What’s on the Agenda for Sanford’s Growth Plan in 2023?

March 05, 2023 | Written by: Caitlin Moore

We recently traveled to Greenville and Columbia South Carolina as part of a marketing team. If you’re wondering why we would go to a neighboring state to recruit businesses, especially one we compete with on a regular basis, you would not be off base. South Carolina is indeed a fierce competitor for many of the same projects that look at Lee County and our region of North Carolina.

The special thing about Greenville is this: it is home to a hand full of nationally known site selection consulting firms that grew out of the business development division of Fluor Daniels Construction Company. Mr. Daniels was a native of nearby Anderson, SC. Fluor is still a major force in the industry and remains one of the world’s largest construction companies. Of course, Greenville (and nearby Greer) is also the location of BMW’s car factory, which has generated a network of suppliers in proximity to “the Upstate” providing jobs for a total workforce of over 50,000.

Our group visited at several offices, held a couple of business lunches and an afternoon gathering for consultants and their families. We were provided the opportunity to tell the Sanford/Broadway/Lee County story…as well as ask question about future projects and trends in economic development.

These personal interactions are invaluable to us. The one-on-one “face time” with a major consultant gives us the special connection. Personal relationships build trust…also an invaluable commodity in this line of work.

What we learned:

  • bigger and bigger projects are the name of the game in 2023 with investments over $1 billion dollars being common rather than the exception
  • electricity requirements are also growing as many projects need electric loads for manufacturing plus AI and machine learning capabilities
  • there is a desire by foreign companies to make their products in the US – our market is still the strongest in the world

We’ll make more of these trips in 2023 than we have since the pandemic as we seek to raise our brand awareness, forge new business relationships, find good leads for new companies and keep tabs on our competitors.


Bob Joyce
Senior Director