Agribusiness Agribusiness

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1 Agribusiness Agribusiness The NESA Region is Growing. Won t You Grow With Us? The North Eastern Strategic Alliance (NESA) Region of South Carolina, located halfway between New York and Miami, is within an 8-hour drive to over 50 percent of the major US markets. The region has a vast agricultural production capacity making it an ideal location for agribusiness and food processing operations. Pairing the agricultural production capacity of the NESA Region with value-added companies and food processors presents a proposition that is mutually beneficial for food processors who are seeking a low cost location proximate to agricultural production and for the farmers who would supply those operations. According to data from the South Carolina Statistical Abstract, the NESA Region represents 21% of the state s land area, has 17% of its farms, 19% of its farmers, 25% of its farmland, and 21% of its total agricultural receipts. Taken together, these numbers are indicative of the potential agricultural powerhouse that exists in the nine county region. The people of the NESA Region have been involved in agribusiness related activities for more than 200 years and bring a proud and strong tradition of agricultural excellence and creative entrepreneurship that is unparalleled in comparison to other parts of the nation. Considering the logistical advantages of the region, our agricultural production capabilities, and the agricultural heritage of the region, there is no doubt that your company can be successful in the NESA Region of South Carolina. Advantages of the NESA Region The NESA Region is the prime location for the agriculture and food processing industries due to extensive infrastructure, close proximity to the Ports of Charleston, Wilmington, Georgetown and Savannah, competitive land and labor costs, and diversity of agricultural products produced. Other key advantages of the NESA Region include: Average annual wage rates lower than the U.S. average. Electrical and construction costs lower than the national average. A wide variety of available industrial properties well-suited to the agriculture and food processing industry. Tax credits of up to $9,000 per job. World-class training programs and facilities located in the heart of the region. North Eastern Strategic Alliance P.O. Box Florence, S.C

2 A Prime Location for the Agribusiness and Food Processing Industries With a location halfway between New York and Miami and consisting of nine counties in South Carolina with an impressive labor draw of nearly 350,000 and a business-friendly environment, the NESA Region provides the ideal mix of community and commerce to enable the success and growth of your business. apolis Frankfort NESA Counties Chesterfield Darlington Dillon Florence Georgetown Horry Marion Marlboro Williamsburg Cleveland Columbus Charleston Philadelphia Pittsburgh Baltimore D.C. Richmond Norfolk New York Boston Transportation Benefits Regional Infrastructure: Interstates 20, 95 and the proposed Interstate 73 U.S. Highways 17, 378, 52, 521, 701, 301, 1 and 501 Florence Regional Airport and Myrtle Beach International Airport Class I CSX track with access to Port of Charleston Port of Georgetown Parts of the region are located within 45 minutes or less of: Intestates 26 and 77 Charlotte Douglas International Airport Norfolk Southern railway lines Port of Charleston and Port of Wilmington, N.C. Port Summary The NESA Region is located in close proximity to the Ports of Charleston, Georgetown, Savannah and Wilmington. Nashville ingham bile Atlanta Augusta Greenville Savannah Jacksonville Raleigh Charlotte Wilmington Columbia Charleston Tampa 300 Miles Miami Georgetown 500 Miles Miles Chesterfield CHESTERFIELD DARLINGTON MARLBORO Bennettsville Darlington 20 z Florence FLORENCE 52 Kingstree WILLIAMSBURG DILLON 75 Marion MARION 378 Dillon Conway GEORGETOWN Georgetown 73 9 HORRY Myrtle Beach South Carolina s Port of Charleston, with direct access to Eastern markets, has the best productivity in the U.S. The Port of Charleston has five terminals (3 container, 2 breakbulk) with access to five interstates. The Port is currently expanding through the construction of a new terminal and has the ability to handle post-panamax vessels. The Port of Georgetown is a breakbulk port with four berths. It includes open and covered storage and an on-terminal CSX rail connection. 2 South Carolina s

