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Charleston Business

#CharlestonAgenda: SC Tourism Grows, Lowcountry Volvos, CHS Chamber's New Board, 50 Most Influential: Tommy Baker, Ghost Kitchens, Space Force

Feb 20, 2019 10:50AM ● By Chris Haire
The tourist industry in South Carolina grew for the sixth straight year in 2017, S.C. Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Director Duane Parrish announced yesterday at the Governor's Conference on Tourism and Travel. The new findings bring the valuation of the sector to $22.6 billion, up 6.6% from the previous year, placing the industry just above aerospace at $19 billion and forestry at $21 billion. Other notable industries include automotive ($27 billion) and agriculture ($42 billion).

The most recent statewide accommodation tax figures signal similar growth, with tax collections increasing 2.4% fiscal year to date compared to the previous year. From June-Nov. 2018, accommodation tax collections was $44 million, up from June-Nov. 2017's $43 million. 

Fiscal year to date, tax collections are up in Charleston (3.9%), Beaufort (6.2%), Richland (3.9%), and Spartanburg (11.8%) counties, while figures are down in Greenville (3.2%) and Horry (0.8%) counties. 

Occupancy rates across South Carolina were down 0.3% from Jan.-Dec. 2018. Both the South Atlantic and the U.S. as a whole experienced occupancy rate increases, 0.1% and 0.5% respectively.

However, some reports indicate that travel to the U.S. is beginning to slow

How 250 acres off the Southern Connector could unlock Greenville’s economic future (Greenville News)

Breastfeeding could become easier for working moms with this SC proposal. Here’s how. (The State)

Winthrop University will sell beer and wine at baseball and softball games (The State)

Honda to Shut Plant in Brexit-Shaken Britain (Manufacturing.Net)

The race to 5G wireless tech is on. A report finds Americans may have an early lead. (Washington Post)

The Wire
Google’s Investment In South Carolina Exceeds $2 Billion

SCRA Announces Seven New Client Companies

Charleston Metro Chamber Of Commerce Announces 2019 Board Of Directors

CofC Named Top Producer Of Fulbright Scholars, Students

Maxwood Furniture, Inc. Locating New Distribution Center In Marion County

RockBox Fitness To Open Two Columbia Locations

CofC Named Top Producer Of Fulbright Scholars, Students

50 Most Influential
Tommy Baker
Baker Motor Co.
Owner & President

Tommy Baker is the owner and president of Baker Motor Company, the largest privately held automobile dealer group in South Carolina. Representing 14 brands and operating four dealership campuses spanning North and South Carolina, the company has earned numerous accolades recognizing its strong sales, service, and customer-centric approach. Of all the awards, Baker is most proud of being named one of Automotive News’ Best Dealerships to Work For.

Baker is a graduate of The Citadel and passionate supporter of business education. The renowned military college recently named their new business school after him and his wife – The Tommy & Victoria Baker School of Business – and inducted him into the school’s Business Hall of Fame. 

In January 2018, Tommy Baker also helped found the Beacon Community Bank, the first new community bank in the Tri-County area to open in more than a decade.

Business accomplishments aside, Baker is a strong supporter of the Charleston community. He has donated to and been a strong supporter of organizations that include Medical University of South Carolina Children’s Hospital, the College of Charleston School of Business, and YEScarolina. Baker currently resides on Sullivan’s Island with his wife Vickie of 36 years.