News this week that gunmaker PTR Industries is considering Horry County as it gets ready to leave Connecticut is exciting news for our area, which is recovering from the recession, but not as quickly as we would like. Dozens of new well-paying jobs (averaging $20-21 an hour) would be a noticeable and welcome boost to our area.
We’ve been less than thrilled about some local economic incentive deals in the past, particularly those that went to existing companies with expansion plans already in place. It’s hard to see the benefit of paying companies to do what they had planned to do anyway. But this potential success, as well as the earlier deal that secured Greensboro, N.C., laminate manufacturer BauschLinnemann, shows the best use of incentives: Drawing brand new industries and companies to the Grand Strand, particularly businesses that otherwise might never have considered our area.
Local officials are hard at work selling the region. Rep. Alan Clemmons of Myrtle Beach has already co-sponsored a resolution in the Statehouse inviting gun manufacturers to come to South Carolina and extolling the state’s virtues. He’s also participated in visits by company officials.
“This is probably the most fun I’ve ever had with economic development,” he said last week.
Best of luck to economic development officials as they continue to pursue this deal in the weeks to come.