3 A Highly Productive and Skilled Workforce South Carolina and the NESA Region have a strong history of agriculture and food processing excellence and are home to world class companies such as National Choice Bakery, Sopako, Popz, McLeod Farms, Perdue Farms, McCall Farms, Young Pecan, HJ Heinz and others. These companies have had no difficulty finding, recruiting and retaining talented and productive workers, technicians and management employees. With over one million people within sixty miles of the NESA Region s center, the region s workforce has been lauded as one of the top three most productive in the United States and the first in the Southeast. The labor force of more than 330,000 in the region has continued to increase exponentially in proportion with the region s increasing population. In the region there are over 12,600 workers employed by the agribusiness industry, which has annual sales of over $4 billion. Workforce Training The NESA Region has training resources available to you from recruiting and screening assistance to on the job training through ReadySC. SiMT The Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology (SiMT) is the first facility of its kind in the United States and provides the support needed by area and future industries to advance the region s ability to provide a highly trained workforce. Made possible by partnerships with businesses and industries, this facility features an Advanced Manufacturing Center, 3-D/ Virtual Reality Center and a National Robotics Center. SiMT offers open-enrollment, on-site and customized training as well as manufacturing startup assistance and consulting services. ReadySC ReadySC is an affiliate of the South Carolina Technical College System and develops, implements and manages custom workforce training programs, free of charge, to support new and existing businesses. By providing screening, recruiting and training of new employees, ReadySC is able to meet the staffing demands of new companies by providing a fully-trained workforce by the first day of operations. Business Corner 3

4 A Thriving Business Environment Many successful, world-class businesses have already chosen to make their home in the NESA Region of South Carolina, and their increasing growth and revenue are a testimony to the area s potential. Because of the NESA Region s ideal location, diligent workforce, supportive government and easily accessible resources, area businesses have thrived and continue to do so. Utilities and Telecommunications Resources Not only does the NESA Region have a harmonious business environment, but it also has affordable utility and telecommunications support available. Electricity NESA realizes that having a reliable supply of electricity is a necessity for manufacturing operations. The counties that comprise the NESA Region are served by both Progress Energy and state-owned Santee Cooper via several customer-owned electric cooperatives. Electricity rates in South Carolina are nearly 20% below the national average. Many sites in the NESA Region are dual served sites. Uninterruptable power solutions (UPS) and backup power generation are available. Water and Sewer Most of the sites and buildings in the region have millions of gallons per day of excess capacity on both their water and wastewater systems. Some of our sites also sit atop aquifers which offer endless supplies of fresh water ideal for beverage formulation and food processing. High tolerance wastewater systems in South Carolina require less pre-treatment, resulting in lower operating costs for wastewater disposal. There is also a corporate income tax credit for up to 25% of the costs of complying with whole-effluent toxicity testing. Unused credits may be carried forward for 10 years. Permits Telecommunications & Fiber Optic Network The NESA Region is served by AT&T, Farmers Telephone Cooperative, Horry Telephone Cooperative, Time Warner Cable and Verizon. All of these providers offer fast and reliable fiber optic networks. Selfhealing networks are available for large industrial sites. SONET is available at many sites in the region and dedicated T-1 lines are available upon request. Major Agricultural and Food Processing Employers Carolina Plantation Rice East Coast Erosion Blankets H J Heinz Company House of Raeford Farms Hyman Vineyards McCall Farms McLeod Farms Monsanto Research Farm National Choice Bakery Perdue Farms Popz USA LLC Sopakco Prepared Foods Southern Nut Company Williamsburg Packing Company Young Pecan Company Environmental requirements are overseen by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), which seeks to work cooperatively with the state s business community while maintaining a safe environment. Less than 1% of environmental permits applied for in South Carolina are challenged. DHEC has the authority to implement federal permits in the state. Aware of the importance of new industry, DHEC gives priority to the review of new facilities, thus reducing the turnaround time for permit issuance. Permitting fees in South Carolina are comparable to those in most states. Local and regional agencies have not enacted local environmental compliance or permitting requirements with the exception of the standard local wastewater system use ordinances. South Carolina has no state law requiring the preparation of environmental impact statements. 4 South Carolina s

