SC Appalachian Council of Governments



Serving 6 Counties and 42 Municipalities since 1965
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Planning Services Spotlight


Existing Industry accounts for the
majority of new job creation in America.
This Study analyzes ways to support it.

The Planning Division recently conducted an important economic development study for the grass-roots visioning group, Cherokee 2020, the County Development Board, and the Chamber of CommerceCalled the Cherokee County Business Retention and Expansion Study (BRE), ACOG’s David Shellhorse led small groups from the Cherokee 2020 Economic Development Committee on 40 manufacturer site visits in order to gather feedback on a variety of local topics, including infrastructure, utilities, workforce, and expansion possibilities. 

The goal of the study is to ensure that the community is doing all that it can to be a business-friendly location for industry.  This is with good reason.  Studies have shown that 60%-80% of new jobs in a typical year come existing industry.  Thus while a newly arrived manufacturer rightfully earns newspaper headlines and a ribbon cutting ceremony, the companies which are already in our back yards must also be recognized.  The Study reveals not only valuable information for local economic development, but also strategies for continued industry support. 

Is your community looking for ways to support and retain existing industry?  Contact David Shellhorse, Manager of Economic Development Services, at (864) 241-4649.   

Current Projects

  • Anderson HOME Consortium Consolidated Plan Update & Administration
  • Regional 5-Year Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS 2013-2017)
  • City of Pickens Planning Administration Support
  • Cherokee County Planning Commission Support
  • Community "Entrepreneur Friendly" Toolkit Development
  • Comprehensive Plan Updates - Westminster & Walhalla

Current Viewpoint Article

ACOG Assisting the Upstate SC Alliance in the “Global Cities Exchange”

Did you know that more than 95 percent of the world’s population and 80 percent ofthe world’s purchasing power exists outside of the United States? Middle class populations are growing, and new ones are emerging in many parts of the globe.  For regions strong in manufacturing and international business like Upstate South Carolina, this phenomenon spells one thing: OPPORTUNITY.  According to IBM-Plant Location International Global Location Trends, South Carolina leads the nation in creation of jobs tiedto international investment.  In fact,more than 20 percent of South Carolina jobs depend on international trade andinvestment. READ MORE>>

Regional Highlights

Progress Report for the CEDS 2013-2017: Building 21stCentury Economic Development Capacity

The ACOG Planning Division recently completed the progress report for the region’s 5-year “Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy”, or, as most people refer to it – the CEDS.  ACOG updates the regional CEDS every five years and prepares annual progress reports for the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). CEDS 2013-2017summarizes not only important regional and county-level economic data, it also emphasizes key areas of economic development including (1) Clusters, Target Industries and Innovation Capacities, (2) Workforce Development, (3)Infrastructure, (4) Available Sites and Buildings, (5) Entrepreneurship, (6)Access to Capital, and (7) Local Asset-Based Development. 

The second year of CEDS 2013-2017was a tremendous period in the SC Appalachian Region.  Each of the strategy’s original Seven Areas of Emphasis saw excitingdevelopments and capacity expansion. The cluster-based, target industrystrategy is yielding outstanding results, with over $4 billion in capitalinvestment (528% higher than last year); over 5,700 new jobs (177% higher thanlast year); and over 73 announcements since September 2013.  Other highlights for the year include theInland Port, which opened less than a year ago, is only beginning to have its anticipated transformational impact on business logistics.  In coming months, thanks to federal economic development partners, the new Entrepreneur Friendly Toolkit will be complete—establishing a customized on-line planning tool for local communities to attract and develop local entrepreneurs.To learn more, download the 2014 CEDS Update here. For questions or comments, please contact David Shellhorse, Economic Development Planner, at (864) 241-4649 or dshellhorse@scacog.org.