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BOOK OF EXPERTS: Representing South Carolina’s Upstate Region

BOOK OF EXPERTS: Representing South Carolina’s Upstate Region

Upstate SC Alliance President & CEO John Lummus speaks at the organization's 2023 Annual Meeting, which drew nearly 500 leaders from across the Upstate.BY JOHN LUMMUS, PRESIDENT & CEO, UPSTATE SC ALLIANCE

International Consuls General. Site selection consultants. Corporate leaders seeking locations.

These influencers come to the Upstate each year to explore doing business here, welcomed — and often invited by — the Upstate SC Alliance, a public-private economic development nonprofit formed in 2000.

Today the Alliance works to establish Upstate SC as a unified and innovative economic region; market the region for business investment and talent attraction; foster public-private collaboration and regional relationships; and move ideas into action.

“At the Upstate SC Alliance, we wake up every day thinking about the region’s future economy,” said Upstate SC Alliance President & CEO John Lummus.

From 2018-2022, companies announced $10.3 billion in capital investment and more than 27,234 jobs within the region. Nearly half were new company locations – and 57% came from international companies.

“Success attracts success,” Lummus said. “Companies are attracted to a business-friendly environment with proven success, established workforce development and the ability to move goods efficiently.”

And with 576 foreign-owned companies representing 35 countries, the Upstate is on the radar for international leaders. From January through June 2023, the Alliance welcomed business delegations from Taiwan and Germany, and consular representatives from Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Outbound efforts have included trips to Belgium, Italy and the SelectUSA Investment Summit.

As these relationships generate business interest, the Alliance offers research assistance, property searches and regional tours. Our city and county economic development offices submit sites and buildings for consideration, with information on factors such as transportation, infrastructure, power availability and talent. As a company identifies compatible real estate, the Alliance connects them with community economic development offices and the South Carolina Department of Commerce to help close the deal.

It’s a collaborative, relationship-based “#TeamUpstate” approach, funded by 200-plus private investors in fields such as legal, financial, accounting, human resources, construction, architecture, engineering, higher education, IT, business services and more.

Want to get your company involved?

Contact Lauren Scoggins at or 864-283-2305.

This content first appeared in Book of Experts.