5 A Wealth of Economic Advantages Cost of Doing Business Not only does the NESA region have a highly qualified, available workforce and a plethora of sites and buildings to meet your needs, it is also a cost-effective location. Don t just take our word for it; take a look at the chart below to see the real cost savings you ll experience by locating your facility in the NESA Region. NC GA SC Total State Business Tax, 2010 $186, 928 $179,790 $156,328 Business Income Tax Due Per Net (Taxable Income of $1,000,000), ,000 60,000 50,000 Average Unemployment Insurance (per 100 employees), , ,270 23,800 Workers Compensation Annual Premium (per 100 employees), , ,520 99,330 Average Annual Wage, , ,585 36,252 Per Capita Tax Burden 3, 389 3,313 2,880 Average Price of Electricity, Industrial Sector (cents/kwh), Gas Tax (cents/gallon) Cost of Doing Business Index (Milken Institute, 2007) Source: BLS, BEA, NAM Corporate Income Tax One of the lowest rates in the Southeast at 5%. Job Tax Credits Available to manufacturing, distribution, processing, warehousing, research and development and tourism facilities Can offset 50% of company s state income tax Unused credits can be carried forward for 15 years Property Tax Incentives Property tax abatements can provide savings of 20-25% of property tax costs Fee-in-lieu of property tax agreements offer a property tax reduction of 30-45% Property tax exemptions available for inventories (raw materials, work-in-progress, finished goods), intangibles (stocks, dividends, interest) and pollution control equipment Sales Tax Exemptions Electricity and fuel used in manufacturing processes Machinery and equipment used in production Raw materials and packaging materials Job Development Credits Discretionary incentive that can be used to offset capital expenditures by rebating a portion of new employees withholding taxes Economic Development Set-Aside Program Assists companies in locating/expanding in South Carolina through infrastructure or site improvements and other related cost assistance Enterprise Zone Retraining Credit Program Helps existing industries maintain a competitive edge Allows companies to claim a Retraining Credit for existing employees If approved, companies may reimburse themselves up to 50% of training costs for eligible production workers Rural Infrastructure Fund Provides rural counties with financial assistance for economic development activities Used for job creation and/or product development Port Volume Increase Credit Income tax credit to entities using state port facilities that increase base year port cargo volume Up to $8 million in tax credits per year Apprenticeship Credit Corporate income tax credit of $1,000 for each apprentice employed under an apprentice agreement registered with the Office of the Employment and Training Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor Credits may be claimed for up to 4 years Disclaimer: Incentives are offered through the counties and the South Carolina Department of Commerce. While NESA can work with the aforementioned entities to help develop an attractive incentives package for your company, it does not grant incentives nor can it make any promises that incentives will be granted by state or local governments. The information contained herein is current to the best of our knowledge; however, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions that may exist. For a list of incentives specific to your project, please make us aware of your project parameters and we will work with the counties and the South Carolina Department of Commerce to develop a comprehensive list of statutory and discretionary incentives that may be available to your company. Business Corner 5

6 A Top Notch Quality of Life Located in beautiful South Carolina, the NESA Region offers something for everyone. You can spend a day at the beach, play a round of golf, cheer at one of the professional or collegiate sporting events, dine in one of our many restaurants or visit a museum. Whatever your preference, the NESA Region won t disappoint. A diverse landscape with access to beaches, rivers, mountains and parks A temperate climate Both rural and urban areas Cultural events The NESA Region of South Carolina is the ideal place for our canning operation. The region s distribution channels including I-95 and I-20, the skilled and available workforce, and the ability we have to grow the crops we need due to the soils and climate of this region are just a few of the reasons our business has been able to succeed in this region. -Henry Swink Vice President McCall Farms Higher Education The NESA Region is home to seven colleges and universities and is fully committed to promoting educational opportunities. Coastal Carolina University Coker College Francis Marion University Florence-Darlington Technical College Horry-Georgetown Technical College Northeastern Technical College Williamsburg Technical College About NESA The North Eastern Strategic Alliance (NESA) is a professional economic development organization representing nine counties in northeastern South Carolina. NESA strives to promote economic development within the region through lead generation, major infrastructure initiatives, regional marketing and research initiatives. NESA s services include: Regional Site Selection Infrastructure Identification Utilities Assistance Incentives Coordination 6 South Carolina s Business Corner

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