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Charleston Business

#CharlestonAgenda: Chamber Issues Economic Outlook, SPAWAR's New Name, Topgolf Opens, Cocktail Bandits, Making THC From Yeast

Mar 01, 2019 08:52AM ● By Chris Haire

Charleston Metro Chamber's predicts moderate growth; housing attainability cited as key issue: The Charleston Metro Chamber released its 2019 Economic Forecast, which predicts continuing expansion, though at a more moderate pace than in recent years.

The annual forecast is a partnership project between the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Business Research and the College of Charleston’s School of Business. An Economic Outlook Board provides insight and information on future developments that goes beyond statistical models, with real-time insight into the local economy used in concert with a economic forecasting model.

“With the guidance of our Economic Outlook Board, we feel confident that the next two years will be vibrant for the Charleston Metro Area,” says Jacki Renegar, director of the Center for Business Research.

As the area population continues to grow by 38 people per day -- 28 moving to the area and 10 being born -- job gains are expected, particularly in production, hospitality, medical business operations, and information technology. The region’s military presence will remain strong, with 20,000 civilian and active-duty personnel. Among the biggest leaps will be the air passenger volume, which is expected to increase by 9.5 percent in 2019.

The report says the region does face some challenges, particularly a housing attainability crisis spurred by rising prices and added restrictions on building. Fewer than 7,000 new housing units were permitted across the metro area - -Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley counties -- which isn’t enough to keep pace with the 7,500 units needed to accommodate steady population growth of 2.2 percent. Single-family permits are expected to decrease by 2.1 percent in 2019.

The Chamber is working to build partnerships with local governments to address the issue. 

“Though our region has some challenges that come from a growing economy, the Charleston Metro Chamber and strategic partners are working together toward solutions that create a successful business climate and opportunities for all residents,” Renegar says. --Leigh Savage


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Johnny Caldwell
Cocktail Bandits

Taneka Reaves
Cocktail Bandits

Johnny Caldwell and Taneka Reaves are the dynamic duo known around the globe as the Cocktail Bandits. The full-time Charleston ambassadors met as freshmen at the College of Charleston. Now, as the Cocktail Bandits, they promote female empowerment through advocacy for the food and beverage community from a feminine, urban perspective.

Caldwell and Reaves talk cocktails daily, educating and entertaining their growing blog audience by sharing original cocktail recipes, promoting the craftsmanship of other bar professionals, and sharing their experiences at foodie events all around the Holy City and beyond. They recently published “Holy Spirits! Charleston Culture Through Cocktails,” which is based on their blog and includes a variety of original cocktail recipes and an overview of Charleston’s cocktail culture.

Caldwell and Reaves have hosted sold-out events at Charleston Wine + Food, Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, and Euphoria in Greenville. The duo has also been featured on Sirius XM Radio online, NBC BLK online, Metro UK online, Style Me Pretty Online, Cuisine Noir magazine, PBS’s “Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking TV,” and Essence magazine.