Perspective: WIS Editorial on chamber of commerce cooperation by general manager Donita Todd

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - It's encouraging -- and it's about time -- that the chambers of commerce in the Midlands are talking about coming together to promote economic development in our part of the state.  For too long, the Upstate and the Low Country have taken some of the big prizes when it comes to landing new business and industry.  BMW and the Boeing expansion are two of the best-known examples.

I'd like to salute chamber leaders for getting together.  And Columbia's new mayor, Steve Benjamin, and Lexington mayor Randy Halfacre deserve credit for their efforts.  We should have no illusions -- there's competition among various counties in the widespread central region of the state.

But a coalition of Midlands chambers should identify and fight for those issues we have in common.  Losing the bid to get Southwest Airlines to fly into Columbia Metro is another, more recent example of the need for regional cooperation.  The Midlands needs a stronger economic base.  And speaking with one voice on some of the development issues that unite us is a good first step.  That's my perspective.  I'd like to hear what you think.

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