South Carolina
Features, November 18, 2019
Recent quarterly reports from real estate firm Colliers International indicate a need for warehouse and distribution facilities. This more or less reflects trends that are being seen nationally.
What's the Value of Landing a Portion of the NCAA Mens Basketball Tourney in South Carolina?
Features, November 08, 2019
The March Madness weekend created an estimated $11.3 million direct impact on the Midlands, based on research conducted by Dr. Tom Regan, graduate director with the University of South Carolina College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management. Pre-event estimates had anticipated a $9 million impact.
NCAA Opens Door to Student-athletes Making More
Features, October 31, 2019
On Oct. 29, the NCAA Board of Governors voted to allow student-athletes to benefit financially from their name, image and likeness. The board has asked for rules to be in place by January 2021.
South Carolina’s Record Employment Numbers Include Growth In Government Jobs
Features, October 24, 2019
South Carolina continues to set employment records and while public-sector jobs are making a slow comeback from the Great Recession across the nation, government workers in the Palmetto State appear to be doing better.
Special Report: Economic Development Experts Laud South Carolina Incentives
Features, October 09, 2019
Industry experts rank South Carolina No. 1 when it comes to economic development incentives, according to a recent survey. The Palmetto State led the “business incentive programs” category in Area Development magazine’s annual Top States for Doing Business rankings. Local economic development pros say ease of use is a big factor in South Carolina’s incentives program.
Exclusive Report: South Carolina Gas Tax Credit to Rise
Features, October 03, 2019
South Carolina motorists will be eligible for a larger break on their gasoline taxes for 2019, based on figures released by the state Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office. The credit will come out to 3.84 cents per gallon, compared to 1.902 cents per gallon during the 2018 tax year.
Special Report: “Is a Recession Coming, or Are We Talking Ourselves Into One?”
Features, September 30, 2019
Fortune magazine recently asked the question, “Is a recession coming - or are we talking ourselves into one?” According to a couple of economists who visited South Carolina on Thursday, the answer is no - and no. Not any time soon, at least.
Exclusive: South Carolina State Fair Has More Than $45.5M Impact
Features, September 05, 2019
The S.C. State Fair is an engine for more than $16.6 million in wages and a total economic impact of more than $45.5 million.
Exclusive: College Sports Continues to Attract Sponsor Dollars in South Carolina
Features, August 19, 2019
Despite the demise of a couple of high-profile relationships in the Palmetto State, experts say the market for collegiate sports sponsorships is strong.
Exclusive: College Sports Continues to Attract Sponsor Dollars
Features, August 15, 2019
Despite the demise of a couple of high-profile relationships in the Palmetto State, experts say the market for collegiate sports sponsorships is strong.
Online Sales Tax: Supreme Court’s Wayfair Decision Beginning to Pay off in South Carolina
Features, August 13, 2019
As state governments around the country adjust to new rules for e-commerce, South Carolina has collected nearly $50 million in taxes from out-of-state online sellers in the past nine months.
Exclusive: Construction Projects Highlight nearly $119M Targeted for South Carolina Higher Ed, Training Programs
Features, August 05, 2019
A mini-boom in higher education construction spending could be on the way, after South Carolina’s General Assembly approved millions of dollars for projects around the state.
Columbia, Richland County Tax Break Puts Developable Land ‘on Sale’
Features, August 01, 2019
Paul Livingston says that when a business has a lot of inventory, they run a sale. With that in mind, the Richland County Council chairman said his body and Columbia City Council are offering property tax discounts of up to 50% to developers.
Exclusive: South Carolina Earns Kudos for Manufacturing, Creating Jobs, Attracting Millennials
Features, July 31, 2019
Three different sources have recently put South Carolina or Columbia in their top 10 in different areas of economic development and workforce.
Exclusive: Many Military in South Carolina Are Earning College Credits While They Serve
Features, July 17, 2019
At any given time, there are thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines all over South Carolina taking classes that can earn them anything from vocational certifications to an MBA. Many of them eventually put that education to use in the state’s private-sector workforce.
Job Tax Credits Rise for Rural South Carolina Counties
Features, July 09, 2019
The economic development incentives the Carolina Panthers were offered to move their offices and practice facilities to South Carolina received a great deal of attention, but the enabling legislation was not only about luring the NFL team.
Magazine Awards South Carolina a Silver for Landing Big Economic Development Projects
Features, July 01, 2019
Area Development handed the Palmetto State a Silver Shovel as part of the magazine’s annual Gold and Silver Shovel Awards. The awards are determined on a combination of factors, including state population, job creation, capital investment, number or projects and diversity of investment.
