WIS Perspective-An editorial on regional cooperation

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Tired of seeing industry and airline service migrate to the Upstate and Charleston areas rather than the Midlands? A group of chamber executives from 19 chambers of commerce and 11 counties just announced  a regional collaboration effort called the Midstate Chambers Coalition.  For years these counties have struggled to cooperate on business and legislative agendas, but after the announcement that Southwest Airlines would introduce service from the Greenville and Charleston airports at the exclusion of the Columbia airport, the handwriting was on the wall.  As David Jameson of the greater Aiken Chamber put it, "It is imperative that we cooperate to build a competitive advantage where we can."

The coalition's mission is to support public policy and economic development affecting businesses in the Midstate region which is home to 1.3 million South Carolinians and a workforce of over half a million.  Leveraging the combined strengths and assets of these  counties represents an tremendous opportunity to stimulate economic development and promote governance decisions that will positively impact our region.

I applaud the collaboration of these chamber and elected officials who are determined to ensure future prosperity for the citizens and businesses of the Midlands.

Copyright 2011 WIS. All rights reserved.