S.C. used $1.2B incentives package to bring Scout Motors to Blythewood

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Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 5:35 PM EST
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BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. (WIS) - South Carolina is pulling out the checkbook to help bring 4,000 jobs and a $2 billion private investment to Blythewood.

South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Harry Lightsey revealed on Monday the state is using a $1.291 billion incentive package to lure electric SUV manufacturer Scout Motors to Richland County.

The incentive package still needs to be approved by the General Assembly, but leadership in both houses released statements applauding the company’s decision to come to S.C.

RELATED STORY: McMaster announces Blythewood selected for $2 billion investment, thousands of jobs

The Department of Commerce provided this breakdown of the package on Monday:

  • $650 million – To use for construction of a new I-77 interchange, area road improvements to mitigate traffic problems for residents, construction of a railroad bridge over I-77, water and wastewater infrastructure, and mass grading and wetlands mitigation.
  • $400 million grant – For hard assets as determined by the company.
  • $16 million – To acquire property to connect to the Class I rail mainline.
  • $25 million – To build a training center publicly owned by Midlands Technical College to train South Carolinians for employment with Scout Motors.
  • $200 million loan – For soil stabilization. To be repaid by Scout Motors with 5% interest.

In a round table organized by the department, Governor Henry McMaster said the expense of the incentives package was worth it.

“You always have to spend money to make money. There have been other investments years ago if you count inflation as part of it they were mighty big. They were thought to be mighty big at the time. Actually, there was some opposition to them. But the time has proven those were wise decisions,” he said.

Lightsey said local residents will also stand to benefit from the improvements.

“Having the new interchange and having these road improvements, will actually help and benefit the residents of the community that’s already there, will improve their traffic flow, and keep the traffic of the site of downtown Blythewood, South Carolina,” he said.

Scout Motors President and CEO Scott Keogh said the company looked at 74 sites and credited South Carolina’s speed.

“From the moment of the conversations to today is just over two months, so the state was very, very, professional,” he said.

He said work on the ground will begin in the coming weeks.

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