Short-term Rentals Have Wide-ranging Impact in South Carolina
Features, June 21, 2019
Short-term rentals are having an impact on the South Carolina real estate market, although it depends on where you are at in the state... Like with most things, technology has taken this splintered marketplace to another level. Online firms such as Airbnb, Vrbo and HomeAway have organized and grown the market.
Real Estate Experts Talk about Growth in South Carolina
Features, June 18, 2019
Experts offered their thoughts on continuing growth in the staet during a discussion at the South Carolina Economic Development Summit. The annual event, held June 14 on Daniel Island, was organized by Womble Bond Dickinson, the top law firm in the state. Speakers during a real estate roundtable included Robert Barrineau of CBRE, Mark Erickson of Colliers International and Hagood Morrison II of Bridge Commercial.
Workforce is Hot Topic at South Carolina Economic Development Summit
Features, June 17, 2019
Job creation is one of the primary goals of economic development, but a “full employment” economy creates workforce challenges. Those challenges were discussed in numerous ways at the South Carolina Economic Development Summit. The event was hosted by the leading law firm in the state, Womble Bond Dickinson.
CEO Survey Rates South Carolina the 8th-best State for Business
Features, May 21, 2019
In the 2019 Best States & Worst States for business ranking by Chief Executive magazine, the Palmetto State came in at No. 8, down from a third-place tie in 2018 and No. 4 in 2017. The magazine received responses from 350 chief executives and company presidents for this year’s edition of its annual survey.
Exclusive: Demand for Office, Distribution Space Helping to Drive South Carolina Commercial Real Estate Market
Features, May 20, 2019
Office markets across South Carolina are tightening and industrial real estate developers continue to confidently pump out speculative product. Those are two of the takeaways from a recent group of first quarter reports from CBRE Group Inc.
Exclusive: South Carolina State Fair to Add Circus Shows for 150th Anniversary
Features, May 17, 2019
As the S.C. State Fair prepares for its 150th edition, a nod toward nostalgia is combining with a shakeup of its traditional entertainment formula. The annual Columbia event – scheduled for Oct. 9-20 this year – will feature a live, big-top circus performing three shows each day. Performances will be free with fair admission.
Tourism Boost for South Carolina Cities, Midlands Cycling Group Hopes New App Will Encourage Riding, Tourism
Features, May 06, 2019
The Cola Town Bike Collective launched Sprocket, which will identify commuter-friendly routes and bike-friendly businesses. It's a model many cities in South Carolina are considering to attract tourists among other benefits.
Exclusive: International Trade Forum Says Tariffs Create Risks for South Carolina
Features, April 22, 2019
The United States in general - South Carolina in particular - is heavily invested in foreign trade, and anything that would disrupt commerce creates risk. That was the consensus of speakers April 18 at a University of South Carolina forum.
Exclusive: South Carolina Metro Areas Gain in Educational Attainment
Features, March 18, 2019
Brain drain? How about a “brain gain?” South Carolina’s workforce is becoming a more educated one – particularly in coastal communities. The State Science & Technology Institute recently examined U.S. Census Data for the 150 largest metro areas.
Spotlight: Real Estate Brokers Have Eyes on Booming Upstate Industrial Market
Features, March 07, 2019
The industrial real estate market in South Carolina’s Upstate has been a stalwart for more than two decades, and it may be about to have a moment. “The Greenville-Spartanburg industrial market has always been a strong market, buoyed by a strong workforce and manufacturing base,” said David Feild, Colliers’ market president for Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson. “What makes 2019 different is the growth in our distribution sector.”
NCAA Tourney to Bring Thousands of Fans, Millions of Dollars to the State
Features, January 17, 2019
“No question it’s new money and you’ll have a significant number of people from out of town,” said Dr. Tom Regan, graduate director with the University of South Carolina College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management.
Special Report: Employment Data, Plus Recent South Carolina College Grads Find a Welcoming Job Market
Features, December 21, 2018
A recent survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found 96 percent of employers plan to maintain or increase hiring in 2019. That includes 38.6 percent of respondents who said they planned to increase hiring.
Exclusive Report: Wages, Income Nudge Forward in Parts of South Carolina
Features, December 18, 2018
A recent survey by Allianz Life Insurance Co. revealed that 23 percent of Americans were concerned by stagnant wages, compared to 30 percent in 2017. Among millennials, 29 percent had wage concerns, compared to 37 percent last year.
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.”