During the past 12 months the county has received commitments of $448.7 million in capital investment and 1,107 new jobs, the report states.
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Economic development is surging in Lexington County, according to an annual report from the Lexington County Department of Economic Development.
The report features descriptions of several companies that have moved to the county or expanded in the past 12 months, ranging from weight-training equipment manufacturing to health food supplement ingredients to pontoon boats and a new Lexington-based S.C. field office for the FBI.
A solar energy farm’s $180 million commitment to three sites was the largest capital commitment announced, followed by a $100 million expansion for Nephron Nitrile (set to begin producing protective gloves next month in West Columbia). Home Depot and Amazon also continued expanding distribution operations here, as did Spectrum at its major call center operation in West Columbia.
“The range of industries that have chosen to locate or expand here provides economic diversification as well as ample opportunity for the high-quality workforce that has chosen to make their homes in our communities,” said Sarah Johnson, director of the county’s Department of Economic Development. “We’re excited to share that good news in our Annual Report.”
Asked by the Chronicle about Lexington County’s main attraction to draw in new business, Johnson said it’s location.
“Lexington County’s natural geographic advantage translates into efficient connections to customers and suppliers,” she said.
Angelle LaBorde, president/CEO of the Lexington Chamber and Visitors Center, told the Chronicle the report underscores Lexington County’s ability to attract diverse businesses and new jobs.
“I believe many individuals are relocating to Lexington County for our outstanding schools, healthcare systems, our positive economic climate, and easy access to recreational opportunities, such as beautiful Lake Murray,” LaBorde said.
“For example, the western side of Lexington County continues to expand, thus bringing new residential neighborhoods and businesses, which contribute to the exponential growth of our community. In addition to these quality-of-life amenities, our proximity in the state continues to have many benefits. Lexington is within close proximity to our state’s capital, railways, a regional airport and three major interstate systems.”
In a news release announcing the annual report, County Council Chair Scott Whetstone is quoted talking about his pride in how the ‘”Spirit of Opportunity built over the years here in Lexington County continues to bear fruit.”
“The growth arrow for economic development in Lexington County continues to point up, whether we’re talking about jobs or investment or opportunity for the people who live here and the people who commute here to work,” County Council Vice Chair Beth Carrigg is quoted. “It’s gratifying to see this trend not just continue but, indeed, gain momentum.”
County Council voted unanimously in June to approve the 2022 Comprehensive Plan entitled “Grow With Us: Responsibly Planning Lexington County.”
The plan is Lexington County’s effort to partner with community stakeholders and residents to collectively develop a plan on responsible growth. It is designed to lay forth a framework for county government and community leaders to manage growth for years to come.
Lexington County’s current population is 300,311 with a growth rate of 1.06% in the past year, according to the most recent census data. The county is the sixth largest in South Carolina. The 2010 population was 262,391, with the county growing by 14% since then.
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