Believe it or not, South Carolina is much better positioned than most states to survive the economic reconfiguration that our nation is facing after the Covid-19 pandemic – despite its atrocious workforce.
As companies flee urban centers of cities – and workers increasingly open stores in their own homes – the State of Palmetto must be able to successfully compete for jobs and investments without having to resort to proven capitalist frauds. failed.
“We must … ”
Obviously, whether the state will compete or not will depend on the extent to which ostensibly “republican” state legislators prioritize broad-based income, sales and reduced property taxes. Because at the time this book was written, South Carolina was not competitive on any of these fronts – especially in the capital, Columbia.
But all the tools are there for Palmetto State to succeed … it only needs leaders willing to leverage these assets in the name of a greater good, as opposed to bloated bureaucracies and entrenched special interests.
Another arrow that South Carolina has in its quiver is its beautiful 187-mile coastline – which served for decades as the main driver of a multi-billion dollar tourism industry.
Unfortunately, state and local leaders did their best to waste this gem – just as they did their best to waste South Carolina’s valuable maritime industry assets.
Not only have they failed to diversify this industry, but corrupt local leaders have neglected essential government functions, such as public security – and have failed to wisely appropriate ample infrastructure revenues.
While we expect better management in 2021, the book for 2020 is about to be closed – and the numbers are absolutely brutal.
According Tourism Economics, South Carolina tourism revenues plummeted by $ 99 million during the week ending December 12, 2020 – a 37 percent drop from the same week in 2019.
(Click to view)
(Via: Tourism Economy)
Altogether, revenues for 2020 fell by $ 5.7 billion – a decline in 41 percent the same period in 2019.
State revenue per available room – or RevPAR, a key industry metric – reflected these declines. During the week ending December 12, it dropped to $ 30.21 – low 34.3 percent of the equivalent week a year ago and down 40.4 percent for the year.
As we said … brutal.
According to a local businessman we spoke to, however, the impact of Covid-19 was not as apocalyptic as some think. The owner of the company – who lives in the heart of Myrtle Beach, SC – said the Grand Strand area in the state is proving resistant despite the virus and its bad press.
Of course it’s a mixed bag …
“I know a lot of companies that have been AWESOME this year, and some that are drowning,” she told us. “I would say that almost 20 percent of the people here are acting as if Covid doesn’t exist.”
“It’s really crazy,” she continued. “At the moment, the boulevard is (a) ghost town, BUT the weekends, even in November and December, have been busy – and in the last few weeks all stores are full of Christmas shoppers. I would definitely say that the blockages, etc., impacted things – but most (companies) fluctuated with those PPP loans and Trump’s expectation to sign the second package for another. “
Well, assuming that happens …
“Myrtle Beach is a strange beast and is definitely becoming the land of those who have it and those who don’t,” she added. “I am almost fifty and I have been here my whole life. When we grew up, we enjoyed the best of both worlds – being an expanding ‘city’ where everyone wants to come in the summer and a peaceful beach town where we have a place just for us in the winter. It doesn’t exist anymore. “
As for the revenue statements of doom and pessimism released by the state, our source told us that these figures were difficult to define.
“It is so difficult to say about revenue estimates – some inflate them too much and others intentionally show a loss,” she said. “I can say that some Broadway stores surpassed last year’s numbers – which would be hard to believe with a month-long block and a knee-deep pandemic.”
In fact … although the economic pain associated with Covid-19 and its subsequent social outages has obviously not been evenly distributed.
Later in Charleston, SC, however, the business people we spoke to said that the tourism apocalypse was very visible to them.
“It’s horrible,” a businessman told us. “I don’t know how he will recover until Covid is finished.”
Another said that the state’s revenue data “went wrong on the small side,” meaning that they believed the real loss to the industry was much greater than the $ 5.7 billion reported today.
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