2011-03-25 / Business

Chambers and counties form MIDSTATE coalition

Contributed by Courtney Herring

A group of chamber of commerce executives from 19 chambers and 11 counties announced the beginning of a regional collaboration effort, the MIDSTATE Chambers Coalition, March 15 at the South Carolina Statehouse. The coalition’s mission is to support public policy and economic development affecting businesses in the Midstate region of South Carolina.

Greater Lexington Chamber President/CEO Randy Halfacre; Lakesha Jeffries, chair of the Orangeburg County Chamber and attorney at Jeffries Law Firm; and David Jameson, president of the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce, led the press conference announcing the regional collaboration.

“ The MIDSTATE Chambers Coalition is home to 1.3 million South Carolinians with a workforce of 520,000, 70,000 students in 19 colleges and universities, 361 public and private schools, three major military installations, eight full service hospitals with 2,500 beds, at least 100 major employers, 75 international companies, and more than 100 corporate headquarters,” Jeffries said.

“If the midstate of South Carolina is to prosper, we must all work together as South Carolinians to make that happen,” Jameson added. “It is imperative that we cooperate to build a competitive advantage where we can.”

Randy Halfacre concluded the conference. “We are truly excited about this idea of regional collaboration,” he said. “We look forward to working with the business communities, economic development leadership, and our elected officials to move the midstate of South Carolina forward.”

The MIDSTATE Chambers Coalition is a collaboration of the Batesburg– Leesville Chamber of Commerce & Visitors’ Center, Edgefield County Chamber, Fairfield County Chamber, Greater Aiken Chamber, Greater Blythewood Chamber, Greater Chapin Chamber, Greater Columbia Chamber, Greater Irmo Chamber & Visitors Center, Greater Lexington Chamber & Visitors Center, Greater Sumter Chamber, Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center, Lake Murray Chamber, Newberry County Chamber, Greater North Augusta Chamber, Orangeburg County Chamber, Saluda County Chamber, Tri–County Regional Chamber, Calhoun County Chamber, and the West Metro Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center.

For more information about the MIDSTATE Chambers Coalition, contact Courtney Herring at 803.733.1148 or cherring@columbiachamber.com.

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